Mets general manager Sandy Alderson announced after the spring training finale Saturday that Daisuke Matsuzaka had been assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas, and that Jenrry Mejia would join the starting rotation.
Matsuzaka, 33, was paid a $100,000 retention bonus Tuesday, which keeps him under team control through May 30th.
Mejia, 24, won the fifth starter job despite some concern over the fact that he was struck on the forearm with a comebacker during his start Friday night.
After announcing his decision, Alderson said that the intention is that Mejia will be in the rotation “moving forward.”
Although Mejia is nearly a decade younger than Matsuzaka and has tons of upside, most expected the Mets to go with Matsuzaka in the rotation – making Saturday’s decision surprising in a good way.
While there are still some whispers that the Mets could potentially use Mejia just once in the rotation before turning to Matsuzaka, Alderson’s quote that the Mets expect Mejia to be a rotation member “moving forward” suggests otherwise.
Mejia over Matsuzaka is a decision that jives with what Sandy Alderson said earlier in the week. He noted that the Mets would take the starting pitcher who gave them the best chance to win 90 games. That pitcher is Mejia, and he’s coming to Queens.