The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training Friday, according to Anthony DiComo.
After beginning his career with the Padres, Lobaton was claimed off waivers by the Rays in 2011. Lobaton bounced between the minors and the majors in his three seasons with the Rays, not finding much success before getting traded to the Nationals in 2014. Lobaton primarily served as the backup catcher for Wilson Ramos and Matt Wieters in his four seasons in D.C., hitting for an average of .210 in 590 at-bats.
In his career, Lobaton has been a below-average hitter, even by a catcher’s standards. He hits with a career batting average of .218 and a dismal wRC+ of 72. However, he compensates for his ineffectiveness at hitting with a great arm behind the backstop, something the Mets lack with current starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Lobaton would provide the role of a defensive backup catcher, the same role Rene Rivera served in the two seasons he had with the Mets. Barring any injuries, Lobaton will likely begin the season in Las Vegas.
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