In order to construct a 2024 roster, one must first evaluate the talent on the 2023 team to identify needs and weaknesses. A close look at the white board of current Mets reveals this: There’s a lot of talent on this team. There is room for improvement to be sure, but not nearly as much as a mid-70’s win total would suggest. There is a lot to discuss here, so, let’s get to it. For the purposes of this article, I have put the 2024 projected contract value next to the player’s name.

Here goes.

Let’s start with the Infield:

1B: Pete Alonso ($25M). 40+ HRs, 100+ RBI’s. Enough said. David Stearns/Billy Eppler would be crazy to trade him. Reports have it that they agree on the annual salary, just not the number of years. Bite the bullet here: you’re still paying Bobby Bonilla and the deferred payments to Max Scherzer will stretch will into the next decade. Alonso has been durable. If the manager can rest him enough to keep him fresh throughout the season(s), he’ll be an asset for many years.

2B: Ronny Mauricio ($750K)/Jeff McNeil ($10.25M). I like the way Mauricio plays at 2B. His offensive potential is almost unlimited. No one hits the ball harder. He needs to develop consistency. Once he does, look out. You can put McNeil anywhere on the field and he’ll shine. The decision about who is on second will depend on the answer to the question about third: and quite simply, I don’t know. Brett Baty looks frustrated at the plate. He is better than advertised at the position, but he’ll never be mistaken for a Gold Glover. Mark Vientos is absolutely lost in the field. I say keep Mauricio at second.

Shortstop: Francisco Lindor ($32M). He did everything you could have asked this year. 30+ HRs; 30+ SBs; 95+ RBIs; stellar defense. In a few years, he may slide over to third.

3B: Baty ($750K). There is enough flexibility in this roster to take a chance on Baty at third next year. He needs repetitions at the major league level to prove himself at the dish. His swing is fine, but his pitch selection needs work. If Baty can play to his talent, then the Mets are set here for a long time.

C: Francisco Alvarez ($750K). Watching Alvarez play this year has been one of the few bright spots in a disappointing season. 25 HRs; .725 OPS. No other catcher in baseball has more home runs (except Cal Raleigh – who has 130 more ABs). In his first MLB season at age 21, he has as many HRs for a catcher as any player in history, except Johnny Bench. One thing to note: I didn’t like the way he was moved around the lineup. If he gets a stable lineup position, (say the 6-hole) he’ll have a better feel for his role and likely perform even better. Initially, the reports were that Alvarez’ defense was suspect. He played young, but he played well. His pitch framing was outstanding. He has a cannon. The Mets are set here.

When you look at the talent on the infield, there is significant reason for optimism going into next year. But more importantly, the team won’t have to invest in a player outside the organization to solidify this group.

The outfield is another area of strength for the 2024 Mets.

LF: Jeff McNeil ($10.25M). Given that Mauricio will likely be the starting 2B, that moves McNeil to LF, where he plays great. I expect him to continue to rebound from a slow start in 2023 and to return to the form that made him a batting champion in 2022. Also, with fewer throws from LF, his UCL injury won’t be an issue.

CF: Brandon Nimmo ($20M). Few players in baseball have been able to develop his talents as Nimmo has over the past few years. His focus on run production this year made him a dangerous weapon in the leadoff spot. His defense was about as good as any CF in the game.

RF: Starling Marte ($18M). This is the biggest question mark on the team, and it may well have been the largest hole in the team’s lineup this year. In 2022, Marte demonstrated power, speed and clutch hitting. Without his presence in the 2023 lineup, rallies went to die. His outfield play was also sorely missed. He is a veteran player but he should be able to rebound. Much of his role depends upon where the Mets go in the offseason.


OF/DH: Cody Bellinger ($25M). Still only 28, this guy has re-established himself as one of the game’s premier hitters after his 2018 MVP season. He provides outfield flexibility and would be a great presence in a loaded lineup. Whichever one of the outfield players isn’t in the field can DH. That means a rested group. He should be the Mets’ top position player target in 2023. The other top tier free agent available is Matt Chapman ($25M). If the Mets were to sign him, that would leave Baty and Vientos without a place to play. They could become trade bait for pitching – which the Mets desperately need.


