Evaluating the New York Mets 40-Man Roster

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Every player ranked, plus a few prospects

The Mets currently have very little money committed past 2014, and only two players with enough service to be free agent eligible — David Wright and Jonathon Niese — signed for 2014. The future is not now for this club, but the future is getting brighter.

Between the end of the World Series and Opening Day every winter, fans are inundated with lists. Rankings of the best shortstop, the best left-handed relievers, the best leadoff men, the best second basemen in runs saved, the best right-handed pinch-hitter in road games in July and more. So, while life can be rather boring without 15 baseball games every night, over the next few weeks I’ll rank players on every 40-man roster.

This is more than merely a ranking though, it is a breakdown of contract status, future prospects and the general direction of each franchise. Generally, the ranking is based on the value of each player to the franchise, with an emphasis on the immediate effect on winning. Enjoy.

The Mets currently have very little money committed past 2014, and only two players with enough service to be free agent eligible — David Wright and Jonathon Niese — signed for 2014. The future is not now for this club, but the future is getting brighter. So much will depend on Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler carrying this pitching staff (and team) for the foreseeable future.

1. David Wright, 3B
Opening Day Age:  31
Contract:
2014
: 20,000,000
2015: 20,000,000
2016: 20,000,000
2017: 20,000,000
2018: 20,000,000
2019: 15,000,000
2020: 12,000,000
In all likelihood, Wright will retire as the greatest Mets player in history, and certainly the most popular. If his health declines more quickly than anticipated, this contract could become a burden on the team, but the club was smart to ensure their third baseman will be a Met for life.

2. Matt Harvey, SP
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
It’s never good news when a pitcher goes under the knife for major surgery, but at least Harvey’s operation was late in the season, and early in his career. He should be able to make an appearance or two late in 2014, and neither 2013 nor 2014 could be deemed a critical season in the Mets’ plans. Frankly, without the slight uncertainty of his post-injury struggles, Harvey may be No. 1 on this list. Take him away, and the Mets’ future is rather dismal.

3. Zack Wheeler, SP
Opening Day Age:  23
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
No matter how deep the Giants believe their pitching is, the club certainly would take the Wheeler-for-Carlos Beltran deal back. The young righthander figures to join Matt Harvey to comprise one of the best 1-2 combos in the National League for several years to come.

4. Daniel Murphy, 2B
Opening Day Age:  28
Contract:
2014
: 3rd Year Arbitration
2015: First possible free agency
Expect the Mets to work toward signing their second baseman long-term. Murphy drove in 78 runs and scored 92 for a team that struggled to find offense. He didn’t take a day off last season until Aug. 18.

5. Bobby Parnell, CL
Opening Day Age:  29
Contract:
2014
: 3rd Year Arbitration
2015: First possible free agency
Parnell became a reliable closer last season prior to surgery for a herniated disc in September. The Mets are mildly concerned about his readiness for spring training.

6. Dillon Gee, SP
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: 1st Year Arbitration
2015: 2nd Year Arbitration
2016: 3rd Year Arbitration
2017: First possible free agency
The 21st round pick in 2007 has been dependable since making his debut late in 2010. The Mets have won 44 of his 81 starts (.543), which is an 88-win pace for a full season. Gee and Jonathon Niese could form a nice 3-4 combo behind Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

7. Jonathon Niese, SP
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: 5,000,000
2015: 7,000,000
2016: 9,000,000
2017: 10,000,000 club option, $500K million buyout
The lefthander should be a solid No. 3 starter for the Mets for the next few years. His four seasons in the rotation thus far has yielded a 3.92 ERA, a 1.362 WHIP and 166 innings per season. The National League average over the four-year span is 3.88 and 1.348.

8. Travis d’Arnaud, C
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
There’s something to be said for a player twice traded for Cy Young winners. In December of 2009, he was traded from Philadelphia to Toronto for Roy Halladay. Last winter, he was shipped from Toronto to New York for R.A Dickey. This is the season for d’Arnaud to show what all the fuss is about.

