Mets add catching depth with DiFelice

The Mets continue to add catching depth to their organization, announcing the signing of Mike DiFelice to a minor league contract Thursday.

DiFelice, 36, was in camp with the Florida Marlins this spring before requesting his release on Sunday. The veteran was hitting .280 in 10 Grapefruit League games, with two doubles and two RBI.

Since dealing Jason Phillips to the Los Angeles Dodgers for left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii, the Mets have made a flurry of moves to restore the organization's catching strength.

Though Ramon Castro still appears in line to win the backup catching position behind Mike Piazza out of camp, New York signed experienced backstops Fernando Lunar and Kelly Stinnett this week.

Those players were added to a system that already included Joe Hietpas, a well-regarded defensive catcher who will start the year at Double-A Binghamton, and Mike Jacobs, a catcher coming off of injury who will receive at-bats as a first baseman for Binghamton.

DiFelice split his 2004 season between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs organizations, playing 19 Major League games. A .239 career hitter, DiFelice hit just .120 in 25 big league at-bats last year, but hit .270 with five home runs and 36 RBI in 64 games for Triple-A Toledo of the International League.

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