Mets Sign Rod Barajas

The Mets officially signed free agent catcher Rod Barajas to one-year Major League deal today. He's guaranteed $500K, with another $400K to come if he's on the team's Opening Day roster. Easily attainable games played incentives could put another $1MM in Barajas' pocket. 

Since the Type B free agent agreed to a Major League deal, the Blue Jays will receive a supplemental first-round pick (#41 overall) as compensation. Barajas turned down an offer of arbitration earlier in the winter and it probably cost him. He made $2.5MM with the Blue Jays last year and it would have been a surprise to see the club offer a significantly reduced salary. The Blue Jays, who signed catchers Jose Molina and John Buck, would not have obtained the compensation pick if Barajas had signed a minor league contract.

Mets' catchers hit a league-worst .254/.305/.380 last season. The 34-year-old Barajas hit .226/.258/.403 for the Blue Jays in 460 plate appearances, hitting 19 home runs.

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com originally reported the deal, while SI.com's Jon Heyman added the details. Both links go to Twitter. 

Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.


100 Responses to Mets Sign Rod Barajas Leave a Reply

  1. Rich_in_NJ 5 years ago

    Jeff Wilpon is doing a very poor job as shadow GM.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      Hear Hear!!….and that is exactly what many in the League predicted would happen. couldn’t someone just buy the Wilpons out?

      Pretty please….?

  2. Guest 5 years ago

    free agent catcher*

  3. phoenix88 5 years ago

    are they really that desperate for a catcher? wow, just wow.

  4. Ricky 5 years ago

    Mets have all the bargaining power here. On Rangers he will get less playing time so offer a bit more cash and get it done. He is a bad hitter but has power, wilbat 8th anyway, and is a very good defender – a perfect stop gap player that will allow Thole to get more seasoning at AAA. So give him 1.5 mil and a major league deal. GET IT DONE!!!!!!!!!

  5. dro1202 5 years ago

    murphy isnt an easy out, he just doesn’t have enough power to be a 1b. hes a decent contact hitter, and decent gap power. He shouldn’t be a starting 1b but if he started somewhere he would be good

  6. murphy isnt an easy out, he just doesn’t have enough power to be a 1b. hes a decent contact hitter, and decent gap power. He shouldn’t be a starting 1b but if he started somewhere he would be good

    • never got this. how does the position he plays in the field determine how good of a hitter he is? just because hes a first baseman doesnt mean he has to hit 30 hrs a year. thats what beltran wright and bay are for. switching positions wouldnt make him better, it would probably make him worse, because we’ve seen how much he sucks in the outfield, and i cant imagine him being any better defensively at second than he is at first. i hate how people say players need to change positions just because they play at a ‘power position’ and they are not a power hitter. does playing first base give him more at bats with runners on base? no. hes going to hit seventh most of the year, it doesnt matter that hes not a power hitter, and playing first base doesnt change that/

      • meddler 5 years ago

        Well, the problem is you waste your advantage of superior offense at positions where other teams don’t have it by getting inferior offense out of positions where teams do. If Murphy were within 10 runs of his defensive value at first base, he would be more valuable at second base. Ditto the outfield, just cut the 10 in half. The Mets still have to compete with other teams, and most of those teams are getting much more offensive production out of first base. Murphy can probably make up some of that defensively, but there’s hardly enough data to conclusively say he’s a plus defensive first baseman. He appeared to be pretty good, but if he’s closer to average than great, he’s well below the league average for production from first base.

        I’d say rather than it doesn’t matter what position he plays, it doesn’t matter where he hits in the lineup. The Mets offense is decent enough with the addition of Jason Bay, but it still doesn’t match the Phillies’, and their pitching isn’t going to be making up that difference either. The reason people say they want more production out of first base is because there are actually opportunities to get more production out of first base, unlike most of the other positions. I actually think its more important they upgrade second base than first, but first base is a close second to second base (if that makes any sense, lol)

  7. ryansiciliano 5 years ago

    How strange is it that Barajas has a LOWER ops than the the league-worst Mets’ output at catcher but is still a Type B free agent? The system’s broken.

