The New York Mets, despite losing star pitcher Noah Syndergaard to Tommy John surgery, are expected to be contenders in 2020. They sure are expecting that there is a season because they won’t want to waste the last year of Marcus Stroman and Yoenis Cespedes’ deals, not to mention another year of deGrom’s prime and Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, JD Davis and others’ cheap contract years.
In fact, after the 2020 season, it will be decision time for the front office. Besides the mentioned contracts that will be coming off the books, plus a few more, the Mets will need to decide whether to keep starting catcher Wilson Ramos or let him walk.
Before the 2019 season, the New York Mets signed Ramos for two years plus a $10 million option for 2021. If they let him go, they will pay him a $1.5 million buyout.
For a player known as an offensive catcher, Ramos didn’t have the best of seasons in 2019. He was far from an embarrassment, don’t get me wrong, but he knows he can do better than a .288/.351/.416 line with 14 homers in 524 plate appearances.
The average and the OBP are more than fine, especially for a backstop, but that slugging percentage was the lowest since 2015.
Will the Mets get defensive?
Defensive metrics didn’t speak too highly about the Mets’ regular catcher, and neither did some of the rotation’s top arms, most notably Syndergaard. They said they preferred to pitch to Tomas Nido and Rene Rivera (both superior options with the glove.) That appears to be on the rearview mirror, however, especially after reports that Ramos has been working hard to improve his game behind the plate.
The Mets have some catching prospects near the majors, such as Ali Sanchez and Patrick Mazeika, but they don’t exactly profile as top-flight regulars. The best of the bunch is Francisco Alvarez, but he is far away down the ladder, still.
So what will the Mets do with Ramos? He is not precisely young, as he will be 33 in a couple of months. If the Phillies don’t sign JT Realmuto to a long-term extension, the Mets could be players, as he is set to enter free agency after the season.
Only time will tell.