NEW YORK -- Seeking to retain some veteran depth behind the plate, the Mets on Friday settled with Rene Rivera on a $1.75 million contract to avoid arbitration. Rivera will compete with Kevin Plawecki for a spot backing up starting catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
The Mets signed Rivera to a Minor League deal last April, shortly after the Rays released him. Quickly becoming a significant part of New York's roster, Rivera played in 65 games as d'Arnaud battled injuries and Plawecki slumped for most of the season.
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Rivera hit .222 with six home runs, leading the Mets in caught stealing percentage (30 percent) and catcher's ERA (2.75) by significant margins. With d'Arnaud slumping, Rivera started behind the plate in the National League Wild Card Game.
Of the Mets' 10 arbitration-eligible players, Rivera was the only one at risk of a non-tender prior to Friday's 8 p.m. ET non-tender deadline. The Mets tendered contracts to all of the others, including starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, who is due for a significant raise as a first-time arbitration-eligible player.
"I'm definitely excited about entering that [process]," deGrom said Friday.
Clubs typically exchange salary information with their arbitration-eligible players in January. At that point, many players agree to new contracts with their employers. The rest go to a hearing, where an independent arbiter chooses either the club's or the player's suggested salary. In addition to deGrom, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Addison Reed, Wilmer Flores, Lucas Duda and d'Arnaud are all eligible for the process.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. 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.