    • VinnyG917 5 years ago

      wow, good point. I forgot he was a type B. Is this guy even worth the compensation draft picks + the $1.5mm?

    • Roll Fizzlebeef 5 years ago

      The Elias Rankings take the last two seasons into consideration. His 2008 campaign was slightly more palatable offensively (.249/.294/.410) and he has always been a defensively sound catcher that produces the stats that matter in the Elias Rankings calculations for catchers. (Batting average, OBP, RBIs, HR, plate appearances, assists, and fielding percentage)

      He’s not spectacular at it in any stretch of the imagination, but he did put up a career number of RBIs and came close to his home run benchmark. Five of seven ain’t bad, I guess. Best of luck to Barajas and his 1st-to-home hustling ability.

      • ugen64 5 years ago

        don’t think OBP is high on their list

        • Roll Fizzlebeef 5 years ago

          Five of seven counted stats ain’t bad, according to them.

  8. RanceMulliniks 5 years ago

    If this is true, I don’t see why Rod isn’t jumping on it – not like there are a pile of teams lining up to sign a C to a major league deal right now. Waiting out spring training hoping for an injury is a risky move.

  9. According to Rosenthal Mets reach agreement with Barajas

  10. frasco27 5 years ago

    yeah read it on twitter

  11. specialk27 5 years ago

    ….or the Mets could have just traded for a better catcher like Chris Snyder. At least his .OBP is league average.

  12. grant77 5 years ago

    Please please please pick the Mets offer Rod, need that draft pick!

  13. Rootdown 5 years ago

    What is Barajas recent numbers vs. the Phillies? If memory serves he hits em well.

  14. icedrake523 5 years ago

    All that really matters is if he handles a pitching staff well and is good defensively. Thole was the Mets’ best option for an offensive catcher even at the beginning of the off-season.

  15. TheFilibuster 5 years ago

    This is a great deal for the Mets, anyone who says otherwise has NO clue as to what the Mets are trying to do. Currently they have no STARTING catcher, just old or rookie catchers who can not do the job. Barajas provides a very veteran presence, he is also considered a great defensive catcher, he is one of the best at throwing at base stealers, and he is considered to help pitchers as well. Offensively he leaves much to be desired, but all of the available options for catchers (Bengie included) had this same problem – The Mets did not get him for his “offensive” skills, they got him for his great defense and great game calling and that is it.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      Yeah, and considering that the rotation consists of Johan, 2 question marks, a pile of spare parts, and a pack of gum…somebody’s got to squeeze a halfway decent performance out of those guys.

    • specialk27 5 years ago

      This isn’t a great deal for the Mets. It’s not awful but it’s not great. The catcher handling the pitching staff isn’t the Mets problem. And every single one of the Mets catchers last year had a league average or better CS%. There is no purpose “upgrading” a position which you already have at least two capable players.

    • specialk27 5 years ago

      This isn’t a great deal for the Mets. It’s not awful but it’s not great. The catcher handling the pitching staff isn’t the Mets problem. And every single one of the Mets catchers last year had a league average or better CS%. There is no purpose “upgrading” a position which you already have at least two capable players.

    • rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

      I would’nt applaud them so strongly. Torrealba, Olivo and others would have been better options.

    • this wasn’t a bad offensive move either with the power outage the mets had last season. this guy hit 19 homers with 71 RBI’s batting seventh and eighth. when omir santos or henry blanco can do that you can come and tell me. this guy provides pop that the mets don’t have! I LOVE this move! finally a decent, major league starting catcher. you are right too he will help the pitching staff. the only problem is no one can help Oliver Perez!

      GREAT MOVE! Now lets get JARROD WASHBURN for our number two starter so this guy can actually help some one.

    • Ricky 5 years ago

      excellent pts

  16. Ricky 5 years ago

    Wow .. a major leaguer – very good

  17. Guest 5 years ago

    Wait, so basically, barajas will earn 2 million this year(with the incentives accomplished), so why couldn’t they sign Yorvit Torrealba for 1.4 million?

