Sportrac lists the Mets 2022 payroll at $276,597,172.00 and is discounting over $25,000,000.00 in signing bonuses to reach that figure. That’s a long way away from the pathetic budgets that were put forward by Fred and Jeff Wilpon over the recent years of Mets history. In fact it’s the highest payroll in baseball.The reality is, that payroll might actually be getting higher in 2023 as the Mets are looking to rebuild themselves in a year where more than a few players are going to be leaving the team.


The Mets have over $250,000,000.00 on the books with arbitration raises and contracts still on the books though this includes $24,000,000.00 for Jacob deGrom, $19,000,000.00 for Chris Bassitt, $7,666,000.00 for Taijuan Walker as well as the $3,000,000.00 for Darin Ruf who will be released which brings the standing payroll to $186,334,000.00 as a starting point. With Steve Cohen as owner we can hope for an overall payroll of roughly $300,000,000.00 and up to about $320,000,000.00 giving the Mets $113,000,000.00 to $133,000,000.00 to spend.


The Mets biggest need (despite what some fans keep suggesting) is going to fall into pitching, both starting and relief who will see their ranks gutted in the offseason but for the sake of argument we will go through all aspects of the team and where the Mets are left.


The Mets are coming into 2022 with most of their core returning with a number of prospects ready to add themselves into the offensive plan. The Mets have only one major offensive piece of their squad due to leave and that is the talented Brandon Nimmo.  The Mets do have Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Jeff McNeil on the roster, which could cover the outfield but Nimmo’s bat is a lot to lose and the Mets will be relying on a few prospects to make up for his production with Brett Baty shifting Eduardo Escobar to second. Additionally, the Mets learned the issue with having no production from a high production spot like Designated Hitter.

Starting Rotation:

Going into the 2023 season the Mets will have Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco set to return with Tylor Megill and David Peterson still under arbitration (pre-arbitration). The Mets would seemingly need to add an Ace caliber pitcher and another quality starter in order to tread water at their current level of talent.  Making things harder is the relatively small number of available starters who fit that bill.


Going into 2023 the bullpen is absolutely rocked by departing talent and leaves the Mets scrambling to replace the departures of Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Adam Otavino, Mychal Givens and Trevor Williams. The Mets absolutely need a closer to join their team and a bonafide setup candidate to pair with Drew Smith but it’s more likely that the Mets will be signing at least four relievers to substantial contracts.



The Mets can start the ball rolling on Nimmo by offering him a Qualifying Offer. This will be rejected but, unlike Michael Conforto, I’d be shocked if Nimmo didn’t get a contract from another team. I’d love the Mets to make every attempt to re-sign him as well but I don’t know they have the money to do this.  He’d be the only signing I see the Mets making beyond their yearly contract offered to a backup center fielder, but even this could be solved through Khalil Lee or Jack Mangum.

When the budget shakes out, it is unlikely that the Mets can save enough between their second starting pitcher and relievers to do more than bring back Nimmo. I’d love to get both Nimmo and a bonafide DH like Josh Bell but I don’t see the money there.

As I sat in the stands and watched the Mets final, disastrous wild card game I heard fans opining that the Mets should spend $50,000,000.00 per year on bringing Aaron Judge to the club. Saying nothing about the absurdity of the figure (he’s expected to be more in the range of a paltry $37,000,000.00)  and not discounting how very very good Judge is, this is not a player the Mets can afford to bring in with the number of pitching issues the team has. The Mets have too many pitching concerns to reasonably consider any offensive signing that isn’t named Brandon Nimmo.

Starting Rotation:

There is a non-zero chance that Chris Bassitt chooses to come back to the Mets for his $19,000,000.00 but it’s pretty close to zero. The team should be making their second Qualifying offer to Taijuan Walker though as he is fairly sure to reject it as well. If either or both of these pitchers would come back on those deals, the Mets should count their blessings but I don’t think they do.

This brings the Mets to the 2,000 pound gorilla in the room, Jacob deGrom. The Met’s Ace is going to be looking for a contract similar to what the Mets gave Scherzer and… the Mets may have to pay it. Even with the immense injury concerns the Mets have only two Ace caliber options on the market and one of them is Jacob deGrom. I foresee the Mets and their fans preferring their homegrown Ace to obtaining Carlos Rodon and hoping deGrom doesn’t wind up in Atlanta or Los Angeles. This means that we’re checking off $40,000,000.00 of salary for the Mets to retain their Ace.

Assuming that neither Bassitt or Walker come back on their deals the Mets should have about $25,000,000.00 to play with in order to bring in someone of their caliber for the next spot in the rotation. Pitchers the Mets would be looking at here include the aforementioned Bassitt and Walker as well as: Sonny Gray, Andrew Heaney, Clayton Kershaw, or Jose Quintana. Not all of these guys are worth the full $25 Million but that remains the rough cap.

