The Mets outrighted five players off their 40-man roster on Wednesday, clearing space as the Hot Stove season approaches. Outfielder Travis Taijeron, infielder Phillip Evans and pitchers Tyler Pill and Erik Goeddel will become Minor League free agents after the conclusion of the World Series. Outfielder Wuilmer Becerra will remain under team control, but is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft in December.
Becerra, 23, was once ranked by MLBPipeline.com as high as seventh on the Mets' Top 30 prospect list, and most recently 12th. But Becerra underwent shoulder surgery in 2016 and struggled upon his return, slugging just .335 in 128 games this season. He was part of the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays for Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, among others, in 2012.
Taijeron, Evans, Pill and Goeddel all appeared for the Mets this season. Most prominent was Goeddel, 28, who has pitched in 110 games since 2014. Arm trouble limited Goeddel to 33 appearances this summer, with a career-high 5.28 ERA.
Pill started three games and appeared in relief in four others, going 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA. Evans and Taijeron hit .303 and .173, respectively, in limited time down the stretch.
With three players due to come off the 60-day disabled list this offseason, the Mets needed to create roster space. They have just two pending free agents, Jose Reyes and Tommy Milone, and will need to add at least one player, No. 11 prospect Luis Guillorme, to the 40-man roster next month to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. The Mets are likely to add a handful of free agents this winter as well, with needs in the infield, outfield, rotation and bullpen.