The Mets got their offseason started quickly this year, as they signed Edwin Díaz—their best reliever this year by a wide margin—to a five-year, $102 million contract. In doing so, they retained a 28-year-old who had a 1.31 ERA and 0.90 FIP in 2022, one who became a beloved player after having gotten off to a very poor start in his first season with the team back in 2019.
On top of retaining a player of that caliber, the could indicate that the team is once again willing to use its owner’s significant piles of money to be as competitive as possible in 2023 and beyond. This signing is worth celebrating, but it’s important to note that the bullpen is one of the areas that will require money to build a supporting cast for Díaz.
As currently constituted, the Mets’ bullpen projection for Opening Day on Roster Resource is as follows:
- Edwin Díaz
- Drew Smith
- Bryce Montas de Oca
- Stephen Nogosek
- Yoan López
- Eric Orze
- Josh Walker
- Nate Fisher
It’s worth noting that the Mets have team options on Mychael Givens, who wasn’t great but might be worth retaining at a relatively low salary, and John Curtiss, a pitcher signed earlier this year while recovering from Tommy John surgery specifically so the Mets could have him signed for 2023. So it’s possible that those two pitchers would slot in beneath Smith on the list above.
With all of that in mind, the Mets probably need to sign four more relievers as an absolute bare minimum. Several of their 2022 relievers are set to hit free agency—Seth Lugo, Adam Ottavino, Trevor May, Joely Rodríguez, and Trevor Williams—and at least a couple of them could be worth bringing back. Whether it’s any of those arms or entirely new ones, though, the team should not neglect the bullpen behind Díaz.