Taking a look at the Mets roster less than a week before Winter Meetings – The Denver Post


The big dominoes have yet to fall, but with MLB winter meetings less than a week away, we might finally see more hot stove movement.

This is the first offseason we could categorize as somewhat normal since 2019. Winter meetings were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and last year they were canceled because of the lockout. As a result, the offseason has once again taken on a marathon-like pace. There have been a few big signings but the biggest free agents are still unsigned, including Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom and outfielder Brandon Nimmo.

But that could change with the winter meetings set to resume Sunday in San Diego. All of baseball will convene next week so if nothing else, there will likely be more clarity around his situation and more clarity around the Mets’ roster renovation as a whole.

Where do the Mets stand a week away from baseball’s biggest offseason event? Let’s unpack some rumors, assess the team’s current state and take a look at what still needs to be done this winter.


The Mets currently have 33 players on the 40-man roster and the breakdown is as follows: 17 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders, three outfielders and two designated hitters. The club could add up to four more starting pitchers, a couple of relief pitchers and another outfielder. There will be roster moves made after the Rule 5 Draft, which will be held on the final day of winter meetings. A few of the relief pitchers the Mets recently acquired have options and trades are always a possibility at the winter meetings.


The Mets have interest in Japanese righty Kodai Senga and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. The Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and even the Yankees have been linked to deGrom. What does it all mean?

Not much. It means the Mets are looking into contingency plans if deGrom opts to sign with another team. After the club locked down closer Edwin Diaz, the front office turned their attention to deGrom. He is the focal point of the offseason and until the team knows whether or not he will return to the Mets and for how long, it’s tough to move forward.

Verlander, who will be 40 in February, is expected to sign a short-term deal with a high AAV, much like the one his former Detroit Tigers teammate Max Scherzer signed with the Mets last season. But someone like lefty Carlos Rodon will require a longer-term commitment.

The Mets have to be able to plan for the future, so if deGrom returns on a three-year deal, then maybe they target Verlander on a two-year contract. But if deGrom goes elsewhere, they could turn to someone like Rodon on a four or five-year deal. However, Rodon requires draft pick compensation so that’s another element to factor into the situation.

The club is in win-now mode and that’s not likely to change, so whether or not deGrom does return the Mets are expected to compete for some of the biggest names on the market.


Fans worked themselves into a panic last week when the club made a series of moves to add to the bullpen, dissatisfied with the caliber of players. But those moves were made simply to provide organizational depth. Just because they claimed William Woods off waivers from the Atlanta Braves doesn’t mean they’re expecting him to play a central relief role.

Adam Ottavino could return to play that role once again. The 37-year-old Brooklyn native who pitched for both the Mets and the Yankees was a model of consistency last season. There are some questions about term given his age. Ottavino wants a multi-year deal and after last season he’s due for a raise. A reunion might not be out of the question, but the two sides still have a bridge to gap.

The Mets appear to be out on right-hander Seth Lugo, which is not surprising given his preference to start.

Again, this is where we see the deGrom decision come into play. Will the Mets need David Peterson and/or Tylor Megill to be in the rotation next season? Or can they be penciled into the bullpen? The Mets can work around it but it’s an easier puzzle to figure out once the most significant piece is in place.


The Mets need a power bat and a reserve outfielder, but it’s unclear how much interest they have in adding to this area externally, though they might have to if Nimmo leaves as a free agent.

Jake Mangum could be their fifth outfielder and if he is still with the Mets in spring training he will have a chance to compete for that spot, but he’s a prime candidate to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Just about every team that needs an outfielder has checked in on Nimmo. After Aaron Judge, Nimmo is probably the next best option. But the Mets aren’t about to let Nimmo go without making a competitive offer.

The DH spot is still a question. Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf will be back for next season and the Mets could also use prospects Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty or Mark Vientos. Could they go external and look for a bigger bat on the trade market? It’s possible but unlikely.



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