Reds promoting top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco

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The Reds are planning to add several fresh faces Thursday when major league rosters expand, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon.

Chief among those September callups will be catching prospect Devin Mesoraco.

A 23-year-old from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (yes, home of the famous groundhog), Mesoraco has posted an impressive .289/.371/.484 batting line with 36 doubles, 15 home runs and 71 RBI in 120 games this season at Triple-A Louisville. He was the No. 15 overall pick in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft and has steadily developed into one of the top young talents in the sport. Baseball America ranked him this winter as their 64th best prospect.

Manager Dusty Baker is likely to keep catchers Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan fairly active down the stretch, but Mesoraco will see a couple of random starts as the Reds try to get the youngster accustomed to life in the majors. Hanigan is signed through 2013, but Hernandez is set to become a free agent this winter.

Mets sign Jose Bautista to a major league deal

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Update (5:55 PM ET): It’s official. The Mets have optioned Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista on the 25-man roster. Bautista will be available for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.

Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.

Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.

It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.