At first it seemed a given that the Mets should part ways with Brian Schneider.Â Schneider has been a disappointment both offensively and defensively.Â He has been hampered by injury and had his worst season in his major league career.Â The last few days I have been combing the FA list with an extra fine tooth comb as well as even dipping down into other teams prospect list looking for a LH Santos.Â The best I could come up with was a guy named John Jaso a 26 year old LH catcher in the Rays organization.Â I went over to Drays BayÂ (look towards the bottom of the comment section) to get the fans perspective about this guy.Â What I found was mixed results.
“Used to be a hitter who could pretend to catch. Last year, his catching seemed to improve a hair from horrible to sort of passable, but his bat disappeared. When at his best, he had great plate discipline and decent power, but unless he bounces back next year, I think heâ€™s played his way out of the Raysâ€™ future plans.”
“He continues to walk a great deal and does not strike out much. In fact, in his 331 ABs in 2009 he had 46 BBs and 49 Ks. What seemed to disappear was his power with just 5 home runs & 14 doubles last season while he generally hit 12-15 HRs and 20-25 doubles in previous years.
I know his defensive reputation is poor, but as last year was the first time his OPS was under .800 (although his OBP was .362) I wonder whether he might still be considered a candidate for a backup. I know that role is usually reserved for defensive catchers, but a contact hitter who can simulate a catcher might still have some value.
These are really just questions as I have no idea how the Rays view him or what his season really was like in Durham beyond rather simple numbers.”
But does adding another guy like Jaso who has never handled a major league staff help the Mets?
So what is the case for Schneider?Â The guy is desperate for a job and was playing for a contract.Â What struck me, and as I think back on it may have earned him a chance to compete, was how willing he was to give up playing time and his knowledge to Thole.Â Does anyone expect Santos to continue to improve or to even put up numbers similar to this season as a full time catcher next year?Â I know I am willing to give him a chance but I do not have high expectations.Â Chances are mid-season Thole will be ready (more than likely ready or not here I come).Â So what would be the harm in bringing back Schneider on a minor league contract to hold down the backup role until Thole is ready?Â Allow Thole to compete with Schneider for the job out of spring training.Â To me this is one less hole the Mets have to worry about and is a much better solution than losing prospects on another question mark or spending cash and possible years on guys like Molina.
Let the Schneider hate begin.