Mets free agents ranked in order of importance to re-sign

Sep 28, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) reacts
Sep 28, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) reacts / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have a very lengthy list of free agents to make decisions on after their disappointing exit in the Wild Card round.

Virtually the entire rotation outside of Max Scherzer will be hitting free agency. Virtually the entire bullpen outside of Joely Rodriguez and Drew Smith will be hitting free agency.

Billy Eppler and the Mets have some very important decisions to make regarding their own free agents let alone external players they plan on bringing in. Here's how I think the current batch of Mets free agents should be ranked.

1) NY Mets free agents ranked: Brandon Nimmo

Brandon Nimmo is not the best player the Mets have available, but he's the most irreplaceable. Yes, the Mets have Starling Marte on the roster but I have no interest in moving a 34 year old back to center field where he has struggled in the past. Yes, Aaron Judge is available but signing him to a massive eight or nine-year deal with the entire pitching staff in question doesn't seem wise. Nimmo has turned into an elite defender in center field and has his elite on-base skills. He stayed healthy this season and chipped in 16 home runs as well. When healthy, he's a complete player. The drop-off in the free agent market is so massive to the point where the Mets cannot afford to let him walk.

2) NY Mets free agents ranked: Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz had a historic 2022 campaign and is the free agent I'm most confident the Mets will bring back. He wants to be here, the Mets want him here. With the entire bullpen hitting free agency the Mets would benefit greatly by re-signing the best closer in the game to the record-setting contract he deserves.

3) NY Mets free agents ranked: Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom is the best player on this list of free agents but comes with the most questions as well. Can he be relied upon to be close to healthy for a 162 game season? Is he the same pitcher he was from 2018-2021 now that he will be entering his age 34 season? Does he even want to be here? The Mets have other options like Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon in free agency. Of course, there's also Shohei Ohtani and others the Mets can acquire via trade.

4) NY Mets free agents ranked: Chris Bassitt

Chris Bassitt was the glue that kept this rotation together in 2022. Yes, he did stumble down the stretch but he was the only starter to take the ball every fifth day and give the Mets a chance to win. He's 33 and will likely decline his $19 million dollar mutual option. I have no idea what his demands will be, but the Mets would be foolish to not try everything within their power to bring him back. He's an elite third starter.

5) NY Mets free agents ranked: Adam Ottavino

Adam Ottavino came sort of out of nowhere in 2022. He was the Mets most reliable set-up man for Edwin Diaz, posting a 2.06 ERA in 66 appearances. Ottavino had his usual high strikeout rate but what made him very successful was walking just 2.2 batters per nine. He's at 3.9/9 in his career and walked 5.1/9 in 2021. Ottavino will be 37 in November and will likely not repeat the season he just had but he should still be a key piece in the 2023 Mets bullpen on a one-year deal primarily against right-handed hitters.

6) NY Mets free agents ranked: Trevor Williams

Trevor Williams was invaluable to the 2022 Mets. He was used as a starter and as a long man. Whenever relied upon he answered the bell. I'm not sure if he'd want to come back in that same role, but if the Mets are able to get him to agree to it, especially if they bring Jacob deGrom back, that'd be a big plus.

7) NY Mets free agents ranked: Trevor May

Trevor May dealt with injury this past season and struggled because of it. Once he came back, he ended the season on a strong note as he finished with a 1.86 ERA in his final 11 appearances. At 33 years of age May shouldn't be getting more than one year. I like May as a middle reliever with high strikeout upside.

8) NY Mets free agents ranked: Seth Lugo

Seth Lugo was really good in 2022 as a bridge to Edwin Diaz. He's a complicated use because he can't really be used on back to back days. He's pitched with a torn UCL in his pitching arm for years and seems to always struggle when used for a second straight day. He's a career Met who's had some great moments but I think there are some other intriguing free agents the Mets can look at.

9) NY Mets free agents ranked: Carlos Carrasco

Carlos Carrasco has a $14 million dollar club option the Mets have to decide on. He's a fine back of the rotation arm, but I personally would turn to David Peterson to be the fifth starter over Carrasco. Cookie had some good stretches this season but was ineffective against playoff teams and was never going to make a postseason start for this team. Carrasco missed three weeks with injury as well, and hasn't made 30 starts in a season since 2018. The Mets probably should look for an upgrade elsewhere.

10) NY Mets free agents ranked: Taijuan Walker

Taijuan Walker has a $6 million dollar player option which he will likely decline. Walker will probably search for a multi-year deal. I don't really want him back because of his second straight season struggling in the second half. His 4.80 second-half ERA was much better than his 2021 second half but he doesn't excite me as a fourth starter. I think he'll get more money than I'd want the Mets to give him.

11) NY Mets free agents ranked: Mychal Givens

Mychal Givens had just about as bad of a start as one can have with a new team but settled in nicely down the stretch. I wouldn't hate to see him back as a middle reliever but he's not a top priority by any means. The Mets can probably do better in free agency.

dark. Next. 5 best player additions to this year's ball club ranked