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Mets face decision on out-of-options Montero

MLB.com @basebollie

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It's a make-or-break Spring Training for right-hander Rafael Montero. The veteran hurler is out of Minor League options.

Montero was added to the Mets' 40-man roster as a 23-year-old back in 2014. He has since been demoted to the Minors for more than 20 days three times, meaning he cannot be sent down again without having to clear outright waivers.

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It's a make-or-break Spring Training for right-hander Rafael Montero. The veteran hurler is out of Minor League options.

Montero was added to the Mets' 40-man roster as a 23-year-old back in 2014. He has since been demoted to the Minors for more than 20 days three times, meaning he cannot be sent down again without having to clear outright waivers.

View Full Game Coverage

The now-27-year-old Montero has been with New York since his debut in 2014, going 6-16 with a 5.38 ERA in 192 1/3 innings over parts of four seasons. In '17, the hurler was transitioned from reliever to starter, though without much success: He went 5-8 with a 5.08 ERA in 18 starts.

Montero has not exactly lit it up this spring, either. He's allowed 10 runs (seven earned) in six innings. He's struck out seven batters, but he's also walked five.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

If the Mets believe Montero could be of use either as a fifth starter or a long-relief bullpen arm early in the season, they may elect to keep him. Clubs will sometimes carry an out-of-options player to begin the year so they do not end up losing that player through waivers.

The Mets would not comment on what they plan to do with Montero, but with 10 days remaining in big league camp, the club has a decision to make. The two other out-of-options players for New York are Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki, both of whom are virtual locks to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Vargas injured in Minors game
Left-hander Jason Vargas, who pitched four-plus innings in a Minor League game Friday, departed in the fifth inning after being struck by a comebacker on his glove hand.

Vargas was taken for X-rays after throwing 55 pitches in the game, and he was deemed day to day by the Mets. He allowed a run on three hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Cespedes still day to day
Slugger Yoenis Cespedes remains day to day with a wrist injury that occurred while swinging in last Tuesday's game. He played three times since, but tweaked the injury and underwent X-rays on Wednesday. He hasn't swung or thrown since, but said he hopes to return to the lineup on Monday.

"We'll see," manager Mickey Callaway said when asked if Cespedes would start baseball activities in the next day or two. "At some point, you'll see him."

Up next
Right-hander A.J. Griffin squares off against the Nationals in a 1:05 p.m. ET game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on Saturday. Listen to the game on Gameday Audio.

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie.

New York Mets, Rafael Montero