Reynolds in roster mix with Tejada gone

Infield prospect competing with Campbell for utility role

Reynolds in roster mix with Tejada gone

JUPITER, Fla. -- On the back wall of Terry Collins' Spring Training office, a white board lists the names of every player left in camp. They are grouped by position: starters, relievers, outfielders, infielders.

The latter category featured a noticeable gap on Thursday where Ruben Tejada's name used to be. A day after the Mets cut Tejada, Collins planned to call his former shortstop to thank him for everything he did over a decade in the organization and wish him the best in the future.

"It's tough," Collins said. "Everyone loved Ruben."

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Though many offered similar compliments, the front office -- seeking $2.5 million in salary relief from a player without much of a future role on the club -- opted to release Tejada, thereby opening all sorts of roster possibilities. If Asdrubal Cabrera is not healthy enough to make the Opening Day roster, the Mets will almost certainly carry infield prospect Matt Reynolds as a reserve. Even if Cabrera is healthy, the Mets could carry Reynolds over Eric Campbell, knowing Wilmer Flores is capable of backing up every infield position.

So in either event, Reynolds -- a once highly regarded prospect who's star faded a bit after a rough 2015 season at Triple-A Las Vegas -- has new life in camp with less than three weeks to go.

"[I want to show the Mets] that I can be versatile, I can play many positions," Reynolds said. "I also want to show them that I can play shortstop, that I can play in the big leagues and that I'm ready."

Through nine Grapefruit League games, Reynolds is struggling to do so at least offensively, batting just .158 with two walks and no extra-base hits. Campbell, meanwhile, is batting over .300.

But those decisions will come in time, as the Mets determine how best to fill the hole on the white board that Tejada's departure created.

"I'm going to miss Ruben," third baseman David Wright said. "I became fairly close with him and felt like he was a good player for us. With that being said, I trust that Sandy and the front office make the choices, and they haven't led us astray yet. I'm sure that Reynolds -- or whoever they're thinking -- can fill that role."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.