Tag:

Jay Bruce

Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:01:50
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez discuss Jay Bruce's performance in the Mets' extra-inning win.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Jay Bruce's solo homer with two outs in the top of the 10th inning lifted the Mets to their Major League-best 10th come-from-behind win of the season. It was his second long ball of the year and first since April 5, a span of 47 at-bats. Bruce also had an RBI triple and collected three of the Mets' six hits while falling a double shy of hitting for the cycle.

 

Tags: Jay Bruce, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway signals to a player during the fourth inning of the baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway signals to a player during the fourth inning of the baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

The Mets are 14-6, but they're only one loss better than the Phillies. To be honest, Philadelphia is a concern. Rhys Hoskins is a legit MVP candidate and Carlos Santana, though he hasn't hit much, is clearly setting a nice example and approach for the rest of the lineup. That said, I think their pitching is overachieving. And, as a young team, the long season will likely do them in eventually. For now, though, they're a threat...

Meanwhile, the Mets have issues, despite their hot start. Like it or not, they've lost five of their last eight games and are in the middle of a cross-country travel schedule...

Here are three questions and answers to mull over during Monday's off day...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 20, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) reacts with shortstop Amed Rosario (1) after scoring the go ahead run against the Atlanta Braves during the twelfth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports  (Dale Zanine)
Apr 20, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) reacts with shortstop Amed Rosario (1) after scoring the go ahead run against the Atlanta Braves during the twelfth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterIt was not the best of weeks in Mets Land.

From Monday night's embarrassment to redeeming themselves on Wednesday night to going back to losing in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday night, this week was not the best. I won't get into the nitty gritty as who wants to re-live Wendesday night's horrific eighth inning? Or Saturday night's game where Jeurys Familia pulled a Familia. Jacob deGrom deserved better.

Instead, let's chat about Wednesday night's game. The come-from-behind win. The eighth inning rally. That was a defining moment, as I already discussed (or at least I thought it was before seeing Saturday's game). Wednesday night's game was one that they would not have won last season. Oh, and Yoenis Cespedes showed us that he refused to let the Nationals sweep his team, and hit a grand slam to add on some insurance runs...

Tags: David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) jogs up the firstbase line after hitting a grand slam off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) jogs up the firstbase line after hitting a grand slam off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce is clearly struggling to deal with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and it's going to need to be addressed sooner than later...

Bruce told reporters that he has dealt with plantar fasciitis on and off during his career.

"It's never really been unbearable where I felt like I had to say something," he explained. "However, April 16, he continued, "It definitely was talking to me a little more than I thought it should be. I'm not really one who likes to take days off, but it's the necessary evil sometimes."

He may have requested his first day off in mid-April, but he missed time for this exact issue in St. Lucie. So, my guess is that they beat it back enough to get him on field for the start of the season, but (unlike he experienced in previous seasons, when he was younger) the issue likely flared up again when being forced to play every day in April.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets' Jay Bruce follows the flight of his solo home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Chris Rusin in the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, Denver. The Rockies won 5-4. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Mets' Jay Bruce follows the flight of his solo home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Chris Rusin in the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, Denver. The Rockies won 5-4. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

Mets OF Jay Bruce is in Tuesday night's starting lineup after not starting on Monday night due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Bruce eventually pinch-hit in the eighth inning of the Mets' 8-6 loss to the Nationals. 

"This is something that I dealt with a little bit in Spring Training, and I want to do everything I can to really nip it in the bud and knock it out," Bruce said before Monday's game. "Not have it be a lingering issue."

Bruce dealt with plantar fasciitis early on in Spring Training, and said it's been bothering him the last few days. 

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Jay Bruce on foot issue 00:01:30
Mets outfielder Jay Bruce says his plantar fasciitis flared up again Sunday in his left foot, but he will play Tuesday.

Mets OF Jay Bruce is not in the starting lineup on Monday night against the Nationals due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

"This is something that I dealt with a little bit in Spring Training, and I want to do everything I can to really nip it in the bud and knock it out," Bruce said before the game. "Not have it be a lingering issue."

