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Jacob deGrom

Two Mets were named to the inaugural All-MLB First Team on Tuesday afternoon, with Pete Alonso taking the first baseman slot and Jacob deGrom grabbing one of the four spots available for starting pitchers.

Alonso was named the NL Rookie of the Year after setting the MLB rookie record for home runs in a season with 53--that effort was also good enough to lead the league in home runs in 2019.

The rookie held slashes of .260/.358/.583 for the season and was named to the NL All-Star team.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso
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Aug 5, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello (22) pitches during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Aug 5, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello (22) pitches during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

With Zack Wheeler heading to the Phillies on a five-year deal, the Mets find themselves with a spot open in their starting rotation.

Could Rick Porcello be the answer?

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Mets are talking to Porcello, who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2016.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Jul 16, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Jul 16, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sure, you're hyped for some Mets free agent or trade action at the upcoming Winter Meetings. But unless the club pulls off a surprise blockbuster move, the most newsworthy Mets stuff coming out of San Diego might be the first public appearance by a club bigwig since the announcement of sale negotiations with billionaire Steve Cohen.

When Brodie Van Wagenen steps in front of cameras and reporters, there will be lots to discuss, far beyond how to fix that horrid bullpen.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Anthony McCarron
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Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Mets need and are looking to add more starting pitching. However, the team's path to the postseason in 2020 may rest more on what they get from Steven Matz and Marcus Stroman than what the Mets get from the hot stove market this winter.

Zack Wheeler is officially gone, having signed a five-year deal to join the Phillies. The pitcher replacing him will either be Seth Lugo or someone specifically acquired to be their fifth starter. In all likelihood, whomever it is will almost certainly not translate into 15-16 team wins like Wheeler did the past two seasons.

Sure, the Mets could score more and/or not allow as many runs late in games so they're more successful when Jacob deGrom is regularly brilliant. For instance, despite winning his second straight Cy Young Award with a 2.53 ERA, the Mets were 14-18 in games that he started in 2019. That stat is painful every time I see it.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)
Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)

There is mutual interest between the Mets and free-agent Rick Porcello, according to insiders aware of his offseason goals. This is good news because he's a perfect fit for the Mets.

As I wrote two weeks ago, the Phillies and Braves are among several teams that have been more aggressive than the Mets when it comes to signing Zack Wheeler. Insiders predicted to me weeks ago that Wheeler will get five years and $100 million, which at this point appears to be a foregone conclusion.

The same people also keep saying the Mets are more likely to let Wheeler walk in favor of a less expensive, more reliable, consistent, veteran starting pitcher to join the back of their rotation.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine talks with the media Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, in Cleveland. Valentine, the most experienced of the finalists for Cleveland's manager's job, got his second interview with the Indians. Valentine's managerial resume includes more than 2,000 games, six seasons in Japan and a trip to the World Series. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (Tony Dejak/AP)
Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine talks with the media Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, in Cleveland. Valentine, the most experienced of the finalists for Cleveland's manager's job, got his second interview with the Indians. Valentine's managerial resume includes more than 2,000 games, six seasons in Japan and a trip to the World Series. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (Tony Dejak/AP)

As Carlos Beltran takes on his first season as manager of the Mets, a former skipper has some advice for his squad. 

Bobby Valentine spoke to TMZ Sports at Mariano Rivera's charity event on Saturday night, and said as long as Beltran can help fix the team's bullpen struggles, the Mets will definitely find success in 2020. 

"I hope he can get the end of the bullpen together and maybe even get (Yoenis) Cespedes to play a little, and put that group together offensively, so they can be consistent to go with that pitching," Valentine explained. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Scott Thompson
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Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Voting is underway for the first-ever All-MLB team, and there are four Mets on the ballot -- Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Seth Lugo.

There will be an All-MLB first team and All-MLB second team, and the teams will not be broken up by league. Those teams will be determined by taking into account the fan vote (50 percent) and the voting of a panel of experts (50 percent).

Voting runs through Dec. 3 (there are 60 position player candidates and 30 pitching candidates) and the teams will be announced at the Winter Meetings on Dec. 10.

