A surprise non-tender of Chasen Shreve was the most noteworthy decision the Mets made prior to Wednesday’s deadline for teams to tender contracts to their players not under guaranteed deals.
The Mets chose to extend contracts to two pitchers coming off down years, Steven Matz and Robert Gsellman. Matz agreed to a $5.2 million non-guaranteed deal to avoid arbitration, according to a source, while the Mets simply tendered Gsellman a contract. The team also agreed to a deal with outfielder Guillermo Heredia to avoid arbitration.
In addition to Shreve, the Mets non-tendered pitchers Ariel Jurado, Paul Sewald and Nick Tropeano.
The rest of the Mets’ Wednesday decisions were straightforward. The team tendered contracts to the remainder of their arbitration-eligible players, including outfielders Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo; shortstop Amed Rosario; starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard; and relievers Edwin Díaz, Seth Lugo and others. If those players do not agree to terms with the Mets by Jan. 10, they will exchange salary numbers with the club at that time. In most cases, that will be enough to precipitate a deal without the sides having to go to arbitration.
Matz will be back
Despite his new contract, Matz could enter the season without a big league rotation job for the first time since his rookie year. The Mets already have two starters in place — Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman — on guaranteed contracts, and president of baseball operations Sandy Alderson has expressed a desire to add more via free agency. In addition, David Peterson leapfrogged Matz on the depth chart following a strong rookie showing in 2020.