According to multiple sources, The Mets have agreed to pay $100,000 to Daisuke Matsuzaka to preserve the right to have him open the season either in the minors or on the major-league roster.
The payment defers for another turn a decision on whether Matsuzaka or Jenrry Mejia will emerge as the final rotation member.
Mejia is due to pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday in Montreal, with Matsuzaka pitching at Olympic Stadium the following day. Essentially, the Canadian Competition for the Mets 5th spot.
The $100,000 payment was an opportunity to delay a rotation decision and also to make sure Jon Niese will be fit for his start on April 6th.
If Jonathon Niese is unable to return from the disabled list for Game 6 of the season, the Mets would need both Mejia and Matsuzaka as starters.
But once Mejia is optioned to minor-league camp, he essentially cannot return the first 10 days of the season, so he could not step up and take that Niese start.
Matsuzaka, based on his status, was required to be informed by noon Tuesday if he had made the big-league roster. Otherwise, the Mets had to give him $100,000 for the right to send him to the minors, or cut him loose.