DeGrom is among 19 options at starting pitcher (fans will vote for five), McNeil is among 15 options in the outfield (fans will vote for three), Lugo is among 11 options at reliever (fans will vote for two), and Alonso is among eight options at first base (fans will vote for one).

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It seemed to make for an awkward clubhouse dynamic at the time, but maybe Noah Syndergaard's preference for a catcher other than Wilson Ramos will prove beneficial to the Mets in 2020.

As it is, there is belief around the team that Ramos was motivated to work harder at his defense in the second half of last season -- after a horrendous first half -- in part by his awareness that neither Syndergaard nor Jacob deGrom wanted to pitch to him. 

At an appearance in New York on Thursday, Ramos essentially admitted as much, telling reporters, "I heard a lot of bad things about me behind the plate but I'm going to focus on getting better."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, John Harper
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Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (Jake Roth)
Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (Jake Roth)

To date, sources aware of the situation say the Braves have so far been more aggressive than the Mets when it comes to signing free-agent RHP Zack Wheeler. 

It's their contention the Mets are more likely to let Wheeler walk and instead sign a reliable, consistent, veteran starting pitcher to join their rotation.

MLB people I know all expect Wheeler to field multiple offers of five years and $100 million.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) reacts after hitting a two run home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) reacts after hitting a two run home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Both Pete Alonso and Jacob deGrom took home some major hardware this week, and on Thursday night they followed those up by each finishing in the top 10 of NL MVP voting.

Los Angeles' Cody Bellinger was voted NL MVP on Thursday, securing 19 of the 30 first-place votes. The left-handed slugger beat out fellow finalists Christian Yelich and Anthony Rendon, who finished second and third, respectively.

Alonso, the NL Rookie of the Year, finished in seventh place, receiving two fifth-place votes and finishing with 102 points in the voting system. The slugging first baseman put up power numbers never before seen in MLB history, finishing the season with a major league rookie record 53 home runs.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso
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Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

One amazing thing to keep in mind about Jacob deGrom winning his second Cy Young award is that at no time during his four-year minor-league career did MLB.com rank him higher than 12 on the Mets' annual top prospect list. Similarly, at no time did he ever appear among the league's Top 100 prospects. 

Crazier, he was drafted in 2010 by then-GM Omar Minaya and the Mets with the 272nd overall pick. He missed all of 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery and made his big league debut in 2014 as a spot starter, after which then-manager Terry Collins said the organization still viewed him as a future reliever.

"Any time you draft a player, you think he's going to become a big-leaguer," Minaya once told me. "At first they all have upside, otherwise you wouldn't draft him. That being said, it doesn't always go the way you want it to go each time."

Tags: Amed Rosario, Anthony Kay, Brandon Nimmo, Daniel Murphy, Dominic Smith, Gavin Cecchini, Jacob deGrom, Kevin Plawecki, Lucas Duda, Matthew Cerrone
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Jacob deGrom not only wins Cy Young Awards, he also delivers at the plate! Check out his 2019 Greatest Hits from the batter's box!

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As he entered the 2019 season off his first National League Cy Young award, Jacob deGrom did so with the goal of getting another one.

He ultimately reached his pinnacle Wednesday when deGrom received the honor over the Washington Nationals' Max Scherzer and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu, but the path to the repeat wasn't smooth sailing by any means.

When he reflected on his repeat campaign, deGrom thought back to the change in mentality and approach he made after three turbulent starts at the end of April -- three straight losses to the Minnesota Twins (14-8, April 9), Atlanta Braves (7-3, April 14) and Milwaukee Brewers (10-2, April 26) in which the Mets' ace allowed 14 runs on 18 hits (five home runs) and dug himself into a hole.

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After the Mets saw one teammate win a National League honor Monday with first baseman Pete Alonso's Rookie of the Year, another award came New York's way Wednesday when right-handed pitcher Jacob deGrom earned a second straight Cy Young.

DeGrom received 29 of the 30 first-place votes to dominate his fellow finalists in Washington Nationals righthander Max Scherzer and Los Angeles Dodgers lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu (received one first-place vote) for the award, which was announced Wednesday and makes deGrom the first Mets pitcher ever to win the award in consecutive campaigns.