    He improves pitchers… yeah, Pitchers the Mets DONT HAVE! Minaya better pray for dear life John Maine and Oliver Perez both win 20+ games and era’s under 3.50 or he’s FISH BAIT!!

  18. alxn 5 years ago

    It’s like because there isn’t a UZR for catchers people just completely ignore a catcher’s defense. He sucks offensively, but he is one of the best defensive catchers in the league. This is a very good value deal for the Mets.

  19. alxn 5 years ago

    It’s like because there isn’t a UZR for catchers people just completely ignore a catcher’s defense. He sucks offensively, but he is one of the best defensive catchers in the league. This is a very good value deal for the Mets.

  20. crc81 5 years ago

    just fyi if the major league deal never happened..

    Even if Barajas signs a minor-league deal as long as he is in the majors before the June draft, the Jays get the 41st pick….according to Bob Elliott

    link to torontosun.com

  21. crc81 5 years ago

    just fyi if the major league deal never happened..

    Even if Barajas signs a minor-league deal as long as he is in the majors before the June draft, the Jays get the 41st pick….according to Bob Elliott

    link to torontosun.com

  22. JohnLucarelli 5 years ago

    *HIGH FIVE!*

    Now pounce on Lopez.

  23. BravesBallboi 5 years ago

    I don’t get this deal. The Mets basically traded a 41st round pick for Rod Barajas which puzzles me. In 2005, the Red Sox drafted Clay Bucholtz with their 42nd round pick by the way.

    • GravediggerHebnerTRDMB 5 years ago

      The Mets ‘traded’ nothing. The draft pick is supplemental and created by virtue of the signing. It never existed prior to the signing and didn’t belong to the Mets or anyone else.

    • GravediggerHebnerTRDMB 5 years ago

      The Mets ‘traded’ nothing. The draft pick is supplemental and created by virtue of the signing. It never existed prior to the signing and didn’t belong to the Mets or anyone else.

    • ju1ced 5 years ago

      You’ll never amount to more than a ball boy if you don’t read! lol

  24. BravesBallboi 5 years ago

    I don’t get this deal. The Mets basically traded a 41st round pick for Rod Barajas which puzzles me. In 2005, the Red Sox drafted Clay Bucholtz with their 42nd round pick by the way.

  25. BravesBallboi 5 years ago

    My mistake thought the pick belonged to the Mets

  26. BravesBallboi 5 years ago

    My mistake thought the pick belonged to the Mets

  27. rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

    Barajas and Blanco likely make the team. Maybe Barajas and Santos. Thole needs more time to develop defensively.

  28. Sidd Finch 5 years ago

    Whew, good thing the Mets got him…I thought the Blue Jays were going to snatch him up, they need a few more mediocre catchers…

  29. Guest 5 years ago

    Basically the same player as Bengie and you guys got him for half the price.

  30. BradyAndersonsSideburns 5 years ago

    why sign Barajas for 1 million when you could just bring any random scrub in at league minimum and they could probably hit .226 also. Even Geronimo Gil could do that

    • MrMurphyRoops 5 years ago

      He’s caught an ace before and is an immediate upgrade. They have 4 catchers at about the league minimum and none of them was getting anyone excited in the least. Wonder if there’s any inside edge to having him when playing against Halladay.

  31. InLeylandWeTrust 5 years ago

    very similar to det. signing laird. crappy offense, but superb defense more then makes up for it

  32. Barajas is a a punk and a wuss…he’s afraid to block the plate. He’s responsible for Brett Myers injury in 2007. Wait until you see the reception he gets in Philly. I’m glad he’ll be coming to town often.

    • Ricky 5 years ago

      Yeah Brett Myers is a great guy who beats his wife

  33. Meet the Mets, Meet the Mets, step right up and beat the Mets!

    Say hello to last place in 2010. Even the Nats have improved.

  34. TheFilibuster 5 years ago

    A good move for the Mets. I love this little addition at the end:

    “Mets catchers hit a league-worst .254/.305/.380 last season. Barajas hit .226/.258/.403 for the Blue Jays in 460 plate appearances, hitting 19 home runs.”

