6/12/17

Mack’s Morning Report – 6-12 – 2018 Catcher

15 comments


Good morning.


The construction of my 2018 Mets continue…

Let’s review.

So far, I have:

            SP: (5) – Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, Lucas Giolito

            RP (4) – Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Jerry Blevens

            IF (3) – Manny Machado, Amed Rosario, Wilmer Flores

            OF (2) – Michael Conforto, Yoenes Cespedes

            C (1) – Rene Rivera (UT)

Catcher

            We wouldn’t do this team justice unless we took a close look at some of the players available, at key positions, via free agency. Let’s start with catcher –

C Jonathan Lucroy.  – Lacory is currently playing above his early April struggles. Still, his worth will be judged vs. Travis d’Arnaud on their seasonal stats.

 Through 6-5:

                                    Lucroy – 159-AB, .258/.302/.377/679, 3-HR, 13-RBI
                                    D’Arnaud – 86-AB, .233/.299/.465/764, 5-HR, 16-AB

Samuel Hale of WFAA wrote recently that Lacroy ‘used to be an elite frame, but that time has past. D’Arnaud has never seen considered a Picasso in this art either. Even worse is his ability to throw out runners at second base and we all know he simply can’t stay healthy.
2017 cost:  Lucroy: $5.25/mil

Recommendation: Lucroy is three years older than d’Arnaud and will play 2018 as a 32-year old… which is fine, but I can’t see offering him more than a three-year deal. If he agrees, I could go into the $8-10mil/yr range, but no higher than three years unless I am highly pushed. There really is no other decent catcher available via free agency so if you don’t sign Lucroy, it’s d’Arnaud or someone via a trade.

Trade candidates:

            We need to approach this is a different direction. Below are the list of six major league catchers that currently are having a decent season, meaning, they are not going to be replaced next year by some kid in the pipeline. I’ll break out some contract information, followed by any prospects on their respective team (analysis supplied by John Sickels) that might be blocked by the major league player. All of this is being done to hopefully find someone we could go after in the off-season:

Buster Posey – San Francisco – .349/.439/.509/.948 – contract through 2021/team option 2022 –

Aramis Garcia, C, Grade C+: Age 23, second round pick in 2014 from Florida International; hit .257/.323/.340 with two homers, 14 walks, 42 strikeouts in 144 at-bats in High-A, playing time limited by facial fracture suffered in collision; catching skills have improved considerably, threw out 42% of runners and sharpened his receiving; bat went backwards however; hit 15 homers in Low-A in ’15 but didn’t show the same pop in High-A and had issues with contact; lost season with the injury and deserves more opportunities. ETA 2019.

2018 option: None

            J.T. Realmuto – Miami – .289/.360/.428/.788 – pre-arbitration, under team control through 2020 – No prospect being blocked.

2018 option: None

Matt Weiters – Washington – .273/.337/.418/.755 – team option 2018

Pedro Severino, C, Grade C+: Age 23, from the Dominican Republic, hit .271/.316/.337 with two homers, 19 walks, 45 strikeouts in 291 at-bats in Triple-A; hit .321/.441/.607 in 28 at-bats in the majors; that’s a small-sample fluke; in a larger sample he’s a .250 hitter without much power, though he is young enough that may improve eventually; superior defensive catcher with strong throwing arm and receiving skills; will last for years as a reserve and may eventually hit enough to get beyond that. ETA 2017.

2018 option: doesn’t look like anything more than a possible replacement to Rene Rivera.
.
Yasmani Grandal – LA Dodgers – .264/.323/.444/.767 – under team control through 2018 –

Keibert Ruiz, C, Grade B-: Age 18, signed out of Venezuela in 2014 for just $140,000; outstanding debut hitting .374/.412/.527 with 15 walks, 27 strikeouts in 222 at-bats between Arizona Rookie League and Pioneer League; threw out just 20% of runners and arm is just so-so but defense is otherwise extremely good, very reliable and mobile, strong leadership ability; switch-hitter with doubles power and good contact ability; watch this one closely. ETA 2020.

