Mets re-sign Adam Ottavino to a two-year deal

The Mets and Righties Adam Ottavino agree on a deal to bring him back to Queens. It’s a two-year, $14.5 million deal, with Ottavino having the option to opt out after the first year. The deal is still pending.

Adam Ottavino |  Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Ottavino, 37, has had his fair share of ups and downs in his career but overall has a ten-year track record of effective pitching. He made his debut with the Cardinals in 2010 but rose to prominence over a seven-year span from 2012 to 2018 with the Rockies. During that period, he played 361 games and logged 390 2/3 innings while averaging a 3.41 ERA with a 27.6% strikeout rate, 10.1% walk rate, and 46.1% ground ball Rate. His strikeout rate increased over his time in Colorado, reaching as high as 36.2% in 2018, although there were some control issues as he handled 16% of batsmen in 2017 and 11.7% in 2018.

He reached free agency and signed with the Yankees until 2019, signing a three-year deal worth $27 million. The first year of this deal went very well as he posted a 1.90 ERA in the Bronx, but that increased to 5.89 in 2020. That was a small pick from 18 1/3 innings in the shortened season, but it was enough for the Yanks to go ahead and get him to the Red Sox in a salary dump trade. Ottavino then posted a 4.21 ERA for Boston in 2021, dropping his strikeout rate to 25.7% and walk rate to 12.7%.

The Mets signed Ottavino to a modest one-year 2022 contract worth $4 million plus incentives and were rewarded with an excellent bounceback campaign. The right-hander made 66 appearances in the Mets bullpen in 2022 and finished the year with a 2.06 ERA, beating 30.6% of the batters he faced while walking just 6.2% of them. He also caught grounders on 51.9% of balls in the game while amassing three saves and 18 holds for the year. Based on that strong comeback campaign, MLBTR predicted Ottavino could secure a two-year, $14 million deal, which he just surpassed here.

The Mets faced a huge bullpen exodus this offseason, with Ottavino, Edwin Diaz, Set Lugo, Trevor Williams, Joely Rodriguez and Trevor May all reached free agency a few weeks ago. They have since addressed this situation by re-signing Díaz David Robertsontrade for Brooks Raley and now brings Ottavino back into play.

In addition to these moves, the club have been extremely active in the free hand targeting other parts of the squad. The rotation also revealed a series of holes, with Jacob de Grom, Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker all become free agents. These three were replaced by signature Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana. The club also bolstered their positional player mix with new signings Brandon Nimmo and sign Omar Narvaez.

The Mets already had one of the highest payrolls in the league in 2022, and those moves have taken them to incredible new heights. Roster Resource has put her at $344 million, before even considering the Ottavino deal, with a competitive balance sheet tax number of $356 million. Because the Mets are second-payers and well above the fourth CBT threshold of $293 million, they now pay 90% taxes on all subsequent expenses. Ottavino will add $7.25m to that CBT figure, resulting in an additional $6.525m in taxes, meaning the club will effectively pay $13.775m for Ottavino’s services in 2022.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported that the Mets signed Ottavino and the two-year opt-out structure (Twitter connections). ESPN’s Jeff Passan had the dollar numbers first.

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