Mets Should Be Looking To Bring Back Kevin Plawecki

The New York Mets are in a position where they need to build depth and improve the team, but they do not have the budget to make significant additions. This means they are in a position where they need to make smart decisions to help them improve their roster.

Specifically, the Mets have been looking for an upgrade over Tomas Nido as the backup catcher. One of the reasons why is Nido had a woeful 40 wRC+. Given his approach at the plate, there is a real debate as to how much better he could be as a hitter.

As a defensive minded backup, that’s not the worst thing in the world. However, when you break it down, while Nido does have good framing numbers, they do not appear to be strong enough to justify not looking to upgrade from him especially with him hitting like a pitcher.

When you look at the framing numbers from Baseball Savant, Nido had a strong season, but it was not as good of a year as the season Kevin Plawecki had with the Cleveland Indians. Specifically, Plawecki was stronger on the lower half of the plate where Noah Syndergaard and some of the other pitchers on the staff like Marcus Stroman, Jeurys Familia, and Edwin Diaz like to get outs.

While Plawecki has frustrated Mets fans, he has shown an ability to work with this Mets pitching staff. With the Mets, he never quite fulfilled his offensive promise, but he still walked 10.8% of the time in his last three years with the Mets, and he had a manageable 96 OPS+.

Of course, he fell apart last year with the Indians putting up his worse offensive season since his 2015 rookie year when he was rushed to the majors. Still, even if he is now a 63 wRC+ level player, that is still a considerably better hitter than Nido with better framing numbers, especially in the zones where key Mets pitchers need help.

Breaking it down, Plawecki is a considerable upgrade over Nido, and with him likely coming cheap, a reunion with the Mets makes a lot of sense.

17 Replies to “Mets Should Be Looking To Bring Back Kevin Plawecki”

  1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Dealing Plawecki away right after the New Year was an early portent of how the bumbler, Wags, would run the club.

    Bad GMs are afraid of their judgment, are usually at least somewhat aware they’re in over their heads, and bag bits and pieces here and there so they can say they covered their arses. Good GMs bet on their judgment, target good players and good prospects, and have the confidence that they’ll be able to fill in around their good players. In Plawecki the Mets had a solid backup catcher who wouldn’t embarrass you if he had to start for a few weeks, and Wags dealt him away for a punchless, minor leaguer who didn’t get out of A ball until he was 24, and who couldn’t play SS, meaning… what would you possibly use him for if you brought him up? While Walker Lockett was a guy giving up more than a hit an inning in the minors, didn’t K anyone–in the minors!–and had trouble keeping the ball in the yard. But at least Wags got to make check marks on his checklist.

    Wags keeps doing this, dealing away useful talent for bits and bobs that do nothing to move the needle. He did it when he got Keon Broxton. He did it again this offseason for Marisnick. He was so bad at it in the 2018-19 offseason that he had to do it again as early as May 2019 when he had to deal away an interesting prospect for Wilmer Font, of all people.

    Plawecki. Now add in Adam Hill, Felix Valerio, Bobby Wahl, Kenedy Corona, Blake Taylor, Neraldo Catalina… and those are just some of the minor leaguers van Wagenen dealt away for filler, for backups, all of which would have been available for nothing but trivial amounts of cash in FA. Imagine all the talent the Mets have dealt away just for filler since the end of the 2018 season, and imagine it instead being packaged for, say, the best young players available in CF and at 3B.

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