Vogelbach's time with Mets comes to an end

Veteran DH not tendered contract at deadline; Guillorme also hits free agency

November 18th, 2023

NEW YORK -- The Mets on Friday non-tendered designated hitter , ending the tenure of a player whose one-and-a-half-season run became synonymous with the disappointments of the franchise as a whole.

With Vogelbach now a free agent, the Mets will look for other options to fill their vacant DH position.

The team also non-tendered infielder and relievers , and while tendering contracts to all of its other players on nonguaranteed deals -- a group that includes relievers and , and outfielder .

Vogelbach, 30, was one of the Mets’ higher-profile acquisitions prior to the 2022 Trade Deadline, when the team acquired him from Pittsburgh in exchange for reliever Colin Holderman. After a relatively hot start, Vogelbach produced a .740 OPS over his final 40 games that season, went 0-for-7 in a Wild Card Series loss to the Padres, then posted a .213/.326/.348 slash line over the first three months of the 2023 season. By August he had lost much of his playing time to Mark Vientos and other, younger players.

Along the way he routinely elicited boos at Citi Field, as fans made him a symbol of the misfortunes of the past two seasons.

After making $1.5 million in 2023, Vogelbach would have been in line for a raise through the arbitration process. MLB Trade Rumors estimated his salary at $2.6 million.

Guillorme, 29, was one of the longest-tenured Mets, making his Major League debut in 2018 and serving as a part-time starting player from 2020-22. But he struggled to stay healthy, going on the injured list four times in the last three seasons, and he put together a career-worst year in 2023 with a .224/.288/.327 slash line. Even his infield defense, which had long been his calling card, took a dip; he went from +3 outs above average in 2022 to -5 OAA in 2023.

Those factors, along with the blossoming presence of rookies Vientos, Brett Baty and Ronny Mauricio, made Guillorme expensive. He made $1.6 million last season and was set for a slight raise to $1.7 million, per MLBTR estimates.

Gott, 31, came to the team in a minor but notable July trade that saw the Mets absorb Chris Flexen’s salary from the Mariners and then immediately release him. That allowed them to acquire Gott, an eight-year veteran who produced a 4.19 ERA overall in 64 appearances. The final 34 of those came with the Mets, who would have owed him a raise over the $1.2 million he made last year. MLBTR pegged Gott’s salary at $2 million.

Brigham, 31, was one of former general manager Billy Eppler’s coveted offseason acquisitions. He did show flashes of excellence over 37 appearances with the Mets but lacked consistency, finishing with a 5.26 ERA. MLBTR estimated his arbitration salary at $1.1 million.

Coonrod, 31, was set to play a significant role in the 2023 bullpen before he tore his right lat during Spring Training and missed the entire first half. By the time he returned, the Mets were out of contention. He struggled in limited action down the stretch and was due to make $900,000 next season, per MLBTR.

As for the players who will be back, Smith, 30, entered the season as one of manager Buck Showalter’s more trusted relievers and held a 1.88 ERA as late as May 15, but he produced a 5.75 mark over his next 40 games and finished with a 4.15 ERA. He made $1.3 million and is projected to make $2.3 million next year, according to MLBTR estimates.

Bickford, 28, came to the Mets in a cash deal with the Dodgers shortly before the Trade Deadline. A first-round Draft pick in both 2013 and ’15, he produced a strong season with the Brewers and Dodgers in 2021 but hasn’t been able to revisit those heights since, posting a 4.95 ERA last season.