The Mets protected four prospects from December's Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday when they added INF Andres Gimenez, LHP Thomas Szapucki, RHP Jordan Humphreys, and C Ali Sanchez to their 40-man roster.
For the Mets, it came down to a numbers game.
While adding the four prospects above, their 40-man roster went from 36 to 40. And it took them DFA'ing Drew Gagnon to make room for all of them.
Newton is in this vulnerable spot due in part to teams ordinarily protecting players who are closer to major league ready than others. Now, the question becomes whether a team will take a chance on the raw Newton in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 12 at the Winter Meetings.
The 20-year-old infielder hit just .209/.283/.330 with nine homers, 15 doubles, two triples in 382 at-bats over 109 games for Low-A Columbia in 2019, as he struggled almost impossibly badly at the beginning of the season and had success only in brief spurts.
Any team who selects a player in the Rule 5 Draft must keep him on their 25-man roster for the entirety of the next season or offer him back to his prior club. And that could make it tough for a team to take a chance on Newton, who is likely at least two years away from the majors.
Still, a team could potentially select him in the Rule 5 Draft and attempt to stash him on their roster (they expand to 26 players in 2020) with the intention of returning him to the minors in 2021.