I posted this in a comment to Metsblog.com but wanted to see what some people's opinion would be. The idea is not mine originally, I believe I saw a story on it recently, but now that the Mets have three backup catchers in Santos, Coste and Blanco, as well as a prospect/catcher of the future in Thole. I have generally believed that Thole should spend the majority of the season at AAA, starting most of the games and be penciled into the starters job for 2011. This was based on his defensive showing during his September call-up, his lack of experience at the position, and the general consensus that he needed more time behind the plate. Thole has spent the offseason crushing the ball in the Venezuelan Winter League, a hitters league, even showing some pop, and word is that his D has improved some too. My plan describes Santos as the third catcher, but he need not be if we could get a Doumit/Inge type player who has caught in the big leagues but whose primary position is now somewhere else (maybe Nick Evans can show off his ability and make the team for once).
I propose this for next season: have Thole as the primary starter and carry Blanco and Santos as backups. Thole could stay in until the 7th inning or so for most games, at which point Blanco could be double switched into the game and Santos could stay on the bench as his backup in case something happens. If we wanted to leave Thole in the whole game, then we could have Santos as a not so bad pinch hitter and leave Blanco on the bench. If Thole didn't get the start then we have his solid contact bat coming off the bench to pinch hit, and don't even let him get behind the plate.
This way we don't waste money on Bengie Molina or any other (more) really old catchers, we expose Thole to Blanco and the right way to catch while watching him progress, and have a good defensive option at the position. Just say no to everyone else Omar, please!