KANSAS CITY -- With an eye toward bolstering their catching depth, the Mets on Tuesday signed veteran backstop Rene Rivera to a Minor League contract. Rivera will report to Triple-A Las Vegas, where Johnny Monell and Nevin Ashley are the incumbent catchers.
A veteran of seven big league seasons, Rivera, 32, is a career .211 hitter with 20 home runs in 334 games for the Mariners, Padres, Twins and Rays. He appeared in 110 of those games last summer for the Rays, batting .178.
With the Mets, Rivera provides another option should the team decide 25-year-old big league backup Kevin Plawecki would be better served receiving daily playing time in the Minors. The Mets considered sending Plawecki to Las Vegas this spring but concluded that starter Travis d'Arnaud needs enough off-days to make Plawecki's inclusion on the Opening Day roster worthwhile.
"Certainly that was the discussion, but one of the things we know about Travis is that he needs days off," manager Terry Collins said. "So we think we can get the at-bats needed for Kevin in the big leagues."
Plawecki did not appear in either of the Mets' first two games in Kansas City, but he's likely to debut on their homestand as soon as this weekend.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.