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Mets bring back catcher Rene Rivera on a minor league deal

Contract for veteran backup Rivera includes spring training invitation

Minor League Baseball: Pawtucket Red Sox at Syracuse Mets Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Per Bob Nightengale, the Mets have re-signed catcher Rene Rivera to a minor league deal. The deal will pay him $1 million if he makes the major league roster with potentially more in incentives. It also includes an invitation to spring training.

Rivera first joined the Mets as a backup catcher in 2016, when he developed a close relationship with pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The defensive specialist was sent to the Cubs in a waiver trade in 2017 and spent time with several other teams before the Mets picked him back up in 2019, though he spent the vast majority of the season in Syracuse.

Now 36 years old, Rivera’s skills behind the plate have declined measurably and while he put up above-average offensive numbers in Queens last season, it was in only 20 plate appearances and his overall slash line as a Met is .226/.288/.367. But for a team that has shown no interest in filling out the roster with a major league caliber backup, Rivera has the potential to offer an upgrade over Tomas Nido while also bringing the benefit of a prior connection with Syndergaard.