Tag:

Jason Vargas

Mets edge Cards 00:01:21
Offense from Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos and Pete Alonso helped the Mets to early lead and they hung on for 5-4 win over the Cardinals.

After the news that Jacob deGrom will get an MRI on his elbow cast a pall over the Mets, they went out and defeated the Cardinals Friday night, 5-4. >> Box score

Six things to know about Friday's game...

1) Pete Alonso did another Pete Alonso thing in the sixth inning, crushing a solo home run 432 feet to center field with an exit velocity of 111.7 miles per hour. It turned out to be a huge homer as that put the Mets up 5-1, and their bullpen went on to give up three runs. Alonso finished 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs. He now has seven homers and 18 RBI this season.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jason Vargas, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, St. Louis Cardinals
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Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) and pitching coach Dave Eiland (58) and starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) talk on the mound against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) and pitching coach Dave Eiland (58) and starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) talk on the mound against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

The Mets (10-8) begin a three-game series against the Cardinals (10-8) in St. Louis Friday at 8:15 p.m. on SNY.

Mets Notes

Jason Vargas tries to right the ship as he takes the hill one day earlier than expected. He was moved up from Saturday originally because Jacob deGrom had strep throat, but on Friday Mickey Callaway said deGrom would be sent for an MRI on his "barking" elbow, meaning Vargas might have more job security in the short-term. ... The Mets have lost four of their last five games. ... Since 2009, the Mets have a 10-21 record in St. Louis. ... Jeff McNeil is hitting .500 (8-for-16) with runners in scoring position, tied for fifth-best in the National League. ... Brandon Nimmo remains out of the lineup with a stiff neck but should be available to pinch-hit.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, St. Louis Cardinals
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Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

As Jason Vargas takes the hill in St. Louis against the Cardinals on Friday night, the Mets will be scouting his potential replacement.

The Mets will be in hand in Buffalo as Gio Gonzalez -- who SNY's Andy Martino reported is "increasingly likely" to opt out of his deal with the Yankees on Saturday -- starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.

Martino added that the Mets seem more open to adding Gonzalez now than in the offseason, when they weren't interested.

Tags: Jason Vargas, Danny Abriano
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Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Gio Gonzalez appears increasingly likely to opt out of his minor league deal with the Yankees on Saturday, according to multiple major league sources. If he does, the Mets could be more of a fit than they were in the offseason.

On Friday, Gonzalez switched agents from Scott Boras to CAA. The move was intended to set him up with representation that he felt more comfortable with, in the event that he would become a free agent again.

If Gonzalez requests his release from the Yankees on Saturday, per a clause in his contract, the team will have 48 hours to add him to the major league roster. With Domingo German pitching capably and CC Sabathia back from the injured list, there is no obvious spot for Gonzalez -- though the Yankees could promote him and either piggyback him with German or put in him their rotation, in order to retain control.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, Jason Vargas, Andy Martino
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Apr 6, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; General view of Busch Stadium prior to the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Padres. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports (William Purnell)
Apr 6, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; General view of Busch Stadium prior to the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Padres. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports (William Purnell)

Some pitchers just evoke a certain type of emotion when you spot their name in a pitching matchup. In the case of Vargas -- as Mets fans unfortunately know all too well -- it could be anger. For a bettor, it might be a signal to instantly "fade," or bet against.

There's no question Vargas has been a disappointment since arriving in Flushing last year. After his latest dud, one that saw him record a mere one out last Saturday, the 36-year-old has now crafted a brutal 6.32 ERA in his 22 starts (and one relief appearance) with the Mets. Suffice to say, his days in the rotation could be numbered.

Tags: Jason Vargas
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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets began a 13-game stretch last week that included 10 games against the Phillies and Braves.

I believed the Mets would need to win at least six of those 10 games -- which would put them around 14-10 heading into their next homestand -- to avoid hitting the panic button too early.

To date, they have won just two of seven during this stretch, with three left against the Phillies, whom they will play at Citi Field after beginning a three-game series Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom won't be making his scheduled start on Friday, as he is suffering from strep throat, according to manager Mickey Callaway.