9. Jeurys Familia, SP
Opening Day Age:  24
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
The young righthander held opponents to a .229 average in 8.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League. He has swing-and-miss stuff — as well as miss-the-strike-zone stuff at times — and maintains his velocity deep into games. Developing a third pitch to go with his sharp slider and fastball will be the difference between a future as a starter or closer.

10. Lucas Duda, 1B/OF
Opening Day Age:  28
Contract:
2014
: 1st Year Arbitration
2015: 2nd Year Arbitration
2016: 3rd Year Arbitration
2017: 4th Year Arbitration
2018: First possible free agency
Duda hit nine of his 15 home runs in April and May last season.

11. Wilmer Flores, IF
Opening Day Age:  22
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Even though he turned 22 last August, the Venezuela native is the veteran of 696 minor league games.

12. Ike Davis, 1B
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: 2nd Year Arbitration
2015: 3rd Year Arbitration
2016: 4th Year Arbitration
2017: First possible free agency
He’s most likely played his final game in a Mets uniform, but it wasn’t all bad in 2013. From May 26 forward, he batted .256 with a .400 OBP. Trouble is, the Mets need more than walks, and Davis had just five home runs during that stretch of 210 plate appearances.

13. Jenrry Mejia, P
Opening Day Age:  24
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: 1st Year Arbitration
2016: 2nd Year Arbitration
2017: 3rd Year Arbitration
2018: 4th Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
In his brief stint in the Mets’ rotation last summer, he responded with a 2.30 ERA and walked only four batters in five starts.

14. Josh Edgin, P
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
He had 27 saves in the minors in 2011, but only three since then.

15. Carlos Torres, P
Opening Day Age:  31
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
Released by both the White Sox and Rockies in the last few years, Torres found a home with the Mets. He stranded 80 percent of the runners he inherited in 2013.

16. Ruben Tejada, SS
Opening Day Age:  24
Contract:
2014
: 1st Year Arbitration
2015: 2nd Year Arbitration
2016: 3rd Year Arbitration
2017: 4th Year Arbitration
2018: First possible free agency
After a surprisingly productive 2012 season in which he batted .289 in more than 500 plate appearances, Tejada slipped badly in 2013, ending in a demotion by the end of May.

17. Cesar Puello, OF
Opening Day Age:  22
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Puello was progressing nicely through the Mets system and was hitting .326 at Double-A last season after 91 games when he was suspended 50 games due to his association with the Biogenesis scandal. Prior to his suspension, the Mets believed he had 20-homer, 30-stolen base potential.

18. Juan Lagares, OF
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: 4th Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
The young center fielder hit much better on the road than at Citi Field. He particularly liked Philadelphia and Washington pitching, hitting a combined .407 at those two ballparks.

 

19. Chris Young, OF
Opening Day Age:  30
Contract:
2014
: $7,250,000
Twice — when he was considerably younger — the center fielder came close to 30-30 seasons with the Diamondbacks. But he’s played just more than 100 games in the past two seasons. In 2012 that was due primarily to injury, but last season it was a lack of production that cost him at-bats. He rallied for a .255 average in September to finish the season at an even .200.

20. Scott Rice, RP
Opening Day Age:  32
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
Rice has pitched in the minor leagues for five different organizations before landing with the Mets. The tall lefty made 73 appearances and stranded 40 of the 47 runners he inherited.

21. Vic Black, P
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Acquired from Pittsburgh last summer in the deal for Marlon Byrd, Black is the team’s Plan B at closer as it stands now. If Bobby Parnell is not fully recovered from neck surgery by the spring, Black will get a long look.

22. Steven Matz, SP
Opening Day Age:  22
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
The lefty has been delayed by injuries in his brief career, but he can touch 97 with his fastball and the Mets believe other pitches will develop as well. It’s likely he’ll be on the fast track soon. Albeit in the Rookie league in 2012 and Single-A in 2013, in 27 minor league starts, he has 155 whiffs and allowed just 102 hits and 55 walks.