    What a way to sneak a jab at the Mets – whatever chance this website gets to mock the Mets it does every time..incredible.

    • Ricky 5 years ago

      Met fans make the most comments = we care

    • R_y_a_n 5 years ago

      How is that a jab at the Mets? They were saying Mets catching position was a weakness, and put Barajas line for 2009 (like they have for every single player signed, they put their seasons stats).

      But no, you’re right – everyones out to get the Mets.

  35. Angelo lutz 5 years ago

    With a deal like this, plus the Park deal, where he took 1/3 of what the Phillies offered him months ago, I just don’t see how the agents are not getting DESTROYED more often. Had he taken arbitration, he would have easily guaranteed himself double this contract. How does he keep the same agent after this fiasco? We are talking about the prime years of the guys career and he gives away half his salary?

  36. Ricky 5 years ago

    How many NL teams have a stud 8th hitter? – so Barajas/Santos/Blancio batting 8th is ok. Frenchie and Murphy are shaky

  37. riverahammerofgod 5 years ago

    don’t have too, but a 258 obp is really bad. add jeff 300 obp, plus murphy thats way too many 123 innings

  38. Ricky 5 years ago

    Tough to argue that..they better hit more homers

  39. meddler 5 years ago

    You do know a .330 OBP is just league average right? Hardly anything to get excited about a guy doing twice in his career. I’m all for giving Frenchy a chance to show that his improvement from late last year was for real, but it had nothing to do with his ability to get on base. More of the balls he put in play fell for hits, maybe the result of an adjustment, maybe just luck, its not a large enough sample size to tell. What he did do that was important was hit for drastically more power. If he can have a full season ISO in the .175-.200 range, plausible given his HR/FB improvement (a rate where 300 PAs is not too small a sample size to discuss), he’ll be something approaching league average. But that’s about his ceiling until he learns to walk more or figures out what David Wright is doing to sustain consistent .350 BABIPs.

    The one thing about him that I think people tend to forget is that he was only 25 last year. It feels like he’s been around forever, but Angel Pagan was a mediocre Triple-A player around the same age. Tangible improvement from Francoeur isn’t impossible, but he absolutely must adjust his approach and limit his swings on pitches outside of the zone if he ever wants his best possible outcome to be more than league average.

  40. richphillies 5 years ago

    “The Mets saw what Francoeur was doing wrong, so they traded for him and it was fixed practically immediately.”

    Did they teach him to have a BABIP 60 points higher than what it was last year for the Braves? Because aside from a bit more power, he wasn’t any different. Hell, he hit .310 for the Mets and still only managed a .338 OBP. That’s an OBP incredibly reliant on a high batting average.

  41. richphillies 5 years ago

    “The Mets saw what Francoeur was doing wrong, so they traded for him and it was fixed practically immediately.”

    Did they teach him to have a BABIP 60 points higher than what it was last year for the Braves? Because aside from a bit more power, he wasn’t any different. Hell, he hit .310 for the Mets and still only managed a .338 OBP. That’s an OBP incredibly reliant on a high batting average.

  42. meddler 5 years ago

    Josh Thole wouldn’t likely be such an easy out, but its tough to slot him in until he proves he can handle the defensive side of catching. I think he gets a bad rep in a way, he may not be ready, but its more a question of lack of experience than poor raw ability. He’s only been behind the dish for two full seasons. His arm is only average, but he’s a pretty decent athlete otherwise. His footwork needs technical improvement but he has shown quick reaction time, and he’s a heady player who already understands many of the nuances of receivership and game calling in ways he almost never gets credit for. He only started 15 games last year, 2 of them turned out to be complete game shutouts, for Nelson Figueroa and Pat Misch no less, and while Figgy pitched against the lowly Astros offense, Misch actually did it against the slightly above average Marlins offense. Obviously, only a small fraction of the credit here goes to Thole, but it shows that he had some idea of what he was doing, coaxing such dominant performances out of two such mediocre (or worse, in Misch’s case) pitchers.