In turn, the Mets will move Jason Vargas up one day and give him the ball to start the series with the Cardinals. And if deGrom isn't feeling healthy enough for the game on Saturday, the Mets could move up Steven Matz and have him pitch off short rest, per The Post's Mike Puma. Matz didn't even finish one inning in his start on Tuesday. 

DeGrom's last two starts haven't seen his normal dominance on the bump. After throwing a six-run dud to the Twins back on April 9, deGrom allowed three runs on five hits (two homers) over five innings of work.

But deGrom must worry about his health before focusing on reversing the outcome of his last two outings. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas
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Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom won't be making his scheduled start on Friday, as he is suffering from strep throat, according to manager Mickey Callaway.

In turn, the Mets will move Jason Vargas up one day and give him the ball to start the series with the Cardinals. And if deGrom isn't feeling healthy enough for the game on Saturday, the Mets could move up Steven Matz and have him pitch off short rest, per The Post's Mike Puma. Matz didn't even finish one inning in his start on Tuesday. 

DeGrom's last two starts haven't seen his normal dominance on the bump. After throwing a six-run dud to the Twins back on April 9, deGrom allowed three runs on five hits (two homers) over five innings of work.

But deGrom must worry about his health before focusing on reversing the outcome of his last two outings. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas
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Apr 16, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Mike Minor (23) pitches a complete game shut out against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Apr 16, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Mike Minor (23) pitches a complete game shut out against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

It appears the Mets may look to the trade market to try to bolster their starting rotation.

They're showing strong interest in Rangers lefty Mike Minor, according to USA Today. But they aren't alone as the Phillies are also interested in the veteran, according to the report.

Minor threw a shutout against the Angels on Tuesday, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out seven. He's allowed just two runs in 23 innings over his last three starts.

Tags: Jason Vargas
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Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) singles to drive in a run against the New York Mets during the third inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) singles to drive in a run against the New York Mets during the third inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Mets (9-6, second place in the NL East, 0.5 game back of first place Phillies) face the Phillies in Philadelphia on Monday at 7:05 p.m. 

Here's what went down on Sunday in case you missed it...


In the Mets' loss to the Braves, Jacob deGrom didn't look like himself for the second-straight start -- allowing three runs on five hits (including two homers) >> Read more

Tags: Jason Vargas, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen during the MLB annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen during the MLB annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets LHP Jason Vargas has a 14.21 ERA after allowing four runs in 1/3 of an inning on Saturday. New York's bullpen ranks 27th with a 6.18 ERA.

And even though starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel and reliever Craig Kimbrel are still free agents, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said he isn't tempted to make a run at either.

"I don't think we operate in the world of temptation," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said before Sunday's game against the Braves. "We like the guys we have here. We'll always monitor ways to get better, but we like the guys we have, including Jason Vargas."

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jason Vargas, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo
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Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (right) talks with catcher Wilson Ramos (left) near the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports  (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (right) talks with catcher Wilson Ramos (left) near the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Jason Vargas isn't going anywhere -- for now. 

Mets manager Mickey Callaway declared that the embattled lefty will stay in the rotation and make his next start Saturday in St. Louis.

"We've got to get Vargas on a roll," Callaway said Sunday before the team's game in Atlanta. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Mets left-hander Jason Vargas was so bad on Saturday night against the Braves that manager Mickey Callaway seemed to be at a loss after the game while explaining what went wrong.

"He's just not getting outs at this point," Callaway said. "That's really all I can say."

Callaway said more, though, noting that the Mets might skip Vargas' next start and that the Mets "have to have other options" when it comes to the No. 5 spot in the rotation 

Tags: Corey Oswalt, Jason Vargas, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo
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Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) hits a RBI double against the New York Mets in the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) hits a RBI double against the New York Mets in the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

The Mets (9-5, first place in the NL East, 0.5 game up on second place Phillies) face the Braves in Atlanta on Sunday at 7:08 p.m. 

Here's what went down on Saturday, in case you missed it...


