Mets 26-man roster prediction 3.0 for 2024 season

When I made my way-too-early Mets roster prediction back on Jan. 18, there were tons of free agents remaining on the open market.

There are still a handful of intriguing names who are unsigned, including Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery.

But even though the Mets are dealing with an injury to Kodai Senga that could keep him out until May, it doesn't appear likely that they'll spring for Montgomery or Snell.

Not going for Snell makes sense.

While his upside is enormous, as evidenced by the two Cy Young awards he's won, he's thrown more than 130 innings just twice in his eight-year career, walks way too many batters (5.0 per nine in 2023), and often alternates mediocre years with good ones (look at his stats from 2017 to 2022).

Snell would also cost any team above the luxury tax two draft picks and international bonus pool money. So it's not hard to see why he hasn't been snatched up yet.

Montgomery doesn't have the stuff/upside of Snell, but he's more reliable, having thrown 155 innings or more four times -- including 188.2 in 2023 for the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers during what was the best season of his career.

Understandably, Montgomery is trying to cash in this offseason. But it's hard to justify giving a pitcher with a career 3.68 ERA and 1.20 WHIP (and modest 8.4 strikeout rate) ace money or even No. 2 starter money -- especially on a long-term deal.

Jordan Montgomery
Jordan Montgomery / Kevin Jairaj - USA TODAY Sports

The above is why the Mets -- and every other team -- have not yet caved to agent Scott Boras' demands.

And the belief is that the Mets, despite a rotation that could be largely empty after this season, will not be the landing spot for Montgomery.

That could be irksome now, and might bring the ceiling of the 2024 team down a bit, but it will probably be advantageous to not have Montgomery's eventual contract on the books with the likes of Walker Buehler, Corbin Burnes, and Max Fried set to hit the free agent market after the season.

But with big reinforcements likely not coming now, the Mets will have to figure things out internally. To that end, here's our roster prediction 3.0 with Opening Day less than four weeks away...


Francisco Alvarez: C
Pete Alonso:
Jeff McNeil: 2B
Francisco Lindor: SS
Brett Baty: 3B
Brandon Nimmo: LF
Harrison Bader: CF
Starling Marte: RF
Mark Vientos: DH

Baty and Vientos have gotten out of the gate slowly in spring training games.

Baty has just one hit in 10 at-bats, is hitting the ball on the ground, and has struck out four times.

Vientos hasn't fared much better, with two hits in 10 at-bats.

Brett Baty and Mark Vientos
Brett Baty and Mark Vientos / Jim Rassol - USA TODAY Sports


The sample size is tiny, pitchers are always ahead of the hitters early in spring training, and Baty and Vientos deserve a full spring training to work on things before anyone even begins to draw conclusions about their performance.


Jose Quintana: LHP
Luis Severino
Sean Manaea
Adrian Houser
Tylor Megill

The injury to Senga hurts, in part because he was the only expected member of the rotation who was an above-average performer last season.

While the Mets wait for Senga to return -- he could be back at the beginning of May if all goes well -- they will have to dip into their depth earlier than they wanted to.

One of those depth pitchers, Max Kranick, was just taken out of the battle for the No. 5 spot because he'll begin the season on the IL with a hamstring injury.

As far as the prospects, David Stearns made it clear that they'll almost certainly start the year in the minors, which takes Christian Scott and Mike Vasil out of the equation for now.

That leaves Megill, Joey Lucchesi, and Jose Butto as the options for the No. 5 spot, with Megill possibly having the leg up.

New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) throws batting practice during workouts at spring training


Edwin Diaz: CLS
Brooks Raley
Adam Ottavino: RHP
Jake Diekman: LHP
Drew Smith
Jorge Lopez
Shintaro Fujinami: RHP
Michael Tonkin

Diaz threw another live BP session on Friday and is getting closer to game action, which should happen in the coming weeks.

As far as the relief corps behind Diaz, Fujinami is expected to return this weekend after dealing with a personal issue in Japan and should have plenty of time to ramp up for the season.

Beyond the guys likely ticketed for spots on the Opening Day roster, one reliever who has impressed this spring has been Nate Lavender.

The left-hander, whose elite extension helps make his low-90s fastball incredibly effective, has twirled two perfect innings while striking out four.

Lavender will be part of the big league bullpen at some point this season, but since he's not yet on the 40-man roster and because there are so many other arms fighting for one or two spots, it's difficult to see him making it from the jump.

Aug 30, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder DJ Steward (29) is congratulated by teammates for hitting a two run home run against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning at Citi Field.
Aug 30, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder DJ Steward (29) is congratulated by teammates for hitting a two run home run against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning at Citi Field. / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports


Joey Wendle: INF
Tyrone Taylor
: OF
Omar Narvaez: C
DJ Stewart

With Opening Day this month and Narvaez still a Met, the odds of New York dealing him before the season seem to be dipping.

If Narvaez isn't moved, he'll obviously serve as the backup for Alvarez.

Wendle and Taylor are locks, and Stewart should have an inside track at a spot, but the performance of Trayce Thompson could throw a wrench into things.

It's hard to take much, if anything, from how players perform in spring training. But it's not just what Thompson has done so far (he's 4-for-7 with two homers and 6 RBI) but the crazy loud contact he's been making most times up.

Unlike most of the Mets' other non-roster players, Thompson has recent elite big league performance under his belt -- he slashed .268/.364/.537 with 13 homers and 14 doubles in 74 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022.

The Mets have the ability to start Thompson in Triple-A if they so choose. But he could have an opt-out at some point in his minor league deal, which would impact things in a big way.