The move came a day after Lagares' existing thumb injury flared up, and he was scratched from the starting lineup against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Utility player Ty Kelly has been promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Lagares suffered a partially torn ligament in his left thumb on June 4, when he made a diving catch in Miami to rob Ichiro Suzuki of an extra-base hit. With the aid of tape and a splint, Lagares resumed playing and had appeared in four games off the bench since Thursday. But he had no more than one plate appearance in any of those games.
Manager Terry Collins tried to use Lagares in the starting lineup Wednesday for the first time since the injury occurred. However, a half-hour after taking pregame batting practice, Lagares reported to Mets staff that he was unable to close his hand in his glove.
The Mets dispatched Lagares to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan on Thursday before deciding to place him on the disabled list.
"It's kind of iffy," Collins said about Lagares' injury. "He came in today and felt a little bit better. But we've got to make a decision, I think. Obviously with what happened yesterday, what's too much workload for it to stiffen up again?"
Assistant general manager John Ricco said last week that surgery likely would be required to address the issue if Lagares is unable to play through any discomfort.
For now, the Mets will try rest in an attempt to avoid surgery.
"Guys have played with this," Collins said Thursday. "Some guys obviously the next step is to probably have surgery."