Mets want both of their catchers to get significant playing time in 2016
The Mets are in a very fortunate position to be talent rich both behind the plate and on the mound.
But that can be a double-edged sword, as in the case of both Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, only one of them can catch at a time, and unless the Mets look to move one of them out from behind the plate, one will likely serve as the backup for the other.
For the last couple of years, people inside the organization have said they are uninterested in shifting either Plawecki or d’Arnaud out from behind the plate at this time, and while things can change down the road, the Mets are still maintaining that position heading into the 2016 season.
But the Mets want to keep both of them fresh next season, and in an effort to do that, the club is looking for ways to get both of their catchers significant playing time in 2015, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Right now, the alternatives to either Plawecki of d’Arnaud are not great. Anthony Recker became a free agent last week. They still control Johnny Monell, but his game really did not translate to the big league level during his various stints with the Mets in 2015.
That means the Mets could conceivably go with a 1-2 tandem of Plawecki and d’Arnaud to start next season.
D’Arnaud is the better receiver, as he’s now well known for his strike stealing and pitch framing. And he’s always been projected to be the better hitter, although it’s worth noting d’Arnaud needed a demotion a year into his big league career to find himself and start to blossom into the player the club expected him to become.
But the Mets were generally pleased with Plawecki’s development at the big league level in 2015, especially as he had to fill d’Arnaud’s shoes for large chunks of the season. They’ve been raving about Plawecki for the last couple of years, particularly over his improvements defensively. He still has work to do, but he has the potential to be very good.
Of course, this could also be a front in an effort to deal one of their catchers, presumably Plawecki.
But if they do that, the Mets would be forced to go shopping for a legit alternative thanks to d’Arnaud being seemingly susceptible to injuries. And given Plawecki’s current salary, that’s not a logical conclusion to draw at the moment.