November 20 Passed; How Does Your 40-Man Roster Look?

mets-primary-copy1Friday, November 20th was the deadline for Major League teams to finalize their rosters for the upcoming Rule Five which will take place on December 10, the final day of the baseball Winter Meetings.  The Mets added no players immediately before the deadline, but added 3B Shawn Bowman in early November to prevent him from becoming a six-year minor league free agent.  At present, it looks like the Mets might have the first crack in the Rule 5.  The Mets own the 7th pick, but all six teams ahead of them, (Washington, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Kansas City, Cleveland and Arizona) have full 40-man rosters which would preclude them from adding players.  The Mets 40-man roster currently stands at 36 players.  Only Milwaukee (35), St. Louis (34), the Dodgers (33) and Boston (32) have more open spots than the Mets.   Remember, any free agents signed to major league deals must immediately be added to the 40-man roster, so in a winter where the Mets are hoping to add a bat, an arm and maybe a catcher, the team should have room on the 40-man roster at this point.

The Mets did not have to add their top prospects to the 40-man roster because those players who would need to be protected are already on the roster having made their Big League debuts.  This includes the college draftees from 2006 Daniel Murphy and Tobi Stoner and those who were 18 or younger when they signed in 2005 like Jon Niese, Fernando Martinez and Josh Thole.  Moreover, the Mets traded their first two picks from that ’06 draft: Kevin Mulvey (Santana package) and Joe Smith (JJ Putz package).

As long as we’re here, lets examine one role on the team, the second LOOGY to help out Pedro Feliciano in the bullpen.  The left-handed relievers on the Mets 40-man roster are  Feliciano, Arturo Lopez and Pat Misch.

The Free Agent
Adam Bostick is now a six-year minor league free agent after three years in the Mets organization.  Bostick, who lowered his arm angle, and moved to the bullpen this year, was very effective for AAA Buffalo, particularly against lefties who hit just .211/.286/.263 against him in 38 AB. Overall, Bostick had 43 strikeouts against 18 walks in 38.2 IP with a 3.26 ERA in Buffalo.  Four of his 14 inherited runners scored.  To be fair, the Bostick has been hit hard in winter ball in Venezuela where he’s given up 11 hits, seven walk and ten runs in eight IP.

The Waiver Claim

What exactly does Lopez, who was claimed on waivers from the Padres in April offer other than his lefty-ness?  In 30.1 innings in Buffalo, Lopez put together a 3.86 ERA with 19 strikeouts and 13 walks in 30.1 innings, less impressive numbers than Bostick.  Lefties hit .242/.324/.364 against him in 33 AB for a .688 OPS, one hundred and twenty-nine points worse than the .549 OPS lefties managed in a similar sample against Bostick in AAA in 2009.

There’s an argument to be made here that parsing L/R splits into 35 AB samples at AAA is too small a sample size.  However, Lopez’s pure stuff isn’t any better than Bostick’s.

So why is Lopez a Met and Bostick looking for employment?

There are 12 comments

  1. NickM

    A question re: the 40 man roster – If the team has 4 spots left to fill, how are they going to draft anyone? For instance: LF is 1 spot, C is another, a starting pitcher is another (thats 3 now), and then you still need a bullpen arm and perhaps a bat for 1B.

    So how can they add anyone via the Rule V if they have so many needs? At that point would the team just waive/non-tender some of the players (like Lopez, Misch, Redding, maybe even Maine, etc)?

    1. NateW

      They also need at least one bench IF with both Cora and Tatis free agents. They will need more than the 4 spots they have free right now.

      But they have nothing blocking them from taking a player in the rule 5 draft. Now when it comes to signing free agents the FO is going to have some interesting choices to make in terms of putting players on waivers, or looking to do some 2 for 1 trades. Picking a player in the rule 5 would just add one more complication, or it could add just the trade chip someone is looking for.

      Toby, I don’t know what your argument is about Bostick. I doubt the Mets want him to leave, but I don’t think they should have locked up a 25 man roster spot for him either. He is out of options, so resigning him to a split contract makes the most sense. Hopefully he wants to return as well. Lopez was already on the 40 man roster and has options remaining, so it makes sense to keep him, regardless of what they do with Bostick.

      1. NickM

        Yea but keeping both Lopez AND Bostick on the 40-man doesn’t seem to to wise, IMO. I would have just waived Lopez and resigned Bostick to a MiL deal.

      2. NateW

        I don’t see how they relate to each other, they are in different categories.

        Bostick cannot be on the 40 man roster unless he is on the 25 man roster because all of his options have been used up. He is the kind of player you invite to spring training so he can try to make the big league bullpen.

        Lopez has at least one more year of options remaining, and the 40 man roster isn’t full (yet) so there is no reason to remove him from the 40 man roster for anyone (yet).

        Keep Lopez in AAA, and try to bring back Bostick for a ST tryout with AAA as a fallback plan. It isn’t an either or situation at all.

      3. NickM

        Bostick is a minor league free agent; if you resign him to a minor league deal, you can’t add him to the 40-man while hes assigned to AAA? Huh?

      4. NickM

        And why would you prefer to have Lopez on it? Who cares if he has options or not, hes not worth keeping. Yes if I wanted to keep a AAA LOOGY on the 40-man I would prefer it to be Bostick over Lopez. This could be accomplished by resigning Bostick and waiving the incumbent Lopez.

      5. NateW

        Lopez is on it because they claimed him off waivers… they had to add him to take him. They have 4 open spots so there is no reason to take anyone off the roster right now. Why do you want to waive someone when you don’t need to? And someone who serves a purpose in AAA at that…

        Bostick as a minor league veteran has the right to leave, the Mets didn’t send him packing. I’d prefer he come back, but he isn’t an indentured servant.

        Again, this isn’t a either or option. This isn’t about ‘AAA loogy’ (no such thing anyway) its about two players with different rights and obligations. They should end up with both, until they waive Lopez when they need his roster spot for someone else.

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