The Mets and the players themselves knew the day was coming when the roster would be trimmed. Where would the team be without them, though?
The Mets are not immune from the fact that baseball is often a hard-ball business. Players come and go, some leaving on their own volition (think Jay Bruce), while others see their cup of coffee in the big leagues come to an abrupt end when their team deems them of no further value.
Coming in the front door, the Mets Transaction Wire today shows Jeff McNeil suiting up for the doubleheader today, Jerad Eickhoff joining the team as a starting pitcher, and Albert Amoro back to play centerfield.
Mets: The Door Swings The Other Way, Too
At the other end of the spectrum, and the first to be designated for assignment by the Mets, is Mason Williams, whose future in baseball is now tenuous at best. Before him, relief pitcher Jacob Barnes suffered the same fate.
On the bubble, as a perusal of the Mets’ current active roster shows, are players who are likely to be playing their final games wearing the orange and blue as more players return.
Count as players awaiting that fateful call to the office of Luis Rojas, Brandon Drury, Jose Peraza, and Billy McKinney, all of whom have been contributors of the Mets Bench Mob, and the contingent of role players who have brought the team to where they stand today at the top of the NL East.
McKinney remains the odds-on choice of anyone to remain with the Mets when Michael Conforto returns, but even that is not a lock. Ditto Peraza, who seems to have developed a knack for getting the big hit, but again it comes down to a matter of limited roster choices.
Mason Williams is a particularly interesting player, and I’ve followed his roller-coaster career from the day he was selected by the Yankees as a fourth-round draft pick way back in 2011.
It can be said that Williams fulfilled a void in the Mets outfield defensively. He made all the plays and even a couple of spectacular ones, but he didn’t hit a lick, leaving the team with no choice but to part ways with him.
For The Bench Mob, What Comes Next?
“Designated For Assignment” means Williams is cut from the teams and that the Mets have not yet decided what to do with him.
Should the Mets release Williams, opening him up to selection off the waiver wire by another team, or send him back to Triple-A (assuming he would accept the assignment)?
The same decisions await the Mets with regards to the other players on the bubble.
Today, the Mets Triple-A team in Syracuse is the worst in the International League, losers of twelve straight while owning a record of 11-30.
The point being, there’s nothing in Syracuse to help the big club should an injury occur that goes beyond the players coming back.
However, the problem for the Mets is how to convince a Mason Williams, Billy McKinney, or Brandon Drury to accept a demotion to Syracuse that is solely based on the prospect that “We may need you again” at some point in the future.
As mentioned in the intro, baseball is a tough business. While the futures of these players are on the line, it can’t be forgotten the same can be said for the Mets.
Mets: Cohen Throws In A Curveball
Met’s owner Steve Cohen has hinted in a wide-ranging interview with The Athletic that he is not beyond exceeding the $210 million luxury tax limit on payroll, adding (enticingly) that “going over it by a million or two is not worth it,” opening up possibilities that extend way beyond the Mets roster we see today.
In conclusion, this much we know. In their own way, each of the players who may be here today and gone tomorrow have etched their way into Mets lore.
And for that, we owe them heartfelt thanks, no matter where the game of baseball takes them…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Jeff Chrzanowski I’ve said before that there will be a pressure not normally felt by returning starters to perform. This bench mob has found ways to win. They are hungry and best of all, fun to watch.
Sandy Laskowski Very interesting article and lots of things to be decided with these players who have been so key with the starters out with injuries
Jason Yost Pretty impressive to show, the rest of the Baseball World, how, the “Next Man Up,” is supposed to run!