Andy Martino

Andy Martino is SNY's MLB insider.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Yankees have finalized details of several elements of their commemoration of the Stonewall riots, sources told SNY. Prior to Friday night's game against Baltimore, city council speaker Corey Johnson, NYC DOE chancellor Richard Carranza and two founders of the Stonewall Inn will be on hand to announce plans.

The Yankees will partner with the department of education on several initiatives, and hold an event at a game next June.

SNY reported last month that the Yankees planned to hold events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a seminal event in the history of LGBTQ rights...

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Sep 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after the top of the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after the top of the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | For nearly half a season, the Yankees played with an underlying sense of excitement and expectation, because the team knew that it could be in the midst of a special year.

That feeling has since fizzled, even inside the executive offices of Yankee Stadium, where injury and losses have contributed to a more resigned -- if still hopeful -- vibe. But over the past several days, a series of developments signaled yet another shift.

It is rare in baseball for one series to carry any broader meaning, but this has been an exceptional week. The Yankees might be clicking again, in significant ways and at the perfect time...

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Sep 18, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) reacts during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 18, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) reacts during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Yankees officials have begun discussing in earnest who will start the wild card game next month, and Aaron Boone made an interesting admission on Wednesday: That a potential division series meeting with the Red Sox could factor into which starter the team chooses.

This is a logical way to think, but teams are usually too superstitious to plan for a matchup that might never happen. Single-elimination wild card games are like Word Series game sevens -- the only thing that matters is survival, no matter how you achieve it.

Tags: Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Aug 12, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) makes a pitching change in the eight inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 12, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) makes a pitching change in the eight inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

On Friday night, we reported that Aaron Boone held a brief team meeting after the Yankees' dreary Wednesday night loss to Minnesota. This was but a teensy weensy scoopie, notable not so much for what happened, but for what it said about how the embattled manager handled his first major crisis point.

Then, the reaction by numerous Yankees fans on Twitter through the weekend made clear that I hadn't made my point clearly or effectively enough.

As the Yankees dropped a pair of games to the gutted Toronto Blue Jays, losing another series to a second-division team, the reaction to our Boone story was generally along the lines of "this didn't age well," "this lasted one game," and "Boone knew enough to hold the meeting before Tanaka started."

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Jul 23, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jul 23, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Following a disheartening road trip, the Yankees won big on Friday night -- and as it turns out, the bounceback came after a relatively rare Aaron Boone team meeting.

As the Yankees were preparing to leave the visitors clubhouse at Minnesota's Target Field on Wednesday night after being one-hit into the eighth inning by the Twins, Boone gathered his players in the locker room and addressed them for several minutes, according to people in the room. Normally on a getaway day, a team simply dresses and trickles out to the bus, but on this occasion, the manager felt a need to speak.

Boone's demeanor was described as even-keeled but firm, and his message was that the Yankees were a good team, and would be successful again if they simply remembered that and started playing that way. He did not shout, and the players came away appreciating the way he handled it.

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Sep 12, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) looks on during batting practice prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jordan Johnson)
Sep 12, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) looks on during batting practice prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jordan Johnson)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Immediately before Aaron Boone met the media on Friday afternoon, Yankees media relations VP Jason Zillo dropped a stunner on reporters, announcing that the team would activate Aaron Judge before the game.

This move, of which there had been no prior warning, initially seemed like great news for the Yanks, who have desperately missed their superstar. But almost immediately, Boone added another surprise, explaining that the team was activating a player who could not yet hit.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Andy Martino
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If you were five years old when David Wright debuted for the Mets, you're probably in college or working now. If you were in college on July 21, 2004, maybe you have kids and a mortgage. If you were 21 years old that day, as Wright was, you're nearly 36 now, with two daughters and a back, neck and shoulder that bark at you every morning.

Why was Wright crying at the podium on Thursday afternoon, while announcing plans to end his baseball career after one final appearance? Why were you probably a little weepy too, watching at home or following along online?

Standing in the back of the room as Wright spoke, feeling an unmistakable heaviness in the air, what struck me was the passage of time, the reminder of our own fragility, and unmistakable sense that no matter how much success we enjoy, or money we make, the only guarantee about anything is that it will eventually end...

