Back in November of 2007 the Mets agreed to a three-year, $14.4 million contract with free agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba, only to nix the deal when a pre-signing physical exam raised concerns about his right shoulder.
Torrealba and the MLB players’ association later filed a grievance, but yesterday an arbitrator ruled in favor of the Mets, determining that the team had the right to void the contract due to the medical risk involved.
Torrealba went on to re-sign with the Rockies for $7.25 million over two seasons and then spent last year earning $1.25 million with the Padres, meaning the nixed deal cost him approximately $6 million. Brian Schneider took his place as the Mets’ primary catcher and hit just .244 with a .680 OPS while earning $9.8 million, so the deal didn’t work out particularly well for New York either.
Texas signed Torrealba to a two-year, $6.25 million deal this offseason and he’s expected to replace Bengie Molina as the Rangers’ starting backstop.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Marlins, Mets, and Yankees have had discussions about a three-team trade in which Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto would go to the Mets. It’s not known which other players were discussed in the deal, but Rosenthal notes that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to part with Noah Syndergaard if they are only getting Realmuto in return.
Realmuto, 27, was the best offensive catcher in baseball in 2018, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 531 plate appearances. He has two more years of team control remaining until he becomes eligible for free agency, adding to his value.
The Mets’ catching corps currently includes Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud, so Realmuto would be a significant upgrade. Such a trade would be the club’s second big splash of the offseason as the Mets finalized a trade to acquire second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from the Mariners earlier this month.
Interestingly, the Mets and Yankees haven’t made a deal involving major league players since December 2004, when the two sides swapped pitchers Mike Stanton and Félix Heredia, Rosenthal points out.