There is, of course, an exception. If the Mets could retain deGrom and lure Carlos Rodon to their roster for something around $30,000,000.00 per year, that would be hard to say no to even if it pushes the team ever closer to the $300,000,000.00 mark. Starling Marte talked of luring Sandy Alcantra to the team as well but that would require the Mets and Marlins agreeing on a trade and the Mets have little to offer Miami outside of Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos.


Per John Heyman, Edwin Diaz is likely to be the first relief pitcher to break the $20,000,000.00 threshold and with limited options who have his bonafide numbers the Mets may have to pay it. This means that the Mets have spent $137,000,000.00 and have only added Carlos Rodon to their roster.

After the closer the Mets have up to roughly $10,000,000.00 to offer to a setup man and another $10,000,000.00 to bring in a pair of middle relievers. Setup candidates include: Ken Giles, Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, Seth Lugo, Adam Ottavino, Rafael Montero among others. Middle relievers include: Brad Boxberger, Carl Edwards Jr., Carlos Estevez, Michael Fulmer, Chad Green, Jose LeClerc, David Robertson among others.


Using rough estimates and not listing out the number of years the Mets end up offering people, I have the Mets giving out about $132,000,000.00 and inflating their payroll to $318,334,000.00 which is higher than the current one but still within the realm of what Steve Cohen can handle. In good news to the Mets future, James McCann and Robinson Cano come off the books in 2024 to allow the Mets more wiggle room after next season.


When I first planned my offseason I was pretty sure that Cohen wouldn’t be breaking through the $300,000,000.00 ceiling but everything I’ve read disagrees. Seeing as the Mets may have an additional $20,000,000.00 to play with I am able to keep Brandon Nimmo. He will cost around $20,000,000.00 per year (estimates have him around 7 years and $125,000,000.00) and I don’t see a way around that.

If the Mets save any more money (I do a lot of rounding and maybe players would be cheaper here or there) then there are some other offensive options the Mets could consider for the DH role. Being conservative, my hope is that Mark Vientos eventually takes the position for his own or that Dominic Smith returns to relevance somehow. The $1,500,000.00 that the Mets give Vogelbach is a safety net. Be very clear that Vientos should be starting 50% of games and all games with lefty pitchers.

Starting Rotation:

A starting rotation headed up by Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Carlos Rodon is absurd… but so is exceeding a $300,000,000.00 payroll. This trio of Aces pitching ahead of Carrasco and Megill would again be able to go toe to toe with any rotation on any team and look superior. The key, as always will be health as the Mets will have fewer options in reserve than they did in 2022. If deGrom, Scherzer and Rodon all stay healthy this team would garner quite a few wins.

The only thing I’d personally like more is adding Clayton Kershaw in place of Rodon and saving a little money. I don’t believe that Kershaw will sign with absolutely anyone but the Dodgers and don’t consider this a viable reality.


On the bullpen side of things I’m bringing back Edwin Diaz as he is of a caliber all his own and adding Kenley Jansen, Michael Fulmer and David Robertson to the fold to create a very strong bullpen. This does leave room for the underwhelming Joely Rodriguez and saves a spot for the Mets to presumably allow one of the homegrown relievers to pitch. The departure that I think hurts the most is Trevor Williams. I see Williams getting a solid contract after the amazing season of emergency work he put together for the Mets.

26 Man Roster:

C1: Francisco Alvarez – 6

C2: James McCann

1B: Pete Alonso – 4

2B: Jeff McNeil – 7

3B: Eduardo Escobar – 5

SS: Francisco Lindor – 3

LF: Mark Canha – 9

CF: Brandon Nimmo – 1 – $20 Mil

RF: Starling Marte – 2

DH: Daniel Vogelbach – 8

IF: Luis Guillorme

OF: Khalil Lee or Jake Mangum

Util: Mark Vientos

SP1: Jacob Degrom – $40 Mil

SP2: Max Scherzer

SP3: Carlos Rodon – $32 Mil

SP4: Carlos Carrasco

SP5: Tylor Megill

CL: Edwin Diaz – $20 Mil

SU: Kenley Jansen – $10 Mil

SU: Drew Smith

MR: Michael Fulmer – $6 Mil

MR: David Robertson – $4 Mil

MR: Joely Rodriguez

MR: Bryce Montes de Oca or Eric Orze

LR: David Peterson

12 comments on “My offseason plan for the Mets

  • BoomBoom

    Strong team you’ve put together. I don’t think Robertson is signing for $4 million a year. He’d be a great get though.