Tags: David Wright, Andy Martino
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Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Hi. Are you still mad that the Mets didn't call up Peter Alonso this September? Well, Alonso will be at Citi Field Wednesday to accept the Sterling Award as a top minor leaguer in the organization, so it seemed like a good time to close the book on this manufactured controversy.

Two weeks ago, subbing for me on the Shea Anything podcast, former Mets and Braves exec Adam Fisher explained why an Alonso callup would have been reckless and irresponsible. Alonso doesn't need to be put on the 40-man roster yet, and roster spots are precious. I wanted to write down and publish Fisher's detailed answer.

The upshot: A September Alonso cameo would have cost the Mets either one of their own prospects, or the chance to sign a free agent. You wouldn't really want that, now would ya? Here's Fisher:

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New York Mets manager Terry Collins on the field before a game against the New York Yankees at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets manager Terry Collins on the field before a game against the New York Yankees at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The most important thing to remember about the Mets' search for direction is that it is still early to take any one piece of information too seriously. The organization is busy debating not only names, but types of candidates to lead baseball operations, and remains in more of a brainstorming phase.

Having said that, here are a few concrete bits of information: People around the team continue to point to Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro as a fit to lead the Mets, and -- as first reported by the New York Post -- the team has already asked Terry Collins to assume a larger role in the front office.

Shapiro, who publicly reaffirmed his commitment to Toronto after his name first surfaced in connection to the Mets job, is close with Omar Minaya. His father, highly respected veteran agent Ron Shapiro, is friendly with Fred Wilpon...

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Apr 1, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 1, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets have yet to firm up plans for David Wright's return to the major leagues, according to people with direct knowledge of the process. Those sources said that not only does Wright expect to participate in a simulated game on Saturday afternoon, but plans several sim games during the coming homestand.

Reading between the lines, this setup does not suggest that Wright is likely to play this week. Our original educated guess was that Wright could return during this homestand, but it's time to push that back.

Tags: David Wright, Andy Martino
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Luis Severino is the obvious choice to start the Wild Card Game for the Yankees. He has the most talent, best stuff, and is the only member of the rotation who can legitimately be labeled an ace.

The only problem? You can't start him in the wild card game -- not after last night.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Andy Martino
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New York City, NY, USA; General view of Citi Field between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
New York City, NY, USA; General view of Citi Field between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

After Sandy Alderson stepped aside as Mets GM in June, we heard that the team expected to begin interviewing potential replacements in September. Well, it's September, and people connected with the process say interviews are still possible by the end of the month.

The Mets are still in brainstorming mode, and have not yet determined their top candidates. Many of the names who have appeared in media reports are speculative or self-promotional. Still, the team thinks it's still realistic to expect a hire by the end of October, which matches original expectations.

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New York Yankees' Aaron Judge reacts after being hit by a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, July 26, 2018, in New York. The Yankees 2on 7-2. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge reacts after being hit by a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday, July 26, 2018, in New York. The Yankees 2on 7-2. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | TwitterThe Yankees made a nice move in acquiring Andrew McCutchen, upgrading their depleted outfield with a talented, if declining player.

So why does the trade seem like such a bummer? Two words: Aaron Judge. It wasn't so long ago that the Yankees were cruising, playing like a team bound for the World Series. Judge was the key to their offense, an irreplaceable star. When Judge injured his wrist in July, the Yankees erred in estimating that he would return in approximately three weeks.

Now, with Judge still waiting for the pain to become more manageable, it is fair to wonder if he has enough time to return and be an impact hitter this year. Whatever the Yankees say in public about their level of concern, the McCutchen trade speaks loudly about the team's confidence in Judge's recovery.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Andy Martino
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Wright on making a comeback 00:06:02
David Wright talks with Andy Martino to discuss the progress he's made in rehab games and the possibility of playing with the Mets in 2018.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | LAS VEGAS - David Wright is set to join the Mets in San Francisco, ending his minor league rehab assignment but remaining on the disabled list. The educated guess here is that he will return to the Mets during a home game sometime after the team returns home on Sept. 7, and not on the upcoming road trip.

