Another Option Behind The Plate

Max FidlerContributor INovember 20, 2009

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26:  Russel Martin #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a two run double against the San Francisco Giants during a spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on February 26, 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Every Mets fan knows that we need to replace Brian Schnieder behind the plate. Everyone who follows baseball knows that. However, up until a few minutes ago, I thought that the only options were Bengie Molina, Rod Barajas, Yorvitt Torrealba and perhaps the odd chance to trade for a Ryan Doumit. 

This offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers have 9 players eligible for arbitration. Their owner is in the middle of a brutal divorce and they will look to keep what they can while cutting costs where possible. 

Created in 1974, arbitration has been a great way to have young players earn what they were worth--helping them put the perpetual reserve clause behind them. However in recent weeks, and given the current recession, arbitration values on these players are seemingly too high for many teams to maintain. While I do not think that the system is obsolete, in economic times such as this it will provide teams a unique opportunity to get their hands on players that would normally be affordable and under team control.

What does this all mean for the Mets catching situation?

While what I am about to say is fully conjecture, and this player has not been tied to them in any way, I still believe it is an interesting option to explore.

This season 26 year old catcher J. Russell Martin is eligible for arbitration. And with 8 other players on that team also eligible for arbitration including, Broxton, Sherill, Eithier, Kemp, Billingsly and Loney it seems likely that someone will get traded or if possible non tendered.

Now, I am not going to pretend to have the clairvoyance to predict who will get traded for what in a situation such as this- particularly where the Dodgers could be looking to add Adrian Gonzalez or Roy Halladay in addition to whatever else they've got planned.

All I am meaning to say is that the Mets should try to acquire him somehow.

Martin is young at age 26, is athletic, in addition to his skills behind the plate he can play 3rd base, he is a plus runner for a catcher and while his hitting as suffered as of late, he is still a vast improvement over what we have got.

Furthermore, maybe a change of scenery will help him as much as it will the Mets.