Rene Rivera and the Mets have come to terms on a new contract
The non-tender deadline for Major League Baseball is Friday at 8pm, and most teams out there have at least one player that is still in the bubble. The New York Mets were able to get a deal done with one of their non-tender candidates, Rene Rivera.
According to baseball insider Jon Heyman, Rene Rivera and the Mets have avoided arbitration and will settle a new deal for the 2017 season. The Amazin’s will pay Rivera $1.75 million for his services behind the plate next season. By securing a contract with the 33-year-old catcher, the Mets are bringing back their most defensive backstop from last season in hopes of improving their up-the-middle defense.
Catcher is, of course, one of the areas that the Mets need the most improvement this offseason. While Rivera doesn’t exactly provide that, I’m still a fan of the signing. He’s not going to give you a lot of offense – he hit .222/.291/.341 in 2016 – but he does give us more consistency behind the plate on the defensive end. With Noah Syndergaard‘s struggles at holding runners on, Rivera’s cannon of an arm is definitely welcome addition to the 2017 squad, and, many would argue, a needed addition.
It’s still unclear, and of course too early, to know whether the Amazin’s will make Rivera their starter over the likes of Travis d’Arnaud or – dare I even say it – Kevin Plawecki. However, even as a backup, his presence in the bench will be appreciated. He’s one of those guys that just seemed to fit in perfectly in the clubhouse the minute he arrived.
The Mets have been pretty active this offseason already, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see them keep making moves during the Winter Meetings, even at the catcher position. The addition of Rivera won’t stop any future plans, but it gives the team more flexibility going forward.