The Mets’ abundance of backup catchers meant somebody was a goner, and on Sunday, that somebody became Kevin Plawecki.
In a deal to help replenish the farm system, the Mets traded Plawecki to the Indians for minor leaguers Walter Lockett and Sam Haggerty. In a separate deal, the Mets acquired infielder J.D. Davis and minor leaguer Cody Bohanek from the Astros for farmhands Luis Santana, Ross Adolph and Scott Manea.
The deals completed a busy weekend for Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, who acquired outfielder Keon Broxton from the Brewers on Saturday for minor leaguers Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill and Felix Valerio.
Plawecki became expendable after the Mets signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year contract worth $19 million last month. In recent weeks, the team had received inquiries on both Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud, according to an industry source.
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Mets trade Kevin Plawecki in third trade in two days
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Plawecki’s most memorable moment with the Mets might have occurred in 2017, when a sex toy in his locker was visible on TV during a postgame interview. Plawecki later denied the phallus was his.
Though the Mets were happy with Plawecki’s improvement behind the plate last season, d’Arnaud was viewed in the organization as having the higher ceiling, even coming off Tommy John surgery that cost him almost all of last season. Van Wagenen has also mentioned the oft-injured d’Arnaud as a potential utility player who could see action at various positions. Tomas Nido is another catching option on the 40-man roster.
Davis, a 25-year-old corner infielder who has seen action in the outfield, won the Pacific Coast League batting title but struggled in 42 games for the Astros last season, posting a slash line of .175/.248/.223 with one homer and five RBIs.
“He has never really had a good opportunity at the major league level,” an MLB talent evaluator said. “A good fastball can beat him, but he’s a good offspeed hitter. He has some swing and miss and can get a little long at times. Adequate defensively, maybe a step short. Great arm. Great young man that deserves an opportunity.”
Davis hit .342 at Fresno to lead the PCL.
“J.D. is a versatile offensive talent,” Van Wagenen said in a statement. “He’s young, had success vs. lefties and he’ll provide depth at the corner positions.”
Lockett, 24, appeared in four games for the Padres last season and posted a 9.60 ERA. The right-hander went 5-9 with a 4.73 ERA in 23 starts last season in the Pacific Coast League. He is expected to begin the season at Triple-A Syracuse. The other component of the Indians trade, Haggerty, is a 24-year-old middle infielder who spent last season at Double-A.
The Mets are still searching for bullpen help — preferably a lefty — and could possibly add another infielder (the team is without a backup shortstop). An industry source said it’s unlikely the Mets will add another outfielder after acquiring Broxton to give the team an option other than Juan Lagares in center field. A.J. Pollock is the best right-handed outfield bat on the free-agent market. Bryce Harper is the best lefty bat still available.
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