Given the positional flexibility of the starting players, there is no need to try to fill any holes with back-up players. At catcher, I think Tomas Nido ($2M) should slot in over Omar Narvaez ($4M). Luis Guillorme ($1.75M) has always been a favorite of mine. He can play all three infield positions and when he lays off that pitch in his eyes, he has some ability at the plate. If the team goes with 13 pitchers, that leaves only one more position player: The Mets have had a knack of finding an outfield defensive whiz, or a right handed bat off the bench. Absent a trade for a reliever, Vientos ($750K) has probably earned this last spot. He can DH, pinch hit and provide insurance against injuries to Alonso or Baty. It’s possible that the Mets also implement a platoon at Third, with Baty against righties and Vientos facing lefties.


DJ Stewart will be playing on another MLB team next season. His power surge saw to that. In my eyes, he is not consistent enough nor is he adept enough in the outfield to warrant a spot on this roster. Tim Locastro and Raphael Ortega will not be playing for the Mets next year, unless it’s at Syracuse.

Total Contract Value Position Players (2024): between $140M – $145M.

The 2023 New York Mets pitching staff was much ballyhooed at the outset of the season, and unrecognizable by August. Traded away were two Hall of Famers in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer and on the IL – for the season – was a potential HoFer, Edwin Diaz. As mentioned in previous columns, the injury to Diaz was everything to this team in 2023. Any other injury could have been withstood – but the drop-off caused by the Diaz injury was simply too much to contend with, and there went the hopes of a second-consecutive playoff season.

On the plus side, Kodai Senga was everything Mets fans could have hoped for – and more. As the season wore on, and starters Tylor Megill and David Peterson were pressed into service, we learned that they have major league arms and that they are both pieces of the puzzle in 2024. Not to be forgotten, Joey Lucchesi pitched very well down the stretch.

As for next season, there are a number of front-line pitchers available in the free agent market. Blake Snell and Sonny Gray headline this group. But the Mets should set their sights on Yoshinobu Yamamoto from Japan. Still only 25 years old, he has the MLB world buzzing with his ability as demonstrated in Japan. The Mets will not be shy about paying the asking price from his current team. New President of Baseball Operations, David Stearns, will make this acquisition his off-season splash. Matched up with Senga ($15M) and Yamamoto ($15M) will be Jose Quintana ($13M), who proved that he is a talented pitcher, when healthy. That top three, coupled with a combination of Megill ($1.5M), Peterson ($2M), Lucchesi ($2M) and Jose Butto ($1M), should be able to hold down the fort as starters.

As for the relief corps, having Diaz ($21.25M) back on the mound – with trumpets blaring – will be a welcome sight for Mets fandom. When he holds down the ninth inning, the rest of the bullpen can slide down to far more comfortable and suitable slots. Adam Ottavino ($7.25M), Brooks Raley ($6.5M) and Drew Smith ($2.3M) can hold down the seventh and eighth innings. To fortify this group, the front office should open up the checkbook for three relievers: Joe Kelly (60 K’s in 39.1 innings; 1.195 WHIP); Michael Fulmer (65 K’s in 57 innings; 1.33 WHIP); and Miguel Castro (60 K’s in 64.2 innings; 1.175 WHIP). Kelly will cost the most (maybe $10M). Castro and Fulmer will be cheaper ($5M each). The Mets should hold on to Anthony Kay ($2M) and John Curtiss ($1M).

This group of pitchers will cost the Mets somewhere in the neighborhood of $110M. Adding in the position players ($145M), the 2024 Mets payroll can be somewhere in the $255-$260M range. Compared to 2023, this team is a bargain. (Don’t forget that there are still other financial commitments to players not on the team – somewhere in the $50M range.). Total financial outlays for 2024: $315M.

