Rafael Montero, New York Mets
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Former ballyhooed prospect Rafael Montero’s days with the New York Mets could be numbered, according to reports.

It was only a few years ago that Rafael Montero was seen as the next great young arm in the New York Mets rotation. But after years of injury and inconsistency, he could soon find himself elsewhere, according to NorthJersey.com’s Matt Ehalt.

“With teams finalizing rosters soon, the Mets have started preparations for a possible trade with Rafael Montero a candidate to be dealt, according to sources. Montero is out of options and is not a lock to make the roster.

The team is not close to making a deal, according to one source.”

Montero, 27, has struggled mightily this spring. Over six appearances—including one start—he’s pitched to a bloated 8.31 ERA and 1.85 WHIP. Montero has allowed 11 hits and 11 runs—eight earned—in just 8.2 innings of work, walking five and striking out 10.

Out of minor league options—he’d have to pass through waivers for the Mets to send him down to Triple-A Las Vegas, an unlikely scenario—the team has truly arrived at a crossroads with him.

They could opt to keep him around, hoping that his spring struggles are an aberration and that he can right the ship as either the team’s fifth starter or out of the bullpen. But there’s really no reason to expect that to be the case.

Over parts of four seasons in the majors—all with the Mets—the right-hander has gone 6-16 with a 5.38 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. Last year, he appeared in 34 games (18 starts), going 5-11 with a 5.52 ERA and 1.75 WHIP over 119 innings, walking 67 and striking out 114.

Ehalt’s sources say that there is interest in Montero from other teams. While a change of scenery could be what gets Montero back on track, it’s highly unlikely that the Mets would get anything of value for him in a trade.

That said, perhaps it’s better to get something in exchange for him, no matter how minimal it may be, rather than simply releasing him outright.

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