Buck Showalter made sure to DFA Tomas Nido ‘as humanely as possible’

ATLANTA — The Mets made the tough decision to cut receiver Tomas Nido on Monday, and they wanted to make sure they did it right.

As the team moved from New York to Atlanta after a series against the Toronto Blue Jays, they had to act quickly to avoid bringing a player to a city only to tell him the hard news and send him home. So they contacted the traveling secretary to make sure his wife and kids weren’t on their way or worse, already in Georgia. They took his gear off the plane.

Buck Showalter had a difficult conversation with a well-respected local receiver before the team left. The following day, the club reinstated receiver Omar Narvaez from the 60-day injured list and named Nido for assignment, making the decision to move forward this season with a captivating tandem of Narvaez and rookie Francisco Alvarez .

“I’ve known him for almost two seasons and he’s been with the organization for a long time,” Showalter said Tuesday at Truist Park before the Mets began a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves. “It was emotional for both of us. Timing is never good, especially after a tough loss. We wanted to make sure his wife wouldn’t come here and didn’t want to wait to do it here. We’re trying to process it too humanly as possible knowing that it will be difficult anyway.

“But on the other hand, we are happy to have Omar back.”

There is still hope that the club can keep Nido in the organization. He’s been with the organization since they drafted him in 2012 and has become a strong defensive receiver. However, they keep the player’s interest in mind and try to find a trade. The club had considered swapping him in the past and it made sense considering his affordability. But the Mets believe Narvaez, who was once considered a first-time catcher at bat, and Alvarez will give them the best chance going forward.

“Either he’s going to be traded, or he’s going to be claimed on waivers, or he’s going to be in [Triple-A] Syracuse,” Showalter said. “We hope for us that he is in Syracuse. We would always like to have him with us. He’s a Major League receiver.

Narvaez was in the ninth batting lineup against right-hander Bryce Elder on Tuesday. He gives the Mets another left-handed option off the bench on days when Alvarez gets the go-ahead and the team considered using their receivers at the DH position. Showalter didn’t detail his plan for playing time between Narvaez and Alvarez, saying only that Alvarez will be back in the lineup on Wednesday. Alvarez has become much more familiar with the Mets’ pitching staff with Narvaez and Nido both on the IL in May, but the manager expects Narvaez to catch up quickly.

“I won’t let either of them sit down and I’ll use both of their skills,” Showalter said.

Narvaez was sidelined April 5 in Milwaukee, straining his calf as he exited the batter’s box. The Mets guaranteed him $15 million with a two-year contract (player option for 2024).

“He’s a smart guy, he knows how to call a game and he’s a good receiver,” Showalter said. “Guys like to throw at him and he’s a threat with the bat.”

WBC HANGOVER

The Mets sent a large contingent of entry-level players to the WBC and the debate over whether or not it was good for them continues, and not because the club is closer without Edwin Diaz.

Francisco Lindor and Eduardo Escobar have abnormally low seasons. Jeff McNeil, the 2022 NL batting title winner, is more than 100 points behind NL batting leader Luis Arraez.

“It’s good for baseball, and I’m glad they did it,” Showalter said. “But I think there are residues [effects] Also.”

The only player untouched is Pete Alonso, who entered the league on Tuesday with 21 home runs. Alonso, the manager said, is a different breed.

“I think it worked well for him,” Showalter said. “Pete starts his engine around November 2. He’s a guy who runs all the cylinders 24 hours a day.”

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