The New York Mets have re-signed Rene Rivera—on a minor league deal—to fight for their backup catcher spot this season.
A familiar face will reportedly return to Port St. Lucie for spring training next month. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports the New York Mets will bring back catcher Rene Rivera on a minor league contract.
The NY #Mets are bringing back veteran catcher Rene Rivera. They've agreed to a minor-league contract that will pay him $1 million with $300,000 in incentives if he makes their big-league roster. He'll be in their major-league spring training camp.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 22, 2020
Rivera played in just nine big-league games with the Mets last season, hitting .235 with a home run and three RBI.
He spent most of the season in triple-A with the Syracuse Mets, where he appeared in 97 games and hit .254 and smashed 25 home runs.
The 36-year-old has been sent up and down between the majors and minors his entire career and has played for several organizations.
Rivera’s first major league stint came in 2004 with the Seattle Mariners, where he spent parts of three seasons.
After four minor league seasons, Rivera resurfaced in the majors with the Twins in 2011 before leaving for the Padres, where he played in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Rivera played in a career-high 110 games with the Tampa Bay Rays before joining the Mets the following offseason.
Rivera played parts of 2016 and 2017 with New York, appearing in a total of 119 games over those two seasons. He spent the second half of 2017 with the Cubs, and 2018 with the Angels and Braves before returning to the Mets organization in 2019.
This spring, Rivera will have the chance to fight for the Mets backup catchers spot. His main competition will be Tomás Nido and Ali Sanchez, who are currently members of New York’s 40 man roster.
If Rivera can’t win the job, there’s a good chance New York still keeps him around and sends him back to Syracuse to mentor young pitchers and catchers and be a security blanket in case of injury or poor play on the big league roster.
Rivera will report with the Mets’ pitchers and catchers on Feb. 11.