Bruce dealt with plantar fasciitis early on in Spring Training, and said it's been bothering him the last few days. 

Tags: Jay Bruce
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Brandon Nimmo had an incredible game on Sunday in his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas, smashing three hits including a triple and a home run. His season OPS is up to an eye-popping 1.371 and the Mets are in a real bind as they simply have to find a way to keep his bat in a crowded outfield.

In only 21 plate appearances so far, Nimmo has gotten on base an incredible 12 times while striking out only twice. This is certainly a small sample, and while he won't produce like a peak Barry Bonds all season, Nimmo is on track for the best walk and strikeout rates of his career -- as well as his best hard-hit rate and line drive rate.

Always a patient hitter, Nimmo is swinging less than ever, but pummeling the ball when he does hit. He is the consummate leadoff hitter the team has been lacking for so long and if the team is waiting for him to cool off, it might be a long wait...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Maggie Wiggin
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Mets on 3-2 win over the Brewers 00:05:05
Mickey Callaway, Noah Syndergaard and Brandon Nimmo discuss the team's 3-2 walk-off win over the Brewers on Sunday.

Despite starting for only the fourth time this season, Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo continued his hot start by going 3-for-5 with a home run and a triple in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field.

"He played a great game,'' Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters after the game.

Nimmo, starting for the first time since April 4, singled and scored in the first inning, tripled in the fourth and hit a game-tying home run to lead off the sixth inning as the Mets improved to 12-2, their best start in franchise history.

"You have to just try and help out the team however you can,'' said Nimmo, who has a .400/.571/.800 batting line in 15 at-bats this season.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Milwaukee Brewers, Yoenis Cespedes
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New York Mets' Jay Bruce (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Jay Bruce (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Jay Bruce, who said two weeks ago that he wasn't even thinking about the potential of playing first base this season, took grounders at first base prior to Tuesday night's game against the Marlins in Miami. 

Bruce has only played the outfield so far this season, though Mets GM Sandy Alderson said last month that Bruce could play first base on a "reasonably every day basis" if it came to it. After having not played first base since 2014, Bruce graded out as average in 91 innings at the position in 2017.

The timing of Bruce taking grounders was interesting, as one of the reasons for him playing first base would be to get Brandon Nimmo in the lineup -- the same Brandon Nimmo who was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas earlier on Tuesday...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter | It was another good week in Mets Land. And no, it's not only because Michael Conforto is back, but let's focus on that for a bit.

We have our Scooter back! Conforto made his return to the lineup on Thursday, and he didn't disappoint. Mickey Callaway had made it known before the game that Conforto wanted to face Stephen Strasburg, and to put it simply, Conforto won that battle. In the fifth, Conforto hit a go-ahead two-run homer to left field off of Strasburg.

Yoenis Cespedes predicted this home run before the game, by the way, and took full credit for it postgame...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Hansel Robles, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, TJ Rivera, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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BNNY: Mets outfield analysis 00:03:12
The Baseball Night in New York panel analyzes the strength of the Mets' outfield and where it ranks among the league's best.

Brandon Nimmo is currently the odd-man out due to the return of Michael Conforto, and while he wants to be starting, he said the Mets' current outfield glut is a "great problem to have."

"I am a competitor, so I want to be out there," Nimmo said Thursday, according to Kristie Ackert of the NY Daily News. "But I also want this team to win, whatever they feel like is best to win, if that's me coming off the bench, if that's me starting that day, then that's what I am gonna do. I definitely want to succeed in whatever they ask me to do, so I am going to work hard and do that."

