Reese Kaplan - Juggling the 40 Man Roster

Watching the Mets and the collective inertia of the front office, one has to ponder why.  Obviously the “plan” wasn’t to fight the Marlins for the basement.  The “plan” might have been to cut as many expenses as possible but which would explain jettisoning players due for large salaries in contract negotiations.  However, does this draconian austerity extend to minor league players who might be more productive while giving more highly paid major league players a chance to regain whatever mojo they once had.

One argument bandied about is that they cannot move players who are not on the 40 man roster without fear of losing them should they have to demote them later.  It is that rationale which would explain perhaps why Josh Satin who has the most reps at 1st base in AAA has not flown east to take the place of the totally lost Ike Davis or why Omar Quintanilla currently hitting .330 cannot supplant Ruben Tejada.  Neither are on the 40 man roster, consequently there is a risk upon their return to the minors that they might be usurped by another organization.

News flash – the reason some players make the 40 man roster while others do not has to do with their overall potential to play long term in the major leagues.  Once a team has decided you are no longer worthy of one of the protected spots, they are telling you that your future is elsewhere.  In the case of Quintanilla, for example, they traded him for the proverbial bag o’ balls last year and he came sniffing around for a roster invite in 2013.  This type of player will always be available.  The nonsense leaked by Mets officials about getting “thin” at any position makes no sense whatsoever.  If there isn’t a good 21 year old ready to step in and man Q’s glove in Las Vegas, there are dozens of 30 year old Q clones just waiting for a chance to play.  AAA has become more of a veteran-heavy league even in the case of the Mets where you have players like Andrew Brown, Josh Satin, Zach Lutz, Omar Quintanilla, Brian Bixler, Landon Powell, Brandon Hicks, Jamie Hoffman, Matt Fox, Justin Hampson and Carlos Torres all 27 or older.  Reese Havens is turning 27 this year, too.  Their prospect window has closed.  

However, if any of these players must be added to the 40 man roster then who will they replace? 

For starters, why is Gonzalez Germen protected?  He hasn’t had a good year since he was in St. Lucie, yet he kept getting promoted.

Is Collin McHugh part of the future?  (For that matter, is Jeremy Hefner?)  Didn’t we let Hefner walk away once already?

Now we get to some tougher ones.  Is Robert Carson a lost cause?  At 24 and a hard thrower you’d hate to give up on him already but he can certainly be sent to the desert to make room for Scott Atchison. 

On the offensive side of the ledger, why is Zach Lutz protected?  Yes, he can hit, but he’s blocked at the ML level at his primary position by the team captain and even if he was healthy and promoted to Queens he doesn’t have the requisite number of gray hairs to warrant Collins penciling him into the lineup. At his age and given his health history the likelihood he'll ever be a regular is pretty slim.  

What about Sandy Alderson’s great ML trade of the winter – Collin Cowgill?  After his Opening Day heroics it’s all been downhill.  Even in the hitter friendly confines of Las Vegas he’s only hitting .256.

Wilfredo Tovar is another head scratcher.  He hits below Cowgill, has less speed and no power whatsoever.  What is the thinking – that he’s the second coming of Rey Ordoñez? 

Similarly it may be time to fish or cut bait on Kirk Niewenhuis.  Even with his recent HR barrage he’s still hitting a paltry .226 and striking out in 1/4 of his ABs.  Cowgill has shown as much power in the minors, stolen more bases and hit for a higher average. 

Why is Rick Ankiel here?  He’s already regressed to norms…a .244 batting average and striking out in 1/3 of his ABs.  Is he part of the future?

Right away you can see there are several players who can easily be removed from the 40 man roster if you need to send Davis and Tejada to the land of Lost Wages and have to create vacancies to accommodate the likes of Quintanilla, Satin and, dare I say, Zack Wheeler. 


Mack Ade said...

Look at that... Kaplan's post goes up and the Mets move Quintanilla...

Reese Kaplan said...

Maybe next I should write about changing GMs and field managers.

Mack's Mets © 2012