Only days until we'll know what numbers the Mets will issue to their new personnel, and there's a lot of it. That includes at least 12 guys on the 40-man roster yet to have been issued a number, and at least a dozen more with spring training invites. And that doesn't include the couple of brand-name goods they may still buy this spring, Brandon Lyon (frequently but not always, 38) and Michael Bourne (most recently, 24 with Atlanta).
Let's start with a few good guesses. Shawn Marcum wore 18 last year with Milwaukee. That gives me an uncomfortable 10-year flashback to Jeff D'Amico, like Marcum a veteran junkball pitcher via Milwaukee, recovering from an injury, wearing 18. But that would require Tim Teufel changes his shirt (could Ruben Tejada surrender 11 in a chain reaction?) Marcum also has some equity in 28, although that belongs to Daniel Murphy. 38 would work as long as they don't issue it to Lyon should he come aboard.
Frank Francisco wore No. 50 throughout his career, but the Mets did not issue that last year and Francisco took 48. We could see him switch this year.
John Buck, acquired in the Dickey deal, wears 14 most frequently but with that retired here could wear 4 or if he dares, 44. Travis D'Arnaud appears to prefer 16. Zach Wheeler, as per his Twitter handle, appears to prefer 45, which is available. Omar Quintanila is back on a minor league deal and could reacquire No. 6, and Josh Satin could take back No. 3, but no guarantees for either. Finally there's the complicated case of Pedro Feliciano, who's worn 55, 39 and 25 in his Met stints. Who knows what they give him this time. His coming back to the Mets without having appeared at all for the Yankees and their arrogant general manager is about the greatest thing ever. I'm less certain he's got anything left, but that's what the invite is for.
The rest of the new guys are more or less unknown quanties and likely to take what's given them.
The following numbers are currently un-issued: 3,4 ,6, 12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, 30, 40, 43-47, 50, 55, 56, 58, 60, 61, 63-65, 67-72, 74-99, not to mention 0 and 00.
The following players need assignment, as per the Mets official roster: Pitchers Greg Burke, Gonzalez German, Darrin Gorski, Marcum, Hansel Robles and Wheeler; Catchers Buck, D'Arnaud,and Anthony Recker, infielders Brandon Hicks and Wilfredo Tovar; and outfielder Collin Cowgill.
Nonroster invitees awaiting unis: Pitchers Scot Atchison, Feliciano, LaTroy Hawkins, Aaron Laffey, Cory Mazzoni, Rafael Montero, and Carlos Torres; Catchers Juan Centeno and Landon Powell; Infielders Brian Bixler and Satin; and outfielders Andrew Brown, Marlon Byrd and Matt den Dekker.
See you in St. Lucie!
(Headline influence by Lindsay Buckingham).