Offseason Options for the New York Mets

Check out Ryan Jafri’s 2022 Season Review of the Mets here.

Image: USA TODAY Sports

House Cleaning

These Mets went further than any other Mets team since 2015. They hit 101 wins for the first time since 1986, they brought in big names over the offseason, and they had the division locked up until the last week of the regular season. With a disappointing ending to a historic season, half of the team are set to become free agents. 

As a result of this, the front office has myriad decisions to make on franchise players like Jacob DeGrom, Edwin Diaz, and Brandon Nimmo. I looked into every free agent and the current makeup of the team to see what holes need to be filled over the offseason. 

Free Agents 

  1. CF Brandon Nimmo 

Nimmo has fully bought into the role of the gritty New Yorker who just so happens to man center field for the Mets. Now a free agent, New York has a big decision to make. Do you sign the player who has done everything asked of him? Or, do you pursue the best hitter in baseball (Aaron Judge) at the cost of losing Nimmo? If I were Steve Cohen, I would sign Nimmo and find hitters elsewhere. 

Brandon Nimmo has proven to be one of the best center fielders in baseball, and has been extremely reliable offensively too. His keen eye that draws walks, his hustle on the basepaths, and his newly found power is something to keep, not throw away. Sign him, find hitters to fill other positions. 

  1. RHP Jacob DeGrom

The Ace of the New York Mets for the last five years has a player option in his contract for the 2023 season worth $30.5 million. Nonetheless, DeGrom has indicated all season that he will opt-out of this contract in the offseason and hit free agency. This makes perfect sense. DeGrom proved that his presence on the mound dramatically helped the Mets win, and he picked up the sole win for New York in the playoffs against the San Diego Padres. 

With DeGrom planning on opting out, Mets owner Steve Cohen will have to decide whether he wants to put his money into DeGrom long term or let him walk and spend on other players this offseason. 

I think Mets fans have expected this for a long time, and while DeGrom has surely helped the Mets get back in contention for The World Series, I think they will let him walk. The greater concern now is the lack of hitting power. Because the Mets got out scored heavily by home run hitting teams like the Padres, Braves, and now Phillies, I think Cohen will elect to spend his money on every day players and let DeGrom chase his bag elsewhere. 

  1. RHP Edwin Diaz

Diaz was a top priority for New York this offseason, and was rumored to be the first to get a deal done. On November 6th, Diaz signed a 5 year extension worth $102 million. Diaz had a Cy Young type season in 2022, appearing in 61 games, notching 32 saves and held a 1.31 ERA. 

Not to mention, his infamous walk-out song brought national attention to The Mets even when they weren’t winning. Diaz back in Queens is easily a big sigh of relief for Mets fans, and the front office can now focus on more controversial free agents. 

  1. OF Tyler Naquin 

The Mets won’t be bringing him back. They didn’t give up much for him at the deadline, and while he would have hot streaks every so often, he was left off of the playoff roster indicating to me that they will move on from him.  

  1. RHP Taijuan Walker

Walker has a $7.5 million player option with a $3 million buyout. This option will most definitely be declined by Walker as he hits the open market. Taijuan had an under-the-radar season for the Mets sitting behind DeGrom, Scherzer, and Bassitt. He went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA, proving he could in fact pitch in the second half of a season given his meltdown in 2021 and injury in 2020. 

Walker is tricky because he will cost the Mets between 10 and 20 million dollars to retain. If the Mets do decide to sign Walker, it could mean passing up on another hitter. It is yet to be seen what the Mets will do here, but I think he is too good and still cheaper than other free agents to let walk. Sign him back. 

  1. RHP Adam Ottavino 

Ottavino had a stellar year for New York, while also standing in the shadow of Diaz. In 66 appearances, he held a 2.06 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP, which was one of the best stat lines among relievers in the MLB. I think retaining Ottavino with Diaz will be crucial for the front office, and should be made a high priority. Pay the man!

  1. RHP Trevor May

With the plethora of relievers that must be signed back, May will not be one of them. With health issues and inconsistent play, he was more of a thorn in the Mets’ side than helpful in his time in Queens. They will let May walk. 

  1. RHP Seth Lugo

The lifelong Met was once a savior and All Star selection out of the bullpen. Now, he is a burden. Lugo had an off year this season, holding a 3.60 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. With the play of Diaz and Ottavino, Lugo proved to be more of an issue than a solution. If I were the Mets, I would let Lugo and his aging career walk and sign a replacement for a smaller contract. Relievers are expendable, and there’s no better evidence of this than the Mets. 