As constructed, this is a solid, but not spectacular group. If the reports of waiting until 2025 to spend on top flight talent are correct, this group also permits the flexibility to do just that.

Prediction as to W/L in 2024: 86-76. They’ll miss the playoffs in agonizing fashion.

23 comments on “My proposed 2024 Mets roster

  • John Fox

    I totally agree on Nido as backup catcher to Narvaez, Nido is much better defensively and his poor hitting for the Mets last season can be blamed on his eye problem which has been cured

    • Michael McChesney

      I disagree. Narvaez is under contract for 2024 at a salary of $7 million. As I understand it, since he went to the Brewers in 2020, his defense and pitch framing have been very good, even if not quite as good as Nido’s. His offense has been up and down, but his upside is definitely better than Nido’s. He also bats left-handed, which makes him a better fit to share the catching with Alvarez. I’m not saying they should platoon, but the Mets could make sure that when he starts, it will be against right-handed pitchers. Absent a trade, Narvaez will almost certainly be the backup catcher in 2024.

  • David Groveman

    Just trying to map out your 26 Man roster as you’ve laid it out:

    C1: Francisco Alvarez
    C2: Tomas Nido
    1B: Pete Alonso ($15 Mil raise)
    2B: Ronny Mauricio
    3B vs RH: Brett Baty
    3B vs LH: Mark Vientos
    SS: Francisco Lindor
    LF: Jeff McNeil
    CF: Cody Bellinger ($25 Mil)
    RF: Brandon Nimmo
    DH: Starling Marte
    OF4: DJ Stewart
    IF: Luis Guillorme
    SP1: Kodai Senga
    SP2: Yoshinobu Yamamoto ($15 Mil psst… this is probably $5 Mil low)
    SP3: Jose Quintana
    SP4: Joey Lucchesi
    SP5: Tylor Megill
    CL: Edwin Diaz
    SU: Adam Ottavino
    SU: Brooks Raley
    MR: Joe Kelly ($10 Mil)
    MR: Michael Fulmer ($5 Mil)
    MR: Miguel Castro ($5 Mil)
    MR: Drew Smith
    LR: David Peterson

    The Mets are starting with a payroll of $206 Million and we’ve added $75-85 Million in new players but I don’t think the starting rotation outlined is good enough to make us a playoff contender.

    • Denis Engel

      I didn’t have Stewart on my roster.

      • Michael McChesney

        You didn’t have D.J. Stewart on your roster, but you really should have. Stewart has played in the majors in parts of 6 different seasons but hasn’t accumulated enough major league service time to even be arbitration eligible this off-season. I am not saying the Mets should count on him to be a starting outfielder, but I think he played well enough for a bench role. Keep in mind that Starling Marte was hobbled by injuries this past season and the Mets can’t really count on his being healthy in 2024. Hopefully, he can rebound, but if he doesn’t, D.J. Stewart has shown he can play a capable right field. While we can’t count on Stewart to repeat his offensive breakout next season, for what he will cost, it definitely makes sense to keep him, especially because he still has a minor league option. Now, the Mets could decide to trade Stewart, but if he isn’t traded, what exactly is the argument for getting rid of him?

        Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy

  • Brian Joura

    The great unknown is how high Cohen is willing to go with a roster that’s hoping for a playoff spot, rather than one expecting a playoff spot. There was seemingly no limit when the playoffs seemed within easy reach. But at the first sign of trouble, Cohen bailed.

    Everyone trips over themselves saying what a smart businessman Cohen is. Well, if you’re a smart businessman, why not look to avoid whatever tax penalties you can? Clearly, the Mets are going to be over the initial Luxury Tax threshold of $237 million. But there are additional thresholds at every $20 million. So, $257 the tax penalty goes up again, $277 it goes up again, $297 it goes up again.

