Injuries to Kevin Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud have left a gaping hole at catcher for the Mets. Here are some options they may consider.
1. Jose Lobaton
Sometimes the solution is the easiest one. The Mets called up Lobaton from Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday, and because Plawecki’s injury doesn’t require surgery, the Mets might be willing to roll the dice in the interim and hope this solution sticks. Lobaton got off to a good start Friday night against the Brewers, tripling in his first at-bat. The eight-year veteran who the Mets signed to a minor-league deal this offseason, was brought on as an insurance policy, and this situation counts as good as any. The move allows Tomas Nido, who was called up from Double-A Binghamton when d’Arnaud went on the disabled list, to get playing time and get acclimated to performing on a major-league level.
2. Blake Swihart
The switch-hitting utility man isn’t getting a whole lot of action in Boston so far — only five at-bats — but he’s got some alluring tools and a strong arm that made the Red Sox organization originally convert the shortstop into a catcher. The Mets might be able to snag him in a trade for a relative bargain, though they do have to consider that he hasn’t played the position regularly since 2015, and originally struggled with his throws when the Red Sox tried to convert him back to catcher in 2017. The Red Sox were high on Swihart when they drafted him 26th overall in 2011, but he’s since struggled to find playing time and is out of minor-league options.
3. J.T. Realmuto
This is probably the most tantalizing name on the list for the Mets, but it’ll be the priciest in terms of a trade. The Marlins probably aren’t going anywhere this year, and they’ve already parted with some of their other gems, so it’s possible that they would be willing to part with Realmuto for young prospects with upside. But that could be a challenge considering the Mets’ farm system isn’t currently loaded with talent. Realmuto, 27, hit .278 with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs, and threw out 32 percent of baserunners last season.
4. Wilson Ramos
The AL East will be an absolute dogfight this year, but one that the Rays probably won’t be a part of. Ramos is in the final year of his two-year contract, and it seems likely that the Rays would be willing to consider a trade that wouldn’t force the Mets to give up a ton. The eight-year veteran and former All-Star hit .260 last year with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs.
5. Miguel Montero
Montero, the former Nationals’ backstop, is looking for a job after being designated for assignment on April 11. The 34-year-old was hitless in 11 at-bats this season, and hit .216 with six home runs and 16 RBIs with the Cubs and Blue Jays last year. The problem here is that while Montero will be cheap, he’s not exactly a huge improvement from Lobaton.