Justin Hampson taken off 40-man roster, becomes free agent

Justin Hampson has been removed from the 40-man roster, and is now a free agent, the team announced.

In 13 relief appearances for the Mets in 2012, Hampson, 32, went 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA in ten innings – left-handed hitters hit just .150 against him in 23 plate appearances.

Hampson is 5-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 92 big league games with the Rockies, Padres and Mets since 2006.

Michael Baron, Contributor

The Mets 40-man roster currently stands at 39, but with Dillon Gee eventually needing to come off the 60-day disabled list (and assuming a 40-man roster spot) as well the requirement to add players such as Zack Wheeler and Darin Gorski to the 40-man roster so to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, the Mets need to clear some roster spots. The Mets will likely have players vacating other spots on the 40-man as a result of free agency, but the Mets need more roster flexibility to decide who to protect from the Rule 5 draft as well as adding other players from outside the organization. 

Minor League players who have accumulated four seasons and were signed before age 19 (or five years and were signed before age 18) and have not been added to the 40-man roster are vulnerable to Rule 5 draft exposure on December 6 at the Winter Meetings.