1 area where the Mets have gotten better, 1 where they got worse, 1 that has stayed the same

Where have the Mets gotten better and where have they come up short so far this winter?

Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets
Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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The Mets bullpen has gotten worse

The end-of-season bullpen the Mets had in 2023 may have even been on-par with what we have right now. There’s no Adam Ottavino who, if he had opted into his deal, would’ve had many of us thinking more positively about this team’s relief corps. Instead, there’s a whole bunch of rebound candidates or guys coming off of injuries fighting for significant innings. Worst of all, many don’t even have minor league options available. What are the Mets doing?

Michael Tonkin was a solid enough addition for the Mets and at a $1 million price tag. Jorge Lopez, who had an All-Star run with the Baltimore Orioles in 2022 and then fell off a cliff with the Minnesota Twins after getting traded, feels like a “cross your fingers and hope for the best” kind of addition. Outside of that early part of the 2022 season, he hasn’t been all that great.

Many of the returning names who currently hold a roster spot bring their own questions. Edwin Diaz raises few doubts and even Brooks Raley showed we can have faith in him. What about Drew Smith who was much less himself in 2023? Sean Reid-Foley isn’t a major league reliever and neither is Phil Bickford.

Most difficult of all could be navigating a full season with a bullpen where few, if any, players are optional to the minor leagues. It takes far more than the Opening Day roster relievers to get through a season. Both in terms of talent and roster usage, the Mets bullpen is looking bad.