With the additions of Jose Valverde and John Lannan to their 40-man roster, the Mets will now have just one free spot after Matt Harvey officially hits the 60-day disabled list to start the season. This is very relevant as the Mets make final decisions on who to carry on the roster, and three spots are seemingly still undecided.
The Mets bought themselves time the other day when they paid Daisuke Matsuzaka $100,000 for the right to retain him as a minor league player for the last week of spring training and the first several weeks of the regular season. At the moment, he's still fighting Jenrry Mejia for the fifth spot in the team's rotation. But in terms of roster maneuvering, Mejia could have an advantage: He's already on the forty.
In the infield, neither Omar Quintanilla nor Anthony Seratelli is on the 40-man roster, but as the only two players capable of backing up the middle infield left in major league camp, it would seem one of them will be on the team. Assuming that's the case, the roster will be full.
And in the outfield, just two players remain in camp for one spot: Andrew Brown and Eric Campbell. The 29-year-old Brown split last season between the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s and the Mets, while the soon-to-be 27-year-old Campbell played exclusively at Vegas. Campbell has certainly had the better spring training at the plate, but only Brown is already on the 40-man roster.
So if the Mets opt to carry more than one of Matsuzaka, Quintanilla, Seratelli, and Campbell, they will have to remove a player from the 40-man roster. Even if Jon Niese begins the year on the 15-day disabled list, he will count against the forty-player limit just the same. And here's the team's current 40-man roster.
|Matt den Dekker*||OF|
*player is not on the Mets' active (25-man) roster
If it comes to removing a player from the 40-man roster, there are a handful of candidates. A player removed from the forty would have to clear waivers to remain with the Mets in the minors.
Josh Edgin looked promising at times over the past couple of years, but he struggled mightily after a demotion to the minors last year. He was cut from major league camp fairly early, but as a hard-throwing 27-year-old left-handed pitcher, he's not the most likely of the bunch to be removed.
Erik Goeddel was just added to the forty earlier this offseason and converted to a relief pitcher early in spring training. He's still just 25 years old, but he could be a roster casualty. And Ryan Reid, acquired over the winter on waivers but cut from major league camp with poor results in a few appearances, could be another relief pitcher the Mets would be willing to risk losing.
As for position players, Zach Lutz had a very good spring training but is blocked by Josh Satin. The Mets could cut Brown from the forty if they decide to go with Campbell, while Kirk Nieuwenhuis seems like another candidate.
Of course, if the Mets want to eliminate the risk of losing any player on the roster, they can simply carry Mejia, Brown, and either Quintanilla or Seratelli.