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Mets make more roster cuts, Mesoraco asks for release

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The Mets’ Opening Day roster is almost set, but now the team has a decision to make about its catching situation.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Houston Astros Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have made some of the final cuts of the spring, as the team announced today that Rajai Davis, Carlos Gomez, Ryan O’Rourke, Hector Santiago, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Devin Mesoraco have been informed that they would not be making the 25-man roster to open the season. All but one of those players have been re-assigned to minor league camp and will presumably open the season in Syracuse.

The exception is Mesoraco, who has informed the team that he will not play in the minor leagues and requested his release in the hopes of finding a major league spot with another organization. The Mets now must decide whether to fulfill his request or place him on the restricted list, in which case Mesoraco has indicated he would retire.

The choice to not bring Mesoraco north with the team is certainly the most notable one among these cuts, as the decision to re-sign him seemed a prudent one with Travis d’Arnaud’s status uncertain as the result of his recovery from Tommy John surgery and his general injury history. Mesoraco’s release or retirement would mean that Tomas Nido would serve as the third catcher on the organizational depth chart this season, which is less than ideal given his poor performance in his limited major league time up to this point.

It is also still uncertain whether d’Arnaud will open the season on the 25-man roster or the injured list. If it winds up being the latter, Nido would presumably be the backup catcher to open the season. Of course, beyond these basic roster concerns, the Mets must also be worried about alienating Mesoraco by not granting him his release.

Some notes about the other cuts and their implications for the Mets’ opening day roster:

  • Given his 11.17 ERA this spring, Santiago’s failure to make the major league roster is hardly surprising. O’Rourke’s 1.74 ERA made him a much stronger candidate, but it ultimately was not enough to convince the team to bring him north. One would assume that the decision to reassign these two would bode well for Rule 5 pick Kyle Dowdy, the Mets are evidently not committed to carrying him and are “considering some creative roster constructs to open the season.” Whatever that may mean, the status of the final spot in the bullpen is thus not set quite yet.
  • Hechavarria’s reassignment presumably means that Luis Guillorme has earned a spot on the Mets’ bench to open the season. Given his defensive abilities and his .371/.476/.571 line this spring, the job is a well-deserved one for Guillorme, who will serve as the primary backup shortstop to Amed Rosario.
  • Given the presence of Keon Broxton and Juan Lagares, along with the team’s desire to give Jeff McNeil a chance to play in the outfield once Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier return from injury, it was always unlikely that there would be spots on the roster for Rajai Davis and Carlos Gomez. Their assignment to the minors is fairly unsurprising. It also presumably indicates that J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith will make the major league roster and round out the team’s bench, at least until Lowrie and Frazier return.