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Nimmo is right that the Mets' current outfield depth is a great problem to have. But it also isn't one they need to have. It's been said before, but unless Adrian Gonzalez rediscovers his power stroke, the Mets' best configuration has Nimmo, Conforto, Cespedes, and Bruce in the lineup at the same time. And the only way to do that is by moving someone to the infield. And that person should be Bruce, who can move to first base...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael dal Colle, Yoenis Cespedes
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 4/5 00:03:16
Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 8-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Jay Bruce's seventh-inning grand slam broke open a 4-2 game. The blast came immediately after Jacob deGrom worked out of a bases loaded, no-out situation in the bottom of the sixth. Bruce narrowly missed a homer in the second inning when he doubled off the right-field wall. He scored the Mets' first run on Stephen Strasburg's balk with two outs in the second.

2) Michael Conforto played his first game since injuring his shoulder last Aug. 24 and slugged a tie-breaking two-run homer in the fourth off Strasburg. The 25-year-old also walked and finished 1-for-4 with two runs scored. Yoenis Cespedes homered for the second straight day for his third long ball of the season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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Michael Conforto (30) (Brad Mills)
Michael Conforto (30) (Brad Mills)

Michael Conforto wanted Stephen Strasburg. And he got him.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said before Thursday's game that Conforto wanted to face Strasburg, and Conforto said he had the Nats series circled as his targeted return. 

The result? Conforto hit a go-ahead two-run homer to left field off Strasburg in the fifth inning -- in his first game since last August -- to give the Mets a 4-2 lead that they wouldn't relinquish...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Apr 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) is congratulated in the dugout after scoring in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) is congratulated in the dugout after scoring in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Mets have a lot to be satisfied with at this early point in the season, with the second-best batting average in baseball and an overall offense in the top third of the league. But behind those numbers are some very different stories -- some good and some not so good.

While it's still early to come to any conclusions, let's take a look at the trends emerging for the 2018 Mets...

The Good

Tags: Amed Rosario, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Maggie Wiggin
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Aug 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) and right fielder Michael Conforto (30) and center fielder Juan Lagares (12) celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Aug 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) and right fielder Michael Conforto (30) and center fielder Juan Lagares (12) celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Michael Conforto is well ahead of schedule in his return from shoulder surgery, is in New York, and could be activated from the DL on Thursday -- the first day he's eligible. 

Conforto potentially returning this early is a great thing, as is the outfield depth the Mets are about to have. But with four starting-caliber players for three spots, and Juan Lagares also needing playing time, the Mets will have some decisions to make.

So, what could they do? And what should they do? Here are some options...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mickey Callaway, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz spoke at Citi Field on Wednesday about Opening Day and expectations for 2018.

Callaway revealed the Opening Day lineup, which has some interesting quirks >> CLICK HERE to read more

Click below to watch the entirety of Wednesday's press conferences from Citi Field...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets' Jay Bruce runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, July 15, 2017, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Jay Bruce runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, July 15, 2017, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Jay Bruce said he would be surprised if he plays first base during the regular season, he told Mike Puma of the NY Post.

"I don't even think about it," Bruce said.

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Bruce may not be thinking about playing first base, but he should be. Wilmer Flores will likely start at first base against left-handers, and Mets manager Mickey Callaway said he might even eat into Gonzalez's playing time against right-handers. But if Gonzalez's struggles carry over to the regular season, the Mets will have to explore the idea of using Bruce at first base on a somewhat regular basis...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce, Wilmer Flores
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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:03:13
Gary Apple, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 4-3 win over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon.

Steven Matz pitched four scoreless innings, Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce hit back-to-back homers, and the Mets finished their Grapefruit League season with a 4-3 win over the Marlins on Sunday.

To see the full box score, click here!

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Matz ended his season with yet another strong outing, limiting the Marlins to just two hits while striking out four. >> Read more about his start here.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jay Bruce, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes
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 (Jasen Vinlove)
(Jasen Vinlove)

Jay Bruce playing first base this season may be an option after all.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson spoke to the media on Friday, and admitted that he wouldn't mind Bruce playing first on a "reasonably every day basis" if that is what the team needed.

Alderson added that Bruce has demonstarted his skill at the postion in the past, which is why the team didn't feel the need to give him reps there this spring. He also didn't want the media to roll with the story that Bruce could be the team's first baseman. 