Austin Barnes, C-INF, Grade B-: Age 27; older prospect but has a consistent track record of success; hit .295/.380/.443 in Triple-A with 18 steals. 43 walks, 53 strikeouts in 336 at-bats; hit .156/.270/.188 in 32 MLB at-bats; good plate discipline with gap power; very effective baserunner despite average speed; solid defender who is also competent at second base and third base; versatility and solid hitting ability give him value even if upside projection is limited by age. ETA 2017.

2018 option: This could be a good one to go after. Barnes is ready. As of 6-7, he has 67 at-bats with the Dodgers, backing up Grandal, hitting .269/.372/.493/865, 2-HR, 8-RBI. Will never be a home run hitter. I would do what I could to pry him away from the Bums and, at least, make him a better backup to d’Arnaud than Rivera.

            Salvator Perez – Kansas City – .264/.298/.473/.770 – contract through 2021 –

Chase Vallot, C, Grade B-/C+: Age 20, compensation round pick in 2014; hit .246/.367/.463 with 13 homers, 39 walks, 118 strikeouts in 272 at-bats in Low-A; 60-grade raw power and plenty of bat speed; slash line was much better than it looks on the surface with wRC+ of 140; but has significant problems with contact; he makes an effort to work the count and can take a walk but there’s simply a lot of swing/miss here; defense remains troublesome, threw out 33% of runners but with very high passed ball and error rates; high ceiling power bat but a long way off. ETA: 2021.

Meibrys Viloria, C, Grade C+: Age 19, hit .376/.436/.606 with 28 doubles, 20 walks, 36 strikeouts in 226 at-bats in Pioneer League; signed out of Colombia in 2013; left-handed batter with good pure hitting skills; contact approach with power to the gaps from 5-11, 175 pound frame; lacks running speed but has good defensive tools, though needs polish to cut down on mistakes; sleeper prospect to watch as he transitions to full-season ball in 2017. ETA: 2021.

Cam Gallagher, C, Grade C: Age 23, second round pick in 2011; bat has never really developed but defense has turned out very well; added to 40-man roster this past weekend; hit .259/.348/.359 in Double-A but threw out 50% of runners and maintains very low passed ball and error rates; glove will get him to the majors; at one time his bat was well-regarded and perhaps it can still come around someday. ETA; 2017.

2018 option – Only Gallagher offers one and, like LAD’s Barnes, only as a backup.

            Yadier Molina – St. Louis - .254 /.295/.397/.692 – contract through 2020 -

Carson Kelly, C, Grade B/B+: Age 22, second round pick in 2012; hit .289/.343/.395 with six homers, 25 walks, 63 strikeouts in 329 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A; superior defensive catcher threw out 31% of runners but with excellent passed ball and error rates plus good comments on backstop intangibles; makes contact but line drive swing cuts off natural power in 6-2, 220 frame; may be a late-bloomer with the bat. Glove will keep him in the majors for years and the hitting could still end up being very good. Industry enthusiasm for his hitting has increased over the winter and in this case I think the industry is correct. ETA 2017.

2018 option – I might have found our guy here! No one is going to move Molina off the Cards plate and Kelly remains stuck in AAA, hitting .313. A ‘superior defensive catcher’ hitting .313.
          
                      So, here’s my plan.

1.     I’m going to make Lucroy my first objective here.

2.     If I can’t secure Lucroy, I’m going to go all out to secure a trade with the Cards for Kelly. I could go a number of ways including offering them d’Arnaud plus a mid-level prospect. If not, I would go one for one for someone like Gavin Cecchini or Brandon Nimmo.

3.     If the Cards pass, I would try to put together a smaller deal for the Dodgers’ Barnes. I would keep d’Arnaud and pray that he comes back next year both healthy but motivated as well

4.     Past that, it’s stay with d’Arnaud and Rivera in 2018. Let’s face it… there just isn’t that much catcher talent in baseball anymore, no less finding two great ones in the same organization.