So why summon him now?

If Wright remained in Las Vegas until Friday, completing his minor league rehab assignment, the Mets would have been forced to make an immediate decision. MLB rules state that if a player is active for all 20 days of his rehab assignment, he is required to be reinstated, or have a new injury.

Tags: David Wright, Andy Martino
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 (AP)
(AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv Twitter |

LAS VEGAS - In his second rehab game for Triple-A Las Vegas, David Wright went hitless in five at-bats, striking out twice.

Wright handled two chances at third base, the first one a slow ground ball that he tossed to second for an inning-ending fielder's choice in the second. His second putout was a vintage Wright play, when he charged a third-inning grounder, barehanded it and flung it to first to beat the runner by a step.

Tags: David Wright, Andy Martino
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Wright on his rehab in Las Vegas 00:00:55
David Wright evaluates his progress in his latest rehab assignment and says he will make his way back to the Major Leagues this year.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

LAS VEGAS - Sitting in the dugout of the Mets' Triple-A affiliate two hours before Wednesday's game, I asked David Wright the question on everyone's mind: Bottom line, do you expect to play in the major leagues this year?

Wright did not hesitate to answer in the affirmative...

Tags: David Wright, Andy Martino
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New York Mets' David Wright reacts before a baseball game against the New York Yankees. (AP)
New York Mets' David Wright reacts before a baseball game against the New York Yankees. (AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Will David Wright actually play for the Mets in a matter of days?

The question, which once seemed ridiculous, is now totally legitimate. The clock on Wright's rehab assignment expires in four days, and rosters expand on September 1. Wright has a scheduled off day on Monday. He is 6-for-32 in 10 games for St. Lucie, with those six hits coming in his last 18 at-bats.

On Monday morning, official word from the Mets was that the team was still in "wait-and-see mode" regarding a potential Wright return...

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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | A few weeks ago, in the days leading up to the trade deadline, the press dining room at Yankee Stadium was packed with scouts, as it always is that time of year. One night at dinner, a guy working for an American League club with pitching to trade said of the Yanks, "This is a team that can win the World Series right now."

He meant that the Yankees young position players were in bloom, the new manager was a natural, and all aspects of the club seemed to be clicking. This scout's contention was, as long as the Yanks added a starting pitcher, they were finally back to being championship-caliber.

Well, they later added two starting pitchers in J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn, and a high-end reliever in Zach Britton. And it didn't end up being enough to stop the slow fizzle of that championship mojo...

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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Would you consider starting Dellin Betances in the wild card game?

It was a vaguely ridiculous question, but Aaron Boone stopped in a hallway outside the Yankees clubhouse on Thursday morning to think about it.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |  If you happened to be at Yankee Stadium Monday night, you not only witnessed Jacob deGrom dominate yet another opponent, but you saw his fastball rise and explode as it met the hitter, and heard that extra pop in the catcher's glove.

And you saw and heard none of that when the Yankees' Luis Severino was pitching.

The Yankees' ace continued to be a major concern -- the type of problem that, when combined with the absence of a star like the injured Aaron Judge -- can sink a team's World Series hopes. It's not just the numbers, although those are bad, and they include a 7.50 ERA over his last seven starts and 11 homers allowed over that span. It's the sizzle missing from his pitches -- a problem that actually worsened Monday night.

Tags: Luis Severino, Andy Martino
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Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) in line prior to the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) in line prior to the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

David Wright and the Mets have adjusted their expectations over the past few years, knowing that the captain's injuries have made it unlikely that he will ever again be a major league regular. But a variety of endings are still possible for his outstanding career, and Wright has more than earned a happy finale. 

Here's hoping that Sunday's minor league rehab game, Wright's first since last summer, is the start of exactly that.

Every time Wright steps on a field, he is taking a calculated risk. On Monday, he could wake up to bad news emanating from his back or neck or shoulder. It isn't hard to imagine that he is close to a point where doctors tell him that is no longer wise to try. No one would be shocked if Sunday's game was his last as a professional baseball player.