In the Mets' loss to the Braves, Jason Vargas was so abysmal that he lasted just 1/3 of an inning before Mickey Callaway had to go to his bullpen >> Read more

Tags: Jason Vargas, Danny Abriano
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Braves pound out 13 hits in win 00:01:36
Mickey Callaway and Jason Vargas comment on Vargas? poor outing after he failed to get out of the first inning in the loss to the Braves

If the Mets have serious designs on competing for a World Series, the stated goal by rookie general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, they can't possibly plan on having Jason Vargas be their fifth starter the rest of the season.

After Vargas' latest debacle, in which he recorded just one out, was pulled after six batters and allowed four runs on two hits and three walks while throwing just 17 of his 36 pitches for strikes, it will be difficult for the Mets to justify even sending the lefty out for one more start.

"He's just not getting outs at this point," Mickey Callaway said of Vargas. "That's really all I can say."

Tags: Corey Oswalt, Jason Vargas, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo
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Braves rout Mets 00:00:54
Mets starter Jason Vargas failed to get out of the first inning as the Braves pounded out 13 hits in an 11-7 rout of the Mets.

The Mets had terrible pitching performances that cost them in an 11-7 loss to the Braves Saturday night. >> Box score

Six things to know about Saturday's game...

1) The calls from fans for the Mets to sign Dallas Keuchel will only grow louder if Jason Vargas keeps this up. Vargas faced just six batters before Mickey Callaway had no choice but to pull him from the game. It went like this for Vargas, who was charged with four earned runs: Single, walk, flyout, single, walk, walk. Vargas threw 36 pitches, 19 of which were balls. He was replaced by Corey Oswalt with the Mets down 2-0, and Oswalt allowed two inherited runners to score before inducing an inning-ending double play. Vargas has now allowed 10 earned runs in 6.1 innings this season across two starts and one relief appearance. With an off day coming up on Thursday, Vargas likely will have his next turn skipped. Callaway, meanwhile, was ejected after yanking Vargas, presumably for arguing balls and strikes.

Tags: Atlanta Braves, Jason Vargas
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New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three run homer in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three run homer in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets (9-4, first place in NL East) face the Braves (7-6, third place in NL East) on Saturday night in Atlanta at 7:20 p.m. on SNY.

Mets Notes

The Mets have won three games in a row for the second time this season and have the best winning percentage (.692) in the National League. ... The Mets are 23-12 in their last 35 games in Atlanta. ... Jason Vargas has a 2.72 ERA over his last nine starts (49.2 innings) dating back to Aug. 14, 2018. ... All six of Pete Alonso's homers have come off relievers in the seventh inning or later. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Travis d'Arnaud, Danny Abriano
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Syndergaard, Mets beat Twins 00:01:04
New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard stifled the Twins with his arsenal and says this is the best he's felt mechanically in a 'long time.'

This is the Noah Syndergaard Mets fans are used to seeing. 

From the start of Syndergaard's night on the Citi Field mound against the Twins, you could feel this was one where "Thor" could go deep. His fastball was ramped up to 98-99 mph early, and he even topped 100 mph in the 1-2-3 first inning. After a quick blip in the third, where he allowed one run to cross the plate, Syndergaard cruised. 

"Mechanically, I felt probably the best I've felt in a long time," Syndergaard told reporters after his seven-inning, seven-strikeout night. "So just trying to work on continuing to make that consistent. I guess when my mechanics are spot on, I get a little more movement on my ball."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Scott Thompson
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Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (right) talks with catcher Wilson Ramos (left) near the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports  (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (right) talks with catcher Wilson Ramos (left) near the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Every time Jason Vargas steps on a mound, Dallas Keuchel becomes more appealing to the Mets.

How could that not be the case? 

Even when Vargas is only pitching for an inning, as he did in the ninth of Tuesday's 14-8 loss to Minnesota, his inability to fool hitters is evident.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

The Mets have remained in "continued contact" with free agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel, SNY's Andy Martino reported on Wednesday, adding that the "situation is worth watching." Now, we might know what it would cost for the Mets -- or another interested team -- to land Keuchel. 