23. Jacob de Grom, SP
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
He’s already 25 and has just 14 starts at the Triple-A level. His stats certainly won’t wow anyone, but he has a very good fastball and his slider and changeup aren’t far behind. He was an accomplished hitter at Stetson, so he’s still gaining valuable experience on the mound. As his command develops, so will his advancement.

24. Eric Young, OF
Opening Day Age:  28
Contract:
2014
: 1st Year Arbitration
2015: 2nd Year Arbitration
2016: 3rd Year Arbitration
2017: First possible free agency
He played in only 91 games between Colorado and New York, yet the speedster led the National League with 46 stolen bases. He went from being expendable in Colorado to a regular outfielder with the Mets. He reached safely via hit or walk in 72 of his 90 starts with New York.

25. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF
Opening Day Age:  26
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
Two years ago, Nieuwenhuis was one of the Mets’ top prospects after posting a .403 on-base percentage at Triple-A. But other than one brief lukewarm stretch in July, last season was a difficult struggle at the big league level.

26. Juan Centeno, C
Opening Day Age:  24
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Centeno handles the bat well and has a terrific arm. Those are two characteristics that can keep him in the majors for a long time.

27. Jeff Walters, RP
Opening Day Age:  26
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Walters blossomed as a closer for Double-A Binghamton in 2013. He saved 38 games and blew just four.

28. Josh Satin, 1B/3B
Opening Day Age:  29
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: 4th Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
In his first 12 starts at first base last season, he batted .383. If he can prove he’s ready to hit major league pitching, he may be the Mets’ everyday first baseman.

29. Matt den Dekker, OF
Opening Day Age:  26
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
He was called up in late August and given an opportunity to play fairly regularly. He hit almost 100 points better on the road.

30. Wilfredo Tovar, SS
Opening Day Age:  22
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
The shortstop had never played a game above Double-A until his call-up in September. There are enough jobs up for grabs that he could earn his way onto the 25-man roster in spring training, but a full season at Triple-A is more likely.

31. Gonzalez Germen, RP
Opening Day Age:  26
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
He was almost exclusively a starter until 2013, when he made 64 relief appearances in Triple-A and the majors.

32. Zach Lutz, 3B
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
There are better positions than to be a third baseman in the Mets’ system right now. Lutz may find a future as a pinch-hitter vs. left-handed pitchers.

33. Andrew Brown, OF
Opening Day Age:  29
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
Brown has proved he can hit at the Triple-A level with three different organizations (.305 average, .570 slugging, 51 home runs in 248 games), but both the Cardinals and Rockies gave up on him. How much do the Mets believe in him?

34. Erik Goeddel, P
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
The righthander made 25 starts at Double-A last season and will likely get a full season at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2014.

35. Anthony Recker, C
Opening Day Age:  30
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
The long-time Oakland farmhand is a .194 career hitter in 230 plate appearances in the majors. And he joins teammate Zach Lutz as two of only three Alvernia College alums to make it to the Show.



Significant Non-Roster Prospects
Noah Syndergaard, SP
Opening Day Age:  21

The organization’s top prospect is not subject to the Rule 5 Draft, therefore it isn’t necessary to protect him by putting him on the 40-man roster. The club fully expects him to join Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and others in the rotation in the next few years.

Rafael Montero, SP
Opening Day Age:  23

With a lively fastball and batter-than-average slider and changeup, Montero has all the tools of a future starter in the big leagues. His size reminds many scouts of Pedro Martinez.

Brandon Nimmo, OF
Opening Day Age:  21

He’s played exclusively in center field to this point, but he projects more of a very sound corner outfielder at the big league level. He is disciplined at the pate and rarely expands the strike zone and isn’t afraid to take walks. The Mets are ready to see some power develop.

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