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Jeff McNeil

Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, and Ronny Mauricio
Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, and Ronny Mauricio

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

There was buzz before the 2019 season that the DH could soon be implemented in the National League, with some speculating that the DH coming to the NL could've been one of the reasons why the Mets were comfortable taking on five seasons of then-36-year-old Robinson Cano.

Now, the buzz is back, with Jim Bowden of The Athletic reporting Monday that there is a "growing belief" among some general managers that the DH could come to the NL as soon as 2021. While the NL adding the DH as soon as next season is possible, SNY's Andy Martino believes it could be more likely to happen for the 2022 season.

Either way, unless the Mets trade Cano between now and then, they will be one of the teams to benefit the most from the NL adopting the DH. But the positive ripple effects for the Mets wouldn't stop with how it might impact Cano. Among the scenarios...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Ronny Mauricio, Danny Abriano
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Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil (6) reacts after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil (6) reacts after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Sunday's news of Kobe Bryant's tragic death in a Calabasas, Calif., helicopter crash had ripple effects across the sports world. Among the nine people killed in the crash, which included the 41-year-old Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna, was 28th-year Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli.

Altobelli, 56, was on board Bryant's helicopter with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, who were among the crash victims. Altobelli's brother Tony, Orange Coast College's sports information director, confirmed the news to CNN.

Orange Coast College assistant Ron La Ruffa told CNN that Altobelli "routinely" flew with Bryant to attend their daughters' basketball games. The helicopter Altobelli was on reportedly had been headed from Calabasas to the Bryant-owned Mamba Academy in nearby Thousand Oaks, California.

Tags: Jeff McNeil
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Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz

There is a secret weapon for Mets reliever Edwin Diaz when it comes to him potentially rebounding in 2020.

"Once I started throwing this offseason and putting in the work, I was kind of able to pick up on a few different things," Diaz explained Saturday through Mets translator Alan Suriel about how he has worked on correcting his mechanics. "I had a few friends who were able to kind of pinpoint what exactly was going on."

One of those friends? Former Met and Hall-of-Famer Pedro Martinez.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, Danny Abriano
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Amed Rosario
Amed Rosario

During the past two weeks, I reached out to current and former players, coaches, scouts and league executives to learn who on the Mets is most likely to take a big step forward in 2020 compared to 2019.

The following three players were mentioned most...

1) Amed Rosario

Rosario hit .287 with a .323 OBP, 15 home runs, 30 doubles and 19 stolen bases, while producing 2.7 WAR in 2019, according to FanGraphs.

As soon as he started to get himself stable and performing well in the field, he also began swinging at fewer pitches out of the strike zone, while swinging at more pitches in it. Not surprisingly, he also started making more and better contact overall, while also reducing how often he struck out.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets manager Luis Rojas
Mets manager Luis Rojas

New Mets manager Luis Rojas is a relative unknown to most. However, among his attributes, he is already well-respected inside the Mets' clubhouse, has been around the team for over a decade, has tons of managerial experience, and has famous MLB bloodlines.

Here are five things to know about Rojas...

Was viewed as a rising star when he managed in minors

While coaching for the Mets in the minors, Rojas was voted by his peers as the best managerial prospect in the Florida State League (with the High-A St. Lucie Mets) in 2015 and 2016 after being voted as the best managerial prospect in the South Atlantic League (with Low-A) in 2014, according to JJ Cooper of Baseball America

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas (Jasen Vinlove)
Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets are finalizing a multi-year deal to make Luis Rojas their next manager, replacing Carlos Beltran who mutually parted ways with the team last Thursday. 

Rojas was getting plenty of buzz as the Mets conducted their second managerial search of the offseason, with team brass focused on an in-house option to take over. The 38-year-old has managerial experience in the minors and was the team's quality control coach before this promotion. 

However, there were some doubts on Rojas, as it was said the team didn't believe he was ready to take over as manager back in November when he was initially considered for the job. That has clearly changed now, and some current Mets always believed Rojas had what it took to be a big league manager after playing under him. 

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Tomas Nido, Danny Abriano
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Hensley Meulens (Treated Image by SNY)
Hensley Meulens (Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets' search for a new manager could be reaching its final stages.

According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets have narrowed the search down to three internal candidates: Luis Rojas, Hensley Meulens, and Tony DeFrancesco.

Martino notes that while there's a chance another candidate could still enter the mix, the Mets "see benefits of going internal."

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso
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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes
Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes

When the offseason began, the thought of Yoenis Cespedes contributing to the 2020 Mets was a pipe dream. Then he started hitting bombs. Then his contract was restructured to incentivize him making it back on the field. Then he started running.

Now, the idea that the 34-year-old Cespedes will trot out to left field in in the top of the first inning on March 26 against the Nationals at Citi Field before toting his lumber to the batter's box in the bottom of the first seems downright plausible.