    Thole’s actually made tremendous progress considering how little time he’s been given to learn the position, and he had an awesome winter league season offensively, plus he had a personal defensive coach while he was there, and whatever focus he did pay to defense this winter obviously didn’t effect his offensive game. I have a feeling the reason the Mets are hesitant to give Barajas big money is because they’re quietly a bit more confident in Thole than they’re letting on. If he’s shown any kind of defensive improvement from where he was at the end of 2009, I’d seriously consider giving him the job with Blanco as a backup and defensive sub.

  43. MrMurphyRoops 5 years ago

    Also remember that the Blue Jays lineup isn’t so great. While the Mets lineup isn’t devastating, it provides more protection.

  44. Ricky 5 years ago

    Exactly

  45. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    “it only took them until the third day of spring training to get a starting catcher. Three cheers for Omar!”

    ….And his puppet-master Jeff Wilpon!

  46. meddler 5 years ago

    It is a bad approach if the best case scenario is you make an out 67% of the time, more often closer to 70% of the time. He hasn’t shown consistent enough power to get away with that, and even with the improvement, he’s still unlikely to hit for enough power where failing to reach base so frequently is acceptable. He’d have to become a 30 HR hitter to get away with that. Plus, he already has a reputation as a free swinger. His power would likely improve if he learned to lay off more bad pitches, and even if pitchers often throw hittable first pitches to many hitters, at this point, most of them realize there’s no reason to do so with Francoeur.

  47. meddler 5 years ago

    That’s the point though. If they were willing to give Barajas more money, he would have probably signed weeks or months ago, and they certainly weren’t willing to give Molina big money. I have no problem adding Barajas. He’s making less than Molina or Zaun will, and considering his defense will probably be roughly as valuable as either. A year in Triple-A won’t hurt Thole, but I don’t think giving him a starting job sometime this season would be over aggressive. I actually thought he should have spent half of last year in Triple-A, where he could have at least caught some fringe big league pitchers. Catching Brad Holt and Jenrry Mejia is great, but those guys are all fastball at this point, the trickier thing is going to be adjusting to breaking balls and pitches in the dirt, which is something you get with a guy like Nelson Figueroa or Jon Niese before he got hurt.

  48. francouer isn’t that bad and he hit ten homers in less than half the season with the mets. thats 25 in a full season. second it isn’t murphy its jacobs who just a year ago hit 33 homers with the marlins. third barajas has averaged 15 homers over the last two years which is very good for a number 8 hitter.
    barajas is a good move for the mets! finally a decent move!

  49. francouer isn’t that bad and he hit ten homers in less than half the season with the mets. thats 25 in a full season. second it isn’t murphy its jacobs who just a year ago hit 33 homers with the marlins. third barajas has averaged 15 homers over the last two years which is very good for a number 8 hitter.
    barajas is a good move for the mets! finally a decent move!

  50. meddler 5 years ago

    Yeah but it was .276 before he came to the Mets. His career rate is .307, and with the Mets it was .336, so even if we assume all deviation from his career rate is a product of luck, then he was equally unlucky in the first half as he was lucky in the second half.

    For hitters, BABIP is a skill, but its really difficult to define the difference between whats skill related and just statistical noise. It takes a very large sample to infer a “true talent level” for BABIP. Half a season isn’t enough one way or the other. In fact, a full season isn’t really enough. But the point is that it is possible for a hitter to make an adjustment and improve his BABIP skill. Whether Francoeur’s increase for the Mets was a product of skill or luck is yet to be determined, but one thing you do look for to go along with an increase in BABIP is an increase in power. The harder a player hits the ball with frequency, the more balls are likely to land in play, so the power increase is a decent indication that his BABIP was a product of an actual adjustment to a degree, and not exclusively luck.

    The other two things you look for in judging whether BABIP “should” have increased are LD% and IFFB%. Both of these increased for Francoeur upon the trade (which is a bad thing in the case of IFFB%, but a good thing in the case of LD%). The thing is, it isn’t really a large enough sample of ABs to judge either of those (as opposed to HR% and HR/FB, which do tend to stabilize around 300 PAs, and thus can be inferred from with more accuracy), and especially LD% tends to fluctuate wildly from year to year.

