2017-18 Mets Minor League Offseason Transactions

By Jacob Resnick

October 14, 2017 18 Comments

Every offseason, each major league organization tackles a comprehensive review of their minor league system, deciding which players (and coaches) still have big league potential, and which players are no longer worth spending time developing. For the players that fall into the latter category, the dream is over. Meanwhile, the organizations will pour over the list of minor league free agents, hoping to find a discarded minor league veteran that might be able to rekindle past success.

Below is a complete list of every release, signing, trade, and personnel movement involving the New York Mets’ minor league system during the 2017 offseason. Bookmark and refresh this page, which will be updated frequently throughout the winter.

Affiliate Changes

On October 9, it was reported that the Mets will purchase the Syracuse Chiefs, currently the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, and move from Las Vegas in 2019. The Mets’ player development contract with the Las Vegas 51s expires after the 2018 season. Read more here.

Coaching Changes

On October 6, the Mets hired Tony DeFrancesco, formerly the Triple-A manager in the Houston Astros organization, to serve in the same capacity next season. DeFrancesco, who briefly managed in the major leagues with Houston in 2012, will join the 51s and replace Pedro Lopez, who will be reassigned within the organization. Read more here.

A week earlier, former 51s hitting coach Jack Voigt relayed via Twitter that he had been let go by the organization. Additionally, Las Vegas pitching coach Frank Viola and Binghamton pitching coach Glenn Abbott will swap positions in 2018.


On November 17, the Mets agreed to terms with former third-round pick Matt Purke, a right-handed pitcher who spent the 2017 season in the Chicago White Sox organization, to a minor league deal. Purke’s contract came with an invite to Spring Training. Read more here.

Five days later, the Mets inked veteran minor league outfielder Zach Borenstein to a contract. After representing Israel in the World Baseball Classic and hitting 24 home runs for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, Borenstein will attend major league Spring Training in February.

The Mets brought in former Nationals backstop Jose Lobaton on December 15, on a minor league deal that includes a spring training invite. Lobaton has hit .218 throughout eight major league seasons. Read more here.

With their final signing before the new year, the Mets agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Drew Gagnon. The former third-round pick has recorded a 4.84 ERA in 180 games over seven seasons. Read more here.


Three days after the Binghamton Rumble Ponies were eliminated from the Eastern League playoffs (effectively ending the organization’s minor league season), the Mets acquired RHP Eric Hanhold from the Milwaukee Brewers, as the player to be named later from the Neil Walker trade on August 12. Read more here.


Catcher Jeff Glenn was released from Las Vegas on September 22. Glenn served mainly as a bullpen catcher for the 51s, but did manage 47 at-bats, up from five in 2016.

The Mets began their annual purge of the minor leagues by releasing a slew of players on October 12. Among the players let go were Miguel Gutierrez and Scarlyn Reyes from the St. Lucie Mets, Cecilio Aybar, Franklin Correa, and Jose Geraldo from the Brooklyn Cyclones, Yeffry De Aza, Edwin German, Grabiel Jimenez, and Aneury Olivo from the Kingsport Mets, Luis Mateo and Luis Montero from the GCL Mets, and Gregori Advincola, Gilberto Espinoza, Yom Felipe, Tulio Garcia, Jose Guerrero, Michael Martinez, Miguel Pinedo, Joel Romero, and Rafael Valdez from the DSL Mets. Read more here.

On October 14, the Mets released Casey Delgado from the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Justin Brantley and Reed Gamache from the Columbia Fireflies, Joe Napolitano and Jeremy Wolf from the Brooklyn Cyclones, and Danny Hoy from the Kingsport Mets. Read more here.

Four days later, on October 18, the Mets parted ways with nine more players, including Enmanuel Zabala from the St. Lucie Mets, Keaton Aldridge, Marty Anderson, and Cameron Griffin from the Columbia Fireflies, and Leon Byrd, Gregorix Estevez, Kurtis Horne, Gunnar Kines, and Placido Torres from the Brooklyn Cyclones. Read more here.