Tags: David Wright, Andy Martino
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It is too soon to say what type of general manager the Mets want to hire. Over the past few weeks, the organization has batted around names of potential candidates with a variety of backgrounds. There are many voices involved, from Fred and Jeff Wilpon to Omar Minaya, to John Ricco, and no consensus yet.

As the Mets weigh their options, here's an opinion from someone (uh, me) who has covered the organization for the better part of a decade: Hire a GM with deep experience and credibility in the game. Focus more on gravitas than scouting versus analytics, or any other particulars of philosophy. The best executives are the moderates who draw from all belief systems, anyway.

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New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

The most important word to understand about the Mets' search for their next general manager is "early." As in, ownership and the front office are in the brainstorming phase, batting around not just names but types.

When you hear Ben Cherington, Michael Chernoff, Dan Duquette, Jed Hoyer, Dan O'Dowd, and Jared Porter you think, "Wow, those are a lot of different philosophies and backgrounds." Indeed, the team is considering a wide variety of possibilities before narrowing its search.

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Sep 11, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; A general view during the national anthem prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 11, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; A general view during the national anthem prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Earlier this season, as the Yankees faced mounting criticism for being one of only two MLB teams not to host an LGBTQ Pride Night, something did not add up to me. I knew that Brian Cashman and some of his top lieutenants were relatively progressive on social issues, and had taken meaningful action in the past. It seemed out of character for them to hold out on an LGBTQ issue.

For example, Cashman is the only GM in baseball who has invited gay ex-player Billy Bean to speak to his major league club and entire minor league camp every spring training since MLB hired Bean in 2014. His interest in Bean's work toward making baseball more inclusive is clearly genuine. The Yankees also held a brief on-field ceremony in 2016 to honor the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting...

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May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the weeks before the trade deadline, the Mets and Padres were quietly discussing a potential deal for Noah Syndergaard, according to people with direct knowledge of those talks. 

The teams could not agree on Syndergaard's value, and the discussions fizzled by the final weekend of July. But this is worth bookmarking for the offseason, when the Mets could revisit the idea of moving Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom.

For all the interest in those pitchers, there aren't many teams with both the will to pull off a big trade, and the farm system to make it work. The Yankees are one, but believe that the Mets would never send them a top player.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Andy Martino
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Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer throws a pitch during the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer throws a pitch during the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees are still engaged in talks with the Tampa Bay Rays about starting pitcher Chris Archer with the non-waiver trade deadline less than 24 hours away, a source told SNY.tv's Andy Martino.

New York is among six teams pursuing Archer, as MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports the Padres, Braves and Brewers have also expressed interest.

Archer, 29, is under team control until 2021, and surely would garner a significant return should Tampa Bay move him. 

Tags: Tampa Bay Rays, Andy Martino
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How to handle offensive tweets? 00:02:22
The BNNY crew discusses statements made by Jon Lester and Sean Doolittle in response to the uncovering of several players' offensive tweets.

On Sunday, Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb and Nationals shortstop Trea Turner became the latest big leaguers forced to apologize for bigoted tweets, following Milwaukee pitcher Josh Hader earlier this month. Cubs pitcher Jon Lester later engaged the issue, tweeting:

"If you're on twitter, please spend the 5 minutes it takes to scrub your account of anything you wouldn't want plastered next to your face on the front page of a newspaper. Better yet, don't say stupid things in the first place. Too many young guys getting burned. #themoreyouknow"

With all due respect to Lester -- truly, because he seems to be trying to help -- this tweet sums up what has been wrong with this conversation ever since Hader's apology after the All-Star game. The focus should be on the victims of bigotry, not rushing to excuse the athletes whose own attitudes landed them in trouble.

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How to handle offensive tweets? 00:02:22
The BNNY crew discusses statements made by Jon Lester and Sean Doolittle in response to the uncovering of several players' offensive tweets.

