The New York Mets, under powerful new ownership and with a glaring hole behind the plate, are viewed as one of the favorites to sign J.T. Realmuto. Maybe the favorite.
If the Mets were to sign Molina, it would obviously make them less of a threat for Realmuto, which would be great news for the Phillies.
Not surprising that the New York teams are interested in the future Hall of Famer. Molina is a reliable catcher, even at this age. And while he no longer throws out base-stealers the way he did in his prime, he is still a top-notch receiver and game-caller. The New York teams did not have those skill sets last season with Wilson Ramos and Gary Sanchez.
Still, Molina could return to St. Louis, where he's played all 17 seasons and is a legend.
It seems unlikely that the Mets would pounce on a player like Molina before going far down the road with Realmuto unless the Mets think they can end up with a combination of Molina and Springer, or Molina and Bauer. Why limit yourself early by signing Molina to a two-year deal when you might be able to land Realmuto a few weeks or months later?
Of the top three free agents, Realmuto is the best fit for the Mets, followed by Bauer and Springer. The Mets' rotation is not strong beyond Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman. They do have three solid outfielders in Michael Conforto, Dom Smith and Brandon Nimmo, but the return of the DH to the National League in 2021 would keep them from having to play Smith in the outfield, thus creating a spot for Springer.
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