During his tenure with the Mets, Rafael Montero has proved to be the cat with nine lives. He survived several roster crunches this offseason, as New York cut Josh Smoker, Chasen Bradford and Matt Reynolds before him.
This cat will likely have another life in 2018. As Mike Puma of the New York Post notes, Montero is out of minor league options, so unless he has a catastrophically bad spring, he will likely break camp with the team.
The 27-year-old was once regarded as one of the top prospects in the Mets system, though that never translated to the big leagues.
Montero appeared in 34 games (18 started) for New York in 2017, logging a 5-11 record with a 5.52 ERA, 4.37 FIP, 1.748 WHIP and 76 ERA+.
He showed flashes of potential, including a dominant game against the Cincinnati Reds at the end of August where he tossed eight dominant innings and fanned eight while yielding just one hit.
It’s a perplexing case for sure, as Montero has shown hints of dominance, but has had it buried by his wild inconsistency and erratic tendencies.
If he does in fact break camp with the team, he will likely slot into the bullpen, unless we see a string of injuries yet again (fingers crossed that’s not the case). Maybe this year will be the one he finally puts it all together. One can only hope.
Mets considering reunion with Matt den Dekker?
Den Dekker’s speed was attractive, but he was never quite able to put it together at the Major League level. However, a reunion between the 30-year-old and the team that drafted him could be in the cards, as Puma notes.
The outfielder most recently played for the Detroit Tigers in 2017, appearing in just four games. The Mets would be using him as their Triple-A center fielder should they choose to re-sign him.