One day after catcher Tomas Nido left a game with a hand contusion, the Mets added another catcher to the roster.
The team announced a trade on Saturday, acquiring catcher Michael Perez from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash. This is the second day in a row that the Mets have swung a trade with the Pirates. They swapped reliever Colin Holderman for slugger Daniel Vogelbach on Friday.
Perez, 29, is a native of Puerto Rico who’s been in the big leagues since 2018. Mostly serving as a part-time player, he has a .175 average in 193 games. Last season for Pittsburgh, his 70 games and 231 plate appearances were both career highs.
On June 30 of this year, Perez had one of the more improbable games in recent memory. Playing at home against the Brewers, the light-hitting Perez knocked three home runs in an 8-7 Pirates’ win. Those three homers account for 20% of his career total.
Prior to joining the Pirates, who grabbed him off waivers in October, the left-handed hitting Perez was a member of both the Diamondbacks’ and Rays’ organizations. Taken by Arizona in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, Perez was traded to the Rays in 2018. He made his MLB debut for Tampa Bay later that year and remained with the team through the 2020 season. He’s appeared in eight postseason games, including three during the 2020 World Series.
James McCann, who was the team’s starting catcher entering the year, was placed on the injured list on July 10 with an oblique injury. The Mets expect him to be out for six weeks, which would put him on schedule to return in late-August. Until then, Perez should expect a lot of playing time. While Nido has not officially been placed on the injured list yet, and catcher Patrick Mazeika is also still here, the move seems to signal a need rather than a want.
Perez, who was designated for assignment by the Pirates on Friday, immediately joins the Mets’ active roster. The Mets DFA’d utilityman Travis Blankenhorn to clear a space.