The New York Mets look likely to move on from Tomas Nido before the season even begins. If they were to shop him around the league, could they get anything in return via trade?
It looks like the New York Mets may be moving on from Tomas Nido as the backup catcher this year. They’ve already re-signed veteran backstop Rene Rivera. With Ali Sanchez potentially ready to make the jump to the big leagues later on in 2020 or in 2021 even as a part-time player, there isn’t much of a future left in Flushing for Nido.
Nido was rushed to the big leagues in 2018 when Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki each went down with early-season injuries. Although he had limited experience in 2017, he was far from prepared for regular action.
Nido hit .167/.200/.238 in 90 plate appearances for the Mets in 2018. He wasn’t much better with more chances in 2019, slashing .191/.231/.316.
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It wasn’t all horrendous. Nido became one of the catchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard didn’t mind pitching to over starter Wilson Ramos. However, Nido’s poor bat failed to make up for the preference of the team’s pitchers.
It’s obvious Nido doesn’t have a future in the big leagues as a starter. At 25 with no minor league options left, the team has to make a choice before Opening Day whether he’ll head into the 2020 season in orange and blue or another team’s colors.
The Mets aren’t strangers to making drastic changes at the catcher spot. Among all of the positions on the field, this has been the most unstable.
Just last year, the team moved on from the d’Arnaud and Plawecki platoon. d’Arnaud made it into early May until the team finally decided to release him. Plawecki was an offseason trade, which surprisingly netted them Sam Haggerty and Walker Lockett from the Cleveland Indians. Amazingly, both saw action with the Mets in 2019.
The Plawecki deal could suggest there is a market for Nido. On a team with a trusted catcher and/or enough firepower on offense to excuse a Mendoza Line hitting backup backstop once a week, he’s a fit.
Sadly, this kind of describes the Mets. Ramos is one of the best offensive catchers in the game. You also cannot convince me scoring runs will be a problem for the 2020 Mets.
An option they could explore is finding a team out there interested in potentially having a third catcher on the roster. The addition of the 26th man this year could help teams get a little more creative with the construction of their roster. If there’s a squad out there whose starting catcher will often DH or play another position, Nido could be viewed as a more trusted defender.
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It’s more of a pipedream than anything else to believe Brodie Van Wagenen could get anything in return for Nido. Instead, I expect we see a late spring DFA and Rivera backing up Ramos on Opening Day.