The New York Mets, expected to be a potential major player during free agency this offseason, declined team options for three players on Wednesday, officially ending the tenures of catchers Wilson Ramos and Robinson Chirinos along with infielder Todd Frazier.
None of the departures came as surprises, with all three 30-something veterans aging further from their career primes on a team that finished tied for last place in the National League East, missing MLB’s expanded 2020 playoff field.
Ramos, an offensive-minded catcher originally from Venezuela, suffered through the worst season of his career. In 45 games the 33-year-old hit .239 with five home runs and 15 RBIs after hitting .260 or better in nine of his prior 10 seasons, notching 10 or more homers eight times.
The 34-year-old Frazier, who returned to the Mets in a trade from Texas on Aug. 31 after posting 39 homers over two seasons (2018-19) with the club, hit just .224 (11-for-49) with a pair of longballs and five RBIs in 14 games after returning to New York.
The former 40-home run hitter has 218 homers, 636 RBIs and a .242 career batting average over 10 big league seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees along with the Rangers and Mets.
Chirinos, 36, also came to the Mets in a separate Aug. 31 trade with Texas in hopes of helping a position of weakness as New York tried for a final playoff run. The nine-year veteran, also a Venezuela native, batted just .219 after the deal (7-for-32) with one homer and five RBIs in 12 games down the stretch.
Chirinos, who owns a .231 career batting average, has reached double figures in home runs five times in his nine seasons.
The moves were announced by the team as the organization awaits a league decision on the approved franchise sale to billionaire Steve Cohen, with a vote expected possibly by Friday, per the New York Daily News. The city of New York is also believed to reveal whether or not it approves of the sale “at some point in the next few days” according to mayor Bill de Blasio, per reports.
The Mets have been mentioned as a possible suitor for catcher J.T. Realmuto, a two-time All-Star who will be a free agent after spending the past two seasons with the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies.