Mets cut Ronny Paulino and Mike Baxter

The Mets cut Ronny Paulino and Mike Baxter tonight (making them free agents), which puts the team’s 40-man roster at 38.

Mike Pelfrey, Manny Acosta, Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres were tendered contracts and offered salary arbitration.

The team has yet to officially announce the signings of Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco, both of whom will need to be added to the 40-man roster.

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Matthew Cerrone: Paulino would have likely earned around $1.5 million, had the Mets tendered him a deal. However, though that is probably market value for his performance, multiple reports over the last month or so have indicated there are concerns about his lack of preparation and way about the clubhouse. More important, he was taking up space on the roster… At this point, I expect the Mets to either sign a free-agent catcher to a minor league deal or simply commit to Mike Nickeas to be Josh Thole’s back-up to start the season.

In regards to Pelfrey and Acosta, it’s a no-brainer to bring them back.

During the winter Meetings, the Mets talked to other team’s about Pelfrey to gauge his value. I know he can be frustrating to watch at times. However, when you look at how the market for starting pithing is playing out, he and his 200 innings will be worth the $6 million he is likely to get next year. It’s worth noting he was probably worth twice that in 2010, despite earning significantly less. Pelfrey is a free agent at the end of next season.

Acosta has been a good relief pitcher, especially for the $1 million he is likely to earn next season. It’s easy to forget about him, but he’s been rather consistent over the last two seasons and, frankly, he’s been better than Rauch, as well as many of the other free-agent options the team has been rumored to have had interest in this winter.

Lastly, in regards to Baxter, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him re-sign with the Mets on a new minor-league deal, at which point he could get sent back to Triple-A.

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In addition, infielders Ryan Theriot, Will Rhymes and Jeff Keppinger, starting pitchers Joe Saunders and Andy Sonnanstine, outfielder Luke Scott, catchers Jason Jamarillo and Koyie Hill, and relievers Clay Hensley and Hong-Chi Kuo were all non-tendered by their respective teams and are now free to sign with new teams.

To see a full, running list of non-tendered players, check out MLB Trade Rumors.




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