The Mets have signed catcher Raul Chavez to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, the club announced on Friday.
Chavez, 37, played in the Blue Jays’ organization last season, batting .210 with 18 runs, 13 doubles, three home runs and 24 RBIs with Triple-A Las Vegas.
He last played in the Majors in 2009 with the Blue Jays, when he hit .258 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 51 games.
He’s played in parts of 11 big league seasons, starting in 1996 with the Expos, before later playing with the Mariners, Astros, Orioles, Pirates and Blue Jays. A Venezuela native, Chavez is a career .231 hitter with seven home runs and 65 RBIs in 263 games.
The Mets will need another catcher in addition to Josh Thole to start the season while Ronny Paulino rides out the remaining eight games of his 50-game PED suspension. The only other catcher the Mets had on their 40 man roster was Mike Nickeas.
I don’t believe the Mets will start the season with three catchers, so they could open the season with Thole and Chavez, and then call-up Paulino when he’s ready to return and send Chavez to Buffalo to make room for him.
He’s kind of a poor man’s Henry Blanco who had a career .654 OPS compared to a .570 OPS for Chavez, and defensively Blanco was also a little better across the board.