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Could the Mets trade Lagares? 00:04:17
The Baseball Night in New York crew discusses opposing teams' continued interest in trading for elite defensive outfielder Juan Lagares.

The Mets have not ruled out trading OF Juan Lagares, who has drawn recent interest, reports Mike Puma of the NY Post.

Lagares, who is currently expected to be part of a platoon in center field with Brandon Nimmo, was the subject of trade rumors earlier this offseason. The 28-year-old will earn $6.5 million this season and $9 million in 2019, after which he is eligible for free agency.

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | With Brandon Nimmo's strong showing in 2017 and what he's displayed so far in Spring Training, he's earned the right to be the long end of a center field platoon with Lagares. And as a left-handed hitter, that means Nimmo will get the bulk of the at-bats. So where does that leave Lagares?

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (left), right fielder Jay Bruce (center) and left fielder Brandon Nimmo (right) celebrate their win over the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (left), right fielder Jay Bruce (center) and left fielder Brandon Nimmo (right) celebrate their win over the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets OF Michael Conforto told the NY Post that he expects to play in a Grapefruit League game at some point next week as he continues to work his way back from last summer's shoulder surgery.

The Mets and Sandy Alderson had been saying all winter that Conforto was not likely to return to the team's roster until at least May 1. I believe this is still the targeted return date, despite Conforto looking to be slightly ahead of schedule in his rehab.

In Conforto's absence, Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares are expected to rotate in and out of center field, while Jay Bruce handles right field. Upon his return, I'm told Conforto will ease in to playing center field, while rotating in and out of right and left field with Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes.

The thing is, with no obvious answer to handle first base right now, the Mets may want to revisit getting Bruce time there...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Matthew Cerrone
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Mar 1, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) grounds out in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 1, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) grounds out in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

There are a few questions I have while sitting here basking in the fun of Spring Training. I know it's fake baseball and that the games don't count. But, still, there are some questions and thoughts, especially when it comes to first base.

I have been #TeamDom from the beginning, and I've already advocated about how he should have had a shot to contend for first base. But things aren't looking so good this spring for him. From not being in the lineup for the first game due to being late, to a strained quad, he's not getting the reps he needs.

This likely means Adrian Gonzalez is a shoe-in for the starting role at first. But, should Gonzalez be trusted to take on this role full-time? He says that he is, but what does his playing say? Is he too old for a starting role, or for handling first?

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Michelle Ioannou
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Feb 27, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Jay Bruce (19) connects for a base hit during a spring training game against the Houston Astros at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 27, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Jay Bruce (19) connects for a base hit during a spring training game against the Houston Astros at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

LHP Steven Matz struggled in his second spring training start, but Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce each homered for the Mets in a 7-3 loss to the Nationals in Port St. Lucie on Sunday.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Steven Matz
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Post Game Extra: Mets lose 00:03:12
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets? 8-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday afternoon.

Steven Matz allowed five runs in 1 + inning during his Grapefruit League debut as the Mets lost to the Astros, 8-2, on Tuesday afternoon in Port St. Lucie.

To see the full box score, click here!

Three things you should know about today's game...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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New York Mets' Jay Bruce runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, July 15, 2017, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Jay Bruce runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, July 15, 2017, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Jay Bruce (plantar fasciitis in his left foot) will make his Spring Training debut today when he serves as the DH as the Mets face the Astros at First Data Field at 1:10 p.m. on SNY.

Bruce said Sunday that reporters shouldn't be wasting time covering his plantar fasciitis due to the minor nature of it, adding that he ran the bases on Sunday and planned to serve as the DH today.

It was expected that Juan Lagares (strained left hamstring), might also make his debut today, but he remains out. Manager Mickey Callaway said over the weekend that Lagares would be playing if it was the regular season.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets' Jay Bruce runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, July 15, 2017, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Jay Bruce runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, July 15, 2017, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Mets OF Jay Bruce, who has been held out of spring training games due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot, plans to serve as DH on Tuesday.

