Mets considering Tyler Flowers to bolster catching depth

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PORT ST. LUCIE – The Mets have evaluated several catchers in camp this spring, but aren’t necessarily comfortable with their depth at the position.

It has left team officials on the lookout for a veteran who could at the very least slot into the No. 3 spot on the depth chart, at the minor-league level, if not unseat Tomas Nido as the backup.

Among the names that have been discussed is free-agent Tyler Flowers, who spent the last five seasons with the Braves. The 35-year-old Flowers appeared in 22 games last season and slashed .217/.325/.348 with one homer and five RBIs. He settled into a full backup role with the Braves following Travis d’Arnaud’s emergence last year.

The Mets signed James McCann to a four-year contract worth $40.6 million in the offseason, solidifying the position. But there is concern about the organizational depth if McCann had to miss extended action because of injury. Though Nido has been solid in stretches as a backup, the Mets might be more comfortable with a veteran such as Flowers handling the bulk of catching duties if such a need were to arise.

Behind Nido, the Mets have Caleb Joseph, Bruce Maxwell and Patrick Mazeika, among others. The organization’s top prospect, catcher Francisco Alvarez, is only 19 years old and has played 42 minor-league games in his career.

Nido was off to a sluggish start offensively this spring before going 3-for-3 with a homer against the Cardinals in Friday’s exhibition game at Clover Park. The fact Nido doesn’t have minor-league options remaining could make it a tough call to bring in another catcher that would unseat him as the backup. Nido missed most of last season after testing positive for COVID-19.

If the Mets decide against Flowers, they could look toward catchers in other camps with opt outs in their minor-league contracts.

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