    If you’re going to exceed a $297 million payroll – it makes little sense to me from a business standpoint not to assemble a 95-win team. In basketball, long-distance 2-point shots are the worst shot you can take. Move a step backwards and up your reward 50% without sacrificing much in likelihood of making the shot. To me, a $315 million payroll for an 86-win team is like shooting with your toes on the 3-point line. It’s the worst of all worlds.

    • Michael McChesney

      In my opinion, the problem with exceeding the top luxury tax threshold isn’t the extra money Cohen will have to pay; it’s the fact that the Mets’ top draft pick (and bonus pool money) will fall ten spots (unless they have a top-six pick). That is the strongest argument for reducing the team payroll next season. If the Mets can convince Shohei Ohtani that he would enjoy living in NYC, all bets are off. Ohtani would be a bit of an upgrade over Vogelbach and give the Mets an extremely potent offense. Even if the Mets didn’t sign a top tier free agent starter (other than Yamamoto) the offensive upgrade should be enough for the Mets to make the playoffs. Then in 2025, the Mets would have a mostly Japanese starting rotation.

  • Dan Capwell

    I would sign Yamamoto, but do almost nothing else. Maybe another Japanese league reliever or David Robertson V2, but that’s about it. I could see a short-term deal to a Hunter Renfroe or Randal Grichik type as well.

    They need to find out what they really have in these young players, including the so-called “Baby Mets,” the four younger pitchers that did show a slight uptick the last two months, and the prospects they acquired at the deadline.

  • NYM6986

    Perhaps the approach, and I did not necessarily take it with my predictions, is to shake things up a bit. For 2023 we essentially put the same team back on the field and with 101 wins that was not illogical. But we failed to bring in one more HR bat and had mediocre DHs. We spent good money improving the starting staff and the pen, but Diaz’s injury adversely shuffled the deck. Then the injuries tanked our season. I’d like to shoot for 90 wins so we are not squeaking into the playoffs.
    Like Nido over Narvaez but we can’t wait any longer for Guillorme to play consistently. He’s not a Baby Met and while we are on that subject, since it’s not my money I’d sign Chapman for 3B and either move Baty or give him a different position to learn at Syracuse. Nice job on the Denis.

  • AgingBull

    Great article. The first of many that we will see from M360, I am sure. For whatever it’s worth, I agree with most of your picks, but I would send Guillorme and Drew Smith out of town on the same bus as Vogelbach. I do like Locastro as OF4 due to his speed and defense plus I believe 2 years of control. I would like to see them sign 2 SPs, including Yamamoto of course, and then an SP3 or 4 TBD. Quintana turned out to be a great find – hopefully they can find another. The combo of Peterson, Megill, and Lucchesi filling one SP slot seems OK, but asking that trio to fill two seems risky. Hopefully they can bring Robertson back so we can see what the combo of Diaz, DRob, and Ottavino can do.
    It’s time to heat up that stove!

  • Metsense

    It isn’t crazy to trade Alonso. There are certain situations that trading him would be beneficial. He is not untouchable.
    Mauricio (77 OPS+), Vientos (69 OPS+) and Baty (65 OPS+) have potential but the reality is that they have performed below average. Giving them two or three starting positions would be risky, especially if the team wants to compete for a playoff spot.
    Marte should be the 4th outfielder and not be relied on. He is 35 hasn’t been healthy since the summer of 2022 so I rebound is unlikely but he could be valuable on the bench with a reduced role.
    Bellinger will seek a multi-year contract. 2021 and 2022 production would make me hesitate give him that kind of money. Chapman isn’t worth that kind of money. Lourdes Gurriel Jr and Jeimer Candelario would be cheaper with similar results.
    DJ Stewart for a 5th outfielder, DH and power hitting PH for the bench.
    The Mets need two good, younger starting pitchers. Montgomery and Yamamoto would be a fit. They also need two relievers better than Drew Smith . If these two relievers were similar to Ottavino or Raley then they would have a formidable bullpen.
    I appreciate you opening up the discussion and sharing your thoughts.

  • T.J.

