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Nationals claim catcher Chris Coste

The Nationals claimed catcher Chris Coste off of waivers from the New York Mets, a minor move aimed at shoring up their catching depth. With Jesus Flores still rehabbing his shoulder injury, the Nationals needed an extra catcher in their organization behind Ivan Rodriguez and Wil Nieves.

Coste, 37, played 88 games last season for the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros, hitting .224 with a .618 OPS. He also won a World Series with the Phillies in 2008 and provides a reliable solution in case of emergency.

The Mets have a glut of catchers in their camp, which made Coste expendable in their eyes. But he has an option remaining, so the Nationals will be able to send him to Class AAA Syracuse without the risk of losing him.

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 29, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
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Nice low cost move. Think of him as Bard version 2.0.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | March 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Does this signing signal fears or doubts regarding Flores?

Posted by: TimDz | March 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I think that Batistia's our Bard, though I believe Coste has penned a few books himself. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 29, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The Mets had plans tho send Coste to AAA to be a mentor, but plans changed. The Nats probably wanted someone to catch Jesus in AAA for the next month or so. Think about it, who do the have in AAA? I could see Nieves going down fo a month to work with him since they have a bond. Then they could ship Coste down to AAA and bring Will and Jesus up together. Coste could also mentor Norris in AAA when they move him up.

Posted by: hansenjo | March 29, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Right now it looks they are using Devany and Peacock for that purpose? Still, Syracuse is for veteran depth. Coste is definitely veteran depth.

Norris will likely end up in Harrisburg with the other prospects as opposed to Syracuse. Who is the catcher mentor there and below?

Posted by: periculum | March 29, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

What does this mean for Jhonatan Solano?

Posted by: edeleon | March 29, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't a claim like this require that Cote be added to the 40 man roster for a year?
With Pudge, Nieves, Voste and Flores, we'd have 10% of our roster as catchers? That's nuts.
So Flores perhaps has to go to the 60 day DL.

Also, it could be Rizzo has placed the claim, but is going to try and work out a trade for Coste rather than having the claim process. We give up a prospect, but we don't lose the spot on the roster.

I really do not like this move. Coste is not good enough to take up a spot on the 40 man. The only way this makes sense is if Rizzo is sure that Flores is not coming back this year, and even then I think it's iffy.

Posted by: Sunderland | March 29, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Jamie Burke is out due to knee surgery. As a catcher you have to wonder if he will even return? Solano is still the starter in Syracuse and have to assume that Coste is his backup and mentor?

Posted by: periculum | March 29, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I always liked this guy. Great story, excellent "makeup" guy (no, not scary clowns or Tammy Faye).
Expect his fans, the Coste Guard, at the opener if he's on the 25.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 29, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I suspect they want a more veteran presence behind the plate for SS, and if Nieves and/or Pudge gets hurt, he's a reasonable guy to plug in. Flores may be out for months, and there's no guarantee he's ever coming back.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 29, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I see the Coste claim as more insurance in SYR - He'll cover for Burke while he recovers from knee surgery, and offers better than Maldonado/Johnson to go along with Solano.

Posted by: BinM | March 29, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm also in favor of Riggleman "re-opening" the final starting pitchers' competition - I've been nervious about Mock all spring (all he's learned how to do is lose close games, imo). While I still think that Olsen needs to go to SYR to build arm strength, JD Martin could be a viable 5th starter, should the team decide to got that way from opening day.

A personal preference would be for the team to open with four starters & seven relievers, calling up the 5th starter for the April 18 game. A four-man would work for the 1st two weeks, with a spot start needed for April 11th.

Posted by: BinM | March 29, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse


The fly in the ointment is that Nieves is out of options, but Coste still has one remaining. Unless the team DFA's/waives Nieves, he's the #2 CA going into 2010, with Coste as a fall-back option, imo.

Posted by: BinM | March 29, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm in favor of signing any guy who grinded it out for 11 years in the minors including 5 years in independent ball before making it to the majors at 33 years old. That's awesome. I hope the guy gets some more big league time toward his pension at some point this year. You have to root for someone like that. He played FOUR years in Fargo for gosh sakes.


Posted by: db423 | March 29, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, actually ... he was born in Fargo. Still, great story.

Posted by: db423 | March 29, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE Chris Coste. He'll play 50-60 games behind the plate for the Nats when the inevitable injuries occur to Pudge, et al.
In fact, that's how I see the catching chores divvied up: 50 Pudge, 50 Coste, 62 Wil Nieves. Who? Wil Nieves.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | March 29, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Don't know why you'd expect Pudge to get hurt and only play 60 games. True, he's getting old, but he doesn't have a history of getting hurt (played 120ish games/season for the last decade, which is good for a catcher) and he's in incredible shape. Barring some freak injury like the one that befell Flores, Pudge will be in there all season long.

Posted by: TBCTBC | March 29, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! Sunshine, I hope you're either joking, or dead wrong about this prediction.

I LOVE Chris Coste. He'll play 50-60 games behind the plate for the Nats when the inevitable injuries occur to Pudge, et al.
In fact, that's how I see the catching chores divvied up: 50 Pudge, 50 Coste, 62 Wil Nieves. Who? Wil Nieves.
Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me

Posted by: BinM | March 29, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Norris is still recovering from hamate surgery - He probably won't get his power stroke back until mid-season, at best. He might be better suited for POT to start the year, along with Ivany for defensive seasoning.

Posted by: BinM | March 29, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Res Ipsa loquitur.

Shouldn't the rotation be continuously open at least until July? Inter alia: Riggleman has decided to hire on two guys who's age likely averages out to middle to late 40's as a part of that mix? Hoc est ridiculum for a rebuilding team? Does Riggleman believes he is still with the Mariners or Chicago? They will take up 2 slots on the 40-man.

To quote Kim Ng:
(under 5 things you should know about trimming MLB rosters)

5. Hey, stuff happens.
Sometimes we're too conservative (Riggleman), Sometimes a risk doesn't pan out. (See Bowden, Dukes, possibly Wang), They're easy to fix. We just call up a guy who probably should've already been here. (JD Martin).

Posted by: periculum | March 29, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope the slew of non-baseball political comments after the posting about Obama throwing out the first pitch drives home the importance of keeping politics off this forum.

We have a common bond: Our love the Nats and baseball. There's no need to poison it with that garbage. I'm so glad to see none of the frequent posters succumbed to join the fray.

I don't care what your politics are, but I am deeply interested in your view about the Nats.

Posted by: nats24 | March 30, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Coste takes the position that was scheduled for Burke. Coste is the better player based on my detailed understanding of what the experts say.

With regard to Mock v. Olsen, I hope to hear soon that Olsen will be retained and named the 5th starter - and that such designation is based on health and ability. I like both of them, but all things being equal, I'd rather have another lefty in the rotation. Both Mock and Olsen can be optioned, but we've read speculation that Olsen could be released if he does not make the team. Keep him! He's still in recovery, but give him more time.

I have no desire to see Mock go, but he might be the most tradeable 5th starter in the organization. They won't get a 5-tool rightfielder for him, but they might be able to snag a decent one. There are several teams with extra outfielders but short a starter.

Posted by: natbiscuits | March 30, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

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