  1. LHP Joely Rodríguez

Rodriguez was not good for the majority of the season, but would continue to get opportunities due to the lack of lefty pitching New York had. Because of this, I think the Mets should let Rodriguez go, but make it a priority to get a left-hander during Free Agency. They cannot be pigeon-holed to use bad players again, and it starts with obtaining the right pieces in the offseason. 

  1. RHP Trevor Williams 

I would actually sign Williams back before I would sign Lugo or May. Williams fully adapted into his role of long reliever with the ability to start him in bullpen games (especially during double headers). He held a 3.21 ERA in 2022, notching 9 starts and 30 total appearances. WIlliams provided a utility role out of the bullpen for New York, and he had his best season to date. I believe Williams will be cheaper than other relievers on the market, and his versatility was something head coach Buck Showalter continued to utilize. Sign him back. 

  1. RHP Tommy Hunter


Options to be Executed

  1. RHP Chris Bassitt 

Bassitt is the one pitcher I can definitely see The Mets bring back in 2023, but it is going to cost them. A late move before the season started in February, 36 year old Bassitt was acquired by The Mets from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for pitching prospects J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller. 

This move paid off heavily for New York given DeGrom was down until July, and the mere fact that Bassitt had a very solid year. Bassitt pitched a career high 181 2/3 innings with a 3.42 ERA and was worth 2.7 fWAR. 

If The Mets elect to walk away from DeGrom, signing Bassitt should be in consideration. Currently, Bassitt has a mutual club option worth $19 million and a $150,000 buyout that Bassitt will probably turn down and test the open market. 

However, he will be far less expensive than DeGrom and other free agent pitchers such as Carlos Rodón of the San Francisco Giants and Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros. Because of this, I think the Mets will bring Bassitt back on a 3 year deal.

  1. RHP Carlos Carrasco 

Carrasco has a $14 million team option with a $3 million buyout. The Mets have not indicated if they will exercise this option. Carrasco was good in the 152 innings he pitched in 2022. $14 million dollars could be considered a bit rich, but it’s worth it. 

  1. RHP Mychal Givens

Givens was the big disappointment from the 2022 trade deadline for The Mets. In the final minutes before the deadline, New York made a move for the righty, giving up two low level prospects in return. At the time, the move looked promising as Givens appeared in 40 games for Chicago and had two saves. 

He posted a 2.66 ERA and a 3.83 FIP with 51 strikeouts across 40.2 innings. The Mets acquired him for his effectiveness against right-handed hitters, who have had a .213/.296/.298 slash line in 108 plate appearances against Givens. When he went to New York, however, disaster struck. 

For New York, Givens held a 4.79 ERA, giving up just as many runs in 19 appearances as he did in 40 appearances for Chicago. He also had an opposing batting average of .304, up from .216 with the Cubs. In all, he was a shaky option that only saw game time when the score wasn’t close. 

Givens has a mutual option worth $3.5 million that The Mets will probably walk away from. Givens brought more harm than help, and The Mets should cut their losses and move on. 

  1. 1B Daniel Vogelbach 

Vogey became a household name in New York after his fast start with The Mets landed him consistently in the lineup and hitting over .330 in his first 15 games with The Mets. He did, however, cool off and became a spot start at DH, with the combination of other lefty hitters. 

He has a $1.5 million club option that the Mets have reported will be executed. While he will never play the field for The Mets, his offense was needed many times this season, and he came through a lot. 

Rule V Draft Eligible Players

If players signed at age 18 or younger are not added to 40-man rosters within five seasons, other organizations can draft them. Players signed at age 19 or older must be protected within four seasons.

For New York, this is not a concern this offseason. The Mets have either placed their top prospects on their 40-man roster or they don’t have enough experience to qualify for the Rule V Draft, this won’t be an issue. 

Two players rumored to be in the draft are 26-year-old Jake Mangum and 22-year-old Stanley Consuegra, who has never played above Single-A ball. Both players are not big concerns for the front office and are expendable if they left. 

Potential Trade-aways

It will be no surprise if The Mets decide to trade for a player that helps their team win The World Series within the five year plan of owner Steve Cohen. Currently, The Mets have three notable prospects that are blocked from fulfilling their careers in the big leagues at their natural positions. 

These players include SS Ronny Mauricio, 3B Mark Vientos and C Kevin Parada. If The Mets want to pursue big names, these are a few prospects that could be the price. Nonetheless, Cohen has made everyone aware he is not looking to gut the farm system. The right trade would have to develop for this to be a possibility. 

