The Mets DFA’d the right player for Tomas Nido, but future 40-man roster decisions will get tougher

Kolton Ingram was an easy choice. The next 40-man roster decision could be tougher.
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages

Kolton Ingram was the man rightfully chosen as the one to get removed from the New York Mets 40-man roster on Saturday. He was designated for assignment to make room for the return of Tomas Nido whose presence was needed for the absence of Francisco Alvarez.

Ingram had some excellent minor league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels in the past out of the bullpen, but struggled in limited MLB action last season. The story was much the same for him with Triple-A Syracuse. A 7.20 ERA and more walks than innings pitched made him the obvious casualty.

Going forward, the Mets will undoubtedly need to make additional 40-man roster decisions. Those might not be so easy.

Future Mets 40-man roster decisions won't be as easy as their latest

Because they needed to protect Alex Ramirez from the Rule 5 Draft, he was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason. Luisangel Acuna was already present as the Texas Rangers did the same with him prior to getting traded to the Mets. Those two roster spots occupied by guys a little further from MLB-ready are one cause as to why the club will have to think hard in the future when a move is needed.

There are a couple of foreseeable moments that’ll create instances where the Mets will have to make a pair of moves. When Kodai Senga returns, not only will the Mets have to make a 26-man roster decision, they’ll also need to clear space on the 40-man roster as well. His presence on the 60-day IL allowed them some temporary flexibility. The same will apply with David Peterson and to a lesser extent, Ronny Mauricio; although any return for him is likely to occur so late in the season it won’t be as hard to remove someone from the 40-man roster.

The pool of players the Mets will likely choose from include Grant Hartwig, Dedniel Nunez, Cole Sulser, and Josh Walker. All relief pitchers we’ve seen on the mound either last year or this season, the pros and cons of each vary. Hartwig is young but having a difficult time in Syracuse this year. Sulser is the oldest of the group yet pitching the most effectively. Having the most MLB experience should also weigh into whether or not he stays.

The choice will always go beyond just performance or what the team thinks the player can offer in the future. Sometimes you have to pick a guy you’re most sure could pass through waivers. With the younger guys, you can justify a team taking a flier on them. With an older one, opponents will see value in their experience.

Tyler Jay has already passed through waivers successfully and been reassigned to Syracuse. The same could happen with Ingram although that experiment doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere.

Heaven forbid the Mets lose another catcher to an injury and are forced to call upon another in their minor league arsenal. Other than Ramirez in Double-A, the team also lacks an outfielder in the minor leagues on the 40-man roster. 

With decisions like these, the biggest worry is about a player becoming “the one who got away.” Reed Garrett, after all, was DFA’d by the Baltimore Orioles last year. For all of the accolades they get for successfully rebuilding themselves into a hot young team, they must be kicking themselves for letting him slip away.