2) Phil Bickford
Phil Bickford lasting this long into the offseason is somewhat of a surprise. For him to even get tendered a contract was a bit puzzling. The Mets are headed to arbitration with him. However, the disagreement over less than $100K could just mean they’re not all that interested anymore.
Stearns’ plan may have now shifted toward trading Bickford even post-DFA. The return wouldn’t be anything all that special. Bickford is still 28 and as a two-time first-round draft pick (he went to college instead the first time), there has always been a little bit of intrigue about what he can do on the field. A lifetime 4.43 ERA after 180.2 innings in the majors hasn’t been the expected results. Considering his lack of minor league options as well, Bickford would put the Mets in an immediate bind. If he isn’t performing, they’re going to end up DFA’ing him anyway.
In the same territory as Bickford are players like Sean Reid-Foley and Yohan Ramirez. Reid-Foley is about even with Bickford and one could just as easily name him instead. He seems to be protection in case of injury the same way the club has kept Short around all offseason.
Then there’s Yohan Ramirez whom the team traded for early in the winter. Although it cost them cash considerations, his lack of minor league options put him on the ledge of getting booted from the team, too.
Perhaps it’s the intrigue of what Ramirez can do and the fact that he was chosen by Stearns which gives off a sense of Bickford and Reid-Foley being more likely DFA candidates.