The Mets would like to fit Miguel Batista on the Opening Day roster in the bullpen, but there very likely will not be any last-day drama.
Batista is the only player in Mets camp who falls under a new collective-bargaining stipulation requiring a player to be notified five days before Opening Day whether he has made the team. If Batista -- who is on a minor league deal -- were somehow to be informed five days out that he did not make the squad, the Mets either would be required to cut him a $100,000 check to get him to go to Triple-A or make him a free agent.
Players eligible for the roster retention bonus in a general sense are those who played in the majors last season and signed minor league contracts. Rob Johnson, despite catching in the majors last season, technically is not eligible, assistant GM John Ricco said.
• Tim Byrdak’s ailing left knee will be examined by team doctor Struan Coleman on Monday morning in Port St. Lucie.
“We’ll go from there and see what’s going on,” Byrdak said. “It was something, working out in the offseason, there was a little discomfort. I actually felt it when I went to sit on the couch one day. I went to put my foot underneath me and I said I really didn’t feel right. But there was no injury, no pop, no sudden movement that tweaked it. It’s been something kind of nagging around. I was pitching with it this whole time. It’s still kind of there. I sought treatment for it and it wasn’t really responding to the treatment. We’re going to have the doctor look at it tomorrow and see where we go from there.”
• Mike Nickeas went into camp with a leg up as backup catcher because the organization knows him and he already is on the 40-man roster, but that’s not an automatic ticket. And at least one scout praised Johnson again Sunday.
I’ve presumed that with the Mets likely needing to clear 40-man roster spots for two backup outfielders (assuming Scott Hairston lands on the DL) that Nickeas would have a large advantage over Johnson. After all, Johnson would need to be added to the 40-man roster too. But, a team insider noted, Nickeas very likely would clear waivers, so the catchers could just be swapped on the 40-man roster without the need to otherwise free space.
I’m not necessarily predicting that’s the way it’s headed, but it could. And that does provide some further clarity on the potential maneuver.
• Listing Pedro Beato for Wednesday’s trip to Lakeland is very likely too ambitious. Beato, who has dealt with right shoulder inflammation, has not even returned to a mound yet.