NEW YORK -- The Mets made their first move of the new year on Monday, signing catcher Taylor Teagarden to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Teagarden, 30, hit .167 with two home runs in 23 games as Baltimore's backup catcher last season before being designated for assignment on Sept. 1. He also spent more than a month on the disabled list with a dislocated left thumb.
A veteran of parts of six seasons with the Rangers and Orioles, Teagarden is a career .206 hitter with 20 home runs in 518 plate appearances.
Teagarden figures to open the season alongside Juan Centeno at Triple-A Las Vegas. Travis d'Arnaud is entrenched as the big league starter, and Mets officials have said all offseason that they are comfortable allowing Anthony Recker to reprise his role as backup. That would change only if the Mets can find an affordable veteran catcher on the open market, or if Teagarden makes a strong impression in camp.