The Mets have agreed to terms with Cuban catcher Lednier Ricardo, ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin reports. Financial terms, including whether the contract is a major league or minor league pact, remain unreported.
The 27-year-old free agent was not subject to international bonus pool limits given his age and experience. Over six seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, Ricardo owns a .256/.320/.371 slash and hit 26 home runs. He has seen some action with the national team in recent years, though there is little indication from analysts that he is one of the country’s top ballplayers.
As MLBTR reported last July, there were a dozen or so clubs interested enough to watch Ricardo in a showcase. That included the Yankees, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Mariners, Astros, Royals, Rangers, Tigers, Athletics, and Reds, though presumably the Mets had a good look at some point as well.
If nothing else, Ricardo should provide an upper level depth option in the New York organization. The club has two well-regarded young backstops in Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, who could combine to hold down the position for some time at the big league level, but of course trades and injuries mean that serviceable catchers are always in demand.