2018 Mets Rule 5 and Minor League Free Agency Watchlist: End of Season Update

By Jacob Resnick

September 11, 2018 No comments


With the 2018 minor league season complete, it’s time to shift the focus towards the offseason calendar. This includes the dates that free agents become free, and players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft need to be protected. Looking at the current organizational rosters, 24 players are scheduled to become free agents, while another 61 will be Rule 5 eligible. The names below have been confirmed by official sources.

Unless the Mets add a prospective free agent to the 40-man roster on or before the fifth day following the World Series, all 24 players will be free to sign with any team. While those players are technically Rule 5 eligible as well, the deadline to protect the remaining 61 is November 20.

Of course, the Mets will not have to make a decision on all 85 players, as many will be released before the aforementioned dates. However, the current statuses can be broken down into the following groups.  The format of this article was adapted from the good folks over at TheCubReporter.com.

Players Eligible for Minor League Free Agency:

Rule 55 “Six-Year” Minor League Free Agents

OF Wuilmer Becerra

RHP Nabil Crismatt

RHP Nicolas Debora

OF John Mora

RHP Logan Taylor

OF Jhoan Urena

The six players above simply weren’t able to conquer the minor league beast before their contracts expired. Taylor was the Mets’ 11th-round draft pick in 2012, Becerra was acquired in the Noah Syndergaard trade with the Toronto Blue Jays that same winter, while the others were signed as international free agents (Debora, Mora, and Urena from the Dominican Republic and Crismatt from Colombia). There was an outside chance that Crismatt could have been added to the 40-man roster to prevent him from walking away, but after running into a brick wall in nine starts in Las Vegas, that seems less likely now.

Rule 55 “Second Contract” Minor League Free Agents

INF Cody Asche

LHP Buddy Baumann

OF Zach Borenstein

OF Ezequiel Carrera

INF Christian Colon

RHP Matt Gage

C Jeff Glenn

RHP Zac Grotz

RHP Cody Martin

OF Levi Michael

LHP Matt Purke

OF Kevin Taylor

INF Joey Terdoslavich

An inordinate amount of injuries at the upper levels in 2018 forced the Mets to sign 15 players to minor league contracts before and during the season. There were bright spots, like Michael, the former first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins who finished fourth in the organization in hits (121) despite missing the last month of the season with a jaw injury, and Borenstein, whose 25 home runs were second among Mets minor leaguers to only Peter Alonso.

Post-2018 Article XX(D) Minor League Free Agents

RHP Chris Beck

OF Bryce Brentz

RHP Scott Copeland

OF Matt den Dekker

INF Ty Kelly

These five were outrighted off the 40-man roster in 2018 for the second time in their careers, meaning they can elect free agency a bit earlier than the others, from October 2 through the 15th. den Dekker received the most playing time of the group, recording 21 major league plate appearances in his second stint with the organization. Brentz was claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates right before the start of the regular season and was immediately removed from the roster.

Players Eligible for Selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft:

First-Time Eligibles

INF Giovanny Alfonzo (Second contract player signed for 2019)

INF Dale Burdick

RHP Yeudy Colon

LHP Seth Davis

C Anthony Dimino

OF Anthony Dirocie

INF Edgardo Fermin

RHP Harol Gonzalez

LHP Daniel Guzman

LHP Taylor Henry

RHP Carlos Hernandez

INF Kenny Hernandez

LHP Joel Huertas

RHP Chase Ingram

RHP Jurgen Jimenez

OF Kevin Kaczmarski

C Luis Lebron

RHP Nelson Leon

RHP Gabriel Llanes

INF Domingo Martinez

C Patrick Mazeika

RHP Thomas McIlraith

OF Jose Medina

INF Hansel Moreno

RHP Jose Moreno

INF Oliver Pascual

LHP Kyle Regnault

RHP Luc Rennie (Second contract player signed for 2019)

INF Yoel Romero

RHP Joe Shaw

RHP Corey Taylor

INF David Thompson

INF Dylan Tice (Second contract player signed for 2019)

RHP Joshua Torres (Second contract player signed for 2019)

C Juan Uriarte

Non-First-Time Eligibles

OF Patrick Biondi

RHP Matt Blackham

INF Jose Brizuela (Second contract player signed for 2019)

INF Luis Carpio

INF Andrew Ely

INF J.J. Franco (Second contract player signed for 2019)

RHP Mike Gibbons

RHP Mickey Jannis(Second contract player signed for 2019)

RHP Ricky Knapp

RHP Kevin McGowan

RHP Marbin Montijo

C Tyler Moore

INF Dionis Paulino

C Colton Plaia

RHP Josh Prevost

RHP Darwin Ramos

INF Walter Rasquin

LHP David Roseboom

C Ali Sanchez

C Carlos Sanchez

RHP Ronald Sanchez (Second contract player signed for 2019)

RHP Luis Silva

OF Champ Stuart

LHP Blake Taylor

INF Rigoberto Terrazas

RHP Adonis Uceta

It’s difficult to envision a scenario in which the Mets actually add minor leaguers to their 40-man roster this offseason. That’s because they’ll need to subtract from it to get under the limit by the fifth day after the end of the World Series when the 10 players on the 60-day disabled list need to be reinstated. Since the Mets only have six pending free agents, they’ll have to make up the difference by way of trades, releases, or outright assignments.

Draft-Excluded Players

During the course of the 2018 regular season, the Mets have selected the contracts of Copeland, den Dekker, Phillip Evans (two times), Drew Gagnon, Eric Hanhold, Kaczmarski, Kelly, Jose Lobaton (three times), Tim Peterson, Drew Smith, Bobby Wahl, and Daniel Zamora to the major league roster. Because Hanhold and Zamora were selected after August 15 and would have been eligible for the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, they cannot be sent outright to the minor leagues from five days after the end of the World Series until 20 days prior to opening day in 2019.