The Mets could have as many as 14 players who appeared for them in a game during the 2022 season hit the free-agent market this winter, but most of the focus will be set upon three: Starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, center fielder Brandon Nimmo, and closer Edwin Diaz.
Three key cogs in the machine that won 101 games — and three vital pieces that could keep a core with World Series aspirations intact.
But there won’t be a shortage of competition for any of New York’s centerpieces, which will warrant the age-old question of whether or not Steve Cohen will be willing to overpay to ensure a feeling of familiarity within the clubhouse.
Here is how we could see each of deGrom, Nimmo, and Diaz’s next contracts looking like.
Jacob deGrom- 3 years, $150 million
Before you get all worked up, just wait. This is obviously a record-setting, bloated contract that will spark debate all throughout baseball this winter. But that $50 million per year mark could be a very real number that the 33-year-old’s deal MIGHT include, especially if this becomes a bidding war. Of course, his health is a major factor in all of this, which means there will have to be stipulations and incentives to protect the team from getting burned if the injury bug pops back up while ultimately guaranteeing deGrom that huge number if he can put full seasons together. Regardless, it’s a sizable gamble for a pitcher who will be 35 in June, but the potential reward is immense. deGrom has been baseball’s most dominant pitcher when healthy, sporting a 1.94 ERA across 91 starts from 2018-2021. I could see his deal more in the three-year, $130 million range.
Other teams that could be interested: Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers
Brandon Nimmo- 6 years, $105 million
Nimmo could not have timed his contract year much better where, most importantly, he stayed healthy for most of it. He played in a career-high 151 games while batting .274 with an .800 OPS to go with 16 home runs and a career-high 64 RBI. Even more impressive has been his evolution as a defender in center field, which only makes his value increase. He’s also joined Scott Boras’ camp to oversee negotiations on a new deal — so you know a team-friendly deal probably won’t be in the cards for him.
Other teams that could be interested: Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants
Edwin Diaz- 5 years, $100 million
A closer has never had a $100 million contract, but if Edwin Diaz can’t get it, who will? The 28-year-old returned to his truly dominant ways that were flashed in Seattle with the Mariners, but in this season he was even better. Diaz struck out 118 of 235 batters faced in 2022 — more than half — while posting a 1.31 ERA and 32 saves. At the very top of his peak in the majors, the competition for him on the open market will be overwhelming, which he appears to be aware of. “”I hope the team comes to me quick to talk. I hope we get the best offer. We’ll take the best offer for me and my family.”
Other teams that could be interested: Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees