NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — It was supposed to be a competition.
Mets first basemen Ike Davis and Lucas Duda were expected to fight for the starting job this spring, but both were hampered by injuries and had limited at-bats.
It remains to be seen who will win the job, but general manager Sandy Alderson confirmed on Tuesday that both power hitters will be on the Opening Day roster.
Davis is 5-for-20 with two homers, two doubles and six RBIs. He’s also walked twice and scored four times.
Duda is 3-for-15 with two homers, a double and three RBIs.
Duda has made one error, while Davis has been flawless in the field.
New York also announced it paid Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is at spring training with a minor-league contract, $100,000 to retain him. The team had to decide by noon whether to inform the pitcher he will make the Opening Day roster, pay him $100,000 to keep him on a minor-league deal or release him.
Matsuzaka is competing with Jenrry Mejia to be the Mets’ fifth starter. Both pitchers are scheduled to throw in exhibition games against the Toronto Blue Jays in Montreal this weekend.
“The competition is still open,” Alderson said. “It doesn’t mean the competition is going to be determined exclusively on those two outings, but we weren’t prepared to make a final decision today. But we did have by today to preserve our right to Dice-K, so we’ve done that. We’ll see what happens over the weekend, but we certainly wanted Dice-K with us.
“We either had to put him on the team today and essentially make him the fifth starter or pay the $100,000. We went with the cash.'”
Matsuzaka would get a $1.5 million, one-year contract if added to the big-league roster plus the chance to earn $1.3 million in bonuses based on innings and $500,000 in bonuses based on starts.
Alderson said the team will not consider using Mejia as a reliever. Mejia has said the past two years that he wants to start, not come out of the bullpen.
Notes: LHP Jonathon Niese (elbow inflammation) will start the season on the DL and will be available on April 6. … Reliever Kyle Farnsworth, who was released by the Mets on Sunday, rode on the team bus to Viera and was scheduled to pitch against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, but had not signed a new contract with the club. Alderson expects Farnsworth to be re-signed soon. … Alderson said CF Juan Lagares is the team’s best defensive outfielder, but he has to produce more at the plate. If Lagares is not the team’s starting center fielder, he likely would start the season in Triple-A Las Vegas.
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