Mets engage in constant talks ahead of the Winter Meetings

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Dec. 1: Mets in ‘constant’ talks ahead of Winter Meetings
The Mets might have a very busy week in San Diego for the Winter Meetings. According to general manger Billy Eppler, the team is already engaged in a frenzy of activity as it looks to improve the roster for 2023.

“I’m having active and pretty regular dialogue on a number of fronts,” Eppler said Thursday. “The volume of phone calls and connections that we’re making on a daily basis in the starting and relieving and the position player market, it’s pretty constant.”

The first order of business for New York is finding a way to re-sign ace Jacob deGrom. The team’s offseason strategy hinges on what happens there. And there is a belief among some MLB team executives and insiders that deGrom will ultimately continue his career with the Mets.

Nov. 29: Rodón meeting with Mets (report)
The Mets have been linked to the top starting pitchers on the free-agent market, and they are reportedly meeting with one of them today. Left-hander Carlos Rodón is having a Zoom meeting with the Mets, according to MLB Network insider Joel Sherman. 

Sherman adds that the Mets haven’t yet determined whether to spend the money necessary to land one of the elite starters available — Rodón, Jacob deGrom or Justin Verlander — or, if so, which one. But his sense is that the Mets want to get one of those top arms to pair him with Max Scherzer atop the rotation. More>

Nov. 28: deGrom is Mets’ ‘focus’ on SP market (report)
Although they’ve shown interest in a number of top free-agent starters, the Mets appear to be focused on re-signing Jacob deGrom, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. More>

Nov. 23: Morosi expects Mets to land ace
With multiple rotation spots to fill, including one that was previously occupied by two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, the Mets are likely to remain engaged with the free-agent starting pitcher market in the coming weeks.

The three top names on the market — deGrom, Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodón — are all on the Mets’ radar, according to’s Jon Paul Morosi, who expects New York to land one of them.

“I think the Mets are a really interesting team to watch right now because I have a hard time believing that the Mets do not come away with one of Rodón, Verlander, deGrom,” Morosi said Wednesday on MLB Network. “When you look at their rotation right now, Chris Bassitt is a free agent, Taijuan Walker is a free agent and deGrom is of course as well.

“They need help in that area. They really need to fortify their group of starting pitchers in addition to some other pursuits, and certainly trying to retain Brandon Nimmo and compete in a division that includes the last two National League champs.”

Rodón is likely a fallback option for the Mets, who would need to forfeit their second- and fifth-highest picks in the 2023 Draft and $1 million from their international bonus pool to sign the left-hander after he declined a qualifying offer from the Giants. New York wouldn’t need to forfeit Draft picks to sign deGrom or Verlander.

Nov. 20: Mets meet with Verlander (report) 
Following a New York Post report Saturday that the Mets are considering AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander to replace Jacob deGrom if the latter departs in free agency, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required) reports that the club had a Zoom meeting with Verlander. 

If deGrom signs elsewhere and the Mets do bring in Verlander, he’ll be paired up again with former Tigers rotation mate Max Scherzer at the top of New York’s rotation. The club is reportedly considering a shorter-term, higher-annual-average contract with deGrom, who is 35 and has had injury problems the past couple of years. The same may go for Verlander, who will be 40 next year, though he continues to defy time with his dominance on the mound — he led the Majors with a 1.75 ERA for the World Series champion Astros this year.

Nov. 19: Mets considering Verlander as deGrom backup plan (report)
Where will the Mets turn if they aren’t able to re-sign two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom? According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the club is considering AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. More>

First, deGrom. DiComo thinks the Mets are still the favorites to bring back their ace, but if a team like the Rangers or Dodgers are able to land deGrom with an above-market offer, New York would pursue one of the other top free-agent arms. The two that stand out: Carlos Rodón from the Giants and Kodai Senga, the flamethrowing 29-year-old from Japan. 

Second, Nimmo. DiComo reports that the Mets are likely to remain a serious suitor for Nimmo, who they want to keep in New York, throughout free agency. But he expects the widespread interest in Nimmo to prolong the period it takes him to pick a club to sign with.

Nov. 15: Mets considering Verlander, Senga, trades
The Mets are “considering whether to pursue”Justin Verlander and are “forging ahead” with their pursuit of Japanese right-hander Kodai Senga, league sources told SNY’s Andy Martino.

Signing Verlander, who will turn 40 in February, would likely take a high-value, short-term contract similar to the one that the Mets gave Max Scherzer last offseason, but Martino writes that the Mets have considered such a signing for months and that it “remains a topic of discussion” within the front office.

Numerous teams have been linked to Senga in recent reports. He is visiting clubs in the United States and will meet with the Mets, sources told Martino. The 29-year-old produced a 2.59 ERA and a 10.3 K/9 rate over more than 1,000 innings pitched across 11 seasons for Nippon Professional Baseball’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.