Keuchel, 31, is reportedly seeking a one-year deal that will pay him more than the one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Astros he turned down during the offseason or a long-term contract at a lower salary, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

Rosenthal notes, though, that it's possible Keuchel -- who he says is throwing 95-pitch simulated games every five days to get ready -- doesn't get either of those requests.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway spoke with reporters prior to Sunday's series finale against the Nationals at Citi Field. Here are the takeaways...

Why is Brandon Nimmo struggling and what's the plan?

Nimmo, who is getting the day off Sunday but will continue to do work, is hitting .077/.250/.077 with a league-leading 17 strikeouts in eight games this season. So what's the deal?

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Robinson Cano, Danny Abriano
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Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets announced on Saturday that they are skipping lefthander Jason Vargas' next start in the rotation and will pitch Jacob deGrom in his spot on Tuesday against the Twins followed by Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday. 

By skipping Vargas it lines up deGrom and Syndergaard to continue to pitch on five days' rest -- one more day than usual -- for the first month of the season as they have several off-days built into the schedule in April. 

DeGrom has continued to look like his Cy Young Award self through his first two starts of the season thus far, allowing eight hits and no runs while striking out 24 in 13 innings pitched. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard
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The Mets are still in touch with free agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel, SNY's Andy Martino reported Wednesday, noting that the situation "is worth watching." But Keuchel isn't the only high-end free agent the Mets are still considering.

"By the way, they're keeping in touch with Craig Kimbrel too," Martino said Thursday night on Baseball Night in New York on SNY.

But while the Mets are still in touch with Kimbrel, Martino explained why he feels the team signing Keuchel is more likely. 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Danny Abriano
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Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

In advance of their series against the Nationals at Citi FIeld -- with their home opener on Thursday -- the Mets have made a change to their starting rotation.

In a move manager Mickey Callaway hinted at on Tuesday, the Mets have flipped No.3 starter Zack Wheeler and No. 4 starter Steven Matz in the rotation, which will serve to break up the left-handers (Matz and Jason Vargas, who is the No. 5 starter).

With the adjustment, the Mets' rotation order will be Jacob deGrom (starting on Wednesday night), Noah Syndergaard (starting on Thursday afternoon against Stephen Strasburg), Matz, Wheeler, and Vargas.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) prior to a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) prior to a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets' bullpen nearly let a 6-2 lead evaporate against the Marlins on Tuesday night, as most of the pitchers who came out of the 'pen struggled. And while Mickey Callaway's bullpen management was questioned during the game, something he revealed after the game made it even more curious.

Here are three reasons why his bullpen management -- which must improve if the Mets want to contend in a division that is expected to be the toughest in baseball -- left a lot to be desired on Tuesday night...

Lugo was left in while struggling -- and sick

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jason Vargas, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo
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Mets hold on to beat Marlins 00:01:31
The Mets jumped out to an early lead scoring 5 runs in the first. Lugo was shaky in relief leading to a clutch double play to end the game.

The Mets jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning on Tuesday and survived a scare in the late innings with Justin Wilson getting a game-ending double play to work out of a jam for a five-out save in a 6-5 win over the Marlins.  >> Box score

Seven things to know about Tuesday's game

1) Amed Rosario, fresh off his go-ahead RBI base hit the night before, delivered the big blow in the first inning with a two-RBI double to put them up 4-0. He finished the game 1-for-4. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Jason Vargas, Justin Wilson, Miami Marlins, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) is congratulated by New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) after scoring a run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) is congratulated by New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) after scoring a run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Mets (3-1) play the second game of their three-game series with the Marlins (2-3) on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.

Mets notes

Pete Alonso will start the night on the bench, as Dominic Smith starts at first base -- a move that was planned before Alonso homered on Monday night. ... The Mets have recorded double-digit hits for three straight games. ... The Mets are batting .375 (15-for-40) with runners in scoring position this season. ... Mets pitchers have issued only six walks this season, which is the lowest in the National League. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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In the wake of making the postseason in 2015 and 2016, the Mets have gone 147-177, fired their manager, watched the face of their franchise retire, and have taken a gamble by hiring a former agent to lead their revival.

