By my estimations, this is the 25-man roster I could see the Mets going into 2011 with if the season started tomorrow -
Starting Lineup – Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Ike Davis, Jason Bay, Josh Thole, Daniel Murphy.
Bench – Ronny Paulino, Brad Emaus, Luis Castillo, Luis Hernandez, Lucas Duda.
Starting Rotation – Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, R.A. Dickey, Chris Capuano, Dillon Gee.
Bullpen – Oliver Perez, Manny Acosta, Taylor Buchholz, Pat Misch, D.J. Carrasco, Bobby Parnell, Francisco Rodriguez.
Of those 25 players, the ones I see most likely being replaced by opening day are Luis Castillo, Luis Hernandez, Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Oliver Perez, and Pat Misch. Thats 6 spots that are subject to change depending on moves made from now until opening day as well as camp battles that will unfold.
Sandy Alderson will most likely sign one more starting pitcher. My bet is still on Chris Young. So stick Dillon Gee in AAA as insurance. Also expect Alderson to sign a lefty reliever eventually. Right now he’s in wait-mode to see which one of his choices price drops the lowest. Names like Tim Byrdak, Clay Rapada, Taylor Tankersley, Ron Mahay, Joe Beimel, Will Ohman, and Dennys Reyes are all possibilities. A 4th Outfielder is also a possibility for a bargain bin signing eventually. I have extreme doubts the Mets plan to use Lucas Duda in that role to start the season.
Camp Battles are also going to have an affect on the final 25-man roster. Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus, Luis Hernandez, Luis Castillo, and Chin-Lung Hu will all compete for the 2B job in spring training. I see only 2-3 of those guys actually making the roster. I see Lucas Duda and Fernando Martinez competing for the 4th OF job if the Mets don’t sign anyone. Terry Collins has already gone on record saying he will give F-Mart a shot at winning the job in the Spring. I see no chance in hell that Oliver Perez makes the opening day roster. He’s pitched awful over the winter and shows no sign of improving anytime soon. Pat Misch will probably find him himself in AAA as insurance or waived. However if we sign just one more SP and a Lefty Reliever, then theres a chance Misch or Perez makes the team as the 25th man in a Long Reliever position since Gee will be sent to AAA. My money would be on Misch winning that battle.
Either way the 25-man roster is far from set. Over 20% of the roster is in question going into camp. Lot’s of fun battles are likely to unfold over Spring. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.