NEW YORK -- While the Mets continue their search for and pursuit of a left fielder and wait for a response from the agent representing Jason Bay, they have removed two prospective outfield alternates from their 40-man roster. The club announced it would not tender contracts to outfielders Jeremy Reed and Cory Sullivan as well as pitchers Tim Redding and Lance Broadway.
The announcement was made Saturday as the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline for tendering contracts approached. The decision reduced the number of players on the 40-man roster to 35 and made the four players, each eligible for salary arbitration, free agents who may re-sign with the Mets.
None of the moves came as a surprise, though non-tendering both outfielders cut the club's depth in the outfield. With Reed and Sullivan, both left-handed hitters gone, the club is likely to turn to Chris Carter, the left-handed-hitting outfielder acquired from the Red Sox in the Billy Wagner trade, and incumbent Angel Pagan, a switch-hitter.
Eliminating Reed was expected. Manager Jerry Manuel had little use for the veteran acquired from the Mariners last December in the three-club trade that included the Indians, Aaron Heilman and J.J. Putz. The manager demonstrated a clear preference for Sullivan, once the veteran was promoted to the big league team in July. The two combined to bat .246 with 24 RBIs, 15 extra-bases hits -- two of them home runs -- in 297 at-bats.
Broadway appeared in eight games and pitched 14 2/3 innings after his promotion from Triple-A on Aug. 29. Redding had an uneven season after signing as a free agent. It began late because of shoulder weakness that surfaced in February. His 3-6 record reflected three victories and five losses in 17 starts and one loss in 13 relief appearances. His ERA in 96 innings as a starter was 4.97. But his effective work in his last eight starts -- a 2-2 record and 2.98 ERA -- points out how poorly he performed in his first nine starts -- a 1-3 record and 6.99 ERA. The Mets lost 11 of his starts.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.