The Mets claimed a pair of catchers, Cooper Hummel from the Mariners and Tyler Heineman from the Blue Jays, off waivers on Friday.
That doubles the number of catchers on their 40-man roster. Francisco Alvarez and Omar Narvaez are the top two. Consider the new guys — in some order — the third- and fourth-stringers. The Mets also have Tomas Nido, who is not on the 40-man roster but is under contract for 2024.
Heineman and Hummel both can be sent to the minors as the Mets desire, a key attribute when an organization is looking for backup backup backstops.
Hummel, 29, is interesting because of his unusual defensive versatility. Officially, the Mets listed him as an outfielder/catcher. In parts of two seasons with the Diamondbacks and Mariners, he played more of the former than the latter. In the minors, he has seen time at leftfield, catcher, first base, rightfield and even third base a bit.
Offensively, Hummel has struggled at the highest level, batting .166 with a .551 OPS. In Triple-A, he has a career .288 average and .911 OPS.
Hummel originally was an 18th-round draft pick by the Brewers in 2016, and Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns was the boss in Milwaukee at the time. Hummel played in the Brewers’ farm system until 2021, when they traded him to Arizona to acquire Eduardo Escobar.
Heineman, 32, is a more traditional catcher in that he plays only that position. He has spent time with the Marlins, Giants, Blue Jays and Pirates since 2019. His career slash line is .218/.297/.282.
The Mets have added five players to their 40-man roster this week, with these two joining reliever Austin Adams, infielder Joey Wendle and righthander Luis Severino, whose deal was made official Friday evening. They have seven open spots remaining.
“Luis will be a valuable addition to our staff and a quality member of the rotation,” Stearns said in a statement. “As a two-time All-Star, he has shown he has what it takes to pitch in New York in big moments and we look forward to having him on the mound in Queens.”
Severino wrote in an Instagram post: “I am thankful for this opportunity to remain a New Yorker and compete in the city I love!”