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Five Free Agent Catchers for the Mets to Consider for 2013: Fan's Take

Yahoo Contributor Network

One of five New York Mets I want gone by 2013 is Josh Thole. It's nothing personal, he just didn't cut it defensively or at the plate. Thole and Mike Nickeas -- he can go, too -- were the main reasons Mets catchers batted .218 with a combined five home runs and 48 RBIs in 2012. Could there be a replacement for them on the free agent market? Here are five free agent alternatives for 2013.

Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers -- One can dream, right? It's highly unlikely that the Mets will look at Napoli, who arguably is the best hitting catcher in the game right now. He is a career .259 hitter and has belted at least 20 home runs in five straight seasons. He'll likely re-sign with the Rangers, anyway.

A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox -- Pierzynski probably priced himself out of the Mets reach with a career season in 2012. He batted .278 with 27 home runs and 77 RBIs. I can't see the 35-year-old Pierzynski repeating his numbers next year, so I wouldn't blame the Mets for passing on him.

Gerald Laird, Detroit Tigers -- Liard has never hit more than 10 home runs in a season, but he's a decent contact hitter (.244 career average) and can play defense. He'd be an upgrade behind the dish without breaking the team's budget. Laird made $1 million in each of the last two seasons.

Russell Martin, New York Yankees -- This would be ironic, wouldn't it? Martin had several clutch hits for the Yankees during the regular season, including a walk-off home run against the Mets in June. The drawback, of course, is that Martin's average salary the last three years was about $5.3 million.

Kelly Shoppach, New York Mets -- The catching solution may be under the Mets noses in Shoppach, who arrived from the Boston Red Sox after the non-waiver trade deadline. Shoppach is a lock for double-digit home runs with at least 300 at-bats, plus he's an above-average defensive catcher.

Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets. Adam follows back Mets fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.


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