With the beginning of free agency a few days ago, the Mets' 40-man roster took shape for the offseason. All of the team's players on the 60-day disabled list—who did not count against the 40-player limit while on that list—were recently reinstated, and the Mets' free agents are no longer on the roster.
Gone from the team's roster are David Aardsma, Tim Byrdak, Pedro Feliciano, Frank Francisco, Aaron Harang, LaTroy Hawkins, and Daisuke Matsuzaka. It's hard to see the Mets bringing anyone besides Hawkins back on a major league deal for 2014. But they're all free agents, and the Mets have 36 players on the 40-man roster. Here's the list.
|30||Matt den Dekker||OF||L-L|
*Player is arbitration-eligible
That gives the Mets four available spots, though a couple of seemingly obvious non-tenders would give the team even more room to operate: Atchison and Quintanilla. That would make six open spots on the forty, all of which are valuable as the team operates this winter.
Open spots can either be used for new players acquired via free agency or trades or to protect the Mets' minor league players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft in December. There's a full list of players eligible for that draft over at tpgMets, but at least a few names stand out as possible 40-man additions: starting pitchers Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom and relief pitcher Jeff Walters. And with a dearth of position player prospects in the minors, perhaps the Mets protect someone like outfielder Cory Vaughn if they have room on the roster.
If the team finds six spots insufficient for the combination of new acquisitions and the players it wants to protect, it's not difficult to see a few more casualties from the current roster.
- Anthony Recker wasn't a bad backup in 2013, but if the Mets sign a veteran backup for Travis d'Arnaud, he could be designated for assignment.
- Zach Lutz might be redundant with Josh Satin on the roster, especially given Satin's performance in the big leagues. Lutz, too, could be designated for assignment to make room.
- Jordany Valdespin didn't make himself many friends in his time in the big leagues, which might not really matter if he had been productive at the plate. He'll soon turn 26, and it wouldn't be a shock if the Mets cut him loose.
The Mets could obviously clear some space on the roster by trading players like Ike Davis or Lucas Duda away, though ideally they'd be receiving at least one major league player in return a player already on their forty.
For now, it doesn't look like the 40-man roster will get prohibitively crowded.