Mets keeping an eye on Miguel Olivo, unlikely to retain Kelly Shoppach

Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Mets are “eyeing” free-agent C Miguel Olivo this winter.

“When the Mets made their priority trade list in July, the Rockies’ Ramon Hernandez was on top for catchers, but Olivo was among the secondary candidates along with Kelly Shoppach, whom they ultimately obtained,” Sherman explains.

In 87 games for the Mariners in 2012, Olivo, 34, hit .222 with a .239 OBP, 11 home runs and 29 RBI with 87 strikeouts in 323 plate appearances over 87 games.

He signed a two-year, $7 million contract before the 2011 season. The Mariners held a $3 million option on Olivo for 2013, but they recently announced they would decline the option, making him a free agent.

In addition, Sherman says it’s unlikely the Mets will retain Shoppach for next season.

Shoppach, 32, hit .203 with three home runs and ten RBI in 28 games after the Mets acquired him from the Red Sox in August, and can become a free agent after the World Series.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Frankly, I’d rather have Shoppach – he is better than Olivo. During August and September, he was praised for his work with the pitching staff, most notably with the bullpen and getting them to pitch inside more. In turn, the results out of the bullpen improved. Neither Shoppach or Olivo are going to be dynamic offensive players, but Olivo strikes out a ton and hardly ever walks, which doesn’t exactly speak to the approach the organization is trying to preach.