    Great article and lots of great comments. Brian basically nailed it with regards to the $64,000 question – what will Uncle S spend? I’d like to keep Stewart and LoCastro if they don’t bring in a bigger OF bat. Marte may be done but his salary will likely mean he’ll get one more shot. I love Luis G but I don’t think he fits with Mauricio in the picture. I love Nido too, but he could only OPS .729 in the AAA hitter’s paradise. Narvaez is a career .740 OPS vs RHP, I can live with him and Nido in AAA just in case.

    Raley is a keeper. Ottavino can decide if he stays or goes…I wouldn’t pay him any more to retain him. I’d be happy with Robertson back. Smith, eh, he is low cost and probably better than the AAA shuttle guys.

    I could live with Dan’s recommendation of only signing Yamamoto as an additional starter, as his age should align him well with the 2025-27 targeted golden era.

    • Michael McChesney

      Marte is actually under contract for 2 more years, so he might end up with 2 more shots. Ideally, Marte rebounds. Since Stewart isn’t even arbitration-eligible yet and still has a minor-league option, it makes no sense to get rid of him (barring a trade). But because of Marte’s injuries, resigning a backup outfielder like Tommy Pham would make a lot of sense. But I wouldn’t sign an outfielder to a multi-year contract given that Luisangel Acuña and Drew Gilbert aren’t that far from being major league ready. Unless Ohtani is willing to sign with the Mets, I think the Mets need to focus on pitching over position players. Though, signing J.D. Martinez to a one-year contract to DH (if Ohtani won’t sign) also makes a lot of sense.

  • Mike W

    This team needs a big shakeup. The question is, what will Stearns do? I don’t think he signs Bellinger. Too much risk of him going back to .199 Bellinger. Once Alonso signed with Boras, likely sealed his NY fate. He will hold out for free agency and Boras will get him a contract bigger than Olson or Freeman. So, Stearns trades him this off season. I also don’t think he will go with the Baty Vientos platoon at third. Marte as the DH is a terrible idea. We need another power bat in the lineup, especially if we trade Alonso. McNeil may go too. If all we do for the rotation is sign Yamamoto, that’s great, but relying on two starters from Peterson, Megill, Lucchesi is a bad idea. We need a second starter and Montgomery could fill that role very nicely.

    Signing Yamamoto is almost a must signing. The Mets also have some nice pitchers developing in the minors.

    Maybe Muaricio wins the second base job. I see Baty starting in AAA starting off the year. Marte and Vientos in backup roles. I don’t know who we can get as a backup catcher, but Nido can’t hit. Look at the Braves, D’Arnaud has a lot of pop as a backup. Guillorme can hit his weight either. Need an athletic utility player who has some pop who can run the bases.

    The bullpen, that will get filled with some better relievers than we had this past year.

    So, all I can say, is that I really see a lot of changes for the team, some critical free agent signings and some shrewd trades. At least, that is what I hope.

    • Steve_S.

      I would much rather NY signs Ohtani over Bellinger—and I think they will. I don’t agree that Boros means no Alonso. I don’t think he’ll be traded; rather, he’ll be a free agent and the Mets will meet or beat the top offer (similar to Nimmo). Who will give him a 10-year, $275m deal? I’m guessing it will be 7 years/$200m. or so.

      The Mets have so many options at 3B—someone will emerge. It could be Mauricio there. If Marte is done, he’ll be traded, released, or be a 4th OF. Let’s see what he got left.

      I agree on the need to sign two starters, maybe Yamamoto and Montgomery. And, of course, we need to sign or trade for some good relievers.

  • TexasGusCC

    Tim Britton wrote an analysis of the different options the Mets can take with their payroll in The Athletic that I skimmed through, but will read closer tomorrow. Meantime, I agree with Brian and Metsense in that 1. The Mets can look to reset somewhat since what good is just making the playoffs but have weaknesses and 2. The Mets aren’t obligated to resign Alonso. Yes, 40 homerun hitters don’t grow on trees, so if they could agree, then great! Seems the AAV is agreed upon, just not the years. Give him an olive branch and increase the AAV and add a year. If he plays hardball, then call the Cubs and the Guardians.

