PITTSBURGH — The Mets will have a familiar face in the minor leagues to provide organizational catching depth.
Tomas Nido cleared waivers Friday, the team announced, and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Syracuse. The catcher was designated for assignment Monday, when Omar Narvaez returned from the injured list.
Nido could have refused the outright to become a free agent, but that would have meant giving up the remainder of the two-year contract worth $3.7 million he received from the Mets last offseason. Nido didn’t have minor league options remaining, but as a player with less than five years major league experience was eligible for outright and is off the 40-man roster.
“Selfishly, I’m excited for us,” manager Buck Showalter said before the Mets fell to the Pirates, 14-7, at PNC Park on Friday night. “We get another quality major league catcher and keep him in the organization. I know Tomas was hoping he would get picked up or somebody would trade for him. It doesn’t mean it still can’t happen. A lot of that stuff is timing, but I know what we think of him regardless of what somebody else does.”
Nido, 29, became expendable with rookie Francisco Alvarez’s emergence as Narvaez was on the IL for two months rehabbing from a strained left calf. The Mets also briefly had veteran catcher Gary Sanchez on the roster during Narvaez’s absence and while Nido was on the IL with dry eye syndrome — a condition he rectified with new contact lenses.
In 22 games for the Mets this season, Nido owned a .125/.153/.125 slash line. The Mets have valued him mostly for his defense and framing skills during his career.
In need of bullpen help a day after they used six relievers in their 13-10 loss to the Braves in 10 innings, the Mets recalled left-hander Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. He gave up three runs on six hits over 2 ¹/₃ innings Friday. Stephen Nogosek was designated for assignment.
Edwin Uceta underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The reliever likely will be sidelined from game action for the next eight weeks.