If the New York Mets are unable to land J.T. Realmuto in free agency, they should consider a trade for Salvador Perez.
When working in business It’s always great to have a contingency plan in place, especially when you are running a successful organization. Let’s take for example the upcoming New York Mets catching situation. All the reports that we’ve seen from the surrounding media over the previous few weeks are that the Mets are going to go into an all-out bidding war with the Philadelphia Phillies in an attempt to win the services of catcher J.T. Realmuto.
But what if those plans are all for naught and Realmuto decides he wants to return to the place he’s called home the last two seasons in Philadelphia, or he finds another option more attractive. Where do the Mets turn their attention to next? Great run organizations know how to pivot and the Mets front office will have to evaluate whether they turn their attention to impending free agent catchers James McCann or Yadier Molina and attempt to lure one of them to Queens.
Could a Wilson Ramos or Robinson Chirinos reunion be on deck if the Mets strike out on Realmuto and they don’t like any of their remaining free-agent options after Realmuto?
While neither player would be the splashy move that Mets fans will expect this offseason, the Mets will certainly have a few options to consider on the free-agent market, but there is also one dark horse move that the Mets should consider in their contingency plan at catcher.
The Mets should contemplate adding Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez to their contingency plan option this winter.
If new owner Steve Cohen is looking to make a splash and is unable to acquire the services of Realmuto why wouldn’t you consider going out and grabbing the best catcher in the American League and possibly all of baseball?
Like Realmuto and McCann, Perez will be 30-years old on Opening Day in 2021 and is entering his walk year in a Royals uniform in 2021. The six-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner is coming off another stellar 2020 campaign and is stuck in the middle of a Royals rebuild that just saw homegrown outfielder Alex Gordon retire, and now leaves only pitcher Danny Duffy with Perez as the only players left from the 2015 Royals World Series team.
Known as one of the best clubhouse players in baseball Perez is as beloved by fans in Kansas City more than any player on their active roster, and it’s a move that you’d be hard-pressed to see their front office make. However, it doesn’t mean that Kansas City’s front office shouldn’t listen. If the Royals front office strongly believes that Perez will re-sign with the club next offseason and he wants to see their current rebuild all the way through, Kansas City’s asking price is going to be sky-high.
However, if Kansas City’s front office gets the sense that Perez will walk next offseason in search of a payday with a contender they certainly would find it in their best interests to grab value now while they can.
Perez will be under contract for $13 million in 2021 and would take control of a pitching staff that will include two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom. He would also be able to slide into the middle of a deep Mets starting lineup and add another intimidating bat, as a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
Perez, for now, is just recommended to be a contingency plan option and there is no certainty that he is available this offseason. Nonetheless, it’s tough not to think of the Mets not at least engaging in conversations with the Royals while they are looking for a top-flight catcher this offseason. Could a deal that sends J.D. Davis or Brandon Nimmo with a couple of minor Llaguers get a deal done?
If New York’s chips aren’t all the way in on Realmuto or they lose out on an expected bidding war, then Salvador Perez could immediately upgrade them both offensively and defensively on a win-now team that needs to maximize Jacob deGrom’s prime over the next several seasons.