Aside from the daunting task of trying to re-assemble a 101 win roster with plenty of key free agents, the New York Mets also had to essentially build their bullpen from scratch. The Mets entered the offseason with Drew Smith as the only reliever under contract to make at least 20 appearances in 2022, creating a huge project for GM Billy Eppler to work on. That bullpen moved one step closer to completion today as the Mets have agreed to re-sign Adam Ottavino to a two-year deal, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
The contract is worth $14.5 million and allows Ottavino to opt out after next season. Ottavino, who turned 38 last month, was quite the find for the Mets in 2022 as he posted a 2.06 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 66 appearances. The Mets saw Ottavino become their top setup man last season and wanted to retain him in free agency, making this a key retention for a unit that will look much different now than it did at the end of 2022.
The Mets have already retained Edwin Diaz on a five-year deal while watching Seth Lugo, Trevor May and Joely Rodriguez sign with other teams. The unit has been strengthened with the addition of David Robertson on a one-year deal and the trade for lefty Brooks Raley as guaranteed major league pieces while Eppler has added a ton of depth to the unit in the form of trade acquisitions (like Jeff Brigham and Elieser Hernandez from the Miami Marlins), waiver claims (Stephen Ridings), minor league deals (Jimmy Iacobinis) and a Rule V claim (Zach Greene).
Keeping Ottavino gives the Mets a solid quartet of late inning relievers they trust with him, Diaz, Robertson and Raley. The Mets may not be done adding to this area of the roster, however, as they have reportedly explored a trade for Liam Hendriks from the Chicago White Sox. More bullpen arms and another bat appear to be next on the agenda for Eppler as the Mets keep working to improve their roster over the course of the winter.