In five months, Brodie Van Wagenen has modernized the organization's front office and staff, has added five former All Stars, stabilized the depth and back end of the roster, and inked Jacob deGrom to a contract extension. At the same time, during the past two years, a shift has been created in the NL East with a large crop of young talent emerging and older players either leaving or switching teams.

The dust has settled and, to the surprise of most New York fans -- myself included -- the Mets are projected to contend for the NL East title. However, so are three other teams...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Peter Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Todd Frazier, Tyler Bashlor, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter | : Since 2017, the American League could make the claim of having the best three teams in baseball: the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees. Two of them have won championships, and, well, it almost feels inevitable the third will cash in this season.

Yes, I realize it's not a terribly bold prediction picking the Yankees, but the talent gap between the haves and have-nots is so great in baseball these days that I couldn't find a surprise pick I could sell as believable.

I do have the Nationals finally breaking through in October, minus Bryce Harper, and I actually considered predicting a Subway Series, after scouts came away impressed with the Mets in Spring Training.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Jacob deGrom, James Paxton, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Peter Alonso, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter | : Since 2017, the American League could make the claim of having the best three teams in baseball: the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees. Two of them have won championships, and, well, it almost feels inevitable the third will cash in this season.

Yes, I realize it's not a terribly bold prediction picking the Yankees, but the talent gap between the haves and have-nots is so great in baseball these days that I couldn't find a surprise pick I could sell as believable.

I do have the Nationals finally breaking through in October, minus Bryce Harper, and I actually considered predicting a Subway Series, after scouts came away impressed with the Mets in Spring Training.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Jacob deGrom, James Paxton, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Peter Alonso, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Mar 22, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)
Mar 22, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)

The other half of the split-squad Mets couldn't take down the Astros on Friday night in a 7-3 loss on the road. >> Box score

Five things to know about Friday's game...

1) Jason Vargas got the start in this second game for the Mets, and it was a decent one. He started strong, allowing only a solo homer to Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the second. And he still kept the lead in tact when George Springer laced an RBI double to make it a 3-2 game. But, when the sixth came around, he allowed a homer to Alex Bregman, and Robinson Chirinos' double allowed a runner to score that was charged to Vargas despite being pulled for Edwin Diaz. Overall, he allowed four earned on six hits while striking out three and walking two over 5.2 innings. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Houston Astros, Jason Vargas, Juan Lagares, Luis Guillorme
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Mar 11, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) connects for a double against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 11, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) connects for a double against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With Opening Day one week away, things are starting to come into focus for the Mets. Here's how we see things shaking out in our 25-man Roster Prediction 3.0...

Starting Rotation (5)

  1. Jacob deGrom, RHP
  2. Noah Syndergaard, RHP
  3. Zack Wheeler, RHP
  4. Steven Matz, LHP
  5. Jason Vargas, LHP
Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Drew Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jacob Rhame, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Paul Sewald, Peter Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Todd Frazier, Travis d'Arnaud, Tyler Bashlor, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Feb 26, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers during the spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 26, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers during the spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

After Tuesday's rainout in Jupiter against the Marlins, Mets RHP Zack Wheeler -- who was set to start -- will instead throw 90 or more pitches Wednesday during an intrasquad game during the team's off day. 

Wheeler remains on track to start the third game of the regular season, but with the rainout pushing his schedule back, he will now be making the start on regular rest instead of an extra day of rest.

Jacob deGrom is scheduled to start on Opening Day -- March 28 against the Nationals -- with Noah Syndergaard starting the second game of the season on March 30 (after a team off-day), and Wheeler getting the ball on March 31.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Mets' bats looks good in loss 00:00:59
Michael Conforto homered and drove in 3 runs, while Robinson Cano and Jeff McNeil continued their strong springs in a loss to the Marlins

The Mets jumped out to a 6-0 lead before running into some trouble with their middle relief in a 11-6 loss to the Marlins on Saturday. >> Box score

Five things to know about Saturday's game...

1) Michael Conforto had an impressive day at the plate batting cleanup, blasting a two-run shot in the first inning then singling in a run in the third in a 2-for-3 day at the plate with three RBI. 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo
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Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 28, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Jason Vargas and the Mets face Sandy Alcantara and the Miami Marlins in a Grapefruit League game on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. 

