Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
In a somewhat unique situation, catcher Devin Mesoraco plans to retire because the Mets refuse to grant his release.
The Mets have the right to expect Mesoraco will honor his minor league contract, but agent B.B. Abbott says his client would prefer a situation in which he has a better chance to play in the majors.
After falling behind Tomas Nido in spring training, particularly on defense, Mesoraco slid to fifth on the depth chart, behind Wilson Ramos, Travis d'Arnaud, Nido and the newly-signed Rene Rivera.
The Mets do not want to treat Mesoraco differently than any of their other veterans in the situation, like Rajai Davis and Adeiny Hechevarria. The team told Mesoraco and Abbott it did not want to set a precedent of allowing players under contract to walk, especially considering no teams claimed Mesoraco during their recent window to do so.
"That part I understand," Abbott told SNY. "I guess the part that's a little troubling for me is what Devin was told before he signed: If the team signed with three catchers then you're the guy, and if d'Arnaud is not ready then you're the guy."
It didn't work out that way. D'Arnaud is expected to begin the season on the injured list, but Mesoraco was not going to make the club.
Abbott was not angry as he spoke, and stressed that Mesoraco wasn't either. Still, he wants a better opportunity.
"He feels as if he was -- not misled, because the team certainly had a right to make whatever decisions they wanted on personnel," Abbott said. "But with what was communicated to Devin, I would think they might be willing to make an exception."
The Mets say GM Brodie Van Wagenen will address all roster decisions later this week in Washington, where the team opens.
Abbott pointed to Mesoraco's positive experience last year working with Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler (Abbott also represents Wheeler) as reasons why the Mets might have given him a break.
"Devin is not mad," Abbott said. "Devin comes at this very professionally. He says, 'I do not have a problem with the New York Mets making the decision not to be on the roster. Having said that, I know what was told to me.' How Jacob and Zack were calling Brodie and saying, 'bring Mes back.' That's why we feel Devin is a special case and should have an opportunity to do something."
Mesoraco is likely willing to go to Triple-A for a different organization, provided there is a better path to the major leagues than with the Mets.
"This is not sour grapes," Abbot said. "He said, 'You have the absolute right to evaluate your roster any way you want to. Having said that, what was communicated to me didn't come to fruition, so you should allow me the opportunity to go elsewhere."
Abbott reiterated that Mesoraco will not report to Syracuse, and will instead retire.
"Yes, that's his plan," Abbott said. "He's willing to go to Triple-A [with another club]. At this point in his career he just wants a path."