The Mets are already set to call up top infield prospect Mark Vientos prior to tonight’s game, and SNY’s Andy Martino further reports that the club is also “carefully weighing” a swap of current catcher Michael Perez for veteran Gary Sanchez, who’s with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate after signing a minor league deal earlier this month.
The Mets are the second organization of the season for the veteran Sanchez, who originally inked a minor league deal with the Giants but exercised a May 1 opt-out after not being selected to the Major League roster in San Francisco. Sanchez struggled mightily with the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate, batting just .164/.319/.182 in 69 trips to the plate. He’s been much better with the Mets’ Syracuse affiliate, however, posting a .300/.500/.550 batting line with a homer and two doubles in 28 plate appearances.
Sanchez has a May 19 opt-out date in his deal with the Mets, so a decision on him is due soon one way or another. Swapping him out for Perez, a career .180/.250/.308 batter in 595 Major League plate appearances, would add more offensive upside to a team that has won just six of its past 22 games and fallen six and a half games behind the NL East-leading Braves.
The combination of Sanchez and young Francisco Alvarez isn’t an optimal pairing from a defensive standpoint. That said, it’s worth noting that Sanchez’s defensive grades improved considerably in 2022 after an offseason trade from the Yankees to the Twins (+1 Defensive Runs Saved, 28% caught-stealing rate, positive framing marks from both FanGraphs and Statcast).
It’d only be a temporary arrangement anyhow, as Omar Narvaez is expected back before too long. The veteran backstop, who inked a two-year deal in free agency this past offseason (the second season of which is a player option), has been out since early April due to a calf strain but could return by early June, based on the original timeline of eight to nine weeks the Mets provided for his injury. Tomas Nido could be back even sooner; an eye issue sent him to the 10-day IL seven days ago but was not believed to be overly serious at the time of his placement on the injured list.
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