On Sunday, Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb and Nationals shortstop Trea Turner became the latest big leaguers forced to apologize for bigoted tweets, following Milwaukee pitcher Josh Hader earlier this month. Cubs pitcher Jon Lester later engaged the issue, tweeting:

"If you're on twitter, please spend the 5 minutes it takes to scrub your account of anything you wouldn't want plastered next to your face on the front page of a newspaper. Better yet, don't say stupid things in the first place. Too many young guys getting burned. #themoreyouknow"

With all due respect to Lester -- truly, because he seems to be trying to help -- this tweet sums up what has been wrong with this conversation ever since Hader's apology after the All-Star game. The focus should be on the victims of bigotry, not rushing to excuse the athletes whose own attitudes landed them in trouble.

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 (Reinhold Matay)
(Reinhold Matay)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With slightly more than 24 hours remaining until the trade deadline, here is the very latest on the Yankees:

  • After adding J.A. Happ, they are still hunting and pecking for rotation upgrades, but don't seem overly aggressive, at least yet. They have talked to Tampa Bay about Chris Archer, but Yankees people say that any deal with the Rays will come with an in-division surcharge. The Yanks believe that Tampa Bay owner Stuart Sternberg, who lives in the New York area, would demand more of the Yankees than any other club.
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May 24, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) drives in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)
May 24, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) drives in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With slightly more than 24 hours remaining until the trade deadline, here is the very latest on the Mets:

  • As we wrote Saturday, the tone has shifted on Zack Wheeler. He is in heavy demand, but other teams are valuing him based on his body of work, not his recent performance. The Mets remain open to trading him, but are far less likely to do so than they were a few days ago.
Tags: Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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May 24, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) drives in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)
May 24, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) drives in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With slightly more than 24 hours remaining until the trade deadline, here is the very latest on the Mets:

  • As we wrote Saturday, the tone has shifted on Zack Wheeler. He is in heavy demand, but other teams are valuing him based on his body of work, not his recent performance. The Mets remain open to trading him, but are far less likely to do so than they were a few days ago.
Tags: Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Jul 7, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (33) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Jul 7, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (33) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Yankees have acquired J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays, with New York sending Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney to Toronto. 

The Cubs, Brewers, and Rockies had also been in the mix for Happ.

As of Tuesday, the Yankees had been unwilling to pay the price. But the price dropped.

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Jul 7, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (33) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Jul 7, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (33) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Yankees have acquired J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays, with New York sending Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney to Toronto. 

The Cubs, Brewers, and Rockies had also been in the mix for Happ.

As of Tuesday, the Yankees had been unwilling to pay the price. But the price dropped.

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Ricco on trade deadline 00:00:35
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco discusses what the Mets plan to do before the trade deadline after learning about Cespedes injury.

The loss of Yoenis Cespedes for at minimum a significant chunk of next season raises the question of whether the Mets would now be more likely to trade Jacob deGrom and enter a rebuilding phase. But there are too many variables to make that connection.

The Mets don't yet know who their GM will be next season, are remain extremely disinclined to ever trade deGrom, despite his hope to be either extended or relocated. 

My takeaway from reporting on Wednesday morning is that Cespedes' injury is news about Cespedes alone, and everything else with this franchise beyond this month is TBD. Much more pressing is Tuesday's trade deadline, and here's what we know...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Andy Martino
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Yankees get Britton from Orioles 00:02:19
Andy Martino weighs in on the Yankees' latest add in Baltimore reliever Zach Britton, whom they acquired for two pitching prospects.

The Yankees acquired Orioles closer Zach Britton in exchange for RHP Dillon Tate, RH reliever Cody Carroll, and LHP Josh Rogers.

According to people familiar with the trade talks, the Orioles also liked Yankees outfield prospect Estevan Florial

It's worth noting that, according to sources, the Yanks were unwilling to trade Florial for Manny Machado. The parameters of the offer, previously unreported, were a Chance Adams/Albert Abreu type (both ranked among the Yankees' Top 5 prospects) and Drury.

But Machado was a luxury item for the Yanks. They need pitching, and the available rotation options do not inspire them.

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Jul 7, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (33) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Jul 7, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (33) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

As the Yankees pursue Baltimore closer Zach Britton, they are still eyeing Toronto starter J.A. Happ, although they have been so far unwilling to pay the price.