Bruce told reporters that his plantar fasciitis is minor and that he is taking batting practice and running the bases on Sunday. He was also able to participate in batting practice on Saturday.

With the Mets and Indians, Bruce hit .254/.324/.508 with 36 HR and 101 RBI in 2017. The 30-year-old signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the Mets this offseason.

The Mets hope to be fully healthy heading into Opening Day, when they play the Cardinals on March 29 at 1:10 p.m.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Sep 24, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) rounds second base after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Sep 24, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) rounds second base after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Brandon Nimmo saw success for the first time in his young career in 2017, despite an unusual profile and an inconsistent role on the team. The team's outfield alignment may not have an opening for him on a regular basis but can one plus-plus tool force their hand?

Nimmo arrived in the majors with the expectation that he would get on base and he has done exactly that. Over 215 plate appearances in 2017, he put up a .379 on base percentage, which would have ranked him in the top 20 of all hitters in baseball if he qualified. A high strikeout rate held him back from a high batting average, but his 15 percent walk rate was elite and anyone getting on base that often has significant value, regardless of his other qualities.

When a young player puts up an exceptional statistic like a 15 percent walk rate, it makes it difficult to project future seasons with accuracy. ZiPS, Steamer, and PECOTA all expect a big drop off, based on the assumption that his walk rate will fall back to earth and his power will regress...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Maggie Wiggin
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Todd Frazier poses at Citi Field following his official introduction by the Mets. (AP)
Todd Frazier poses at Citi Field following his official introduction by the Mets. (AP)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterIt's impossible for anyone to write a piece about Mets veterans and leadership without acknowledging David Wright. He's been the face of the franchise. He's been the guy in the clubhouse mentoring young players, both in on the field and off the field actions. He has been the guy who is great with the New York media. He has been our Captain.

But unfortunately, Wright isn't able to be the Wright we all want him to be right now. His presence is still extremely important. But his future is unknown -- he even admits this. And with the potential of Wright not being there (and having not physically been there these past couple of seasons) this is a huge void that needs to be filled.

It's been great seeing Wright in Port St. Lucie so far, training (as much as he can) with his team, and just being there with his teammates. But at the same time, it's been a bit bittersweet, as none of us know what to expect from him...

Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Michelle Ioannou
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New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

Technically speaking, Jay Bruce is a new addition to the Mets. But he doesn't feel that way.

Of course, the slugger was with the Mets until August of last season when he was traded to the Indians. He had been with the Mets since August of the prior season when he came to the team a trade from the Reds. Now, having arrived in Port St. Lucie for spring training, Bruce says it feels comfortable to be back-- like he never left.

"It was very, very comfortable," Bruce said. "It was honestly like I never left. Obviously, I went and had a lot of fun and had some great experiences over in Cleveland, but I'm back here now and hopefully here for the long haul..."

Tags: Jay Bruce
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Mets OF Michael Conforto has resumed baseball activity, and was long-tossing on Wednesday at Spring Training, MLB.Com's Anthony DiComo tweeted.

Conforto reported to camp last week, and there have not yet been reports of him swinging a bat. 

He has not had a setback as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but GM Sandy Alderson said in January that the team does not expect him back until around May 1. 

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto
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Former WFAN host Mike Francesa says the Mets are open to trading OF Juan Lagares to the Giants for 2B Joe Panik.

"I don't know if they'll keep Lagares or not," Francesa said Tuesday on WOR. "I know the Giants want Lagares. The Mets are interested in Panik." When asked what the Mets would do with Asdrubal Cabrera if they traded for Panik, Francesa said they'd "let him play as a utility-man -- that's all. I know they like Panik a lot."

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | If Panik's defensive struggles last season were a one-year blip -- and if the Mets are comfortable using Nimmo in center field every day until Conforto returns -- dealing Lagares for Panik actually makes sense...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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Noah Syndergaard (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Noah Syndergaard (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

RHP Noah Syndergaard, who reported to Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, FL on Wednesday, said the Mets will be "a force to be reckoned with" this season.