  51. meddler 5 years ago

    Yeah but it was .276 before he came to the Mets. His career rate is .307, and with the Mets it was .336, so even if we assume all deviation from his career rate is a product of luck, then he was equally unlucky in the first half as he was lucky in the second half.

    For hitters, BABIP is a skill, but its really difficult to define the difference between whats skill related and just statistical noise. It takes a very large sample to infer a “true talent level” for BABIP. Half a season isn’t enough one way or the other. In fact, a full season isn’t really enough. But the point is that it is possible for a hitter to make an adjustment and improve his BABIP skill. Whether Francoeur’s increase for the Mets was a product of skill or luck is yet to be determined, but one thing you do look for to go along with an increase in BABIP is an increase in power. The harder a player hits the ball with frequency, the more balls are likely to land in play, so the power increase is a decent indication that his BABIP was a product of an actual adjustment to a degree, and not exclusively luck.

    The other two things you look for in judging whether BABIP “should” have increased are LD% and IFFB%. Both of these increased for Francoeur upon the trade (which is a bad thing in the case of IFFB%, but a good thing in the case of LD%). The thing is, it isn’t really a large enough sample of ABs to judge either of those (as opposed to HR% and HR/FB, which do tend to stabilize around 300 PAs, and thus can be inferred from with more accuracy), and especially LD% tends to fluctuate wildly from year to year.

  52. meddler 5 years ago

    That’s not to say Francoeur’s OBP isn’t completely dependent on his BABIP, it is, but his contact rate has become decent enough where a .300 BABIP should be about a .280 average. If he can have a decent ISO, somewhere above .175, and a typical .300ish BABIP, combined with good defense, he’ll get close to league average in value. And before you go off on how poorly UZR treats Francoeur’s defense, consider that +/-, a very similar system (a better system to some, just not freely available the way UZR is), completely disagrees on this one. He’s been consistently excellent by +/-, even grading as the best RF in the game one year, and grading very strong in 2009.

    Plus, If you go to fangraphs and split his 2009 season between the two teams, you’ll see he was actually +2.7 UZR for the Braves, but a whopping -8.8 for the Mets. Combined with the fact that UZR’s park factor’s for CitiField were on really shaky ground, and that they had trouble with a variety of Mets outfielders, it seems like a case where the system simply falls apart on Francoeur, at least for 2009. The stat is influenced more by noise than production in this case, and isn’t really useful. Throw away 2009 and the only year Frenchy had a poor UZR was 2008, and it also the only year that UZR and +/- significantly disagree. Even then, +/- ranked Frenchy’s 2008 below some other years, but still well above average.

  53. meddler 5 years ago

    That’s not to say Francoeur’s OBP isn’t completely dependent on his BABIP, it is, but his contact rate has become decent enough where a .300 BABIP should be about a .280 average. If he can have a decent ISO, somewhere above .175, and a typical .300ish BABIP, combined with good defense, he’ll get close to league average in value. And before you go off on how poorly UZR treats Francoeur’s defense, consider that +/-, a very similar system (a better system to some, just not freely available the way UZR is), completely disagrees on this one. He’s been consistently excellent by +/-, even grading as the best RF in the game one year, and grading very strong in 2009.

    Plus, If you go to fangraphs and split his 2009 season between the two teams, you’ll see he was actually +2.7 UZR for the Braves, but a whopping -8.8 for the Mets. Combined with the fact that UZR’s park factor’s for CitiField were on really shaky ground, and that they had trouble with a variety of Mets outfielders, it seems like a case where the system simply falls apart on Francoeur, at least for 2009. The stat is influenced more by noise than production in this case, and isn’t really useful. Throw away 2009 and the only year Frenchy had a poor UZR was 2008, and it also the only year that UZR and +/- significantly disagree. Even then, +/- ranked Frenchy’s 2008 below some other years, but still well above average.

  54. MrMurphyRoops 5 years ago

    They realized he had extended his swing and was taking to long to make contact. Once he shortened his stroke, they saw a difference that they thought they could improve upon. I see the potential there.