Minor League Free Agents

The following players became minor league free agents on November 6: Jonathan Albaladejo, Mitch Atkins, Alberto Baldonado, Blake Beavan, Wilfredo Boscan, Cory Burns, Kevin Canelon, Xorge Carrillo, Victor Cruzado, Cody Decker, Erik GoeddelTom Gorzelanny, Donovan HandLuis Mateo, Jiovanni Mier, Craig Missigman, Victor Moscote, Gustavo Nunez, Pedro Perez, Tyler PillNatanael Ramos, J.C. Rodriguez, Josh Rodriguez, Ben Rowen, Travis Snider, Travis TaijeronNeil Wagner, Beck Wheeler.

On November 15, Canelon signed with the Cincinnati Reds.

On November 20, Taijeron signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On December 8, Baldonado signed with the Chicago Cubs.

On December 11, Wagner signed with the Seibu Lions (Japan).

On December 19, Goeddel signed with the Texas Rangers.

On January 12, Rowen signed with the Cincinnati Reds.

On January 16, Pill signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

On January 30, Carrillo signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Rule 5 Draft

In the major league phase of the draft, the Mets selected Burch Smith from the Tampa Bay Rays and promptly traded him to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations.

In the minor league phase, the Mets selected infielder Andrew Ely from the Chicago Cubs and lost left-handed pitcher Jose Carlos Medina to the San Diego Padres.

On November 20, the Mets added Tyler Bashlor, Gerson Bautista, Luis Guillorme, and Corey Oswalt to the 40-man roster, making them ineligible for the 2017 Rule 5 Draft. Read more here.

The following players were not placed on the major league reserve list, and were eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, which was held on December 14 during the Winter Meetings in Orlando: Eucebio Arias, Wuilmer BecerraPatrick Biondi, Matt Blackham, Zach BorensteinJayce Boyd, Brandon Brosher, Luis Carpio, Andrew Church, Nicolas Debora, Jeffrey Diehl, J.J. FrancoJose Garcia, Audry GermanMike Gibbons, Ben GrisetRonald Guedez, Mickey JannisRicky KnappJohnny MagliozziL.J. Mazzilli, Jeff McNeil, Jose Carlos Medina, Marbin MontijoTyler Moore, John MoraMatt Oberste, Alex Palsha, Tim Peterson, Colton Plaia, Josh Prevost, Matt PurkeDarwin Ramos, Walter Rasquin, David Roseboom, Ali Sanchez, Carlos Sanchez, Kelly Secrest, Luis Silva, Champ Stuart, Blake Taylor, Logan Taylor, Rigoberto Terrazas, Joshua TorresAdonis Uceta, Jhoan Urena, Ivan Wilson.

The following players were not placed on the Triple-A reserve list and were available for selection in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft: Arias, Biondi, Boyd, Debora, Franco, Gibbons, German, Griset, Guedez, Magliozzi, Medina, Montijo, Moore, Palsha, Wilson.


On October 3, former major leaguer Daniel Bard, who was signed by the Mets in June and spent the entire season on the disabled list, retired. Bard managed to pitch in one game for the GCL Mets on July 2 but did not play again. The 32-year-old pitched in 211 games from 2009 to 2013 for the Boston Red Sox.

On the same day, outfielder Jack Schneider, who was selected by the Mets in the 11th round of this year’s draft, announced his retirement. While no official reason was given, Schneider had been hit in the head with a pitch on July 17 after playing only three games. Certainly an odd development.


On September 22, the Mets announced the 73 minor leaguers that would take part in this year’s fall Instructional League, which ran from September 21 to October 13. The league, which normally features games against the Marlins, Cardinals, and Astros, only saw the Mets partake in intrasquad games, as Miami and St. Louis canceled their program due to the effects of Hurricane Irma in Florida. View the roster and read more here.

The Mets sent eight prospects to the 2017 Arizona Fall League, which began on October 10. The contingent, which joined the Scottsdale Scorpions, featured pitchers Mickey Jannis, Tim Peterson, Matt Pobereyko, and Kyle Regnault, catcher Tomas Nido, infielders Luis Guillorme and David Thompson, and outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski. Read more here and here.

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  • Out of place Met fan

    I expect Glenn to catch on as a coach within the organization.

