Mets spring training update: $10 million budget rumors, Mark Vientos, Tyler Stuart

Mar 22, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA;  New York Mets starting pitcher Tyler Stuart (19) throws a pitch
Mar 22, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Tyler Stuart (19) throws a pitch / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Back in early February, the New York Mets were rumored to have a budget of around $10 million left to spend on players. They dropped $4.5 million on Adam Ottavino, another $4 million on Jake Diekman, and finally $3.35 million more on Shintaro Fujinami to go slightly over the total.

The irresistibly low, low price of J.D. Martinez for $4.5 million this year and some easy deferred payments of $1.5 million that don’t begin for another decade, carried them even further beyond the budget.

When it comes to Steve Cohen, the limit of how much spending will happen is predicated on the situation. If the credit cards are maxed out, he opens a new one if it means improving the DH situation.

Mark Vientos put in an awkward spot with the J.D. Martinez signing

Deep down inside, nobody is less thrilled about the signing of Martinez than Mark Vientos. He responded on the field with a home run in his first at-bat on Thursday and then had to answer the tough question about the newest addition to the Mets.

Some interview questions are considered softballs. This one is a cutter aimed at his knees.

Vientos handled it well. It was literally the only answer he could give. As a result of the Martinez signing, he’s unlikely to stay on the roster for long even if he does end up as the choice for Opening Day. There are a half-dozen strikeouts from this spring training he reflected on after hearing the news of the Martinez signing wondering what he could have done differently to just put the ball in play.

Tyler Stuart didn’t have a Christian Scott day on the mound

Last year’s Mets prospects included two lower-level arms excelling practically out of nowhere. Tyler Stuart, who sometimes gets overlooked by the more advanced Christian Scott, had his chance to face the New York Yankees. He’d allow 2 earned runs in his three innings of work while picking up a single strikeout. At least the strikeout was against Aaron Judge, the last batter he faced. Does it make up for this picture?

Stuart is bound to start the year with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and is far down the depth chart in terms of a big league promotion compared to others. His performance for the Mets might not have been one of sheer brilliance, but he faced a whole lot of major league hitters.

Unlike so many other Mets prospects, Stuart has size on his side. Listed at 6’9 and 250 pounds, the big righty has a chance to capitalize on a successful 2023 campaign without much pressure to help out the big league club. Stuart made only 4 starts for Southern Mississippi before getting drafted by the Mets. Most of his college career was as a reliever.

Throwing 110.2 innings last year and coming away with a magnificent 2.20 ERA is a step almost as big as him. For those wondering, this clip was filmed with the use of a drone.