Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the San...

Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in New York.  Credit: Frank Franklin II

LAS VEGAS — The Mets, who lead the majors in free agents, need to reconstruct most of a rotation, fill out even more of the bullpen, decide whether to re-sign or replace their leadoff hitter/centerfielder and choose what to do at designated hitter, the most gaping hole in their lineup last season.

But as general manager Billy Eppler and his inner circle of executives embark on a busy offseason, they aren’t sure what longtime ace Jacob deGrom — the most expensive variable here, at least as far as 2023 payroll is concerned — is going to do.

DeGrom officially became a free agent on Monday. The Mets spoke with his agent, Stephen Veltman of VC Sports Group, on multiple occasions prior to deGrom formally opting out of his contract and “kind of made a pact to stay in touch,” Eppler said Tuesday. But they don’t have a sense of how quickly he is looking to sign a new deal.

So in the meantime the Mets will simultaneously broach the many other items on their agenda.

“Everybody knows we got business to do,” Eppler said at the general managers’ meetings. “Part of the communication from our side to them — to everybody — is we've got business to do. There's players we want to acquire, things we want to accomplish in the wintertime. So we are going to get down to it.

“But that draws back to my earlier statement, where I was saying we want to stay in communication with each other and be very transparent with each other, so they'll feel like they have a sense of what we're doing and hopefully we have a sense of what they're doing. We'll see what happens.”

Eppler described his conversations with Veltman as “friendly, cordial, professional.”

“Just transparent, talking about being with each other in every step of the way through this,” he said.

He also spoke with deGrom personally — and in person — on the night the Mets’ season ended last month.

Does Eppler have a sense of deGrom’s interest in remaining a Met?

“I think there's a good deal of interest there on his part,” he said. “That was articulated a number of times throughout the season and reiterated in our most recent conversation.”

Eppler declined to discuss the Mets’ five-year, $102 million agreement with closer Edwin Diaz — the largest contract ever given to a reliever — because they had not finalized it.

The other member of the big three of their free-agent class, Brandon Nimmo, is poised to have plenty of suitors. He is perhaps the Mets’ most difficult free agent to replace, if he needs replacing, because the outfield market generally and centerfield market specifically have a dearth of strong options.

“Brandon, just like Jake, knows how we feel about him,” he said. “But again, he's reached a point where he's afforded the opportunity to look around. I think there's going to be strong communication there as well.”

The Mets officially picked up the $1.5 million option for 2023 on DH Daniel Vogelbach’s contract, so he is back in the fold. They must make similar decisions on reliever Mychal Givens on Wednesday and Carlos Carrasco on Thursday.

Keeping Carrasco (at a cost of $14 million, as opposed to the $3 million buyout) would plug another hole in the rotation. But the deGrom question looms largest — and might for a while.

“We have to look at every single opportunity,” Eppler said. “So we're looking at a number of starters. We're looking at the trade market. We're looking into the free-agent market. We just have to really leave no stone unturned.”

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