With the Winter Meetings over, the Mets still have a few spots to fill. One of the remaining spots they are looking to add to the team is possibly a back up catcher. Thole will be the primary catcher for the season, but a veteran catcher presence will go a long way in 2012 from not only helping with Thole's development, but helping to slow down the yearly degradation every starting catcher goes through during the course of the season.
The most important detail for the Mets is they need to be blown away on a cheap deal for a back up catcher. The Mets have a a couple of options they can go to in the minors, and have been pretty lucky with Catchers they have brought in on minor league deals. This year they need to see if people they sign will be more beneficial than Mike Nickeas, who, although not a good hitter, can call a really good game. There are three possible options out there for the Mets, if they don't go with Nickeas:
Kelly Shoppach – Probably the number 1 remaining back up catcher in terms of pop, would most likely not be going to the Mets. His price is just too high. But if it goes down, then it could happen.
Ramon Castro – He is still available and liked in New York. I just don't see him as a better option than Nickeas.
Jason Varitek – His main attribute is his ability as a leader, and how that could rub off on Thole. If his price is right, I would pick him over Nickeas.
Ivan Pudge Rodriguez – Will be working out in Miami this week and could be had at the right price. This could very possibly be a Free Agent back up catcher move the Mets make.
We'll see what happens! My money is still on Mike Nickeas but if the Mets complete a trade for a starting pitcher, they still could sign a back up catcher.