"I think we've made some great acquisitions,'' Syndergaard told Kevin Kernan of the NY Post. "We have a great lineup, a force to be reckoned with, solid defense behind us and the pitching staff is going to hold their own so I am really excited to get the ball rolling.

"I think if the staff stays healthy it's going to be a very interesting season. Interesting in a good way.''

Tags: Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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New York Mets' Jay Bruce runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, July 15, 2017, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Jay Bruce runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, July 15, 2017, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

In the three weeks since Jay Bruce inked a three-year, $39 million deal to return to the Mets, I've picked up a wide range of feedback in talks with MLB insiders.

For the most part, everyone I talk with agrees that this is fair value for Bruce. In fact, though Bruce may have been requesting a five-year deal at the start of the winter, no one I know ever expected he would get it and they all pegged him around the deal he eventually signed.

"He doesn't project great, but for him it's all about the fly ball," an R&D staffer from a rival team told me. "If Bruce gets back to hitting balls in the air the way he did before they traded him last summer, and if Cespedes is in the lineup, Bruce is capable of topping his production from last season."

And that's the big concern, which has less to do with Bruce's bat and more to do with the bats around him...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Oct 9, 2017; Frazier during game four of the 2017 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2017; Frazier during game four of the 2017 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Mets GM Sandy Alderson has placed an emphasis on adding a starting second baseman or third baseman this offseason -- with his stated preference being to bring in a second baseman in order to keep Asdrubal Cabrera at third base. Cabrera recently said he prefers to play second base, but it remains to be seen if his desire will have any impact on what the Mets do.

Here's a look at the players the Mets are reportedly considering...

3B/1B Todd Frazier, free agent

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Neil Walker, Danny Abriano
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There are exactly two weeks until Mets pitchers and catchers are required to report to Port St. Lucie, Fla., for the official start of Spring Training.

Meanwhile, there are dozens of impact free agents available on the open market and trades that can still be made as the Mets continue their search for a second baseman or third baseman and at least two pitchers willing to accept minor-league deals...

What's on second?

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 11, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) (Peter Aiken)
Sep 11, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) (Peter Aiken)

Lorenzo Cain just signed a five-year, $80 million contract with the Brewers -- a deal mostly seen as fair overall. The Mets had largely silenced any rumors of a union with Cain with the signing of Jay Bruce earlier this month, but the reasonable terms of Cain's contract raise the question of whether he would have been the better fit.

Cain represents something the Mets haven't had on the team in some time -- a starting center fielder in his natural position. While Juan Lagares is one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball, he is not viewed as a starting-caliber player, and so the team has made due with reasonably athletic corner outfielders, from Yoenis Cespedes to Michael Conforto, both of whom more than account for the defensive deficiencies with strong bats.

But the value of a true center fielder is significant. Not only does the defense in center improve, but an uptick in the run-prevention from the corners usually happens as well. Cain, the fourth-best centerfielder in baseball since 2015 by both defensive runs saved and ultimate zone rating, would have undoubtedly tightened up the outfield in an era of ever-increasing fly balls.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Maggie Wiggin
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Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot said by Mets GM Sandy Alderson and COO Jeff Wilpon Tuesday when they discussed with reporters the team's payroll and spending during a private lunch at Citi Field.

Here is Part 2 of my reaction to specific noteworthy quotes, which come by way of articles in the New York Post, Daily News, Newsday and MLB.com. CLICK HERE to read Part 1...


Have the Mets done enough to win in 2018?

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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BNNY: Mets' payroll 00:06:12
The Baseball Night in New York panel discusses the Mets' payroll and speculates on New York's intentions for the remainder of the offseason.

Earlier today, I wrote that the Mets would be better off signing Mike Moustakas to play third base, while starting rookie Luis Guillorme at second instead of Asdrubal Cabrera.

Here's a more detailed explanation and why I actually think such a swap is possible...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Matthew Cerrone
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GEICO SportsNite: Mets 00:00:39
Brandon Nimmo made an appearance at the Queens Baseball Convention and addressed the Mets' failed pursuit of Andrew McCutchen.

