The Mets may not bring Rene Rivera back for next season, according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Ackert says that a team source claimed Wednesday that they have not yet decided yet whether to tender Rivera a contract, while another team source outright doubted that the team would pay that much for a backup catcher.
MLB Trade Rumors projects the 33-year-old to receive $2.2 million for his third year of arbitration in 2017. The Mets have until December 2 to decide whether the catcher is worth that kind of money. The Mets originally signed Rivera to a minor league contract on April 5 after he had been released by the Rays in March. He was called up on April 26 to back up Kevin Plawecki after Travis d’Arnaud was placed on the disabled list.
As both Plawecki and d’Arnaud struggled throughout the rest of the season, Rivera got much more playing time than was ever expected. He played in 65 games in 2016, hitting .222/.291/.341 and finishing with 0.5 fWAR, with most of that value coming from his defense. Rivera threw out 18 potential base stealers for the season, and had +4 defensive runs saved.
The catching situation is a complicated one for the Mets this offseason. Rivera’s potential arbitration price doesn't make it any easier for them.