REMINDER: Mets Went To A World Series With d’Arnaud & Plawecki

One of the narratives which has taken hold of late is how the Mets catching situation is what has been holding them back. To a certain extent, there is a point. Travis d’Arnaud cannot stay on the field, and Kevin Plawecki has yet to fully maximize the chances he has been given to establish himself as even a clear-cut starter at the MLB level.

When looking at this offseason, there are plenty of players available who could be upgrades for the Mets. On the free agent front, there’s Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos. On the trade front, there is J.T. Realmuto and Francisco Cervelli. Even if you argue all of these players are not definitively better than what a healthy d’Arnaud can give you, their ability to stay on the field makes them upgrades. More than that, it provides the Mets with depth at the catching position.

As we saw with the Mets playing Jose Lobaton and Devin Mesoraco, depth is vitally important at the catching position. More than that, the Mets need a real depth of talent on the roster. If you build a roster with talented players, an upgrade at catcher isn’t that desperately needed.

For those who don’t remember, the 2015 Mets were able to make it to the World Series with d’Arnaud behind the plate.  There were several reasons why. Daniel Murphy was just beginning to become the feared hitter he would become. Curtis Granderson was a leader on and off the field. David Wright was having that one last great stretch in a terrific career. Yoenis Cespedes was phenomenal. There was real depth with Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, and Wilmer Flores.

Mostly, it was the pitching, and d’Arnaud played a big part of that with his pitch framing. This path to the World Series isn’t an anomaly either. Just this past season, we saw the Red Sox go to the World Series with Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez behind the plate. Much like the 2015 Mets, the reason the Red Sox were able to do this was because they had great players like Mookie Betts and Chris Sale in addition to terrific situational/platoon players like Steve Pearce and Brock Holt.

The overriding point is there are many ways for the Mets to go back to the World Series, and they don’t have to upgrade at catcher to do it. Instead, they need to look at the best possible players they can add to the roster.

They need to build on a pitching staff which already includes Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, Edwin Diaz, and Seth Lugo. They need to add to a lineup which already features Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Robinson Cano.

If building up the lineup and roster comes at catcher, great. If it doesn’t, that’s good too because we already know d’Arnaud and Plawecki behind the plate can bring you to a World Series. For that matter, Plawecki, d’Arnaud, and Rene Rivera brought the Mets to the Wild Card Game.

In the end, there needs to be much less of a fixation on improving just one roster spot for the sake of another. For example, don’t trade Nimmo for Realmuto. Instead, the Mets just need to focus on getting better players on this team much like how they added Cano even though they already had McNeil.

In the end, if the focus is better players and a deeper roster, you will win games.  You see it time and again. The Yankees dynasty had a black hole in left field. The Red Sox had nothing at catcher, second, and third. The 1986 Mets had Rafael Santana. The 2018 Mets can have d’Arnaud and Plawecki behind the plate, a tandem we already know can get you to the World Series.

0 thoughts on “REMINDER: Mets Went To A World Series With d’Arnaud & Plawecki”

  1. OldBackstop says:

    Yes, I agree. What has frustrated me at times is that the Mets have overpaid for offense at a defensive spot (e.g.: Piazza, Reyes) and put a Jason Bay in a corner spot where offense comes cheaper.

    In 2015 Plawecki played almost as much as Travis. I saw Brodie interviewed testerday, and he made a good point. The dream might be to find a 5 tool player here or there in a position you have a weakness, but sometimes the market has to dictate where value is. It is sort of like the NFL draft, where you want to pick for value rather than reach for a need.

    Another point in the 2015 team, btw, is that the shortstop was Wilmer.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      BVW isn’t on a strong enough footing to make that statement.

      1. OldBackstop says:

        Seemed sensible to me. For instance, if they give up Rosario for Realmuto, shortstop becomes a priority, at least a competent vet to bridge to Gimenez. If they have an opportunity to get some super CF in a trade, but the price is Matz, SP becomes a priority. Etc. Obviously, they NEED some bullpen arms, but if the top ones get stripped away, maybe they have to put ho-hum bodies in there and hope to upgrade with a trade or the waiver wire during the year. They might like some of the top FA relievers, but the Coupons aren’t giving them five years, or even four.

  2. OldBackstop says:

    You know, this snuck up on me, but…..if you had to guess who had the worst dWAR for qualifying NL catchers, would you guess Rosario? Of the 9 qualifying, 8 were at or above + 0.5…Rosario was -0.9.

    Except for the catcher in Cin, Rosario would have been teetering on most errors for NL shortstops as well.

    So, no to Conforto. No to Nimmo. Hell no to two of them. But if the Marlins want Rosario as a centerpiece, I’d been inclined to do that and sign a utility guy competent at SS to bridge to Gimenez. He may not be “ready” but I doubt he is going to be the worst shortstop in the league.

    1. OldBackstop says:

      I said qualifying NL catchers, I meant shortstops.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        No worries

    2. metsdaddy says:

      I’m on the same page. I really don’t want to trade Rosario, but I could deal with it.

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