Buzz: Brian Schneider, & Free-Agent Catchers

In a post to Metstradamus, John takes a closer look at C Brian Schneider.

In the end, John writes, “Considering the options out there, Schneider doesn’t look so bad.”

my hunch is the team will return rookie C Josh Thole to Triple-A next season… he looked good, and i believe they see him having the potential to be a Paul Lo Duca type, but he needs time in Triple-A where he can catch former major-league pitchers, who have more substantial repertoire than he received in Double-A… i bet he gets recalled at some point in the middle of next season, though, but i get no sense he’ll be on the opening day 25–man roster… in the end, assuming they get a bat for left field, i feel the Mets should sign a free-agent, defense-first, veteran catcher to split time with Omir Santos

To check out the full list of potential free-agent catchers this off season, which includes Rod Barajas, Benjie Molina, Yorvit Torrealba, and Ivan Rodriguez, go to MLB Trade Rumors.

because the team is said to value defense first at catcher, i have a feeling we might hear lots of buzz connecting the Mets to barajas and pudge… barajas is a platoon catcher, best used against left-handed pitching, he is strong on defense, he’s been around the block, he doesn’t walk much, but he can hit for power and he’ll hit some doubles… pudge is still strong on defense, but offers little in terms of power… in pudge, the Mets would be signing a leader, but he gets hurt a lot and i have to think he’ll again seek out a starting job before settling in to a platoon with omir… i’d toss torrealba in the mix, because he is a contact hitter, a decent defender with a strong arm, and his super intense, but i just can’t see him or the Mets going down that road again, given what happened last time

Last week in the Boston Globe, Michael Silverman said Victor Martinez will likely be the starting catcher for the Red Sox next season, adding, “The Sox hold a $5 million option for Jason Varitek’s services for next season.  If they decline it, Varitek then will decide if he wants to stick with the Red Sox for another year for $3 million or go to free agency and seek a full-time catching job somewhere else.”

In 109 games this season, Varitek hit just .209 with 14 home runs and 51 RBI, after hitting just .220 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 2008.

Last off season, Ken Rosenthal of said the Mets were divided on whether to sign Varitek, who ended up returning to Boston.