Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 16, 2007
BASEBALL: No Duca

Paul Lo Duca wants a contract extension; his deal is up at the end of this season. If the Mets are wise, they will proceed very cautiously on this one. Lo Duca is 35, and highly unlikely to repeat last season, when he batted .318; if he hits below .300, his offensive value is minimal, and he doesn't throw well. Catchers past age 35 have a gruesome record, and while Lo Duca was 29 when he made the majors and thus doesn't have as heavy mileage on his legs as some guys (I'm not sure how many games he caught in the minors) you have to figure he's a bad bet long term.

That said, catchers are in short supply, and as Casey said, you gotta have a catcher or you're gonna have a lot of passed balls. I don't believe that the Mets have anybody in their system who is ready to go, even to share time with Ramon Castro. It's certainly worth considering an extension, but the Mets should not operate on the assumption that Lo Duca is a valuable commodity.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:03 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Speaking of Casey's wonderful quip, Hobie Landrith is only 76 years old. I'd sign him to a minor league contract.

Posted by: Attila (Pillage Idiot) at February 16, 2007 7:44 AM

Unlike the Yankees situation with Mariano, I'd say the risks of letting LoDuca play out his option are pretty low. I would perhaps offer him an extension at midseason if he's playing well.

Posted by: Jerry at February 16, 2007 9:17 AM

It all depends on how much he costs. If they overpay him, but the amount isn't a big deal in the big picture, I'm fine with it. I'll take PLD batting .280 and catching 125 games over some collection of nobodies and minor leaguers hitting .235.

But the Mets need to start exploring options for 2008.

Posted by: Mike at February 16, 2007 11:42 AM

The market for catchers is pretty thin, and so Lo Duca may be the Mets' best bet for a few more years. But there's no point in rushing to sign him now, with an inflated salary based on a career year.

Posted by: Rattling the Kettle at February 16, 2007 12:28 PM

Anaheim has a glut of catching prospects and Cleveland has Kelly Shoppach backing up Victor Martinez, dealing a mid-level prospect for a Shoppach or a Napoli might be their best bet, the Mets aren't winning this season, so picking up one of them now and platooning them with Captain Red Ass as SI called him could set them up for 2008 when their young pitching will come to the forefront.

Posted by: Dawley Edwards at February 22, 2007 9:37 PM
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