Now that the 2023 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Abraham Almonte) to W (Josh Walker). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at relief pitcher Adam Ottavino.
Player Review: Adam Ottavino
2023 Stats: 66 Appearances, 61.2 Innings Pitched, 1-7 Won-Loss Record, 3.21 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 12 Saves, 3 Blown Saves, 12 Holds, 62:29 K:BB Ratio, .208 Batting Average Against, 1.2 WAR
Story: After a strong first season with the Mets, Adam Ottavino re-signed with the club on a two-year deal worth $14.5 million that contained a player option for a second year. Ottavino entered spring training expecting to work as one of two primary setup men to Edwin Diaz alongside David Robertson, but Diaz’s injury at the World Baseball Classic slid Robertson into the closer’s chair and Ottavino as the top eighth inning option.
The Mets saw Ottavino get off to a hot start but wear down a bit in May and June due to overuse, seeing his ERA spike from 2.00 on April 25 to 4.13 by June 28. Ottavino got back on track in July, however, and found himself as the Mets’ primary closer down the stretch after Robertson was traded to the Miami Marlins. The role wasn’t new for Ottavino, who had picked up six saves in the first half on days when Robertson was either unavailable or worked earlier in the game, and he offered some stability for a depleted bullpen as a result.
No one expected Ottavino to duplicate his nearly-flawless 2022 season, when his ERA was a shade over 2.00, but Ottavino was one of the few reliable relievers to come out of the Mets’ bullpen in 2023.
Contract Status: Free Agent
Odds Of Returning: 30%
2024 Role: Setup Reliever
While most expected Ottavino to pick up his player option for 2024, Ottavino surprised the baseball world by declining it to hit the open market. Ottavino explained his decision in the media by stating that the Mets’ moves to fire Buck Showalter and Billy Eppler’s resignation as General Manager created a lot of uncertainty for him, especially when the team wasn’t interested in re-doing his current contract. Those factors led Ottavino to decide that keeping his options open for 2024 was a wise call but he hasn’t ruled out a reunion with the Mets yet.
New President of Baseball Operations David Stearns has indicated that bullpen help is a priority for the Mets, who could certainly circle back to Ottavino later in the offseason if they miss on some of their primary targets. The Mets may be trying to go a bit younger in their bullpen, however, and Ottavino will turn 39 next season so anything more than a one-year deal wouldn’t make a ton of sense for that plan. The odds are therefore stacked against a return but it isn’t inconceivable that Ottavino, a New York native, could be back for his third year as a Met in 2024.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at catcher Michael Perez!