Mets GM Sandy Alderson will likely have a few days to remove someone from the back-end of the 40-man until the Bruce deal becomes official.
Currently on the 40-man roster the Mets have 24 pitchers, three catchers, nine infielders and only four outfielders. Making it pretty obvious we will see either a pitcher or infielder lose their spot.
The candidate that pops out to me right away is Matt Reynolds. Though Reynolds has proved versatile defensively having played six positions in the big leagues last year he’s also hit just .228/.300/.351 in 226 big league plate appearances. During his brief major league career he’s struck out a whopping 31.4% of the time.
For me the addition of Luis Guillorme to the 40-man this offseason made expendable with the possibility of him becoming the new utility guy or next man up on the shortstop depth chart.
The only other infielder I see that could be somewhat vulnerable is Gavin Cecchini. The first rounder struggled at the plate in 2017 with a .709 OPS in the hitter friendly PCL then an ugly .208/.256/.273 in 82 MLB plate appearances. It’s not only that stats telling the story, Cecchini’s swing was a mess last year and the Mets showed little confidence in him down the stretch.
Another strike against Cecchini is that his defense has limited him to mostly play only second base and he had -3 DRS in 155 big league innings there last year. Which begs the question, how much value does a player that can only play one spot defensively and doesn’t hit enough to be a major leaguer at that spot have?
Now moving to the pitching side where right-hander Kevin McGowan looks like he could be the one that is most vulnerable. The 26-year-old made his major league debut in 2017 going 8.2 innings while allowing five runs (5.19 ERA) on eight hits, six walks, two home runs and eight strikeouts.
To me the New Hampshire native looked like he had lost a little bit on his fastball in 2017 and that made his changeup less effective. His 2017 Triple-A numbers don’t jump out at you either with a 4.85 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and only 57 strikeouts in 65 innings.
The Mets added two relievers in Gerson Bautista and Tyler Bashlor in November to the 40-man roster and already had two unproven relievers in Jamie Callahan and Jacob Rhame on the 40. McGowan easily has the least amount of upside of this group which is why I think if the Mets go pitcher it will be him.
One thing to watch out for is Sandy Alderson making a trade to create the roster which he has done in the past with Gabriel Ynoa as the most recent example of that last offseason. That is when you might see someone like Montero come into play, still less likely I believe.
Regardless of who it is, the Mets will need to designate for assignment or trade a player in the upcoming days to make room for Bruce once his deal becomes official.