In an afternoon post to MLB Trade Rumors yesterday, it was determined that the Mets have three players who have less than five years of service time, and who are out of minor league options. As a result, these players would need to pass through waivers if the Mets wished to demote them to AAA Las Vegas. In that instance, the Mets would run the risk of losing them if they are claimed by another team. Those players in question are Ruben Tejada, Eric Young Jr. and Carlos Torres, all of whom appear destined to head north with the team with camp breaks later this month.
To date, Ruben Tejada remains the front runner for the starting shortstop gig. His role however probably the least secure of the three. He has not had a strong spring to date and has battled a sore hamstring. With the Mets seemingly in the market all winter for an upgrade, Tejada would quickly find himself on the bench if they pull the trigger.
Young Jr. also finds himself the front runner for a starting spot, although that designation comes with significant controversy and is likely because of his perceived ability to lead off. That said, even if he doesn't start, he is almost certainly the first man off the bench in late game situation. His spot on the roster is firm.
Finally, Carlos Torres is expected to make the team out of the bullpen as the long man. He has pitched well this spring and shined in the role last season. He can also spot-start if necessary. However, bullpens are always in flux and relieves are often struggle at some point during the season. That, combined with the fact that the Mets' farm system is going to graduate a few young arms this summer and Torres is the most likely of the three to find his way to the waiver wire during 2014.
Interestingly enough, two players who aren't on this list are Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, meaning the Mets can demote whomever doesn't end up with the starting first base gig. This gives the team a bit of flexibility, as they won't have to worry about losing there "depth" at first base no matter who they decide is the better fit early on.