From position players such as outfielder Brandon Nimmo and third baseman Todd Frazier to pitchers like righthander Noah Syndergaard and lefthander Steven Matz, the Mets reacted accordingly after the staff's ace repeated.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Mets' Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On July 25, Jacob deGrom pitched seven shutout innings against the Padres to get his ERA under 3.00 for the first time since April, and afterward I cornered him briefly in the clubhouse to see if I could get him to confess that he'd been tipping pitches early in the season. 

We went back and forth a bit, as he admitted he'd been made aware of something he was doing in his delivery that may have explained giving up 14 runs over three starts, yet insisted he was to blame for leaving too many pitches in the middle of the plate during that brief stretch. 

Finally, I said to him, "Well, if it wasn't for those three starts, you'd have a good shot at another Cy Young Award."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, John Harper
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Mets' Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)

Mets ace Jacob deGrom followed up his historic 2018 with a brilliant 2019, and the result is another Cy Young award.

DeGrom received 29 of the 30 first-place votes to dominate his fellow finalists in Max Scherzer and Hyun-Jin Ryu (received one first-place vote) for the award, which was announced Wednesday night, making deGrom the first Mets pitcher ever to win the award in back-to-back seasons.

DeGrom joins Tom Seaver (1969, 1973, 1975) as the only Met to win the Cy Young more than once. Other Mets to win the award are R.A. Dickey (2012), and Dwight Gooden (1985).

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Sep 24, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2019 was the worst season of Noah Syndergaard's career -- the only one of his five big league seasons where his ERA was higher than 3.24. His issues were sometimes mental, sometimes mechanical, sometimes related to bad luck. So how will he turn the page?

"I don't think it's mental," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Wednesday at the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. "I think it's just a matter of -- a lot of players will struggle with mechanics and repeatability at different points in time over the course of the year. I think Noah has had such consistent performance -- he had injuries in '17 and '18 -- but his performance was exceptionally level."

While Syndergaard's 4.28 ERA in 2019 was ghastly compared to what he did over his first four seasons, his FIP was 3.60 -- an indication that some of what went wrong was due to bad luck.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

As the Mets embark on the 2020 offseason, there are lots of burning questions, including which free agents they should pursue, which 2019 performances were sustainable, and which players in the farm system (if any) should be untouchable...


Should the Mets sign Josh Donaldson, trade J.D. Davis and make Jeff McNeil a full-time LF?

McNeil, Davis and Jed Lowrie are capable of starting at third base. So, it's difficult to see Van Wagenen shelling out what is likely to be a three-year, $70-80 million deal to get Donaldson.

However, for all of the talk about adding a center fielder or corner outfielder, adding Donaldson would probably be the biggest bang for Van Wagenen's buck.

The fact is, Brandon Nimmo in most comparisons will likely end up being the better option in the field. At the same time, in addition to providing a major upgrade and credibility at the plate, Donaldson will likely be the best option in the field at third base.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Ronny Mauricio, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets' Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

We all know what we see when Mets ace Jacob deGrom pitches -- nuclear stuff delivered with competitive fire and brains from someone who just might be baseball's best pitcher.

"If he's not, he's certainly in that conversation," says Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, the former Braves and Mets lefty who won 305 games in his career.

And if deGrom wins his second consecutive NL Cy Young Award -- the voting results will be announced Wednesday evening and he is the favorite -- he'll get a different kind of next-level career validation, one that few pitchers in baseball history have enjoyed.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Anthony McCarron
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They didn't think he could win the Cy Young Award the first time, now Jacob deGrom returns, and is back in the biggest sequel of the summer!

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mets' Pete Alonso (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Pete Alonso (Treated Image by SNY)

What has been a fait accompli since the 2019 MLB season ended is now official: Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year. 

Alonso beat out finalists Mike Soroka of the Braves and Fernando Tatis Jr. of the Padres for the award. He received 29 of 30 first-place votes, with the other one going to Soroka. Yordan Alvarez won AL Rookie of the Year unanimously.