  55. meddler 5 years ago

    Not true at all, he simply has done a better job at making contact and fouling off bad pitches. His rate of swinging at balls outside the zone hasn’t changed. He’s swung at between 36% and 37% of pitches outside the zone every year since 2006. The league average is about 25%, so that’s an awful number. In 2009, he made contact on 66% of the balls outside the zone that he hacked at, and that’s the number that’s increased every year as his strikeout rate increased. It was 60% last year, 59% the year before, and 53% in 2006.

    And yeah, he’s not very strikeout prone, but his K% is still only league average, its not like he’s a superior contact hitter. Its definitely improved, but that doesn’t make it particularly good, it just makes him very BABIP reliant.

  56. meddler 5 years ago

    Not true at all, he simply has done a better job at making contact and fouling off bad pitches. His rate of swinging at balls outside the zone hasn’t changed. He’s swung at between 36% and 37% of pitches outside the zone every year since 2006. The league average is about 25%, so that’s an awful number. In 2009, he made contact on 66% of the balls outside the zone that he hacked at, and that’s the number that’s increased every year as his strikeout rate increased. It was 60% last year, 59% the year before, and 53% in 2006.

    And yeah, he’s not very strikeout prone, but his K% is still only league average, its not like he’s a superior contact hitter. Its definitely improved, but that doesn’t make it particularly good, it just makes him very BABIP reliant.

  57. meddler 5 years ago

    Gotta disagree here. I don’t have the numbers to back this up, but I’d venture to guess that the vast majority of Wild Pitches are on breaking balls in the dirt, not fastballs. You don’t get much plate blocking experience catching fastballs. Passed Balls may more frequently be fastballs, but just because the scorekeeper attributes one to pitchers and the other to catchers doesn’t mean Wild Pitches aren’t a skill a catcher needs to learn.

    Besides, Mejia’s job in Double-A isn’t yet so much about pitch sequencing, which translates to catchers as game calling. Mejia and Holt are more concerned with throwing strikes, hitting spots, and developing their pitches at this point. With Triple-A vets, Thole would have gotten more experience gameplanning with his pitchers, worrying about sequencing, the things a veteran catcher is expected to understand.

  58. meddler 5 years ago

    Gotta disagree here. I don’t have the numbers to back this up, but I’d venture to guess that the vast majority of Wild Pitches are on breaking balls in the dirt, not fastballs. You don’t get much plate blocking experience catching fastballs. Passed Balls may more frequently be fastballs, but just because the scorekeeper attributes one to pitchers and the other to catchers doesn’t mean Wild Pitches aren’t a skill a catcher needs to learn.

    Besides, Mejia’s job in Double-A isn’t yet so much about pitch sequencing, which translates to catchers as game calling. Mejia and Holt are more concerned with throwing strikes, hitting spots, and developing their pitches at this point. With Triple-A vets, Thole would have gotten more experience gameplanning with his pitchers, worrying about sequencing, the things a veteran catcher is expected to understand.

  59. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    You know, if Fred thinks the offseason was torture for HIM, what does he think us fans are going through? We don’t just suffer with his team, we suffer with his ‘leadership!’

  60. ryanisgoodlooking 5 years ago

    I feel that just because you dont walk plenty, doesnt mean you cant be productive. If Frenchy was the leadoff hitter yeah id be concerned with a career .330 OBP. but he’s there to drive in runs from the mid-bottom of the lineup. even if he has 5-times as many strikeouts than walks, if he can produce 80-100 RBI, 20-30HR, which he is definitely capable of, then he’s a great contributor in the lineup.
    Like i dont know why everyone was up in arms with Bengie Molina’s OBP when the mets gave him an offer, when he has well above average BA HR and RBI output from a catcher. If you have a low OBP, and dont drive in runs, then you have problems, but until Frenchy proves he cant do that you should lay it to rest.
    Besides part of Frenchy’s downfall was that the Bravos were messing with his head, picking it trying to get him to be more patient which lead in his declining production. Just let the guy hit the ball.

