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Coste claimed, will go to Class AAA

Mar 29, 2010, 7:54 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals claimed veteran catcher Chris Coste off waivers from the Mets this afternoon, a move designed to add some insurance behind the plate at Class AAA Syracuse in case of more injuries at the position.

Coste, 37, is immediately added to the Nationals' 40-man roster and will report to big-league camp. But because he still has a minor-league option, he can be sent down to Syracuse before Opening Day.

With Jesus Flores (shoulder) and Jamie Burke (knee) injured and opening the season on the disabled list, the Nats were left with no viable catching options in case something happened to either Ivan Rodriguez or Wil Nieves. Jhonathan Solano, 22, is expected to be Syracuse's other catcher when the season begins.

Despite his advanced age, Coste has spent only four years in the majors. He debuted with the Phillies in 2006 at age 33 and proceeded to hit .282 with 23 homers and 98 RBI in 256 games over parts of theRead more ยป

  1. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    They need as many mentors as they can get down there catching wise. I guess they still have John Poppet, now a coach. It'll be interesting to see how the minor league rosters get constructed in the coming days.

  2. Eddie - Mar 29, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    So wait, they're going to play Coste everyday in Syracuse OVER Jhonatan Solano, the promising youngster?

  3. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    Did you enjoy your lunch while finding this out? @Eddie he is a replacement for Jamie Burke who had knee surgery. That means he is Solano's (among others) mentor.

  4. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    I remember hearing a Nats radio interview with Coste back in the day. He was with the Phillies at that point, I believe. They mentioned his book describing the journey from the minors to the bigs. I'd meant to read it at some point but haven't yet done so. We'd have quite the literary battery if he ever ended up catching Batista. :-)

  5. Jaxpo Nat - Mar 29, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    He wasn't signed to be anyone's mentor. Christ, if we are resorting to signing a career minor league catcher as a mentor we are in pitiful shape. No, he was signed solely as veteran insurance against a Pudge or Nieves injury (Burke is hurt and obviously they feel Solano isn't "there" yet). He will be stashed in AAA in the meantime. Who cares how many at bats he gets in Syracuse – it isn't like we are trying to develop him. I would think Solano would still get the lion's share of AAA ABs.

  6. Traveler8 - Mar 29, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Just checked for Coste's book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble used books – his book from last year, the 33 Year Old Rookie, is readily available, cheaper on B&N. His book from 1998, Hey,I'm Just The Catcher, is out of print so will cost you $199 on Amazon.

  7. peric - Mar 29, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    @Jaxpo Nat: The Mets planned on using Coste for that role? John Poppet provided that role for the Nats; and is now a coach? The only true mentors by your criteria would be Boone and IRod? That doesn't make sense either? There aren't many true MLB types with that love of the game that they would start new careers as coaches and mentors in the bush leagues riding buses again. LOL They exist but I guess they are rare. Finding hall-of-famers in that category may be exceedingly rare.

  8. K.D. - Mar 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    Watched him as a backup to Pudge on the Astros last year. He wasn't bad as a backup first baseman either.

  9. Jaxpo Nat - Mar 29, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    @Peric – The Mets COULD HAVE used Coste for that role but obviously didn't want to. No, the Mets signed him at a time when they had no clue who their MAJOR LEAGUE catchers would be. Think you are way over-analyzing this signing. It is what it is – veteran depth.

  10. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2010 at 10:18 PM

    You had to go and tell us that, Traveler. Soon I'll have another baseball book in my bedside to-be-read rotation. :-)

  11. natsfan1a - Mar 29, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    (Not the $199 one, btw. ;-))

  12. BinM - Mar 29, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Coste is an insurance policy. With Flores most likely headed to the 60-DL, and Burke on the DL-7 in SYR, the Nationals wanted something a little better than the Maldonado/Johnson combination in SYR with Solano, as well as a proven MLB CA, should either Nieves or Rodriguez get nicked up early in the season. This is a good move by Rizzo, imo.

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