"I am so grateful to the Baseball Writers' Association for their recognition," Alonso said. "I'm truly blessed and humbled to be part of a group of some of the best to ever play the game. This season was the most special time I've ever had on a baseball field. I'm extremely thankful to the Mets for allowing me the opportunity to prove myself at the major league level this year. I can't wait to get back to work in the spring and make a push for the postseason in 2020."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Red Sox OF Mookie Betts
Red Sox OF Mookie Betts

MLB executives believe at least one of Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor or Kris Bryant will be traded this offseason, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi.

The way I see it, of the three, Betts is most likely to find a new home. And he's a good fit for the Mets.

Bryant fits the Mets, too. I'm not convinced Chicago will end up trading him, though. Like with Lindor, while it's worth it for each team to listen to offers, the Cubs and Indians have these players under contract for more than just next season.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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On Thursday night at his Tru32 charity bowling event "Strikes with Steven", Mets pitcher Steven Matz gave his thoughts on newly hired manager Carlos Beltran.

"It's really exciting," Matz said. "He's very respected in the game. He was a great player himself. I think he brings some great leadership to the team, and he's very passionate about the game. I think we're all excited to have him as our leader."

Matz went on to talk about how Beltran's experience as a recent player should help the team a lot.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Justin Wilson, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (Jake Roth)
Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (Jake Roth)

If Zack Wheeler departs via free agency, the Mets will have a hole to fill in the starting rotation. Should they consider filling it with a former bitter rival?

Cole Hamels, who will turn 36 years old before the 2020 season, had a 3.81 ERA (4.09 FIP) and 1.39 WHIP with 143 strikeouts in 141.2 IP (27 starts) this past season for the Cubs.

At this stage, Hamels -- who spent the first nine years of his career with the Phillies -- is looking to land with a contender. And he's open to inking a one-year deal, he told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Jun 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the dugout against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the dugout against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Los Angeles Angels finalized their coaching staff on Wednesday evening, naming former Mets manager Mickey Callaway their pitching coach.

Callaway's expected hiring was reported back in late October, but now the team has made the move official, as the 44-year-old joins Joe Maddon's staff.

Prior to his two seasons as the Mets manager, Callaway evolved into one of the most respected pitching coaches in all of baseball. With the Indians, Callaway oversaw the development of Corey Kluber, who won two Cy Young Awards while Callaway was with the team. In 2016, Kluber finished third in Cy Young voting, but the Indians pitching staff helped lead to the team to a World Series appearance against the Cubs.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Jacob deGrom
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Steven Matz (Adam Hunger)
Steven Matz (Adam Hunger)

Steven Matz was part of the surge as the Mets went 46-26 in the second half of the 2019 season, scratching and clawing their way back into the playoff race.

Now, after finishing 3.0 games out of a playoff spot and watching the team hire Carlos Beltran as manager, Matz is already gearing up for the 2020 season.

"We got really excited to see what we are capable of," Matz said on Monday during an appearance on MLB Network Radio. "Now we've got a guy who is very well respected around the league coming in, and have that type of collaboration with Brodie (Van Wagenen) and him and all that type of stuff. I think that we are really excited and I think the fans are as well as to what we can do."

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Ron Chenoy)
Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Ron Chenoy)

Pete Alonso and Jacob deGrom both turned in fantastic seasons in 2019 and now have the chance to earn the awards to go along with them.

Alonso was named as a finalist for both National League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player following one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory. He broke Aaron Judge's record for most home runs by a rookie with 53, and slashed .260/.358/.583 in 161 games in 2019. 

He'll finish in the Top 3 of Rookie of Year voting along with Braves pitcher Mike Soroka and Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso
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Anthony Rendon (Thomas B. Shea)
Anthony Rendon (Thomas B. Shea)

As they build for the 2020 season, the Mets could have a gaping hole in the starting rotation and badly need to improve their team defense. Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon are free agents. Could the Mets be players for them? 

Asked directly about whether the team can add a top flight free agent without reducing payroll, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen danced around the question.

"At this point, we're going to explore all options with the roster," Van Wagenen said on Monday after introducing Carlos Beltran as the team's new manager. "Once we find the right fit, we'll try to make that a reality."

Tags: Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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The Mets will have a gaping hole in their starting rotation if Zack Wheeler leaves via free agency, but is that hole something they could actually fill from within?

