The Mets have designated veteran catcher Jose Lobaton for assignment, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com:
The Mets have DFA'd catcher Jose Lobaton, who wasn't playing much with Devin Mesoraco on board. Tomas Nido is back up to take Lobaton's place.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 19, 2018
Separately, the Mets recalled Chris Flexen from Triple-A, optioning Buddy Baumann.
By bringing Nido back to the majors, the Mets clear up a 40-man roster spot, though it’s not as if they’re starving for 40-man space right now. Kevin Plawecki, who was expected to serve as New York’s backup behind Travis d’Arnaud before both suffered early-season injuries, is likely to return sooner than later, so regardless of whether Lobaton or Nido was backing up Mesoraco, they were almost surely going to be bumped off the roster at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Lobaton had served as the Mets’ primary catcher for most of this season, starting a team-high 14 games behind the plate. However, he had started just one game since former Red Devin Mesoraco was acquired and took over everyday catching duties last week. Lobaton wasn’t doing much at the plate to preserve his roster spot, either; over 52 plate appearances, he had posted an unsightly .152/.250/.239 slash line with no home runs.
Though Lobaton obviously hasn’t done a ton this season to make himself look like a capable major-leaguer, there’s a shortage of catching depth around the league, perhaps giving him a chance to earn a job elsewhere. With Yadier Molina and Carson Kelly both on the disabled list right now, the Cardinals are relying on a tandem of longtime minor-leaguers, Francisco Pena and Steven Baron, and may prefer a more proven option. Lobaton’s former team, the Nationals, are currently carrying Spencer Kieboom — who is 27 and has started his first major-league game on Saturday — as the backup to Pedro Severino and could perhaps be interested in a reunion with Lobaton. It’s also possible that the Twins could see Lobaton as an upgrade over Bobby Wilson, who is backing up Mitch Garver while Jason Castro recovers from knee surgery.