    While the Mets have $18MM to play with before arbitration salaries according to, that’s for the $237MM tax threshold. The number to circle is $277MM because that is where the draft penalty occurs. Also, if we scoff at Alonso’s age, isn’t Ohtani around the same age? Should we go wild on him? The answer is: S O T O, Soto, Soto, Soto, in 2025. Hence, since the Mets aren’t winning a championship with this bunch, set up in punt formation and play the Baby Mets. Use some of that $58MM available to sign Yamamoto and Alonso if he’s amiable to flexibility. If not, then move on. The Mets can be competitive next year, but not ruin it for getting the 25 year old superstar in 2025 or keep getting draft penalties.

    • Mike W

      That’s realistic Gus. I think the Mets are looking at and should at 2025. In 2025, we may have talent come up such as Jett Williams and Kevin Parada. To keep the catchers fresh, Parada and Alvarez can share catching duties and DH. Jett Williams could be a great leadoff hitter. Plus we have other talent that may come up.

      McNeil is a nice player, but for example Jett Williams has terrific stolen base speed and he has a terrific eye for the plate. He has better skills than McNeil for what we need.

      So, I think Stearns will look to add things that we really need and look to compete next year but be a powerhouse in 2025.

    • Woodrow

      Editor’s Note – Please stop posting the same ridiculous trade proposal over and over and over again. Multiple people have told you this won’t work and the answer is not going to change.

  • Mike W

    I asked Chat GPT AI what free agents should the Mets sign this offseason. I got a lame answer.

    I don’t have access to current data as my knowledge is up to September 2021. The New York Mets’ decisions on which free agents to sign would depend on their current roster, needs, and budget. I

    • TexasGusCC

      Yasamoto, Eduardo Rodriguez and JD Martinez…. should have asked me! LOLLL!

  • Denis Engel

    Thanks for all the thoughtful comments.

  • Bob eilbott

    Love Mauricio at 3b and Acura at 2b. He’s got amazing speed. Also what about Cortes for a last chance. Young pitchers in minors should be given a shot and Yamamoto is a definite. If we trade Alonso we must sign bellinger.

  • edred51

    Boros will not impede the Mets from re-signing Alonso and he will re-sign after the 2024 season. Mauricio is at Second and McNeil goes to Left which will save his arm. I am underwhelmed with both Batty and Vientos but believe the Mets give them one more shot and will let them share 3B unless a trade including them pops up.
    A lot of uncertainty around Marte. Can he go back to RF ? Become the #4 outfielder/primary DH or do the Mets eat his remaining salary ($39mil)? With rwo more years on his contract he gets a big shot at somewhere.
    As for Catcher what is being overlooked is that Narvaez has a player’s option for 2024 and at $7mil the Mets will have him back up Alvarez for 60-65 games rather than throw his salary into the garbage.
    Senga and Quintana are a great lock as #2 and #3 SPs. After what Peterson, Megill, Butto and Lucchesi did in the second half, if they have a good Spring they may be the Mets #4 amd #5 SPs….maybe. They have to go after a strong starter and there is a proven crop available in Montgomery, Nola, Snell and Gray along with Yamamoto and the Mets go after one, possibly two of them.
    One of Eppier’s big failures with the Mets was in building the back end of the bullpen. Robinson was great but he is not coming back. Diaz, Raley and Ottavino will be a a strong base but it’s the rest of the Pen, including Smith and Gott that were a disaster.
    That leaves back up infielder and outfieler(s) and DH. Put names in a hat or roll the dice – Guillorme who fields about as well as any MLB infielder and Locastro who fields and runs well are maybes and at DH, is it simply a rotation of the existing roster or do they bring in a Cody Bellinger or J.D. Martinez who were suggested above and are not bad ideas.
    Should make for an entertaining Winter.

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