Unlike other top free-agent pitchers such as Jacob deGrom, Verlander and Senga have no qualifying offer attached to them, which means they aren’t tied to Draft-pick compensation.

Beyond free agency, Martino reports that the Mets are also looking to pull off a trade today, possibly for pitching, as the 6 p.m. ET Deadline approaches for teams to add players eligible for the Rule 5 Draft to their 40-man rosters.

Nov. 11: Mets considering reunion with Conforto (report)
The Mets have already made one huge move this offseason, agreeing to terms with closer Edwin Díaz on a record-setting five-year contract.

With that out of the way, the Mets can turn their attention to the other free agents who were on their roster. One in particular is center fielder Brandon Nimmo, whom the Mets are still aiming to re-sign. However, if they can’t bring Nimmo back, Mets general manager Billy Eppler has already said the team could shift right fielder Starling Marte back over to center. So who could fill that vacated corner spot? One possibility is former Met Michael Conforto.

New York does have interest in Conforto, a source tells The Athletic’s Will Sammon (subcription required).

The left-handed hitter entered last winter as a free agent but didn’t sign prior to the lockout and ultimately didn’t play after suffering a shoulder injury in January that required surgery.

The 29-year-old’s value took a dip following a ’21 season in which he hit just .232 with 14 homers in 125 games. His .729 OPS represented a nearly .200-point drop from the shortened 2020 season. From 2017-19, Conforto averaged a 131 OPS+ and 29 homers per 162 games. Mets left-handed hitters ranked near the middle of the pack in MLB with 72 homers this past season. Sixteen came from Nimmo.

Conforto’s agent, Scott Boras, said earlier this week that the outfielder is fully healthy.

Nov. 8: Mets not willing to offer deGrom record AAV?
The Yankees and Mets both had franchise cornerstones reach free agency in recent days, with Aaron Judge hitting the market Sunday and deGrom opting out of his contract Monday. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman gets the sense that Judge is more likely to return than deGrom.

Writing for the New York Post, Heyman reports that one Yanks executive said he felt more “confident” now than he had previously about the team’s chances of re-signing Judge, while those who have spoken to the Mets recently got the impression the team is pessimistic about bringing back deGrom.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, the Mets have made preliminary contact with deGrom’s camp, but the word is that nothing has progressed very far yet. Martino notes the Mets would be “reluctant” to go to four years for deGrom.More>

Nov. 6: Source: Mets, Díaz agree to 5-year, $102 million deal
Díaz and the Mets struck the first big move of the offseason Sunday as the sides agreed on a five-year contract worth $102 million, according to’s Anthony DiComo. The team has yet to confirm the signing, which is pending a physical.

Nov. 3: Where do Mets stand on Judge?
Mets fans might be enamored with the thought of their favorite team swiping Judge from the Yankees and proclaiming itself the king of New York, but one report suggests it’s unlikely the Mets will pursue the superstar slugger. More>

Nov. 2: A look at the Mets’ key free agents
The Mets are entering a pivotal offseason, Steve Cohen’s third since taking ownership of the team in November 2020. New York made a huge leap in 2022, winning 101 games and reaching the postseason for the first time since 2016. However, the Mets faded late and had to settle for a Wild Card spot, then lost to the Padres in the NL Wild Card Series.

Now, they may be faced with having to replace four starting pitchers — including two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom — as well as All-Star closer Edwin Díaz, starting center fielder/leadoff hitter Brandon Nimmo and multiple setup relievers.

deGrom, who is expected to opt out of the final year on his five-year, $137.5 million contract, is easily the biggest name on the Mets’ list of impending free agents. Given his age (34) and recent injury history, deGrom could command a short-term deal with a high average annual value, like the one Max Scherzer inked with the Mets last offseason (three years, $130 million).

Starting pitchers Taijuan Walker (player option) and Chris Bassitt (mutual option) also could become free agents, and the Mets have to make a decision on Carlos Carrasco’s $14 million club option.

Meanwhile, Díaz could be in line for the largest contract ever signed by a reliever, a record that was set by Aroldis Chapman’s five-year, $86 million deal in 2016. ESPN’s Jeff Passan opined in an appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show” in September that Díaz could be baseball’s first $100 million closer.

Nimmo should be a popular free-agent target as well, given the dearth of viable center fielders available. In an appearance on The Show podcast with MLB Network insiders Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman, Mets general manager Billy Eppler indicated the team would be comfortable moving Starling Marte back to center if Nimmo departs. Marte, who signed with the Mets for $78 million over four years last November, was primarily a center fielder before moving to right in 2022.

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