The deadline to add prospects to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft is Monday at 8 p.m. (ET). Generally speaking, you are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if five seasons have passed since you were signed (or four if you signed after you turned 19-years-old).
The complication in these decisions is you need to save room on your 40 man roster for offseason acquisitions to build your roster into a hopefully World Series contending club.
At times, you just have to make the best educated decision and other times you just cross your fingers. In both instances, you really are looking to protect the best player or fit. To that end, our writers present the prospect they would protect over any of the other prospects eligible for the Rule 5 Draft:
Michael Mayer – RHP Corey Oswalt
We’ve seen over the last couple of years just how important back-end starters or swing guys can be . The Mets have a ton of question marks in the rotation and can’t afford to lose anymore starting depth with Corey Oswalt heading to Triple-A in 2018
Matthew Brownstein – RHP Corey Oswalt
The 24-year-old right-handed starter was named the club’s Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year along with Eastern League Pitcher of the Year after posting a 2.28 ERA (which led the Eastern League) in 134.1 innings pitched (career high).
Oswalt features a four-pitch repertoire, with his fastball able to touch the mid-90s. The Mets had a lack of starting pitching depth in 2017, unable to withstand the glut of injuries to the major league club. Retaining Oswalt, who has a strong build and could be a potential back-end starter, provides depth to a team in clear need of options, as one of their needs this offseason is for a No. 5 starter.
Ernest Dove – RHP Andrew Church
I know Andrew Church‘s 2017 stats with the St Lucie Mets. I also know what I saw. He’s a strong kid. He logged 150+ innings and 25 starts. I saw the swing and miss potential of his slider and changeup. Now healthy he’s also looking to bring back the mid 90s FB he once had.
Corné Hogeveen – RHP Gerson Bautista
I believe the Mets really have something in Gerson Bautista. Although he hasn’t pitched above Single-A I can see a rebuilding team pick him and put him in the pen for a season. Bautista has great stuff and I would hate to lose him this way
Matt Mancuso – RHP Mickey Jannis
I’m going to go with Mickey Jannis because he’s the only minor pitcher I would feel comfortable with giving a major league start. Considering the lack of starting pitching depth the Mets have in their minor league system, he’s the pitcher the Mets need to keep.
Jacob Resnick – RHP Gerson Bautista
Definitely Bautista. I think it would defeat the purpose of the Addison Reed trade if you expose the most promising arm in that return.
Dilip Sridhar – RHP Tyler Bashlor
There were a few options here but Tyler Bashlor is the prospect to protect. Bashlor has been well regarded on Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America for his pure stuff. He started putting it together in Binghamton this past year. Bashlor controlled his walks in Binghamton but they still might be an issue going forward. Regardless, he will strike out many hitters and should be major league ready fairly early in 2018. He seems likely to contribute to the big league team and be the most successful.
Mets Daddy – RHP Adonis Uceta
For me, it was between Bashlor and Adonis Uceta. They are both potentially dominant late inning relievers who may very well pitch in the Mets bullpen next season. Just as important, they are also arms that may very well go targeted in this year’s draft. Ultimately, I picked Uceta because I believe he is just scratching the surface of what he can be as a shut down reliever. It also helps that he has much better control than Bashlor having a career 5.0 BB/9 as opposed to Uceta’s 2.5.
We hope you enjoyed our list, and we encourage everyone to share with us who some of their favorite players are in the comments section.