The New York Mets have brought back catcher Devin Mesoraco on a minor league deal and have invited him to spring training. Earlier today on Amazin’ Avenue, Linda Surovich argued that the team should take a look at Mesoraco, as they were very thin at the position.
The Mets acquired Mesoraco from the Cincinnati Reds last May in exchange for Matt Harvey. Mesoraco preceded to hit .222/.306/.409 with 10 home runs and a 96 wRC+ in 66 games with the Mets while primarily sharing playing time with Kevin Plawecki. He did most of his damage early in his tenure, as he hit five home runs in his first 15 games and posted a 116 wRC+ through July 9 before coming back down to earth later in the season. He suffered a neck injury in August which kept him off the field for a significant portion of the season’s final five weeks.
Mesoraco finished the year with a 0.7 fWAR and, despite the pedestrian numbers, had his best year since 2014 and was a solid pick-up despite his second-half struggles. In addition to his offensive numbers, he also caught a majority of Jacob deGrom’s starts during his Cy Young campaign. In total, he was behind the plate for 21 of deGrom’s final 25 starts on the season.
The move comes with a little under one week until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Given Ramos’s injury history and uncertainty as to whether Travis d’Arnaud will be ready for Opening Day following Tommy John surgery last April, it’s a no-brainer for the club to bring in additional catchers. The signing also gives the Mets the option to cut d’Arnaud during spring training, which would only put them on the hook for either 30 days’ termination pay or 45 days’ termination pay.