Tracking the Mets' flurry of offseason moves

December 22nd, 2022

NEW YORK -- It was barely two years ago that Steve Cohen, upon purchasing the Mets, cautioned the public that he and team officials would not “spend like drunken sailors” in their pursuit of a revamped roster. For two winters, Cohen held to that ideal, keeping his expenditures (relatively) modest.

Then, everything changed. So far this offseason, the Mets have committed nearly $500 million to free agents, in addition to more than a half-dozen other deals. It can be hard to keep track of it all, so here’s a look at every big leaguer the Mets have added since the end of the World Series.

OF Brandon Nimmo, 8 years, $162 million
A fan favorite in Flushing, Nimmo explored interest from teams, including the Giants and Yankees, before returning to the Mets on what was (briefly) their most expensive deal of the offseason. He has already been in the organization for 12 years and stands a good chance of becoming a Met for life.

RHP Edwin Díaz, 5 years, $102 million
Díaz’s signing was the first significant move by any team this offseason, as the Mets moved quickly to lock up their All-Star closer. His contract includes a $20 million option for the 2028 season, giving fans ample opportunities to hear “Narco” blare at Citi Field over the next half-decade.

RHP Justin Verlander, 2 years, $86.6 million
It says something about the Mets’ offseason that Verlander’s deal seems downright cheap in comparison to some others. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and former MVP signed on to replace Jacob deGrom atop the Mets’ rotation. His contract includes a $35 million vesting option for 2025 and matches Max Scherzer’s deal for the highest average annual value in Major League history.

RHP Kodai Senga, 5 years, $75 million
The wild card of the offseason is Senga, a six-time Japan Series champion who became an unrestricted free agent in November. The Mets scooped him up with an eye toward making him their No. 3 starter, though Senga will need to prove that his signature “ghost forkball” can be as potent against MLB hitters as it was on the other side of the Pacific.

LHP José Quintana, 2 years, $26 million
Completely overshadowed by the Mets’ flashier signings was their two-year deal for Quintana, an 11-year veteran who produced a 2.93 ERA over 32 starts for the Pirates and Cardinals last season. Quintana should slot fourth in the rotation behind Scherzer, Verlander and Senga.

C Omar Narváez, 2 years, $15 million
Unsatisfied with the offensive production of catchers James McCann -- who was traded to the O's a week after this agreement -- and Tomás Nido, the Mets struck a deal with Narváez, a left-handed hitter who is also adept behind the plate. The deal should buy more time for top prospect Francisco Álvarez to improve defensively in the Minors. It includes an opt-out after Year 1.

RHP Adam Ottavino, 2 years, $14.5 million
Mets fans are plenty familiar with Ottavino, a New York native who played Robin to Díaz’s Batman in the 2022 bullpen. He’s returning on a multiyear deal (with an opt-out after next season) to set up Díaz once more.

RHP David Robertson, 1 year, $10 million
The Mets didn’t acquire Robertson at the 2022 Trade Deadline despite harboring interest in him. Five months later, they made sure the 14-year veteran wouldn’t slip through their fingers again. Robertson will join Ottavino as another top right-handed option to set up Díaz.

INF Danny Mendick, 1 year, $1 million
Mendick not only offers the Mets additional infield depth, but he opens up a possibility for the team to trade Eduardo Escobar, if warranted. After missing the final three months of last season due to a knee injury, Mendick will need to prove his health in Spring Training.

The rest:

• The Mets traded for Rays lefty reliever Brooks Raley, who will make $4.5 million next season and is under team control through 2025.
• They dealt the struggling McCann to the Orioles with cash for a player to be named later, and will assume $19 million of the $24 million left on his contract
• The team selected right-handed reliever Zach Greene from the Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft.
• Right-handed pitchers Elieser Hernández and Jeff Brigham came in a trade with the Marlins to provide pitching depth.
• Right-hander Stephen Ridings and left-hander Tayler Saucedo arrived on waiver claims. They will compete for bullpen jobs.

In sum, the Mets have added 16 players from outside the organization to their 40-man roster, including a commitment of $806.1 million to free agents.