    Leash was surprisingly short with a few of the low minors players. I am sure there is various reasons for it, just never made public. Somewhere among them is a Quintana

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  • Nessim Toledano

    The leash is more of a ‘market correction’. Under Minaya and De Podesta, the Mets have always had a lot of laggers in the lower levels who moved too slowly and were kept around longer they deserved to be, and every team from ‘A’ ball down was overaged. This just amounts to house cleaning. Is there a hidden jewel among the cast-offs? Quite possibly. But thats the nature of baseball. Losing a good one now and then is simply part of the cost of doing business in this environment.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Let’s put this into perspective: baseball is a system where only 6% of players in rookie ball make it to the majors – SOMEDAY.
    The Mets released about 30 players at rookie or short-A level. So statistically, maybe 2 of those would reach the majors someday, on average. But these weren’t average kids who were released. These were kids who’ve been vetted by the org for at least 3 or 4 years, now. So the success rate in this group would be even lower than the average. Maybe 1 would make the majors. And even when he reaches, he might turn out to be a scrub or a 4A player for a couple of years before disappearing for good.

  • Rocky Thompson

    I would not be surprised to see L.J. Mazzilli be granted a release.

  • John M Booth

    I feel for these young men. Being a season ticket holder in Columbia SC, I see so many young prospects go through here. Let them stay long enough to perfect their skills. Give them time and stop rushing to move them to St Lucie.

  • Nessim Toledano

    I see what you’re saying. But this was not an ordinary year, and these players do not typically get pushed up as they were this year. Most of the promotions from Columbia to St Lucie this year were not due to an aggressive organizational philosophy. It was simply because there were too many openings in St Lucie that needed to be filled due to injuries and other circumstances.
    That said, it may happen again next year, simply because there is a lack of talent at the AA and advanced A levels. Unfortunately, that is the price that everyone in a baseball organization pays when the org lacks enough capable prospects to fill out every roster.
    But statistically speaking, only about 1 in 6 players who reach single-A actually go on to appear in a major league game. Minor league baseball is and has always been governed by the Peter Principle (everyone will be promoted to their level of incompetence). And most of these kids will “Peter” out somewhere along the way, regardless of how they are handled. So, yeah, these players are sometimes viewed and treated like filler (or fodder) by the organization. That is what these kids signed up for when they chose to pursue a career n baseball.

  • Nessim Toledano

    No, it wouldn’t be a surprise. If the decision is based purely on performance and age, then yeah, he’d be gone soon.
    But every org has (and needs) non-prospects who can just fill out a roster. Mazzilli’s “value” to the org at this point stems from the fact they can move him around or yank him up and down wherever and whenever they want without any concern for how it might affect his psyche or development. If a spot needs to be filled in Vegas, but that player is just going to ride the bench and get used sparingly, Maz is better suited for that assignment than a real prospect who will benefit more from the playing time in AA than bench time in AAA.

  • Rocky Thompson

    IMO Maz knows the Mets look at him as filler and will ask for his release so he can go to an organization that views him more favorably.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Yeah, that thought has occurred to me also. But what organization would view him in any different light? At 27 and after three seasons in AA with barely mediocre results and no significant improvement, there probably isn’t much of a market for him as anything other than filler.

  • Joe PAC

    What’s the status of Wilmer Becerra? I know the mets removed him from the 40 man roster recently… Does that mean he’s a minor league free agent? Or is he eligible for the rule 5 draft?

  • TexasGusCC

    He is eligible for Rule 5, but he’s still Mets property. FYI, he is doing terrible in winter ball so far.

  • Joe PAC

    Thanks, too bad, is he playing the of or 1b?

  • Nessim Toledano

    The level of play in winter ball this point in the season is higher than anything Becerra has faced thus far. So his performance doesn’t mean much and his playing time will diminish a lot as the major leaguers get down there.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Lets keep this in perspective. He’s at best a secondary prospect or consideration for the Mets at this point: he’s a free agent after next year and he’s coming off of a weak season in advanced-A. And there are other, now more promising prospects who will be Rule 5 eligible next year making his addition to the 40-man even less plausible. And if the Mets do add him, they’ll have only two options left on him. If they don’t think he will be a major leaguer before those options run out, they will be much less likely to add him. He needs a monster year in order to get added back onto the 40, or else he’ll be gone as a free agent.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Also worth noting:
    As John Booth brought to light in another thread/post, Columbia Fireflies manager Jose Leger has left the Mets organization and is taking a job as the director of the St. Louis Cardinals’ Dominican baseball academy. The Mets have not formally announced the departure, but Leger himself made the announcement on November 16th.