Mets notes

Pete Alonso gets the start at first base and is batting second as he carries a .375 (15-for-40) average and team-leading three home runs into the game ... Robinson Cano (13-for-32) will bat behind Alonso while Travis d'Arnaud (4-for-13) gets the call behind the plate. 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Miami Marlins
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The NL East is stacked, balanced and expected to be the most compelling division in baseball this season. In large part, this is because the division features several of the league's most dominant starting pitchers and best overall pitching staffs.

For starters, Max Scherzer (Nationals) and Jacob deGrom (Mets) are widely considered to be the top two starting pitchers in all of baseball. According to multiple projection systems and fantasy rankings, the next best 20 pitchers in the league feature an additional five arms from the NL East, including Aaron Nola (Phillies), Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, (Mets) and Patrick Corbin (Nationals) and Stephen Strasburg (Nationals).

In 2018, among NL pitchers producing at least 2.0 fWAR, six were from the NL East, including deGrom, Scherzer, Nola, Syndergaard, Wheeler and Mike Foltynewicz (Braves). Corbin, who was with the D-backs but has since signed with the Nationals, also finished in the Top 10. If extended to the Top 20, two more Phillies join the list (Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez).

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas

Mets manager Mickey Callaway and GM Brodie Van Wagenen have been consistent this entire offseason stating Jason Vargas would be their fifth starter in 2019.

Against the first batter Vargas faced this spring, he let up a home run. However, he has not allowed a run since, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA 1.08 ERA during his three starts, which is exactly what Callaway had been hoping to see.

"I really think he just needs a regular spring training, which is uninterrupted, to get himself where he needs to be," Callaway told me in January. "The regular schedule allows him to do that to the best of his ability."

Tags: Jason Vargas, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso connects for a base hit against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso connects for a base hit against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets (8-8-1) travel to face the Astros (8-7) on Monday at 1:05 p.m. in West Palm Beach. 

Mets Notes...

Pete Alonso gets the start at first base while Dominic Smith gets the day off. ... Jeff McNeil is at third base for the second-straight game. ... Brandon Nimmo leads off and plays center field. ... Jason Vargas is on the mound.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob Rhame, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Paul Sewald, Peter Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With Opening Day three weeks away, the Mets are dealing with injuries to Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier, getting terrific Spring Training production from a refreshed Dominic Smith, and slowly working Travis d'Arnaud back into the swing of things. Here's how we see things shaking out in our 25-man Roster Prediction 2.0...

Starting Rotation (5)

  1. Jacob deGrom, RHP
  2. Noah Syndergaard, RHP
  3. Steven Matz, LHP
  4. Zack Wheeler, RHP
  5. Jason Vargas, LHP
Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Drew Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jacob Rhame, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Paul Sewald, Peter Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Todd Frazier, Travis d'Arnaud, Tyler Bashlor, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (Jasen Vinlove)
New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets lost to the Marlins, 3-1, on Tuesday afternoon >> Box score

Five things to know about Tuesday's game

1. Jason Vargas tiptoed around trouble, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings while allowing four hits, walking one, and striking out two. His ERA this spring is 2.08.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jason Vargas, Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, Danny Abriano
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Feb 15, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) during spring training at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports  (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 15, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) during spring training at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets (6-5-1) travel to face the Marlins (3-7) on Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. 

Mets Notes...

Brandon Nimmo will serve as the DH for the second-straight game, while Michael Conforto gets the start in right field. ... Jason Vargas makes his second start of the spring. ... Edwin Diaz is scheduled to pitch in relief. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Drew Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jason Vargas, Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, Danny Abriano
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Feb 25, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Peter Alonso (20) plays the field during a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 25, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Peter Alonso (20) plays the field during a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets did just enough on offense, while the pitching staff locked down the Cardinals on Thursday in a 3-2 win on the road. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Thursday's game

1) Pete Alonso continues to have a hot bat to start his spring, going 2-for-3 with a two-RBI single in the top of the fifth. Alonso is hitting .417 thus far. 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Michael Conforto, Peter Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Scott Thompson
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Best of Mickey Callaway 00:02:44
For the first time this spring, Mickey Callaway officially talked to the press. He discussed lessons learned, Cespedes and deGrom's status.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway spoke with reporters Wednesday afternoon for the first time since arrivnig at Spring Training.

