New York Mets
As it turns out, right-handed reliever Blaine Boyer has a March 31 out in his minor league contract, which was not widely known. That puts him on a far more level playing field against the relievers he is competing with who are out of options, and may very well put Boyer atop the field to claim the final bullpen spot.
There are five apparent no-brainers for the bullpen: Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, D.J. Carrasco, Taylor Buchholz and Tim Byrdak. Rule 5 pick Pedro Beato appears in good shape for a sixth spot.
And Boyer just may be chosen over Jason Isringhausen, Manny Acosta, Pat Misch and Mike O'Connor for the final spot -- even if that means exposing Acosta and Misch to waivers. One Mets official and one person in the clubhouse have been maintaing for a while that Boyer had a very good chance.
The Mets have been down the road of having veteran players break down during a season because of injury, which may give serious pause to placing Isringhausen on the roster. O'Connor is on a minor league contract.
Boyer, 29, has a 1.13 ERA with seven strikeouts and two walks in eight Grapefruit League innings. He went 3-2 with a 4.26 ERA in 54 relief appearances for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.