The Mets have inked a minors deal with veteran catcher Jose Lobaton, per a team announcement. He’ll receive an invitation to MLB camp next spring.
Lobaton, a 33-year-old switch-hitter, has played for the division-rival Nationals for the past four seasons. While he is generally regarded as a reliable asset behind the dish, Lobaton has limped to a .210/.281/.307 batting line over 657 plate appearances during his tenure in D.C.
While he’s an established MLB asset, Lobaton’s struggles of late always made it seem likely he’d end up settling for a minor-league arrangement. Catching depth is always important to have, though, and Lobaton will certainly rate among the better insurance policies around the game.
Perhaps it’s not too soon to fully rule out a run at a MLB roster spot for Lobaton. Current Mets options Travis d’Arnaud (who’s projected to earn $3.4MM in arbitration) and Kevin Plawecki (who’s out of options) have certainly had their share of ups and downs, after all. But it seems quite likely the Mets will open the 2018 season with those two players sharing time behind the dish.