The New York Mets have removed backup catcher Mike Nickeas from the 40-man roster. He cleared waivers and accepted a minor league assignment.
By all accounts, Nickeas is a nice guy – I know there’s at least one blogger who’s disappointed by the move. But when he got the chance to play in the major leagues this year, he didn’t hit well enough to convince many that he belonged there. And while defense is clearly the stronger part of Nickeas’ game, it wasn’t good enough to justify a spot on the 40-man roster when there are actual prospects who will need to be protected from the Rule 5 draft.
Nickeas will probably get a fair amount of playing time for the Las Vegas 51s in 2013, and I expect he’ll put up decent numbers in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Should anything happen to the Mets’ major league catchers, I’m sure Nickeas will be the first guy to be called – especially if needing to catch the knuckleball is still a consideration at the time.
But it’s probably time for the 29-year-old Nickeas to start thinking about how he can break into coaching, or what he might like to do when he leaves baseball behind.
The more significant questions surrounding the Mets’ catching situation still remain: is Josh Thole worth the $1.2 million MLB Trade Rumors predicts he’ll earn through arbitration? Will Kelly Shoppach be re-signed? And if not those two, then who?