PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets cut eight more players Friday.

Dillon Gee, who was ostensibly competing for a spot in the starting rotation, was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, where he will lead the staff. The Mets also sent down reliever Taylor Tankersley, who was battling Tim Byrdak, Mike O'Connor and Oliver Perez for a lefty-specialist role in the bullpen.

Other cuts included right-handed relievers Ryota Igarashi and Boof Bonser, catchers Dusty Ryan and Raul Chavez, infielder Russ Adams and outfielder Jason Pridie.

The Mets had said they wanted to pare down the second-base competition by this week, and they did so by one on Friday by releasing veteran Luis Castillo. That leaves four candidates, with Justin Turner seeming most at risk due to his remaining Minor League options.