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What to watch for from the Mets at MLB’s Winter Meetings – Boston Herald


The Winter Meetings begin Sunday in San Diego and it may finally bring some clarity to the Mets’ ongoing roster retool. With Jacob deGrom still unsigned it could provide an opportunity to finally get him signed.

The meetings return for the first time since 2019. They were canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020 and the lockout in 2021. It’s fair to question whether or not the meetings are even that relevant anymore considering executives are typically just texting one another from various hotel suites, but it does still generate excitement and after a sluggish winter, baseball could use some excitement.

Without labor strife, there hasn’t been any urgency for free agents to sign with new teams. Aaron Judge and deGrom can take their time and explore the situations presented to them by each team. Now that all of baseball is convening in one place again, the hot stove might finally heat up.

Here are some storylines to watch for as the Mets head into the biggest week of the offseason.


The Mets are still hopeful that the free-agent ace will return to the club that drafted and developed him, but deGrom is still doing his own due diligence and exploring other teams in other markets.

The Winter Meetings have often favored starting pitchers of deGrom’s caliber. In 2019, Gerritt Cole and Stephen Strasburg each inked deals, with Cole signing his record-setting $324 million contract with the Yankees and Strasburg signing a $245 million extension with the Washington Nationals. In 2014, Jon Lester signed with the Cubs for $155 million.

For what it’s worth, all of those deals were made in San Diego.

General manager Billy Eppler spoke with the media Thursday and declined to provide a specific update about talks with deGrom, but he did say he has been in touch with a number of players to gauge their markets.

“Talks are continuing to advance on a number of fronts and a number of demographics,” Eppler said in a Zoom call. “Whether it’s starting pitching or position players, there’s some more clarity. And as that continues to happen, and as those conversations continue to happen, you get a sense of things that kind of fall into reality.”


According to Eppler, the club does not need to wait on deGrom to proceed with the rest of the offseason. But it’s not simple. The Mets can’t wait forever. They have to put a roster in place and if deGrom continues to take his time with his decision they may need to pivot.

“I wouldn’t say that’s critically important,” Eppler said. “We’ve assessed the market. And again, we’ve had enough dialogue to try to get a sense of what we think is the reality. We are positioned to be able to execute other things if it makes sense and we get close enough. So we don’t need one thing to happen first before other things can become a reality.”


Outfielder Brandon Nimmo is in the same position as deGrom, exploring free agency for the first time after spending his career with the Mets. He’s the second-best outfielder on the market after Judge, which means he might stay on the market until after Judge is off the board.

Unless, of course, the Mets re-sign him right away.


The Mets could trade for an impact bat. If they lose Nimmo, they will need another outfielder and well, they’re not going after Judge, so we might see a trade for an outfielder. The Mets picked up the option on designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach but with the way Darin Ruf performed after being traded from the San Francisco Giants, it would be foolish to go into the season trusting him against left-handed pitching. The Mets need more power in their lineup, as was evidenced by their NL wild card loss, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them trade for a bat next week.

The club could also go the trade route to re-tool the bullpen. Edwin Diaz and Drew Smith are the only true relievers under contract through next season. However, David Peterson, Tylor Megill and Joey Lucchesi could also be penciled in for long relief roles.


New this year is the draft lottery, which will take place Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Mets made the postseason so they won’t be a lottery team, but it’s still interesting to watch how the first year of the lottery will play out.

A name to watch in the Rule 5 Draft is Jake Mangum. He’s not one of the Mets’ top prospects but he was a star at Mississippi State and the Mets did not protect him by placing him on the 40-man roster at the deadline last month.



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