The Mets have added catcher Rene Rivera to the 40-man roster, according to Tim Healey of Newsday. The 36-year-old Rivera signed a minor league contract with the Mets in January and was named to the 60-player pool.
This offseason was the second consecutive winter in which the Mets brought Rivera aboard on a minor league pact, and the third time they’ve done so since 2016.
Rivera figures to be penciled firmly into the Mets’ third catcher spot, behind starter Wilson Ramos and Tomas Nido. Last year he emerged as Noah Syndergaard’s “personal catcher,” and while Syndergaard won’t be on the field this year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Rivera is nonetheless respected as a solid defensive catcher and offers serviceable depth beyond Ramos and the light-hitting Nido.
Rivera himself doesn’t offer much offensively, with a career batting line of just .221/.272/.354 over 1,547 plate appearances. And while he only got into 9 games for the Mets last year, he evidently brought enough to the table to earn himself a spot on the 40-man roster. With teams deploying a three-player taxi squad, one of whom is required to be a catcher, it seems that Rivera is tailor-made for the role.