Sep 15, 2013; New York, NY, USA; The New York Mets celebrate a walk off single by catcher Travis d

An Early View Of Next Year's Emerging 25-Man Roster

Even though calendar year 2013 is yet to expire, we might as well conduct an early review of the club’s new emerging 25-man roster.  Rounded off, Spring Training is still two months away.  Much can change before then.  Therefore, this is nothing more than a transient conversation.

Sandy Alderson addressed a dire outfield situation, and satisfied the need for a starting pitcher.  With Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, and Bartolo Colon all signed, sealed and delivered, the Mets increased their 40-man roster to 37 players.

Large issues requiring Sandy Alderson’s attention remain at shortstop, first base, and the bullpen.  Three available spots on the 40-man roster could potentially get filled with a relief pitcher, perhaps an extra player acquired through a potential trade – namely of Ike Davis, and a third unknown commodity.  That’s purely speculative on my part, so please weigh in.

On the next tier of personnel issues, the Mets must decide who the back-up catcher will be, who the 5th outfielder off the bench will be, and who the fifth starter candidates will be.  They will all likely remain in-house issues, but shortstop, not so much.

The Current Starting Eight:

C – Travis d’Arnaud - He still qualifies as a rookie next season.   RA’s Sam, was bold enough to toy with the possibility of trading d’Arnaud.  In a related item, RA’s Rich offered a response to MLB’s plan to ban home plate collisions.

1B – Lucas Duda – For the moment, the club favors Duda over Ike Davis.  Here’s RA’s latest update from Danny, an opinion from Andrew, and Kevin questioned whether trading Ike was the right thing to do.

2B – Daniel Murphy – To the dismay of many Mets fans, Murphy trade rumors remain hot.  Ironically, he’s not necessarily a blip on other team’s radar, so much as most of the trade noise seems to be coming from within Metropolis itself.  Eric Young Jr. is an alternative to play second in the event Murphy is indeed traded, which would serve to get Young’s speed in the line-up.  Here’s an RA opinion from Will.

SS – Ruben Tejada – He better hope that off-season conditioning program pays off!  While free agent Jhonny Peralta stepped in and out of the picture, Rich offered a solid perspective on the shortstop situation.  Andrew has his candidate.  Meanwhile, Danny continues to monitor progress regarding a somewhat expensive free agent option, and another far more questionable one.

3B – David Wright – No one seems to care about him lately.  Otherwise, he is finally realizing some of the club’s support promised him when he inked his pact.  Lost in the frenzy of MLB’s free agency signing binge, is the fact David gave the Mets a considerable home town discount, and should be commended for it from time to time.

LF – Curtis Granderson – (Cost = $60 million, 4 years)  Upon his signing, our newest addition to the RA team, Cassie, thought Granderson said all the right things.  The acquisition also ignited excitement from RA’s other Dan.  In fact, everyone at RA weighed in with their thoughts.

CF – Juan Lagares or Eric Young – I recently shared my concerns regarding a lead-off hitter, which invariably focused on center field.  Rich also contemplated the outfield situation, and speculated who potentially plays where, and why.

RF – Chris Young – (Cost = $7.25 million; one year) Danny announced the deal for RA, and offered his initial impressions regarding the Mets first free agent acquisition of the off-season.  I then stuck my two cents in.

What Now?  Rich tackled that question.

Potential Reserves:

C – Anthony Recker – For the moment, he’s the man.  Sandy Alderson said he wanted to acquire an experienced MLB catcher, as insurance should Travis d’Arnaud incur yet another injury.  Nothing has transpired yet, with nary a rumor.  I wanted A.J. Pierzynski who was signed by the Red Sox, but that fell on deaf ears!  I digress.

1B – Josh Satin – He may platoon with Lucas Duda.  Josh is likable, isn’t he?  If only he possessed just a little more power….  Despite breaking his fibula while playing winter ball, I still maintain an overwhelming desire to re-sign our own minor league free agent, Allan Dykstra, and give him an equal chance to win the first base job in Spring Training.

2B, 3B – Wilmer Flores – He was okay defensively last season, but we caught a small glimpse of his reportedly notorious lack of range.  We’ll see.  Let him gain comfort with his surroundings, then reassess.  Otherwise, I’m glad he’s finally in the fold.  His finest attribute however, may still lie in his tradability.