But the price has dropped.

According to a person with direct knowledge of the talks, the Jays were asking teams for a top-three prospect (like Yankees prospects Justus Sheffield and Estevan Florial) a few weeks ago, but have now dropped the ask to a more reasonable place...

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Familia to the Oakland A's 00:01:52
Taylor Rooks and Andy Martino look back at the complicated legacy of Jeurys Familia's Mets tenure.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Mets have not finalized a trade of Jeurys Familia, and he will be unavailable to pitch on Saturday for the second straight day. 

The Mets are working to finalize a deal to send Familia to Oakland, according to major league sources. The expectation is that the Mets will get lower level prospects back from Oakland.

The deal has not been finalized, but was advanced enough to keep Familia out of Friday's game. Typically, that means that teams are going through medicals of the players involved...

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Andy Martino
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J.A. Happ Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
J.A. Happ Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brian Cashman has a problem: While his need for starting pitching is obvious, neither the choices nor the prices are appealing right now.

Not only that, but an alternative plan stalled when the San Diego Padres asked for Miguel Andujar for lefty reliever Brad Hand, according to major league sources. The Yankees said no thanks, and Hand went to Cleveland.

Tags: Domingo German, Luis Cessa, Miguel Andujar, Andy Martino
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Yankees were genuine in their pursuit of Manny Machado, but never willing to sacrifice a top prospect to land the Baltimore shortstop, who is set to become a Dodger when play resumes Friday. Brian Cashman has preserved his farm system, but his team is still 4.5 games behind Boston in the American League East.

The Yankees face a real possibility of being a championship-caliber club, but facing elimination in a one-game wild card playoff. Cashman would like to avoid this, of course, and he will be active over the next days and weeks in an effort to improve.

The GM is surely engaged in talks with teams that have remained secret, but here's what we've been able to smoke out so far, through major league sources. Cashman could quickly pivot to any one of these options, now that he is done pursuing Machado...

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Aug 18, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) connects on a grand slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)
Aug 18, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) connects on a grand slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Yankees believed as of Tuesday morning that another team was close to a deal for Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado, according to a major league source. Had the Yanks included pitching prospect Justus Sheffield in their offer at any point, they would have landed Machado, the source said.

The source cautioned not to totally rule anyone out yet, even the Yankees. The Orioles are known to kill potential deals because of an uncommonly stringent medical review process, and could still pivot.

The Phillies, Dodgers and Brewers have been aggressive on Machado. The Yankees have too, but only to a point. GM Brian Cashman has so far been unwilling to move Sheffield, keeping him out of the lead.

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deGrom's agent issues ultimatum 00:01:04
Andy Martino and Jim Duquette discuss the ultimatum given by the agent of Jacob deGrom to the Mets, regarding a trade or an extension.

WASHINGTON -- If the Mets and Jacob deGrom do not agree on a contract extension before this winter, deGrom wants to be traded.

That's my takeaway from the situation that unfolded during All-Star workout day, after deGrom's agent Brodie Van Wagenen opened the availability for N.L. players with pointed comments to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal

So where will this ultimately lead? I asked one well-placed source to predict. "Trade in the offseason," the source said.
What follows is reported from conversations with sources on all sides...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Andy Martino
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Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

At the All-Star break of a lost season for the Mets, uncertainty about the future is everywhere. But at least one big question appears settled: Mickey Callaway is almost certain to return as manager next season, according to major league sources.

Mets officials are well aware that Callaway has struggled during games and at news conferences, but even most of his detractors say it is too soon in his tenure to rule out improvement.

The team plans to begin interviewing external candidates for the GM vacancy in September. There remains a chance, though not a likelihood, that longtime assistant John Ricco will get the job.

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 (Brad Mills)
(Brad Mills)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With one day remaining until the All Star break, the Orioles continue to push for resolution on the Manny Machado sweepstakes as soon as possible.

The Phillies and Dodgers have moved ahead as strong suitors for the shortstop, but the Brewers and Yankees remain involved, according to major league sources.