    I’d like to see the rotation of Degrom, Scherzer, Rodon as you suggest with Carrasco and Peterson as the 5 (I prefer 2 lefties in the rotation and start McGill out of Spring Training in the Trevor Williams role). He and Luchessi are 6/7 for depth.

    For the pen: Diaz, D Smith, Ottavino, Chafin, Lugo, Nogosek, De Orca, Rodriguez

    • JamesTOB

      I liked David’s 26-man team, but I agree with all of your adjustments, Boom Boom. Lee should be traded or released. Mangum is a keeper.

      • deegrove84

        Mangum is older than Lee and hasn’t performed in AAA the way Lee has. Mangum might ultimately be the better player but we should not read more into minor league success than is there to be read.

  • MikeW

    What the Mets really don’t have is a very young core of major talent like the Braves have with most of them lo krd up on team friendly contracts.

    Sure, we have Alvarez and Baty, but that’s about it.

    My pipe dream is to trade for Ohtani. He fills two large holes.

    • deegrove84

      If Ohtani was available he would have been in my plan. You don’t get Ohtani and keep both Alvarez and Baty. Just so you know.

  • Nym6986

    Nicely done David. I’m wondering how our 2022 draft picks faired and if we would draft them all over again if we had a chance for a redo. Keep going back to the Braves calling up a couple of AA players to fill in for injured players and they not only filled the gap but excelled and never relinquished their spots on the field. That’s what we did not get with Vientos or Baty, and even Alvarez nor did we have a pitcher come up and shine. Lots to keep working on the create a perennial contender but I believe we will get there under our new ownership. It just gets harder to be patient as the years fly by and we don’t win. Happy to have lots of cash to play with and how great that is given the decades of penny pinching with the owners pocketing the proceeds and not putting a stronger team on the field or building a strong farm system. Can’t wait for the WS to end and the wheeling and dealing to start.

    • JamesTOB

      I can’t wait for the WS to be over either. As you noted that’s when the Second Season begins and for me, it’s better than the season. Hope is always more intoxicating than reality, unless, of course, the Mets win the WS next year!

    • JamesTOB

      If I may comment a second time, you’re quite right that our prospects didn’t do as well as Atlanta’s, but I hope that this Mets administration is much more patient and confident in them and their talent than in the past. Over the decades, it’s become obvious that NY fans are very impatient if a kid struggles. They put so much negative pressure on them that they get traded away or let go in free agency and flourish elsewhere. It’s past time that Mets fans be fans and not hyper-critical. If these kids get support and encouragement they’ll make us all proud in due time.

      • Nym6986

        I believe they showed their patience by not trading away any of their top prospects this time around. It is not to say that some might not go in an off-season trade for someone who is under contract, but I would not have been in favor of unloading prospects for a trade deadline rental. Not to say that Cano and Diaz wasn’t potentially a bad trade when Cano really couldn’t play anymore but it resulted in us getting the top closer in baseball and Cano’s contract comes off the books in 2024. Cohen asked for a 3-5 year plan to right the entire ship and as Tug said “Ya gotta believe.”

        • JamesTOB

          I agree that the Mets have shown patience. My comment was about fans who don’t give kids a break when they struggle and that includes the NY media. They can be brutal.

    • deegrove84

      Kevin Parada – Played really well in his brief time
      Jett Williams – Played really well in his brief time and stole a crazy number of bases
      Blade Tidwell – Played really well in his brief time
      Jacob Reimer – Played really well in his brief time
      D’Andre Smith – Played mediocre in his brief time
      Tyler Stuart – Pitched poorly but struck out plenty in his brief time
      Jonah Tong – Did not play in 2022
      Dylan Tebrake – Played really well in his brief time
      Chase Estep – Played mediocre in his brief time
      Zebulon Vermillion – Pitched 1 hitless inning with no walks or Ks

  • deegrove84


    As this relates to my initial post:

    1. If a team is willing to give Jacob deGrom $45 Mil over 4 years he’s got to take it and the Mets have to say no. I love deGrom and believe the Mets should do what is in their power to grab him but $40 Mil per year is the top of my spectrum.

    2. Hey, if Rodon can be had for $25 Mil per year I sign that today.

    3. I thought about Joc Pederson but didn’t have the money in my budget for him. I don’t want Pederson in the outfield and don’t think the Mets have the money to dedicate to him as a DH.

    4. Sign me up for Suarez and Roberston joining Diaz in the bullpen

    5. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. $14 Mil for Carrasco is a guaranteed pitcher vs the idea of hoping to bring back Bassit and Walker (for considerably more). A rotation of Scherzer, Rodon, Bassit, Walker and Peterson/Megill would be pretty great but I’d prefer my rotation which might actually come through at a lower annual salary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 100 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here