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Behind McCann, Tomás Nido figures to return as the Mets’ primary backup, though his grip on that job is unclear. Nido seemed to be in the midst of a breakout before testing positive for COVID-19 in August and missing the rest of the season. Provided he looks strong in Spring Training, there is no reason why he won’t again make the big league club. The two other catchers on New York’s 40-man roster, Ali Sánchez and Patrick Mazeika, don’t have the same offensive potential as Nido, while non-roster invite Bruce Maxwell has not played in the big leagues since 2018.

— Anthony DiComo

NATIONALS

The known
Gomes is returning to catch the majority of the games for the Nationals in 2021. He has been tasked with starting in the range of 100 games following the departure of platoon-mate Kurt Suzuki. The backup catcher had been one of the Nats’ biggest unknowns for most of the offseason, until they reached an agreement with Avila on Wednesday. Avila would bring familiarity to the pitching staff — he previously was teammates with starters Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and Patrick Corbin.

Yan Gomes’ solo home run
Sep 12, 2020 · 0:33
Yan Gomes’ solo home run
The unknown
Tres Barrera, Washington’s No. 17 prospect per MLB Pipeline, rounds out the trio of catchers on the 40-man roster. The 26-year-old only has appeared in two games at the Major League level, and he would benefit from playing time and reps to be prepared for an expanded role. The question is, how many games will he play this year following the addition of Avila?

— Jessica Camerato

PHILLIES

The known
Phillies fans breathed a massive sigh of relief last week, when Realmuto signed a five-year, $115.5 million contract to return to Philadelphia. But it wasn’t just Phillies fans who were excited. Bryce Harper and Realmuto’s other teammates were thrilled, too. They know they have arguably the best catcher in baseball behind the plate for the next five years, which they needed if they had any intentions of competing in the NL East. Andrew Knapp figures to be Realmuto’s backup. He slashed .278/.404/.444 in 33 games last season.

The unknown
If Realmuto or Knapp should suffer an injury at some point, Rafael Marchan likely is the next catcher up. He is on the 40-man roster, although the Phillies signed veteran Christian Bethancourt for depth purposes. Realmuto suffered a Grade 1 hip flexor strain last September and said it took him three or four weeks into the offseason before he felt OK again. “The hip is great,” Realmuto said Monday. “It was just a strain that really needed time to heal. Once we got to three or four weeks in the offseason, I haven’t felt it since.”

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