The Mets have designated catcher Jose Lobaton for assignment, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports via Twitter, noting that the backstop wasn’t playing much with Devin Mesoraco now in the fold. In a related move, they’ve recalled Tomas Nido to serve as Mesoraco’s backup for the time being. In an unrelated move, the club also optioned lefty Buddy Baumann and recalled right-hander Chris Flexen to take his roster spot.
The 33-year-old Lobaton has played in parts of nine major league seasons for the Padres, Rays, Nationals and Mets, but has never provided much in the way of value. His 2018 slash line stands at a meager .152/.250/.239 through 52 plate appearances with the Amazins, and it certainly makes sense that the club would give the lion’s share of the work behind the plate to Mesoraco considering his former offensive prowess. Mesoraco was recently acquired from the Reds in exchange for Matt Harvey, in what was clearly a swap of struggling veteran change-of-scenery candidates.
Despite Lobaton’s uninspiring resume, it’s difficult to imagine he’ll go unclaimed given the state of the catcher position around MLB. The Nationals and Twins are in desperate need of catching depth after losing Matt Wieters and Jason Castro (respectively) to significant injuries. The veteran Lobaton could easily be a target for either team, though it seems likely that both clubs would wait for their chance to claim him rather than attempt to give anything up in a trade.
Nido, 24, has actually been worse than Lobaton so far this season. With a microscopic .135/.179/.162 slash line across 39 plate appearances to go with a 38.5% strikeout rate, Nido is simply the new unexciting backup option to Mesoraco while the team waits for Kevin Plawecki to return from a broken hand, hopefully by the end of the month.