3 returning pitchers that could battle for a bullpen spot in spring training

New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
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Not everyone in the 2023 New York Mets bullpen will be as unhittable as closer Edwin Diaz. The extreme of success, the team will need to fill in around him this offseason with free agent signings, some trades, and a few chances on players already within the organization.

The Mets will have a tough time rebuilding their bullpen exclusively through the outside. This gives pitchers like these three a very good chance to battle it out in the spring as they hope to win a roster spot on Opening Day.

These three returning relievers could find their way onto the Opening Day roster. First, they'll need to battle it out in the St. Lucie.

1) NY Mets bullpen candidate: Bryce Montes de Oca

We should think the Mets will give Bryce Montes de Oca a big chance to become an impact reliever on the 2023 team. His minor league success last year led him to a promotion. Although used sparingly and unsuccessfully, the results might look very different in 2023.

Montes de Oca would deliver a 10.80 ERA in his 3.1 innings. It’s not enough to make any determination on what’s next for him. Relievers don’t always develop quickly. With the 2023 season representing his age 27 campaign, it’s not necessarily a “do or die” campaign for him to prove anything.

A valuable aspect Montes de Oca brings to the roster are his minor league options. You’ll get sick and tired of reading about this during the offseason. But it’s important.

The Mets didn’t have much flexibility with their bullpen or entire roster last year as far as minor league options went. This season, things might not get much better. We expect them to bring in veteran outsiders to fill holes. It’s those last two or three spots in the bullpen where it’s important the Mets do have guys they can send to the minors temporarily and promote someone better rested.

Even if he doesn’t crack the Opening Day roster, expect Montes de Oca to be an early promotion candidate.