While the baseball world awaits word on Carlos Correa’s situation with the Mets, the Amazin’s are taking care of other business. The team announced on Tuesday that Adam Ottavino’s one-year deal to return to Flushing is official.
Ottavino’s deal is reportedly for $7.25 million with a player option to return in 2024 potentially totaling $14.5 million over two years. The right-handed reliever is coming off of one of the best seasons of his career where he recorded a 2.06 ERA over 66 appearances with the Mets.
“Adam has a long track record of success,” Mets GM Billy Eppler said in a statement. “He was a staple for us late in games last season, which shows the trust we have in him. We’re excited to have him back.”
The 37-year-old and his wipeout slider figures to slot back into his high-leverage role for Buck Showalter’s squad. But Ottavino will have competition as the Mets added other players capable of being called on in pressure-packed situations.
As part of Steve Cohen’s unprecedented offseason spending spree — $806 million if the Correa signing becomes official — were upgrades made to the bullpen.
The Mets didn’t stop at bringing back their two most effective relievers in Edwin Diaz — arguably the best closer in the game last season — and Ottavino, they made two quality additions as well.
Veteran righty David Robertson joined the Mets on a one-year, $10 million deal after posting a 2.40 ERA with the Cubs and Phillies last season. Eppler also swung a deal to land southpaw Brooks Raley and his 2.68 ERA in 2022 from the Rays.
The upgrades to the bullpen were necessary and arguably their biggest area of need heading into this offseason. The Mets posted a 3.55 bullpen ERA which was good for 10th in the MLB, but definitely needed an upgrade if the end goal is raising the Commissioner’s trophy in October.
The Mets will also have some internal candidates to add to the newfound depth in their bullpen. Tylor Megill and David Peterson both impressed last season in their roles as swiss army knife-types that could both start and come in relief.
The Amazin’s may opt to go with a six-man rotation due to the age at the top of their rotation and the inexperience with a traditional four-day rest schedule from Kodai Senga which would likely leave one of Megill or Peterson to settle into a full-time bullpen role.
Eppler and the front office did see a few subtractions from their bullpen. Most notably Seth Lugo bolted Queens for the San Diego Padres, the other high-spenders of the offseason, seeking more an opportunity to start on a regular basis. Joely Rodriguez — who made 55 appearances with the Mets posting a 4.47 ERA — also left town to head to the Red Sox.
The Mets have undoubtedly made the most noise this offseason, however, the smaller improvements made to the bullpen could be the difference between winning 101 games and finishing in second place or 102 games sitting atop the stacked NL East.
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