The Mets face the potential departure of a big portion of their MLB position players after the season, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. But the organization still hopes to fill many holes without going outside the organization. “I don’t think we will have to sign five free agents,” says assistant GM John Ricco. “Some of the answers will come from within, and I think between now and July we will get a better idea of what we have and what we need.” It’s certainly possible to imagine veteran Jose Reyes playing any number of roles this year and beyond; per Ricco, the team is confident that it would be able to work out a new deal to keep him if there’s a sensible role available.
Here’s more from the NL East:
- Phillies righty Aaron Nola showed well in his spring debut, representing a notable step in his recovery from an elbow injury, as Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports. Nola, 23, showed good velocity and looked sharp, though perhaps that was to be expected. The big question for Nola and the Phils is whether his arm can stay healthy for the full season to come.
- Speaking of the Nola clan, older brother Austin Nola is attempting to convert into a catcher with the Marlins, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. Nola, 27, has never really hit much in the minors and struggled to a .261/.308/.376 batting line last year over 407 Triple-A plate appearances. Nevertheless, he was given a 40-man roster spot as he makes the transition to a new position.
- Star Nationals hurler Stephen Strasburg will make his own spring debut tomorrow, as Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com reports on Twitter. He says he’s feeling healthy after missing the end of the 2016 season with a forearm strain. As ever, Strasburg’s health will be a key factor for the Nats in 2017.
- It seems the Braves are leaning toward carrying eight relievers to open the year, as Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. Roster considerations could be at least a partial consideration, as Atlanta has several out-of-options relievers to consider. Going with a four-man bench would likely leave Kurt Suzuki, Jace Peterson, and Chase d’Arnaud on the roster with Emilio Bonifacio battling with Micah Johnson for the final spot, Bowman writes.