5.     Long term… finish this year with the worst record in baseball and draft Seth Beer.

15 comments:

Gary Seagren said...

I would much rather go with Kelly than Lucroy. Give me youth and upside as to many times we get a guy who's past his prime and pay the price. Mack how's Nido looking these days?

Mack Ade said...

Nido has fought back from a very slow start (.196 in April)and is having a decent year...

161-AB, .280/.326/.460/785, 5-HR

He's 23 and a far better defensive catcher than d'Arnaud.

The one question is whether he could make the jump next year from AA ball

Zozo said...

I don't think your gonna get Lucroy for anything under $15 mil a year. I would offer that much even though so far he isn't hitting that well this year. He is my number 1 target.

Target 1A would be Kelly or Realmuto.
Kelly we would have to offer more than either Nimo or Cecchini. I don't even believe if you offered both of them that the Cards would take it. You might have to throw in a Molina or Conlon in that deal.

If the Marlins are really open to trading him, you would have to back up the truck filled with prospects to get him. I would prefer him over all 3 but I wouldn't want to pay the price to get him.

Thomas Brennan said...

Nido I am hopeful for in 2018. Hopefully he progresses a lot in the next 3 months. Kelly would be good.

Adam Smith said...

I wouldn't be giving a 32 year old catcher (Lucroy) a three year deal. It'd kill me to watch TC "try to get him going" over the last two years of his contract while Nido rots on the bench or at AAA. You're right, there isn't much catching talent around the league, and unless you can get Kelly (and then only if you believe he can do better than 31% throwing out runners at the big league level) I'd bite the bullet here and try to get Nido a look as soon as possible. That's not a perfect answer on a "win now" team (though we could be kidding ourselves there anyway) but given how few good options there are league-wide, and given his hitting over the past two seasons, and his defensive reputation and arm, he's gotta be a top 10 catching prospect in baseball. If you're really done with TdA (I'm agnostic on that) then either re-sign Rivera or some other smart, leader-like backup catcher who can play D and handle a staff, and get him up here to start his career and see how it goes.

Mack Ade said...

How do all of you like how I am breaking out the trade possibilities for each needed positions?

Thomas Brennan said...

Good, Mack - and please, get Giolito done - you will make my brother VERY happy, as he wanted to draft him and not Cecchini from the get-go.

Thomas Brennan said...

Possibly, for guys not currently on the team or in the minors, like Giolito, in each article, you can add a brief statement on what you propose the Mets trade to get him from your original article on the subject.

So if someone missed one of these incremental articles, they'd get your logic on the previous article guys.

Anonymous said...

Morning Mack :
Its 7 hours before the Draft!
Who do you want the Mets to draft?
Who do you believe they'll draft.
Personally I'm hoping for,
David Peterson or Trevor Rogers
But believe they'll go college hitter,
Jake Burger
or someone like that
Thanks
Fulltime reader
Steve

Gary Seagren said...

Mack great job as always...keep up the good work as it looks good to me. To me it's either Kelly or just go with TDA and Rivera another year while waiting for Nido or a better option. I hate paying anyone over 30 multi million's as there's way to much downside to consider. I'd rather spend on the bullpen and a CFer if a very good one is available in trade. Trea Turner anyone? LOL

Mack Ade said...

Morning Mack :
Its 7 hours before the Draft!
Who do you want the Mets to draft?
Who do you believe they'll draft.
Personally I'm hoping for,
David Peterson or Trevor Rogers
But believe they'll go college hitter,
Jake Burger
or someone like that
Thanks
Fulltime reader
Steve

Steve, I always want the best player available but, this time especially, I want college juniors in the first 3 rounds, all three being starters.

Burger is a good choice though

I'll gladly take Peterson. Rogers is falling for some reason in the mocks.

Thomas Brennan said...

I am happy with a hitter - they are more prone to stay healthy and, in an article later this week, make the case that we have lots of strong starters.

Zozo said...

I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a (ham)Burger today

Thomas Brennan said...

Zozo, I'll take the Burger Deluxe with hot sauce.

Zozo said...

Lol

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