The Mets have protected four prospects from this December's Rule 5 Draft by adding them to their 40-man roster in advance of Wednesday's deadline.
INF Andres Gimenez, LHP Thomas Szapucki, RHP Jordan Humphreys, and C Ali Sanchez were all added, bringing the Mets' 40-man roster from 36 to 40.
In order to make room on the roster, the Mets DFA'd Drew Gagnon, who is reportedly close to a deal to play in the KBO in Korea.
Under the rules of the Rule 5 Draft, players who were signed when they were 19 years old or older and have played in professional baseball for four years are eligible to be selected, as well as players who were signed at 18 years old and have played in professional baseball for five years.
Teams ordinarily protect players who are closer to major league ready than others, since any team who selects a player in the Rule 5 Draft must keep him on their 25-man roster for the entirety of the next season or offer him back to his prior club.
The 21-year-old Gimenez, widely viewed as one of the Mets' top prospects, reached Double-A Binghamton in 2019 and won the AFL batting title earlier this fall. He was a lock to be protected and could make his Mets debut at some point in 2020.
Also viewed as a lock to be protected was the 23-year-old Szapucki, who was promoted to Binghamton toward the end of this past season and will likely open the 2020 season there. Had a team selected Szapucki, they could've potentially tried to keep him by stashing him on their roster as a reliever.
The 23-year-old Humphreys' progress through the minors has been delayed due to Tommy John surgery and ulnar nerve surgery that have cost him most of the last two seasons, but he still has No.4 starter upside, according to SNY contributor Joe DeMayo.
Sanchez, 22, reached Triple-A Syracuse in 2019 and profiles as a potential backup in the majors.
With the Mets' 40-man roster now full, they will have to clear space if/when they add external players this offseason.
Potetnial roster casualties could include RHPs Chris Mazza and Stephen Nogosek, and catcher Tomas Nido.