Yes, Cespedes still needs to prove he can handle a full nine innings in left field. And yes, he still needs to get through the rest of the offseason without suffering any setbacks. But after roughly two seasons on the shelf, Yo is close. And his healthy return could have serious ripple effects on the 2020 Mets...

A very crowded situation in left field

In a world without a healthy Cespedes, the Mets would likely enter the 2020 season with J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto as their starting outfielders from left to right.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

As the offseason winds down and spring training is just weeks away, Jeff McNeil has his sights set on the Mets making a big jump into the postseason in 2020.

McNeil, who had an extremely efficient season in 2019 with slashes of .318/.384/.531 that came with 23 home runs and 75 RBI, believes the team has the right personnel to make a run.

"I think we have really high expectations," McNeil said on SiriusXM's PGA Tour Radio with Michael Breed. "I expect to make the playoffs, you now, we came up a little short last year but I expect to make the playoffs. We got the pitching staff to do it. We got the best pitcher in baseball in [Jacob] deGrom. We got Pete [Alonso]. We've got a bunch of young guys, we've got a good mix of young guys and veterans, so I think we're just going to build off what we did last year. We had a good second half, I think we had one of the best records in baseball in the second half, so just kind of build on that and hopefully, you know, once we get in the playoffs anything can happen, especially with our pitching staff with deGrom, [Noah] Syndergaard, it's a pretty good top of the rotation. Basically we just have to get to the playoffs and go from there."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso
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Sep 24, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Sep 24, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

If the Mets want to make a trade for Nolan Arenado, they better act fast.

The St. Louis Cardinals have emerged as a suitor for the Colorado Rockies third baseman, according to a Sunday evening report from Jon Morosi of MLB Network and MLB.com.

Arenado has drawn interest from the Cardinals over recent days, and the Rockies have conducted "preliminary" negotiations on a trade with St. Louis for Colorado's five-time All-Star, according to Morosi.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso
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Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Mets INF/OF Jeff McNeil said in late-September that he expected to be ready for Spring Training after having surgery on his wrist. It seems that he's on track.

McNeil, whose season ended with a few games left in the season after he suffered a right distal ulnar fracture when he was hit by a pitch, posted a video Friday of him hitting off a tee as he prepares for the season.

Click below to see

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Danny Abriano
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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets continue to discuss the possibility of trading for high-profile players, which suggests Brodie Van Wagenen may still be trying to make a "big trade," one MLB insider from each NL division told me last week.

The Mets have been connected in rumor and reports to Cubs 3B Kris Bryant, Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado, Pirates OF Starling Marte and SP Chris Archer, Red Sox OF Mookie Betts and Indians SS Franciso Lindor.

I'm intrigued by all of the above. Here's how I rank them given the cost and upside in production...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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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)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets, coming off their first winning season since 2016, have the makings of a team that should contend again in 2020, though that won't be easy to do in the fiercely competitve NL East.

To that end, they need to add more between now and the end of the offseason. And finding legitimate bullpen help is chief among the Mets' needs.

Still, it's likely that much of the 26-man Opening Day roster for 2020 is already in place. Factoring in the players already on the roster and what could happen between now and when things get going at Citi Field on March 26, here is our way too early 26-man roster prediction...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets finished 86-76 in 2019 while the Braves won the NL East and the Nationals secured a Wild Card spot and went on to win the World Series. 

As the Mets have been largely silent this offseason, the Braves, Nats, and Phillies -- who finished in fourth place in 2019 -- have all made big moves to strengthen their positions for 2020.

Here's where things stand in the NL East...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets have had trade discussions with the Indians about Francisco Lindor and discussions with the Astros about Carlos Correa. Both of those players are tremendous talents, with Lindor offering more certainty and Correa being a player you can dream on. 

While Lindor and Correa would both be franchise-altering additions for the Mets, neither -- due to what it would take to trade for them and the limited team control they have -- is a perfect fit. Nor is Mookie Betts, who will earn close to $28 million in 2020 before being eligible for free agency. 

If the Mets want Betts, they can simply sign him after the 2020 season. And with Steve Cohen's billions potentially in play by some point in the 2020 season, it isn't that far-fetched to think the Mets could do it. For right now, though, the player it makes the most sense for the Mets to swing for the fences on is Nolan Arenado.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Ronny Mauricio, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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The offseason is about to enter its final month and the Mets still have work to do. What can they do between now and spring training to improve? And what about that Jacob deGrom vs. Gerrit Cole debate?


Dino (via Twitter): Why isn't Brodie Van Wagenen pushing harder to get Starling Marte from the Pirates? He's a perfect fit. It makes no sense.

Just a guess here, and I assume you will disagree with him, but I suspect Van Wagenen doesn't want Marte enough -- or doesn't think he's enough of an upgrade -- to meet Pittsburgh's demands. It's usually that simple...

