Catcher-hungry Mets targeting Ramon Hernandez, Miguel Olivo, Kelly Shoppach

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Adam Rubin of ESPN New York and Joel Sherman of the New York Post both report that the Mets are interested in Rockies catcher Ramon Hernandez, and according to Sherman they’re also interested in catchers Miguel Olivo of the Mariners and Kelly Shoppach of the Red Sox.

All three veterans are right-handed hitters who could platoon with the left-handed-hitting Josh Thole behind the plate and Sherman describes Hernandez as “a longtime favorite of Sandy Alderson,” who was Oakland’s general manager when the A’s signed him out of Venezuela in 1994.

Hernandez is currently on the disabled list with a hand injury and 23-year-old rookie Willin Rosario has hit for a ton of power filling in behind the plate, so it makes sense that the last-place Rockies would be open to trading the 36-year-old Hernandez. He’s owed about $1.5 million for the remainder of this season, but his $3.2 million salary for next season could be an issue. Olivo has a $3 million option or $750,000 buyout for next season, while Shoppach is signed to a one-year deal.

As for what the Mets would give up in a deal, Rubin reports that the Rockies “have always liked” infielder Justin Turner and tried to get him this offseason before dealing for Marco Scutaro instead.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.