Here are the takeaways...

Lessons he learned in 2018

Tags: Jason Vargas, Juan Lagares, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Mets starters get their work in 00:00:32
Mets pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler throw bullpen sessions in Port St. Lucie

Baseball Prospectus' 2019 PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) projections are out, and they foresee big things from the Mets -- especially the starting rotation.

PECOTA is a system that "takes a player's past performance and tries to project the most likely outcome for the following season. It looks at all of the numbers, and all the numbers that make up the numbers, to see which players are more likely to repeat their success and which ones benefited from good fortune."

When it comes to the Mets' starting pitchers, PECOTA -- a projection system that is notoriously conservative -- sees things shaking out like this...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Mets manager Mickey Callaway said in September that he intends for Jason Vargas to be in the team's rotation this coming season, a comment that is still being criticized by most Mets fans.

"I think we're the best team we can possibly be with Vargas being the guy he was last year in our rotation," Callaway said. "I think we all feel confident that Jason, when he gets going and gets on a good schedule, he's going to be competitive. That's one of the reasons we signed him."

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made the same statement on multiple occasions this past winter, including earlier this week during an interview with SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio...

Tags: Jason Vargas, Matthew Cerrone
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Brodie confident in Mets roster 00:03:55
New York Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen talks team's offseason strategy, confidence in current roster, and zero plans to sign starting pitcher.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen made it clear on Monday that the team addressed its most pressing needs this offseason, but is still keeping his ear to the ground on any other potential moves. 

That may include adding another major-league contract to the roster. 

"I don't think we have any restrictions in what we can or can't do," he told reporters on Monday.

Tags: Jason Vargas
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Aug 19, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) throws to the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Aug 19, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) throws to the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Mets have interest in signing free agent LHP Gio Gonzalez and have remained in touch with his camp, but that interest is not currently at a multiyear level, reports SNY's Andy Martino, who notes that Gonzalez is still holding out for more than a one-year deal. 

Martino reported earlier this week that the Mets and Yankees were both still interested in rotation depth, but that neither team was involved in negotations for Wade Miley, who recently signed a one-year deal with the Astros worth $4.5 million.

Because the Mets have their top five rotation spots currently locked in, Martino suggested it could be easier for them to convince a free agent pitcher such as Doug Fister or Brett Anderson to sign and audtion for a "swingman" role than it could be to sign Gonzalez.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Steven Matz
Steven Matz

Mets LHP Steven Matz is a pivotal player for the Mets, which means the difference between making or missing the playoffs could hinge on how he performs in 2019.

Assuming each takes the mound 30 times this season, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard will again be among the league's elite pitchers. There's every reason to believe Zack Wheeler, in his walk year, will continue his terrific turn-around from 2018. Jason Vargas (and the pitchers behind him) should never be counted on to be a difference-maker at any point in the season.

This leaves Matz, who, at 27 years old, is at a make-or-break point in his career. And he could be poised for a breakout...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The slow free agent market has left many quality players available in February, and the Yankees and Mets remain engaged with agents, looking for ways to improve.

While both teams have likely completed the bulk of their offseason work and are happy with their respective rosters, both continue to monitor the market for starting pitching depth.

Neither Brian Cashman nor Brodie Van Wagenen is wired to sit back and disengage, when potential upgrades remain available.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, Jason Vargas, Luis Cessa, Seth Lugo, Travis d'Arnaud, Andy Martino
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The slow free agent market has left many quality players available in February, and the Yankees and Mets remain engaged with agents, looking for ways to improve.

While both teams have likely completed the bulk of their offseason work and are happy with their respective rosters, both continue to monitor the market for starting pitching depth.

Neither Brian Cashman nor Brodie Van Wagenen is wired to sit back and disengage, when potential upgrades remain available.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, Jason Vargas, Luis Cessa, Seth Lugo, Travis d'Arnaud, Andy Martino
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