Current Lineup 

Major League Lineup (12)

C – Tomas Nido (R), James McCann (R)

1B – Pete Alonso (R)

2B – Jeff McNeill (L)

SS – Francisco Lindor (S)

3B – Eduardo Escobar (S), Brett Baty (L)

RF – Starling Marte (R)


LF – Mark Canha (R)

DH – Darin Ruf (R), Francisco Alvarez (R)

UTL – Luis Guillorme (L)

The Mets were very successful during the regular season piling up hits and driving in runs via “small-ball.” This gameplan, however, did not translate at the end of the season and into the playoffs when New York lost badly to the Braves and the Padres given those teams specialized in hitting home runs. 

While there are a few power hitters on the roster, the Mets need to get a few more to make the lineup whole. Currently, the team has Alonso, Lindor, and Marte, while everyone else is more known for contact than power. If New York wants to go farther next season, they must add power. 

Players on the 40-man (5):  SS Ronny Mauricio (S), 3B Mark Vientos (R), 1B Dominic Smith (L), OF Terrance Gore (R), OF Khalil Lee (L)

It has been known for a while now that players like Mauricio and Vientos are blocked from moving up to the majors given their positions. While Vientos was called up in September, he struggled immensely and was left off of the playoff roster. Because of this, look for both of these players to be traded in the offseason as the team looks to upgrade power and pitching. 

Potential Lineup Additions

Third Base: Justin Turner

Turner coming to New York would be full circle for Mets fans. The former Met took off for a great career once he left New York in 2014, batting over .274 in every season with the Dodgers. 

Now at 38, Turner is at the latter part of his career, but he is not washed. Last season, Turner batted .278 with 13 HR in 128 games. It was reported that he would be open to a Mets reunion, and with a gaping hole in designated hitter and uncertainty with Escobar and Baty, Turner could provide a short term solution to these problems. 

Center Field: Aaron Judge

Judge in Queens would immediately make the Mets contenders for the World Series. The situation with Aaron  is tricky, though. The Mets have to decide quickly if pursuing Judge is more important than keeping Nimmo. Not to mention, Judge will be looking to make more money than any player in MLB history. 

Owner Steve Cohen has shown he isn’t afraid to spend, and it is speculated the payroll should clear $300 million and MLB’s highest luxury tax threshold with ease. Judge would bring stellar defense with power as he broke the American League home run record with 62 homers on the season. His presence would be team altering. But the Mets would have to pay and beat out the other 29 teams for him. This tall feat might not appear worth it to the front office, but a Mets fan could hope. 

DH: Willson Contreras

Contreras was widely rumored to be traded to the Mets before the 2022 trade deadline, and ultimately, Chicago elected to keep their catcher and send The Mets Mychal Givens instead. Nonetheless, Contreras is the power DH the team needs. 

It would be remiss not to mention the extreme depth The Mets currently have at catcher that could prohibit this. Currently, New York has Nido, McCann, top prospect Alvarez, and newly drafted prospect Kevin Parada, it seems weird that they would target another catcher. 

What Contreras brings you, though, is power with good defense, which none of the other catchers on the roster have. This time, the Mets would only need to give up money for Willson and not prospects, so I could see them in the mix for the highly touted catcher. 

Pitching Staff Before Any Moves

Major League Pitching Staff (12)

Starting Rotation

SP1 – RHP Max Scherzer










MR – RHP Drew Smith

LR – LHP David Peterson

LR – RHP Tylor Megill

Players on the 40-man (4): RHP Jose Butto, RHP Yoan López, RHP Bryce Montes de Oca, RHP Stephen Nogosek

It is hard to talk about the entire pitching staff with the current outlook as most of them are free agents. I believe many will be signed back with the rest of the holes filled through small free agent deals. The staff will be just fine. 

Potential Additions

Left-handed Reliever 

Joely Rodriguez was the sole lefty in the bullpen until David Peterson made the move to the arm barn. This cannot happen again as the Mets were stuck using both pitchers at high rates, even when they were struggling. Getting one or two lefties is crucial to the offseason to prevent this issue from continuing on. 

What’s Going to Actually Happen?

The front office has proven it is willing to do what it takes to pay and bring in big names to compete for a Pennant. I think they will bring back Walker, Nimmo, Carrasco, Williams, Ottavino, and of course, Edwin Diaz. Everyone else is up for debate. I expect at least one trade and one big signing, and for the rest, only time will tell what Steve Cohen and Billy Epler decide to do.

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