  61. ryanisgoodlooking 5 years ago

    Completely agreed with the Keith Hernandez comment. Keith was not a prototypical power-hitting first baseman, but that doesnt make your club weaker just because you’re not matching it from a certain position.
    For reference’s sake, If you had Dan Uggla at 2b hitting 32HR in a season, and Murphy at 1B hitting 10-16 HR, does that mean you should swap the two positions just because they would match more closely to the league’s prototypical power-to-position output? Absolutely not.
    Murphy may not be a 30 HR first baseman, but hes also not hitting 4th or 5th in the lineup either. We get that production from Wright, Bay, and Beltran. Just because Chone Figgins doesnt hit for power at third base, Hanley Ramirez knocks out 30 HR at Shortstop, doesnt mean your wasting a position, or that a player shouldnt be playing a certain position because they bat at a different spot in the order. do you people get what im trying to say here?

  62. meddler 5 years ago

    Sure, he can be decent, but again, he’ll need to hit at least 20 HR just to be an average player. He doesn’t have a .330 career OBP, its .310. That’s just unacceptably low. He walked just 3.6% of the time last year. It really limits his potential value. Walking may not be the MOST important thing he does (or in this case, doesn’t do), but its still a factor in determining value, and he’s so far in the extreme that it cuts off his potential value.

    Think about it this way. Even if he hits .310 and has a .500 slugging, his OPS is going to be like .830-.840. With more walks, it could be .890 or .900, and that’s a big difference.

  63. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Trying to project a positive image of the team and restore some measure of fan confidence (which, if effective, is expected to translate into fan spending), what else?

  64. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Hardly. I really don’t think most folks have figured it out about Jeff’s strong role in this rotten GM tandem thing we got now, so they’re almost completely focused on hating Omar. No, I think it’s Fred the owner not liking the way has been portrayed in recent months, and doing his bit to try and reverse some of it.

  65. Ricky 5 years ago

    I agree – haters will hate

  66. TheFilibuster 5 years ago

    Yeah I mean I have never heard of anyone being specifically quoted as totally disliking Santos (although I know Santana was not fond of him) there have been rumblings about how the pitchers were not keen on him.

    Bottom line is, the Mets could not go into this season with Santos. He won’t hit like he did last year (that was Santos rookie season, the pitchers will of adjusted/scouting reports) and he wasn’t great at defense or at game calling. Barajas adds an element they lacked last year (a Vet to call a game) and someone who is great on defense at throwing runners out. Is his offense good? No, but not many catchers are – then again he hit 8th most HRs of any catcher (19, compared to Molina’s 20) so the power isn’t a wash.

  67. meddler 5 years ago

    There’s also a league adjustment, the NL East is possibly the toughest division in the NL, in terms of total talent level anyway, but its nowhere near the AL East. The pitching in that division is ridiculous.

  68. ugen64 5 years ago

    that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Murphy, as it stands, is a below average player at first base. however, if he retained his hitting ability but was (say) a league average defensive 2B, then suddenly he’s one of the better ones in the league. nobody is saying anything about whether he helps out the Mets or not.

  69. ugen64 5 years ago

    “nobody is saying anything about whether he helps out the Mets or not.”

  70. ugen64 5 years ago

    what? meddler is the one who brought up Murphy, and he made an excellent point too. and your attempt to be facetious kind of fails, because if Murphy were an average defensive catcher, he would indeed be a good player. his OPS wasn’t that much different from Matt Wieters’…

    look, I think every reasonable person in this thread agrees that Murphy isn’t a big problem for the Mets because they have a lot of offense in other areas to compensate. but why can’t you understand the point we’re making? Murphy *as an individual player* (ignoring the team he’s on) isn’t a very good player considering the positions he can play. if he got injured tomorrow, would it be hard to replace him? not at all. Fernando Tatis isn’t that much worse than him. there are still guys like Russell Branyan and Hank Blalock on the free agent market. you could trade for someone like Michael Aubrey or one of the Athletics’ 500 first basemen.

    that’s the only point *we* are trying to make.

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