Coste, Blanco agree with Mets

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets agreed to one-year contracts with Chris Coste and Henry Blanco, adding two backup catchers Thursday while they search for a starter.

The 36-year-old Coste hit .224 with two homers and 18 RBIs in 205 at-bats last season with the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros. He has a .272 batting average, 23 homers and 108 RBIs in 806 at-bats over four big league seasons.

Coste can also play first but figures to compete for a job with Blanco, Omir Santos, the Mets' backup for most of last season, and rookie Josh Thole, who hit .321 during a September callup.

Blanco hit .235 with six homers and 16 RBIs in 204 at-bats for the San Diego Padres last year. In 12 seasons, he has hit .228 with 58 home runs and 257 RBIs for seven teams.

New York is expected to try to sign a starter from the free-agent pool, which includes Bengie Molina, Yorvit Torrealba and Rod Barajas.