Speaking on Monday at Citi Field after introducing Carlos Beltran as the 22nd manager in franchise history, GM Brodie Van Wagenen talked up the ability of Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman as potential rotation answers.

"We've got some great players in Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman that may be considerations in the rotation," Van Wagenen told SNY's Steve Gelbs.

Tags: David Peterson, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Zack Wheeler
Zack Wheeler

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the hot stove season here, the Mets have a lot of work to do if they hope to turn their 86-win team of 2019 into a team that should be legitimately feared by the rest of the NL East entering the 2020 season. And their first big decision is getting close.

The Mets have until Monday at 5 p.m. to decide whether or not to extend a qualifying offer to free agent Zack Wheeler.

The gist:

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets enter the 2019-20 offseason with a very strong core in place, but there are numerous deficiencies they'll need to address if they hope to go from an 86-win near-miss in 2019 to a playoff team in 2020.

Among the areas where the Mets should be looking to add: Starting pitching (with Zack Wheeler potentially departing via free agency), the bullpen (which was their undoing this past season), and center field.

The Mets already have a substantial amount committed to payroll for 2020, but those commitments drop significantly starting in 2021. What could that mean as they build their team for next season and beyond? Here's a deep dive...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Anthony Swarzak, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Sep 25, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran (15) smiles after the benches clear during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports (Andrew Dieb)
Sep 25, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran (15) smiles after the benches clear during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports (Andrew Dieb)

In the wake of Joe Girardi joining the Phillies, the Mets are continuing their interview process with five known candidates to replace Mickey Callaway as their manager.

Here is what I like and dislike about each candidate...

My Top Choices...

Eduardo Perez (Former 1B, OF, 50 years old)

Why I like him: I hear Perez and I think MLB Network Radio. However, inside baseball, he's known for his outstanding work managing Columbia in the World Baseball Classic, as well as in Puerto Rico, where he won two Manager of the Year awards and multiple championships.

He also has experience as a big-league hitting coach and bench coach.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; General view of sunset behind Citi Field during the fifth inning between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; General view of sunset behind Citi Field during the fifth inning between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Here are the key 2019 MLB offseason dates, and how they impact the Mets...


Day after World Series ends: Free agency begins

The Mets should be returning most of the 86-win team that fell three games short of a playoff spot in 2019. However, they need massive improvements in the bullpen and will also likely need to find a starting pitcher to replace Zack Wheeler, who is expected to depart via free agency. 

Among the biggest names expected to hit the free agent market: Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Marcell Ozuna, Dellin Betances, and Will Smith

The Mets' notable free agents are Wheeler, Todd Frazier, and Juan Lagares (whose contract is expected to be bought out for $500,000).

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Buck Showalter
Buck Showalter

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The consensus on Buck Showalter as a potential Mets' managerial candidate comes from interviews with scouts, executives, and media members who all know him well, and it is straightforward: his attention to detail, in-game managing, and knack for having his team prepared is all second to none.

But…

He wants to do it his way, which can mean everything from input into personnel decisions to potential clashes over the level of day-to-day front-office involvement that characterized Brodie Van Wagenen's first year as GM. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, John Harper
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Jul 20, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrates with shortstop Amed Rosario (1) after hitting a three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Jul 20, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrates with shortstop Amed Rosario (1) after hitting a three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

It didn't end the way we hoped, but the Mets' 2019 was nevertheless a year to remember...

MVP and Rookie of the Year

Pete Alonso

It can be argued that Jacob deGrom is the MVP. However, Alonso's impact was undeniable.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the end, Mickey Callaway gave the Mets no choice. The in-game mistakes continued to be too glaring for a team that expects to contend next season, and so GM Brodie Van Wagenen made the proper call by firing his manager with a year remaining on the contract.

Sure, you can make the case that Callaway was sabotaged by the back end of the bullpen, and could well have guided the Mets to the playoffs with even decent seasons from Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia.

