The New York Mets will have a couple of roster decisions to make before Opening Day arrives. There isn’t much room for navigation. For the most part, outside of injuries, we know exactly who will or won’t join the team when they jump into the season against the Miami Marlins.
Just because a player isn’t on the Opening Day roster doesn’t mean they won’t turn into an important piece at some point. These five already looked destined to begin the year in the minor leagues where they will wait for a promotion and have an impact later on.
An honorable mention should go out to some questionable Opening Day roster candidates like Brett Baty, David Peterson, and Tylor Megill along with possibly a few others. They remain contenders for the Opening Day roster so they’re left off this list. The same cannot be said about these other five.
1) Tommy Hunter will be in the minors waiting for his Mets promotion
Tommy Hunter has been pretty awesome for the Mets. Back again this season on a minor league deal, Hunter is a non-roster invitee with a lifetime 1.78 ERA in 30.1 innings of work for the Mets. He has battled through injuries over the last several seasons, spending all of his big league innings with the Amazins in 2021 and 2022.
Adding Hunter to the Opening Day roster makes little sense with his lack of minor league options remaining. He’s cavalry. He’s someone the club can turn to later on in the year for a prolonged stretch. He’ll be on the roster bubble from the start, unable to get demoted again unless the team is willing to DFA him and allow other clubs to claim him off waivers.
In his own way, Hunter has had an impact on the 2021 and 2022 Mets. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021 for Rich Hill. Last year, offering up 22.1 innings later on in the year, he helped give Buck Showalter another valuable arm to turn to.
Sometime in June or July, we can expect Hunter to make his mark on the 2023 Mets just as he has on the club over the past two seasons.