Reese Kaplan -- A Look at the 2018 40-Man Roster


Let’s take a look at the Mets 40-man roster and see who is likely to be a part of it come 2018.  As you know, a player on the 40-man roster gets three option years for a team to use.  Each year a player is promoted from the minors to the majors and then returned to the minors an option is used up.  Note that you can send a player back and forth as many times as you wish during a given year and only burn a single option. 

A good example is Rafael Montero who is currently on the major league team, but who has been back and forth during the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons, thus using up his three options.  One of the reasons he started the year in Las Vegas is because they no longer have the flexibility to option him back to the minors.  Right now if the Mets wanted to return Montero he would have to be “outrighted” to the minors as his three options have been used up.  Outrighting a player exposes him to waivers and another ballclub can claim the player from the Mets.  If more than one claim is made, the team with the lesser record gets priority. 

The composition of the New York Mets 40-man roster in 2018 is likely to be wildly different than who’s on it currently.  In addition to the major leagues squad of 25 players plus the people on the 10-day DL, you also have the following on the 40-man roster:

  • Wuilmer Becerra
  • Gavin Cecchini
  • Marcos Molina
  • Tyler Pill
  • Tomas Nido
  • Kevin Plawecki
  • Matt Reynolds

Going into next season there would appear to be several people who are vulnerable to losing their spot on the 40 man roster.  Let’s start with the obvious ones:

  • Curtis Granderson
  • Jay Bruce
  • Neil Walker
  • Rene Rivera
  • Fernando Salas
  • Asdrubal Cabrera

This group of players have expiring contracts.  In the case of Cabrera, the Mets hold a $2 million option which they would have to pay in order to cut him.  To keep him would cost $8.5 million.  If the plan is to play Amed Rosario at SS with some combination of T.J. Rivera, Wilmer Flores or Gavin Cecchini available at 2B, they may decide to cut ties with their disgruntled infielder.  As soon as the season ends, you have 5-6 open roster spots.

Next would be the group of players on the 40-man roster whose performance or “out-of-options” status renders them vulnerable to be booted.  This group would include:

  • Rafael Montero (out of options)
  • Erik Goeddel (out of options)
  • Chasen Bradford
  • Matt Reynolds
  • Kevin Plawecki (out of options)
  • Tyler Pill
  • Wuilmer Becerra (big step backwards in performance this year)

That’s potentially seven more casualties leaving 12 to 13 spots possibly open for additions from within the minor league ranks and/or from the outside (if the GM realizes his mistake and actually does think he needs to add players this off-season). 

Some almost sure to be added include:

  • Dominic Smith
  • Drew Smith
  • P.J. Conlon
  • Corey Oswalt

In addition, there are some MLB rules forcing teams to add players to the 40-man roster lest they risk losing them in the Rule V draft.  If you sign a player at age 18 or younger then they must be added after 5 years.  Players 19 or older must be added after four years in the minors.  I’ll leave the research and speculation to Tom Brennan or others more focused on the minor league channels to determine who falls into this special category. 

Remember, too, that you have a number of people on the 60-day DL who do not count against your 40-man roster for now but who must be added back once the season ends unless you plan to cut ties with them altogether.  In the former category you have David Wright, Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia.  In the latter you have Tommy Milone. 

You do have quite a number of people on the 10-day DL as well, but they remain a part of the 40-man roster, so that doesn't change the overall number of vacancies.  

The long and short of it is that the 2018 roster will be vastly different, even if it goes against the inertia Sandy Alderson has lulled the fans into expecting.  


Thomas Brennan said...

Seems there will be plenty of 40 man roster maneuverability this off season

Gary Seagren said...

I sure hope their planning on at least giving Bruce a QO but for me just sign the guy. Conforto looks more comfortable by the game in CF and Bruce's production and class as player and club house guy are very impressive and hard to match. Our incredible Hulk LFer should take notes on character from Bruce but that would be asking to much for our $110 million bucks.

Thomas Brennan said...

Bruce on track for 44 homers. Team record is 41. Yeah!

Cespedes and Mets have 58 games to go. How about 15 homers and 45 RBIs in that span?

Mack Ade said...

Some other 40-man candidates to consider -

IF Luis Guillorme

3B David Thompson

OF Kevin Kaczmarski

Hobie said...

Um... Victor?

Dallas said...

Does it really make sense to give Bruce a QO for 17+ million when you couldn't even find more than tepid interest at the trade deadline? I'm not saying he doesn't have value but probably not at that price. I guess it depends if you just want to get a one year deal done maybe its a way to go.

Reese Kaplan said...

Considering the poor showing the Mets have in terms of minor league outfielders, it would behoove them to lock up Bruce for 3 years if possible. As observed, while not a natural centerfielder, Conforto is certainly not embarrassing himself out there.

Of course, doing so would mean intelligently using this exclusive negotiating period when no other team can talk to him. In other words, it will not happen.

Thomas Brennan said...

Apparently the Mets have been communicating their happiness with Conforto playing CF, so that could be a large hint that they have strong interest in the return of Cousin Brucey. Good. He could hit 77 homers in 2 years, as easy as WABC.

We do have 58 games left, and Lagares did well in a rehab game yesterday in AA. So we will see a lot of the Flying Wallenda before this season is over. Tebow (slumping a bit) thus may have to wait until 2018 :)

Anonymous said...

I like Bruce too... but please cut bait! I personally go all in on Lorenzo Cain. I would also love the Mets to sign Moustakas to play 3rd and sign Lucroy! Those 3 players I believe will help the clubhouse bring a wining atmosphere and either alienate Cespedes or push him to want to be a good teammate

Thomas Brennan said...

Anonymous, good player ideas - I just wonder about the price - too much of a differential and ownership will most likely opt for cheap over excellent.

Reese Kaplan said...

That is because the ownership IS cheap rather than excellent.

Mack Ade said...

Dallas -

I don't expect the Mets to commit to a 4-5 year deal for an outfielder. Maybe third base, but not the outfield.

That being said, there also is no one in the pipeline for 2 years that would have any chance of starting for the Mets

I say QO Bruce for one year and punt until the next free agent market when the Wright money will be off the books

Reese Kaplan said...

It's my understanding that Wright is to be paid $20 million in 2018, $15 million in 2019 and $12 million in 2020. He won't be off the books until the 2021 season.

David Rubin said...

Reese- you are correct about Wright, unless he either retires himself or is forced into retirement by his inability to get back on the playing field in which case the insurance policy goes from 75% this year to 100% for his remaining contract. However a portion of that money will still count against the salary cap because that's the way it was negotiated.

David Rubin said...

Negotiated by Major League Baseball, not by the team.

Eddie Corona said...

Man I wish I was in on this thread yesterday...
Bruce yes on the QO even if its a over pay... if he accepts ok... Cashman use to say there is not bad 1 one year deals... (i differ)... If he Doesn't accept then let him walk... He had no value in trades so signing him for a 3 year deal is not smart... Assets should have value...

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