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Aug 18, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) connects on a grand slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)
Aug 18, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) connects on a grand slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Yankees remain an aggressive suitor for Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado, but their unwillingness to offer pitching prospect Justus Sheffield could leave them behind the Dodgers and Phillies, according to major league sources. The Brewers are also involved, but are less aggressive than the other three teams. Arizona is said to be out for now.

The Orioles want young pitching and, ideally, an infielder. Brandon Drury would likely be part of any Machado deal.

With or without Machado, the Yankees could soon pivot to a pursuit of Detroit pitcher Michael Fulmer. So far, contact between the Tigers and Yankees has been minimal, according to sources. That may be because Brian Cashman is holding out hope of acquiring Jacob deGrom. Once he realizes how unlikely the Mets are to send deGrom to the Bronx, he could move quickly on Fulmer.

Tags: Justus Sheffield, Andy Martino
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Zack Wheeler (45) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Zack Wheeler (45) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Zack Wheeler has joined Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera as the Mets most likely to be traded this month, although surprises remain possible, and no one is untouchable.

Familia and Cabrera are the obvious trade candidates, because both are free agents at the end of the season. Wheeler has one additional year of control, and teams are showing interest. If the Mets can get, say, a top ten prospect and another depth piece, they will likely move him. Wilmer Flores has less value, but could also go. The Yankees have checked in on Wheeler - but, as always, it's hard to imagine the teams actually working out a deal...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jeurys Familia, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Zack Wheeler (45) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Zack Wheeler (45) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Zack Wheeler has joined Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera as the Mets most likely to be traded this month, although surprises remain possible, and no one is untouchable.

The Yankees have checked in on Wheeler - but, as always, it's hard to imagine the teams actually working out a deal.

Familia and Cabrera are the obvious trade candidates, because both are free agents at the end of the season. Wheeler has one additional year of control, and teams are showing interest. If the Mets can get, say, a top ten prospect and another depth piece, they will likely move him.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Jul 7, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado (13) hits a sacrifice RBI ground ball in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jul 7, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado (13) hits a sacrifice RBI ground ball in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees have made an offer to the Baltimore Orioles for shortstop Manny Machado, Major League sources confirmed.

Sources told SNY that the O's are pushing for resolution on Machado before the All Star break. Five or six other teams are serious about Machado as well.

Tags: Justus Sheffield, Andy Martino
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Feb 20, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) talks with general manager Brian Cashman and vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 20, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) talks with general manager Brian Cashman and vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | One name that is hot in baseball circles and could interest the Mets for their GM job does not seem ready to jump to Flushing.

Friends of Tim Naehring say that the highly respected Yankees vice president of baseball operations is unlikely to leave his current team. Though rival scouts believe that Naehring would be a fit for the Mets, folks who know him call a move unlikely.

Naehring, 50, has been asked to interview for several managerial jobs, and has had opportunities to join other front offices, but has opted to remain a trusted advisor to Brian Cashman. As our friend John Harper wrote last year, Naehring serves a Gene Michael-type role for the Yanks, and he is happy there.

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Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Starting in September, the Mets will meet with a wide range of outside candidates, both young and seasoned, for the general manager vacancy. 

Although longtime executive John Ricco will be considered -- and many current and former employees are rooting for him to earn the job -- his case does not appear particularly strong at the moment. If that changes, it will only be after the team conducts a thorough search.

In the meantime, one name that is hot in baseball circles does not seem ready to jump to Flushing. Friends of Tim Naehring say that the highly respected Yankees vice president of baseball operations is unlikely to leave his current team. Though rival scouts believe that Naehring would be a fit for the Mets, folks who know him call a move unlikely...

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Aug 18, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) connects on a grand slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)
Aug 18, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) connects on a grand slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | What should we make of reports that the Yankees are pursuing Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado

"Take it seriously," said one baseball source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Major league sources went on to say that Baltimore was looking for starting pitching that was close to major league-ready, and perhaps an infield piece if the Yanks won't give up Miguel Andujar. The Yanks might be able to build a package around pitcher Justus Sheffield and infielder Brandon Drury, those sources said...

Tags: Brandon Drury, Justus Sheffield, Andy Martino
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