Could John Buck ultimately be traded?

John Buck2With Travis d’Arnaud being called up for good, and set to take the reigns as the everyday catcher for the Mets, it also means it could be the end of the road for John Buck–at least with the Mets.

Coming over in the R.A. Dickey trade, Buck was basically a throw in, and he has effectively done what he was brought in to do: hold the torch for d’Arnaud, manage the young staff and hit a few bombs in the process. While he won’t hit for a consistent average, Buck is still nevertheless a valuable commodity—it just may not be for the Mets any longer.

The Mets are clearly planning ahead with their youth movement, as the club has now called up four significant rookies since the start of the year in d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores. It is imperative that d’Arnaud get comfortable with this staff as quickly as possible and work on his rapport with the pitchers. While he hasn’t set the world on fire and is just 1-11 (although he has drawn 6 walks) in his first five games, d’Arnaud is the future at the position and he has to get his at-bats, as he will be a key cog for the squad for years to come.

That leaves Buck at a crossroads. Some argue that the Mets should keep him and have him be a mentor for d’Arnaud a little bit longer and help foster this developing staff. While there is some merit in that argument, Buck will likely be out the Mets’ reach for a backup catcher next offseason. Unless Buck wants to take a pay cut (he’ll be a free agent after the year), his days with the Mets seem numbered.

Like I said, he’s done his job admirably and does have 15 home runs and 60 RBI’s on the year. His veteran presence has also proved to be a calming influence on the youthful ball club.

However, with the post non-waiver trade deadline approaching, perhaps the Mets could ship Buck off to a contending team and get something, anything, in return.

The following teams could be in the market for a solid, veteran catcher and could be good trade partners with the Mets:

New York Yankees: It would be interesting to see the crosstown rivals make a deal, as the Yankees clearly lack offensive punch from the duo of Austin Romine and Chris Stewart at catcher. Buck could be useful in a surging offensive lineup, and if the Yankees want to go all in, Buck would be an upgrade at catcher.

Tampa Bay Rays: While the Rays have a good defensive catcher in Jose Molina, he does possess a measly .612 OPS. But with Molina doing a bang up job with the Rays’ staff, this may never come to fruition.

Detroit Tigers: Once a potential trading partner when Bobby Parnell’s name came up in trade discussions, perhaps they will be linked again—this time with Buck. With Alex Avila recently suffering a concussion, the catcher position is not that steady for the Tigers. While Avila is expected back soon, maybe they’ll look to Buck as quality insurance. Again, Buck could fit in well with another loaded lineup. Also, the Tigers are in town this weekend. Maybe the Mets could show off Buck.

Oakland A’s: With Derek Norris likely headed to the DL and John Jaso already on the shelf with an injury, this could be an ideal team for Buck to join. The A’s currently are holding down the final wild card spot and are just 2 ½ game back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West. To stay in contention, the A’s should be proactive and make a move to shore up their catching situation.

Now, I’m no expert in post-waiver deals, nor do I know what kind of return the Mets could get in trading Buck, but if Buck is not going to be part of this squad next year, perhaps you should get what you can for him. Besides, teams can feel desperate at this time of year and may tend to overpay. This is where Sandy Alderson’s shrewdness could come in handy.

So, while we should all be appreciative of what Buck has given the Mets, he is not the future and his optimal landing spot should be with a contending team that could use his power and great play calling.

Buck gave the Mets all the bang he could; perhaps it’s time for another team to get the best bang for their Buck.

12 comments for “Could John Buck ultimately be traded?

  1. August 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Can’t leave theion in uncertainty. What if d’Arnaud gets hurt? Also Buck can provide guidance and advise on how to pitch to major league hitters. His experience,knowledge and approach would be good learning tools for all the Met catchers to learn from.

  2. blastingzone
    August 22, 2013 at 8:38 am

    It’s 60 rbi’s not 16? I’m not sure Sandy is ready to trade Buck yet? He may feel that he can
    resign Buck as a back up next year at a decent price and Travis D just came up so Buck hasn’t
    even had much time to mentor him but with only a week left to trade him so he would be able to play in the playoffs I don’t think Sandy has a enough time to be shrewd? While your at it
    trade Byrd while he’s hot again and we can take a look at Andrew Brown for a month in RF!
    Being so close to the deadline maybe a contending team will break down and and be willing to
    give up something good for him or them unless Sandy is thinking about resigning Byrd for next
    year too!!

  3. Metsense
    August 22, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Sandy should be asking Buck if he is content with being a backup in 2014. If Buck says yes then they should be negotiating a contract price. If Buck is too expensive for Sandy then he can send Buck through waivers with two options if claimed:
    Let him go and save the remaining .5 – 1m in salary or
    Pull him back and work out a trade with that team.If he clears waivers you can trade him to anyone, not just the claiming team. In either case you would be getting something back for him.
    As far as Buck being a .5-1M mentor, that is already Bob Geren’s job.
    If The price is right, having Buck as a backup is worth it.

  4. Chris F
    August 22, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I think Buck would command nothing more than poor talent roster filler. He has little value left on his contract, and his next year is uncertain. It strikes me that the best he can do is get as much time with TdA in a mentoring role as possible. If SA reup’s him for next year, well, so be it, but his greatest value to the Mets right now, in my opinion, is breaking in d’Arnaud.

  5. Jerry Grote
    August 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

    From this point on, I see more value in Recker than Buck. I don’t see a whole lot of importance in “mentoring”.

    Isn’t that pretty much what we pay the coaching staff to do? Let’s assemble the best talent possible at the ML level for 2014-2016, on a bang for dollar (avoiding the natural term there) basis.

    I think that’s TDA/Recker.

  6. Spencer Manners
    August 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

    It’s kind of hard to justify trading a backup who has done as good a job as Buck compared to the production they got from last years group of guys. We don’t know what d’Arnaud is going to do. d’Arnaud doesn’t have the greatest health history,Buck will come in handy if d’Arnaud get injured.

  7. August 22, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I like the Bat Rays – that should either be the next superhero or a fantasy team name.

    As for Buck, I’m sure Sandy has put him on waivers already. It seems like you used to hear more on this side of things, like so-and-so cleared waivers. Weird that in this time of Twitter that we haven’t heard more about who has and hasn’t cleared.

    • Chris F
      August 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Elvis Andrus cleared i believe….just sayin…

      • Jerry Grote
        August 22, 2013 at 4:57 pm

        not a chance Chris. Not a chance.

        You can’t bury a $15MM contract on a guy that gets all of his value from his glove … in addition to trying to carry our CFer. Andrus has … what? a 670 OPS, if that? playing in Texas???

        Andrus = a better fielding Tejada. A little more, but not enough to pick up $15MM and then have to pass on a hitter.

  8. Name
    August 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Trade him or keep him?
    Either way, i think the long term impact will be minimal for both options so I have no problem with either. I don’t think we should fret over something this minor.

  9. Jerseymet
    August 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Buck’s September pay is 1 million dollars. Not an insignificant amount. We could sell Buck for cash. Sandy is all about the money…time to sell.

  10. August 22, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    There’s a reason why Andrus cleared waivers. It’s called money not well spent. So let’s try to find a sucker to take it.

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