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

It was quite the week for Mets fans. Well, to be more specific, it was quite the weekend for Mets fans, as the Queens Baseball Convention was on Saturday.

For those of you who weren't there, those of us in attendance fell in love with Brandon Nimmo a little bit, myself included...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jay Bruce, Josh Smoker, Juan Lagares, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Adam Fisher on Bruce, Dom Smith 00:05:18
Former Mets and Braves front office executive Adam Fisher joins Mets Hot Stove to break down Jay Bruce and the Mets' plans at first base.

Former Mets and Braves executive Adam Fisher, who left the Braves earlier this offseason amidst their front office upheaval, was on Mets Hot Stove on SNY on Thursday night to discuss the team's acquisition of Jay Bruce, and how the Adrian Gonzalez signing might impact Dominic Smith.

Fisher, who had been serving as the Mets' director of baseball operations before joining the Braves, said one of the reasons the Mets brought Bruce back was because "he showed the Mets that he had the character to succeed in this city."

"One of the biggest challenges for a front office in this market is figuring out who has the makeup and character to succeed here," Fisher said. "There were questions about whether Jay would have success here, coming in to last season after he struggled coming over from the Reds. And he completely turned around that narrative. He was a very consistent presence in the Mets' lineup, he improved his defense, and he was also a very positive person in that clubhouse."

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce, Danny Abriano
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Sep 7, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) is congratulated by center fielder Juan Lagares (12) after hitting a home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 7, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) is congratulated by center fielder Juan Lagares (12) after hitting a home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

With the return of Jay Bruce and a hole remaining in the infield, much of the buzz around the Mets this week has centered on the possibility of trading Brandon Nimmo or Juan Lagares for a second baseman. But the Mets are still dangerously thin in the outfield and willingly dealing away what little depth they have would be a serious mistake.

The Mets currently have five outfielders on the 40-man roster: Bruce, Nimmo, Lagares, Michael Conforto, and Yoenis Cespedes. Conforto, as reported earlier, is expected to be out at a minimum the entire month of April. Moreover, Nimmo, Lagares, and Cespedes all have lost significant time in recent years. The safe assumption is that they will be down by at least one man for the bulk of the season.

Teams have gotten by with four outfielders on the active roster for short stretches, but rarely for long stretches. And if the Mets were to have two on the sidelines at the same time -- a fairly common occurrence -- they would have no choice but to dig into their minor league depth, and that's where things start to get scary...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Maggie Wiggin
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Bruce on reuniting with Callaway 00:06:57
Gary Apple talks with Jay Bruce, who says he's excited to reunite with Mickey Callaway in New York after both were members of the Indians.

Mets OF Jay Bruce said manager Mickey Callaway was involved in the final stages of the process before he returned to the Mets on a three-year deal worth $39 million.

"He was actually kind of the one who started the final conversations before this thing all kind of took place," Bruce told SNY's Gary Apple on Wednesday. "He gave me a call and kind of said 'we're in.'" 

Bruce added that Callaway impressed him during his time in Cleveland, when Callaway was the team's pitching coach.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | If you're handicapping what's next for the Mets now that they've celebrated returning free agent Jay Bruce with a Citi Field press conference, here's the way Sandy Alderson looks at the rest of the Met winter:

He'd rather sign a free agent than make a trade to improve the club. He says he could offer a potential free-agent infielder a "significant" contract. He doesn't agree with the hot takes that peg the Mets' farm system as mostly-devoid of desirable players, nor do he and his lieutenants believe the Mets need to add another bullpen arm.

Oh, and Alderson likes Brandon Nimmo's skill set an awful lot...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Anthony McCarron
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Bruce talks trade, re-signing 00:07:20
Jay Bruce sheds light on what went on behind the scenes of his trade to Cleveland and return to New York.

While introducing the newly-signed Jay Bruce on Wednesday morning at Citi Field, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said there were a variety of factors that went in to bringing Bruce back.

