The Mets declined the 2021 team options on catchers Wilson Ramos and Robinson Chirinos, as well as infielder Todd Frazier, on Wednesday, all but ensuring that the club will seek catching help on the open market this winter.
Ramos’ team option was worth $10 million, Chirinos’ was $6.5 million and Frazier’s was $5.75 million. Combined, the Mets will pay those players $4 million in buyouts.
All three moves were expected following a season in which the Mets struggled to find consistent catching production. Ramos, who came to the Mets on a two-year deal before the 2019 season, hit .239 with a .684 OPS while struggling defensively. His issues ran deep enough that the Mets traded in August for Chirinos, who batted .219 with a .617 OPS the rest of the way.
With those two gone, the Mets figure to be among the most aggressive suitors this winter for top free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto, as well as for lesser options such as James McCann. In-house, the Mets’ most prominent returning catchers are Tomás Nido and rookie Ali Sánchez; the organization’s No. 2 prospect, Francisco Alvarez, is still realistically multiple years away from the big leagues.
As for Frazier, the veteran returned to the Mets in an August trade from the Rangers. But Frazier also struggled down the stretch, hitting .224 with a .643 OPS.