LHs Freeman, Cedeno should be available

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Other teams' leftovers may not be an upgrade over what the Mets already have in camp. But there should be at least limited left-handed relief help available late in spring training if the Mets feel compelled to go outside the organization.

lastname Cedenolastname Freeman Sources told ESPNNewYork.com that Cardinals left-hander Sam Freeman and Nationals left-hander Xavier Cedeno both are out of options and unlikely to make their clubs' Opening Day rosters. That means they either need to be traded, or their clubs must try to pass them through waivers to send them to the minors to open the season.

The Mets appear in a similar predicament with outfielder Cesar Puello.

Freeman, 27, has a career 3.33 ERA in 81 relief appearances with the Cardinals spanning the past three seasons. Still, he's not exactly a lefty specialist. In the majors, lefty batters are hitting .278 and righty batters are hitting .188 against him. In 20 1/3 innings last season at Triple-A Memphis, he had an equally unimpressive .313/.278 lefty-righty split.

Cedeno, 28, has a 5.19 ERA in 72 career relief appearances with the Astros and Nats since 2011. Lefty batters have hit .255 and righty batters have hit .343 against him in the majors.

The plan may change if Josh Edgin will miss a prolonged period with elbow trouble and left-handed relief candidates in camp continue to underperform. At least at this point in camp, though, the Mets apparently intend to stick with what they have and identify a lefty reliever from among Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin, Scott Rice, Dario Alvarez and Jack Leathersich.

In Saturday's 13-4 win against Washington, Rice logged a scoreless inning to shave his Grapefruit League ERA to 9.82. He did allow a leadoff single to lefty-hitting Tony Gwynn Jr.

One scout also identified Nats left-hander Jerry Blevins as potentially available, although he is due to make $2.4 million.