But that would have been overlooking Callaway's obvious flaws. In year two on the job, he simply offered no indication that he was ever going to develop the feel that good managers have for situations, for strategy, for everything that goes with making important decisions and explaining them afterward.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, John Harper
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Pete Alonso, Mickey Callaway and Jacob deGrom
Pete Alonso, Mickey Callaway and Jacob deGrom

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Rarely has a season ended with such a strong feeling about what might have been. The Mets went 46-26 in the second half, looking every bit the part of a playoff team with Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson doing the heavy lifting at the back end of the bullpen.

Yet they were realistically out of the Wild Card chase with a week to go in the season, and they weren't even close in the NL East, 11 games behind the first-place Braves and seven back of the Nationals.

It's no mystery as to what went wrong, of course, most of it during a 40-50 first half. Edwin Diaz set a major-league record by giving up 15 ninth-inning home runs, while Jeurys Familia allowed 42 walks in 60 innings -- the two of them turning the Mets' bullpen into a dumpster fire for much of the season.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, John Harper
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Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Early Sunday afternoon, when Pete Alonso was still basking in the glow of Saturday night's historic 53rd home run -- the most ever for a major-league rookie -- he was telling SNY's Steve Gelbs in a pre-game interview that one of his primary goals going into next season is to improve his defense at first base.

"I want to win a Gold Glove," he said.

Suffice it to say that spoke not only to Alonso's pursuit of greatness, but the outlook for the Mets in the years to come.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, John Harper
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Jacob deGrom
Jacob deGrom

Mets ace Jacob deGrom is one of the top contenders to win the 2019 NL Cy Young. If he does, it would give him back-to-back Cy Young awards -- making him the first Met to ever accomplish that feat. Here's where things stand in the race...


Jacob deGrom, Mets

Key stats: 2.43 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 255 K's in 204.0 IP (32 starts), 6.7 WAR (FanGraphs)
Last start: Pitched 7.0 shutout innings against the Marlins, allowing two hits while striking seven and walking none on Sept. 25.
Next start: Following playoff elimination, deGrom's final start was on Wednesday vs. the Marlins.
Trending: UP, having finished the season on a 23-inning scoreless streak.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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The Mets (85-76) finish out their season against the Atlanta Braves (97-64) Sunday at 3:10 p.m. from Citi Field in New York.

Here's what happened Saturday, in case you missed it....


Pete Alonso launched his 53rd home run of the season to break Aaron Judge's rookie record for homers in a season. >> Read more

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Rajai Davis, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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Sep 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

For most of the season, Dodgers' lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu was a runaway favorite for the Cy Young Award.

The National League's starting pitcher in the All-Star Game, Ryu made 17 starts in the first half, pitching to a ridiculous 1.73 ERA. But his numbers trailed off a bit in the second half, as he entered his final start of the season with a 3.51 second half ERA.

He was dominant in his final start of the year on Saturday, tossing seven scoreless innings against the Giants, but when asked after the game about who he thinks should win the Cy Young, Ryu gave an answer that Mets fans will appreciate.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Jacob deGrom
Jacob deGrom

Mets ace Jacob deGrom is one of the top contenders to win the 2019 NL Cy Young. If he does, it would give him back-to-back Cy Young awards -- making him the first Met to ever accomplish that feat. Here's where things stand in the race...


Jacob deGrom, Mets

Key stats: 2.43 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 255 K's (11.25 per 9) in 204.0 IP (32 starts), 6.7 WAR (FanGraphs), 6.9 WAR (Baseball Reference)
Last start: Pitched 7.0 shutout innings against the Marlins, allowing two hits while striking seven and walking none on Sept. 25.
Next start: Following playoff elimination, deGrom's final start was on Wednesday vs. the Marlins.
Trending: UP, having finished the season on a 23-inning scoreless streak.

Max Scherzer, Nationals

Key stats: 2.92 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 243 K's (12.6 per 9) in 172.1 IP (27 starts), 6.5 WAR (FanGraphs), 5.9 WAR (Baseball Reference)
Last start: Allowed four runs on five hits (including two home runs) while walking one and striking out 10 in 6.0 IP against the Phillies on Sept. 24
Next start: Sept. 29 vs Indians
Trending: DOWN, as his ERA has risen from 2.30 on July 6 to 2.92 while he has failed to pitch more than 6.0 innings in any start during that span

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) sits in the dugout during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) sits in the dugout during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Over the years I've come to rely on scouts for their observations, insights and opinions, so when John Morris, a scout and special assistant to the GM for the Cincinnati Reds, called me recently and said, "I've got a great Jacob deGrom story for you," I was all ears.

