"The summer David Wright succeeded Ty Wigginton at third base for the Mets, Wigginton found himself traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. ... A similar scenario could play out this season, as catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud waits in the wings to succeed John Buck," Rubin explains.
Buck, 32, hit .192 with a .297 OBP, 12 home runs and 41 RBI in 398 plate appearances over 106 games with the Marlins in 2012.
He is entering the final year of a three-year, $18 million deal he signed with the Marlins in 2010. He will earn $6 million in 2013.
Buck has played nine big-league seasons, spending time with the Royals, Marlins and Blue Jays.
It's early - the team has only now begun full workouts, and Grapefruit League games don't begin until Saturday. It's impossible to know or predict now how the situation is going to play out for both Buck and d'Arnaud later. But in talking with Buck, d'Arnaud and Bob Geren over last week, it's clear Buck is more than just a placeholder and mentor for d'Arnaud. For the first time in a while, the Mets have a catcher in Buck with experience not just in the big leagues, but in the National League east. He intends to work with everyone on the staff and share what he's seen against them from the batters box. That can have an under-appreciated value to the team.