Mets will need to make a trade if they want any more significant additions
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets have little wiggle room for the Opening Day Roster. Unless they make a trade, we may already know what this team looks like at the start of 2020.
In 2020, the New York Mets and the rest of Major League Baseball will have an extra man on their everyday roster. This gives teams an opportunity to carry either an extra bench piece or reliever.
Even when we take this into account, there doesn’t appear to be much room for the Mets to make any other significant moves before Opening Day.
The Mets will have a starting eight plus five bench pieces with brings us to 13. The starting rotation adds another five men, totaling up to a roster of 18. This leaves them with only eight more spots.
The bullpen is the one area I think we can all agree needs another arm. Preferably a lefty, I would settle for a talented righty, too.
It may be a little greedy to think this way. To find our final eight members of the Opening Day roster, we can assume they will include (1) Michael Wacha, (2) Edwin Diaz, (3) Jeurys Familia, (4) Seth Lugo, (5) Justin Wilson, (6) Dellin Betances, (7) Robert Gsellman, and (8) Brad Brach—the forgotten man.
There are limited opportunities for the Mets to change this around. A demotion is one possibility, but I would guess Diaz and Gsellman are the only two relievers with minor league options if they even have any at all.
Unless this team would head into 2020 with a four-man bench, the pitching staff looks pretty much set.
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Something that could change this is if they make a trade. Specifically, a salary dump deal involving Familia would open up room for another arm.
The Mets don’t have many minor leaguers with a strong enough case to make the Opening Day pitching staff. The team may need to resort to promoting someone. An injury in Spring Training is an annual event for most organizations.
As for the bench, we may already know what that looks like, too. Yoenis Cespedes’ health certainly plays a factor. Without him, I believe the bench could consist of Dominic Smith, Jed Lowrie, Luis Guillorme, Jake Marisnick, and a backup catcher. If Cespedes is ready to go, the Mets will need to make a trade.
Trade possibilities involving J.D. Davis, Smith, and Lowrie have loomed all winter long. Davis and Smith are the pair the team would have looked to trade for bullpen help. Lowrie, potentially even paired with Smith, would have gone elsewhere for salary relief.
Something the Mets didn’t have much of last year was roster balance. While they could skip over Guillorme for the Opening Day roster, they would once again have too many resources in the corner spots.
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I can’t imagine the Mets are done yet making moves. Their dip into free agency for non-catchers may have concluded. The way the rest of the roster shapes up seems to shout to us that someone currently in uniform will be gone before the 2020 campaign begins.