SS – Wilfredo Tovar – He suddenly became a very important back-up.  The Mets have created an acute shortage at shortstop with recent non-tenders, and lack prospects in the high minors.

OF – There is only room for (maybe) two outfielders on the bench.  For the moment, Eric Young and Juan Lagares are the third and fourth outfielders.  The debate over who starts in center is ongoing.  Matt den Dekker and Andrew Brown will likely compete for the fifth outfield spot in Spring Training.  The loser of that competition will probably start the season at Las Vegas, and along with 3B-1B Zach Lutz, will be the first to be called upon if, and when, needed.

I’ve accounted for six reserves, which brings the roster to 14 players.  Others might prefer to sacrifice a fifth outfielder for an additional relief pitcher.

Starting Pitchers:

1SP – Zack Wheeler

2SP – Jonathon Niese

3SP – Dillon Gee

4SP – Bartolo Colon

5SP – For the moment, this competition is between Jenrry Mejia and Carlos Torres.  RA’s Rich was not necessarily pleased with the signing of Bartolo Colon, and had different ideas regarding the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation, and also kicked off the bullpen discussion.

The Bullpen:

I followed Rich with an expanded review of the Mets bullpen.

Closer - Bobby Parnell – His situation is still pending.  Depending on his status, Sandy Alderson may be required to go off-campus for another relief pitcher.

2RP – Vic Black

3RP – Jeurys Familia

4RP – Gonzalez Germen

5RP- Torres/Mejia

6RP – The question is whether to go with six or seven relievers?  If the Mets go with six, chose one more reliever to complete the 25-man roster.  If the Mets go with seven, chose two relievers, and drop a reserve player.  If the Mets also have to compensate for Bobby Parnell, then they potentially need three, and will be faced with a roster move upon his return.

The in-house options with MLB experience are Josh Edgin and Scott Rice, and they both just happen to be left-handed.  Of the two, I’d give the nod to Edgin.  The potential minor league options most spoken about are Jeff Walters and Cory Mazzoni.

The alternative is to sign one or two remaining free agents, and/or obtain someone through a trade.  On that note, Dan offered his formula for creative transactions.


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  • Ken Meoni

    There are two players I would like to see stick and play for the big club.
    Schwartzenrecker at C. There’s just an anticipation when he comes up at bat and he did improve as the year went on last year. Not bad behind the dish defensively.

    Flores at 2B. I know the whole thing with his range and all, but the problem of his ankles not only slowed him down more, but also hurt his hitting. I feel we saw how good he could be at the plate when he first came up and his ankles weren’t messed up.
    Other then that, I will wait to see what the finished product will be to see how it all goes. But the two listed above are favorites of mine.

    • MikeLecolant.BTB

      Recker has the favorable AAA offensive numbers one can reasonably expect from a catcher. His minor league caught stealing % was stellar – routinely in the 40% range. I think experiencing a season of stability with the Mets reflected in his play and confidence, as opposed to his split season the year prior. He’ll be a fine back-up.

      I’m with you on Flores. I feel his bat will open many eyes.

    • RONBO19

      Mike & Ken, i agree about Recker as a solid back up.The guy is a good receiver with a strong arm and more than a little pop in his bat.The only question about him is will more exposure mean more success or reveal more flaws in his swing? As for Flores,when you discuss his body of work sadly you must begin with his body period! Apparently the Met’s were so disappointed with his conditioning(or lack there of )they sent him and Tejeda to “fat boy “camp in Michigan.In a day in age where more players take there careers more serious than in years past by showing up in great shape I was surprised to see Flores show such a pudgy physique and basically no muscle definition what so ever.Dont get me wrong, I’m not looking for a bunch of Arnold’s out there.but I’m also not looking for the Pillsbury dough-boy either.

    • MikeLecolant.BTB

      That’s a fair ball.

  • Eric Kench

    That’s a joke. Leaving Eric Young Jr. out of the starting lineup.

    • MikeLecolant.BTB

      I don’t think anything is written in stone. Spring Training will decide much. Juan Lagares still has to show he can swing a representative bat.

    • Eric Kench

      I couldn’t agree more. Eric Young Jr. is the NL stolen base leader and he’s a Gold Glove Finalist.