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New York Mets Non-Tender Five Players

The New York Mets non-tendered five players ahead of Friday night’s deadline. DH Daniel Vogelbach, infielder Luis Guillorme, and relievers Trevor Gott, Jeff Brigham, and Sam Coonrod will now enter free agency. Additionally, this means the Mets will tender contracts to Pete Alonso, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, and Drew Smith.

The team also announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder DJ Stewart reportedly worth  $1.38 million. That is just under the $1.5 million he was projected to make.

New York Mets Non-Tender Five Players

This is the third wave of the Mets clearing at least five roster spots at once this offseason. With the 40-man roster now standing at just 28 players, David Stearns has a lot of room to work with as he tries to put his touch on the roster.

Daniel Vogelbach

Vogelbach is perhaps the biggest name that the Mets non-tendered. Originally acquired at the 2022 deadline to infuse the lineup with power, Vogelbach largely disappointed during his Mets tenure. While there was some merit in offering him a contract, the 30-year-old might have been too one-dimensional for Stearns to spend a roster spot on.

Vogelbach slashed .241/.359/.415 in 159 games in Queens with just 19 homers. While he provided great on-base abilities, his lack of speed and baserunning abilities made the team too stagnant.

MLB Trade Rumors projected Vogelbach to earn $2.6 million in arbitration. While the team can acquire a new full-time DH via free agency, Stearns might decide to split the at-bats between young players making close to league minimum (Mark Vientos, Brett Baty) and veterans that need rest (Starling Marte).

Luis Guillorme

Guillorme’s projected $1.7 million salary via arbitration was likely too high for a light-hitting utility infielder with injury concerns. While the 29-year-old is a great defender, Ronny Mauricio can play all of Guillorme’s positions and offers more offensive upside for close to the league minimum.

Gott, Brigham, and Coonrod

All three righties could be valuable middle relievers. However, each has dealt with inconsistencies and/or health issues in their careers. They were projected to earn a combined $4 million next year ($2 million for Gott, $1.1 million for Brigham, $900,000 for Coonrod).

While their major league production hasn’t been irreplaceable, it would not have been hard to envision Stearns bringing back Gott and Coonrod. Stearns once acquired Gott in Milwaukee and might have been interested in keeping him in New York. For Coonrod, Stearns might have been enamored with his electric fastball. Many evaluators see an impact, high-leverage arm in Coonrod if he can stay healthy and control his stuff more.

With so many holes to fill and plenty of openings on the 40-man roster, the Mets could have stashed these relievers on the roster this winter. However, the Mets can also re-sign any of their non-tendered players to new deals. The Mets might very well be interested in bringing back these relievers on minor-league contracts.

DJ Stewart

Stewart broke out in August after receiving heavy playing time for the post-deadline Mets. He clobbered 11 homers with an .840 OPS in just 58 games. While his 30.3 percent strikeout rate is worrisome, the former Orioles first-round pick made swing adjustments with the Mets that might lead to further improvements.

If he hits for similar power next season, his contract would become incredibly valuable for a corner outfielder/DH option. If he doesn’t hit, his contract won’t prevent the Mets from being able to move on mid-season.

What’s Next?

While the Mets non-tendered five players and signed another, they offered contracts to four players. Alonso will be the most expensive, as he projects to earn around $22 million in his final year of arbitration. The Mets can make this irrelevant by signing him to a contract extension this winter.

Like Alonso, Smith is entering his final year of team control, although his projected $2.3 million salary is substantially less. The Mets reportedly shopped Smith around before Friday night’s deadline, but they clearly didn’t find a deal they liked enough. While Smith has a great fastball from a low arm slot, he struggled last season and hasn’t developed as hoped. He still is a high-upside arm that can be traded this winter or at the deadline next year if the Mets don’t contend.

Peterson, who will miss the first few months of the season after hip surgery, projects to earn $2 million. The Mets will hope that he comes back around mid-season and gives the team a fresh arm in valuable innings down the stretch. If there are any issues with Peterson next year, he will likely be non-tendered one year from now.

Lucchesi will be counted on to provide starting depth for the Mets next year. His role became especially more important after Peterson underwent surgery. The funky lefty pitched well in limited major-league action last year and should be ready for a bigger workload. Lucchesi might also see time as a multi-inning relief option and spot starter.

The Mets will negotiate with each of the four players before submitting potential salaries in January. The two sides can agree to any sort of deal if they wish. If they don’t agree before the January 12 deadline, it’s likely that they will head to arbitration. At these often contentious meetings, an arbitrator will determine if the player will earn the salary his side submitted or the salary the team submitted.


Photo Credit: © John Jones-USA TODAY Sports


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