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DePo: Few prospects to 40-man roster

The Mets, like all teams, need to add prospects eligible for the Rule 5 draft to the 40-man roster by Nov. 20 in order to protect them.

Paul DePodesta tells ESPNNewYork.com that the Mets likely will not add more than a handful of additional prospects. The 40-man roster currently is at 36. DePodesta did note that the Mets already added center fielder Matt den Dekker and catcher Juan Centeno late in the season, who otherwise would have been eligible.

So who gets added?

lastname Walterslastname deGrom Right-handers Jacob deGrom and Jeff Walters would appear no-brainers.

DeGrom figures to be in spring training competing for a rotation spot, although a midseason call-up appears far more likely. Walters, who set Binghamton's single-season and career saves records with 38 this past season, should be a Mets bullpen factor in 2014.

Beyond that, there do not appear to be clear-cut choices.

The most interesting debate may be left-hander Steven Matz, the Mets' top pick in 2009, out of Ward Melville High School on Long Island.

Matz's career basically stalled for two full seasons after signing because of a long recovery from Tommy John surgery. So Matz only competed at Savannah this past year, despite turning 22 early in the season.

Would another team really keep Matz on the big league roster for a full year off a season at low-A?

Remember, the object is to protect as few people are possible, so that the Mets maximize 40-man maneuverability in-season. Of course, they have to weigh the risk of losing someone, and how painful that loss would be.

Among the others eligible who would appear to merit consideration for being added to the 40-man roster: outfielder Cory Vaughn (currently in the Arizona Fall League), left-hander Chase Huchingson, left-hander Adam Kolarek, right-hander Erik Goeddel, outfielder Darrell Ceciliani, third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez and left-hander Hamilton Bennett.

There is an interesting twist with Huchingson, a reliever who was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Central Arkansas in 2010. The southpaw was slapped with a 50-game suspension on Aug. 26 for a second violation involving a drug of abuse. If he were to be added to the 40-man roster, that minor league suspension would disappear -- well, at least not need to be served until Huchingson at some point ended up bounced from the 40-man roster later in his career.

Players are eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the first time:

• If they were 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft upcoming, or

• If they were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is fourth Rule 5 draft upcoming.

That very roughly translates to players drafted out of college in 2010, and anyone else who signed in 2009.