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Mets Add Third and Fourth Catchers, Continue to Search for a Catcher

From left: Santos, Thole, Coste, Blanco, and the Mets starting catcher for 2010.

The Mets yesterday agreed to contracts with Chris Coste and Henry Blanco, both backup-type catchers who will compete with Omir Santos and Josh Thole for a roster spot. Which leaves them just one thing to do: Sign another catcher.

Though Santos was named to the Topps All-Rookie Team — tough luck, Matt Wieters! — he's probably better off as a backup. And though Thole is thought to be a future starter, he's likely a year away. Coste gives them some flexibility, since he can also play first base, and Blanco — well, we're not entirely sure why they signed him, but we guess you can never have too many .228 career hitters in the mix.

All of this means that the Mets are on the market for a starting catcher. Bengie Molina's the best of the bunch, but he's 35 and wants a multiyear deal, which the Mets may be hesitant to offer if only because they have Thole in waiting. (One upside for whoever signs Molina is that they won't lose a draft pick, since the Giants declined to offer him arbitration.) Other free-agent options include Rod Barajas and Yorvit Torrealba, but they could also turn to the trade market. Dioner Navarro is still considered a starter, right?

Photo: Getty Images