Andy Martino of the NY Daily News indicated there was a riff between Paulino and Terry Collins at times. There was also a lack of work ethic as team officials put it.
According to Martino, team insiders say Josh Thole would catch about 60% of games, and a veteran acquisition would handle the remaining 40%.
With last year’s so-so rotation set to return largely intact, and with young arms like Bobby Parnell, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee still learning the league, a veteran catcher might be the best way to improve the pitching.
“He was supposed to hit for power, and all he did was hit singles,” said one Mets official of Paulino, who hit two home runs in 2011, and slugged just .351. “(Mike) Nickeas could do that, and he would be much better defensively."
Nickeas, 28, is universally regarded as a superb defender, and as recently as September the team was comfortable with the notion of replacing Paulino with him in 2012. But Nickeas’ .189 average in 53 at-bats in 2011 reminded the Mets of their concerns about his hitting, and prompted some club officials to push for an outside solution.