The Mets have agreed to a minor league contract with catcher Rene Rivera, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training for Rivera, who will earn a $1MM salary with up to $300K in incentives if he makes the Mets’ roster.
This is the third time since 2016 and the second offseason in a row in which the Mets have added Rivera on a minors pact. The well-traveled 36-year-old ended up playing in just nine games with the club last season. He spent the majority of the year as a member of the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, with whom he batted .254/.319/.501 and smacked 25 home runs in 396 plate appearances.
Historically, Rivera hasn’t been all that successful at the plate in the majors, where he has hit .221/.272/.354 in 1,547 tries. However, he’s a well-regarded defender who has thrown out an excellent 36 percent of would-be base thieves during his time in the majors and earned the trust of Mets starter Noah Syndergaard.
Rivera will now attempt to work his way back to the bigs with a team whose catching situation isn’t ideal. Wilson Ramos is entrenched as the starter, though he had a somewhat disappointing 2019, and the leading candidate to back him up remains the extremely light-hitting Tomas Nido.