"Strictly on the basis of performance, we're very happy to have him back," Alderson said, adding that Bruce's durability and versatility were huge things in his favor.

"Jay has proven to be versatile," Alderson said, noting that Bruce volunteered to play first base last year when injuries mounted. "Why we don't expect Jay to be a career first-baseman with the Mets," his ability to play there "gives us the confidence to move people around."

Tags: Jay Bruce, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

Tune in today at 11 a.m. on SNY's Facebook page as the Mets re-introduce Jay Bruce.

The agreement between the Mets and Bruce became official Tuesday night when the club announced it has brought back the slugger for three years and $39 million.

Bruce will receive a signing bonus of $3 million. He'll earn $10 million in 2018 and $13 million in each of the last two seasons of the deal.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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New York Mets' Jay Bruce, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Asdrubal Cabrera (13) during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in Washington. The Nationals won 11-4. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass/AP)
New York Mets' Jay Bruce, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Asdrubal Cabrera (13) during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in Washington. The Nationals won 11-4. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass/AP)

With baseball's Hot Stove cool to the touch, Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan penned a lengthy piece asking whether the sport's economic system might be broken.

The offseason's biggest moves have come via trade, with Giancarlo Stanton going to the Yankees and Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen joining the Giants. 

The Mets have agreed to a pair of free agent deals, inking RP Anthony Swarzak to a two-year, $14 million pact last month and bringing back OF Jay Bruce on a three-year, $39 million contract.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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DNL: McCutchen on the move 00:02:33
The panel discusses the possible impact the Andrew McCutchen trade to San Francisco has on the Yankees' or Mets' offseason plans.

The Pirates traded former All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen and $2.5 million to the San Francisco Giants for RHP Kyle Crick, minor league outfielder Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 in international signing bonus pool money on Monday.

The Mets were "exploring" a trade for McCutchenJohn Harper of NY Daily News said Thursday on SNY's Baseball Night in New York.

McCutchen and/or teammate INF Josh Harrison have reportedly been potential trade targets for the Mets, according to Steven Marcus of Newsday. The Mets' interest in McCutchen was first reported on Jan. 5 by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares
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Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter

Happy Monday, Mets fans! Moves have actually been made, and whether or not you like both of them, things are at least happening, right? I for one am happy to have Jay Bruce back, and I'll just leave it at that for now and continue on to report this past week's off the field news.

There was a reunion of former Mets players in White Plains on Saturday -- just look at this iconic trio below...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Jerry Blevins, Josh Smoker, Juan Lagares, Noah Syndergaard, Wilmer Flores, Michelle Ioannou
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New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) hits a three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) hits a three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets C Travis d'Anruad was "ecstatic" after getting a text from his dad telling him Jay Bruce was returning.

"I literally jumped and almost hit my head on the ceiling, I was so excited," d'Arnaud told SNY on Mets Hot Stove on Thursday night. "I'm so happy he's back."

D'Arnaud said Bruce, who reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth $39 million, is a huge clubhouse presence.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, Danny Abriano
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BNNY on Bruce's return to Mets 00:05:47
The Baseball Night in New York crew break down Jay Bruce returning to the Mets and how this impacts the team going forward.

Sandy Alderson intends to acquire at least one more position player, but can add only an additional $10 million in salary this winter, according to sources.

By the way, as it pertains to payroll, MLB agents expect nearly every team will end up cutting payroll by at least 10 percent, which is about where the Mets will end up as well.

I keep hearing that the Mets are still open to doing something meaningful, be it trading Juan Lagares, acquiring an everyday center fielder, or freeing up money to bring in a bonafide third baseman or second baseman. However, with so few impact prospects to deal, just $10 million left to spend, only 33 days until pitchers and catchers, and still so much gridlock in the market place (see below), it's growing increasingly difficult for Alderson to knock down dominoes and make an ideal surgical strike.

This is why I think the Mets will soon end up signing a less-than $10 million per year infielder, like Howie Kendrick, declare themselves essentially done, and then shift to luring in position and pitching depth using minor-league deals.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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