I assumed John was going to put deGrom's second straight sensational season in some unique perspective for me, as only a long-time scout could, and as it turned, out, I was right.

Only it wasn't about his pitching. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Seth Lugo, Todd Frazier, John Harper
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

The Mets (84-76) continue a season-ending three-game series against the Atlanta Braves (97-63) Saturday at 7:15 p.m. from Citi Field in New York.

Here's what happened Friday, in case you missed it....


1B Pete Alonso tied Yankees RF Aaron Judge's single-season rookie home run record when he hit his 52nd of the year >> Read more

Tags: Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler
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A pair of Mets cracked the Top 20 list of MLB's list of most popular jerseys of 2019, with Pete Alonso finishing at No. 14 and Jacob deGrom slotting in at No. 19. 

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge finished atop the list for the third consecutive season. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso
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Mets RHP Zack Wheeler
Mets RHP Zack Wheeler

The Mets (83-76) open a season-ending three-game series against the Braves at Citi Field on Friday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY. 

Here's what happened Thursday, in case you missed it....


Zack Wheeler was brilliant for seven innings but gave up a pair of homers in the eighth (one after a missed strike-three call) as the Marlins beat the Mets, 4-2, on Thursday night at Citi Field >> Read more

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

The Mets (83-75, 5.5 GB for second Wild Card) wrap up their four-game series with the Marlins (55-103) at Citi Field on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.

Mets Notes

The Mets were eliminated from playoff contention on Wednesday night after the Milwaukee Brewers clinched the second Wild Card. The team still went on to beat the Marlins 10-3 as Jacob deGrom was dominant in his final start of the season. The potential Cy Young Award winner threw seven scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and one walk. He ends the season with 23-straight scoreless innings pitched and 255 total strikeouts. Pete Alonso hit his 51st home run of the season, as the first baseman is one homer shy of tying the rookie home run record held by the Yankees' Aaron Judge. Prior to Thursday's game against the Marlins, the team activated Dom Smith from the 60-Day IL and announced Jeff McNeil will need surgery for his fractured wrist that he suffered in Wednesday's game.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Dominic Smith, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler
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Jun 28, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 28, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

In his final start of the season, Jacob deGrom allowed just two hits while striking out seven during 7.0 scoreless innings against the Marlins. 

As a result, it seems like a lock that he will win his second consecutive Cy Young Award.

DeGrom leads all NL pitchers in WAR, regardless of the system being used to calculate the stat. He has 6.9 WAR, according to Baseball Reference and 6.7 WAR according to FanGraphs.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Noah K. Murray)
Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets (83-75) wrap up their four-game series against the Marlins at Citi Field on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY. 

Here's what happened Wednesday, in case you missed it....


Jacob deGrom almost certainly cemented his second-straight Cy Young award and Pete Alonso inched closer to the rookie home run record in the Mets' 10-3 win over the Marlins, but the Mets were still eliminated from playoff contention >> Read more

Tags: Aaron Judge, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

We won't be certain until the Cy Young voting results are announced in November. But we know already, right?

Jacob deGrom, pitching in uncharted territory Wednesday night - hey, the Mets scored bushels of runs for him! - put an exclamation point on another historic season in his final start of the year. Now he's poised to win a second straight National League Cy Young Award and join some of the biggest names in pitching history in that rare feat. 

He'll also carve out his own spot in Mets lore: No Met pitcher - not even Tom Seaver - has ever won back-to-back Cy Young Awards. And once deGrom wins again, he'll join Seaver as the only Mets pitchers with more than one Cy Young.

DeGrom, who got 29-of-30 first-place votes to win the award last season, threw seven shutout innings against the Marlins, allowing only two hits. It was his third consecutive start with seven shutout innings and he finished his year with 23 straight scoreless frames. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Anthony McCarron
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