New York Mets Bullpen Hopeful Blaine Boyer Has an Opt-Out Which Could Shake Up the Bullpen Competition
Well, just when I was feeling good about my 25-man roster prediction, a monkey wrench has been throw into my plans.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York has discovered that right-hander Blaine Boyer has an opt-out clause in his contract and can become a free agent on March 31st if he is sent down to the minor leagues.
When I did my roster prediction, I left Boyer off the team because I assumed, like most people did, that Boyer could be stashed in the minor leagues to start the season and be the first man up when the Mets needed him.
But now it appears that is not the case, and Boyer may have the inside track at the final bullpen spot after all.
When I went down to Port St. Lucie a few weeks ago, Boyer was the most eye-opening arm in camp to me. I saw him pitch two innings of shutout ball with three swinging strikeouts against the Cardinals, hitting 94 mph on the radar gun. He also pitched well a few days later against the Nationals.
Boyer has allowed only one run this spring in eight innings, with seven strikeouts and two walks, good for a 1.13 Grapefruit League ERA.
I originally had Boyer joining Mike O'Connor, Pat Misch and Manny Acosta as players on the bubble who would not crack the Opening Day roster, but now I'm re-thinking it.
If it comes down to Blaine Boyer and Jason Isringhausen for the final roster spot, I would seriously consider saying a very tough goodbye to Izzy and keeping the 29-year-old Boyer.
But I'm torn, I really am. Boyer has never really put up any breathtaking numbers in his MLB career, posting a career ERA of 4.63 and a career xFIP of 4.23 in parts of six seasons in the big leagues.
Isringhausen has a lot of experience, and knows how to get batters out at the major league level. It's not like he's the only one with injury issues. Boyer has been injured a decent amount in his young career as well.
Perhaps they could stash Isringhausen on the disabled list to start the season and carry Boyer for the first week or so to see if it sorts itself out.
Should we really be worried about losing Blaine Boyer? A 29-year-old journeyman with unspectacular career numbers? I really don't know. But he's pitched so well this spring I'd really like to give him a shot.
The decision to keep Isringhausen and risk letting Boyer walk could be the most difficult decision the Mets make before they break camp.
Isringhausen will retire if he does not make the team, Boyer may walk as a free agent. Who do the Mets decide to keep? This is one problem I don't think anybody could've forseen six weeks ago, that's for sure.
If I was a betting man, I think the more experienced Isringhausen gets the nod, just barely. Boyer has been spectacular this spring, but how can we know he's for real?
Just a week or so away from Opening Day, it'll be interesting to see what the Mets do.
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