It's clear the two sides were deeply engaged in talks about Marte. However, those rumors have become less frequent and now the Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is reporting they've made minimal progress on a deal.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Francisco Lindor (Kirby Lee)
Francisco Lindor (Kirby Lee)

The Mets were "in the mix" among teams interested in trading for Indians superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor, but bowed out because they felt the asking price was too high, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

According to Tim Healey of Newsday, that included the Indians "repeatedly" asking for for Jeff McNeil as part of the potential package.

McNeil, who is under team control through 2024 and won't even hit arbitration until 2022, has significant value. So it should come as no surprise that the Indians pushed for him.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Danny Abriano
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Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

During this MLB offseason there have been a flurry of moves in the league, but lots of questions remain for the Mets. Here's the latest...

Adding to the bullpen...

The Mets had Dellin Betances on the hook during the middle of November, but he started seeking other offers for leverage when the Yankees dropped out.

The Mets certainly still want him, but seem to have a fixed offer in place based on their budget. I assume he can take it or find something better, which is probably why we're seeing so many conflicting reports about who is and isn't interested.

The Phillies would certainly be the best team to bring in to a negotiation if wanting the Mets to up their offer. But who knows, if that never happens, maybe Philadelphia ends up being the best remaining option. Or, perhaps the Yankees jump back in...

Tags: Dellin Betances, Jeff McNeil, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Jose Leclerc and Dellin Betances
Jose Leclerc and Dellin Betances

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The offseason is nearly halfway over and the Mets have still not added a new reliever to a bullpen that torpedoed their playoff chances in 2019.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen suggested last week while speaking about the "volatility" of the relief market that the team might not add a potential impact piece to the bullpen. But Van Wagenen might have been being coy. Those comments were also made before news broke about Yoenis' Cespedes' contract situation.

With the Mets and Cespedes agreeing to an amended contract for 2020, he will be guaranteed roughly $10 million in 2020 instead of $29.5 million. He can make back another $10 million or so via incentives. But no matter what, the Mets are guaranteed to save roughly $10 million.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Danny Abriano
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Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

"Many teams" have recently inquired about trading for Jeff McNeil, reports Tim Healey of Newsday, who says the Mets have so far resisted including McNeil in any serious trade discussions.

Among the players the Mets have had trade discussions about this offseason are Starling Marte, Josh Hader, and Carlos Correa.

According to SNY's Andy Martino, in order to get Marte, the Mets would likely need to part with a major league outfielder. As part of a deal for Hader, Martino has reported the Mets would likely need to surrender a player like J.D. DavisDominic Smith, or McNeil.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, Danny Abriano
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Mets' Jeff McNeil had a breakout season in 2019, batting .318 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI in 133 games.

Here are his six best moments of the season...

Tags: Jeff McNeil
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Brodie Van Wagenen
Brodie Van Wagenen

The Winter Meetings wrapped up on Thursday in San Diego, but lots of questions remain for the Mets. Among them...

Rounding out the rotation...

Rick Porcello could have signed a multiyear deal, according to people aware of his market.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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Brewers LHP Josh Hader (Jeff Curry)
Brewers LHP Josh Hader (Jeff Curry)

While the Mets and Dodgers have spoken with the Brewers about a potential trade for Josh Hader, the Yankees have been the most "active pursuer," reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Rosenthal adds that "in some cases," Milwaukee has asked for a package in return that included at least one top prospect, but that teams are reluctant to part with that level prospect for Hader.

SNY's Andy Martino reported on Dec. 2 that the Mets were one of many teams interested in trading for Hader, but that it was not yet clear if the Brewers would deal him.

Martino added that the price for the Mets would be high -- in the J.D. Davis, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil category. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Danny Abriano
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 (Orlando Ramirez)
(Orlando Ramirez)

New Mets manager Carlos Beltran made an appearance at the Winter Meetings in San Diego Tuesday evening and discussed the upcoming season for his new ball club and what he's done in the first month since being named manager.

"It's been a lot of work trying to catch up with all the information, all the details, trying to reach out to all the players," Beltran said in his opening statement. "But it's been fun, it's been a learning experience, there is no doubt that, you know, being in the job a lot of times from the outside you think that being a manager is something that happens from one day to another, but really it takes time to catch up with all the information. The good thing is that I have a good group of guys around me that are being supportive and they've been guiding me through the process."

The Mets made additional changes to their coaching staff aside from Beltran this offseason, adding the likes of Hensley Meulens as their bench coach and Jeremy Hefner as the new pitching coach. 

Beltran noted that 'It was a team effort" in picking and finalizing this new coaching staff.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Robinson Cano, Yoenis Cespedes
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For the second straight day during the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen met with the media.

Tuesday's topics included how the team will respond to other moves being made within the division, players have specific nutrition plans, and how the team may use their 26th spot on the active roster.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday's availability:

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen will soon be in San Diego with his contingent and representatives from the 29 other clubs as the annual Winter Meetings begin.

The meetings officially start on Monday, Dec. 9 and conclude on Dec. 12. But things could start percolating as early as Sunday, when many of the most important movers and shakers start to arrive.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) reacts with center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) after hitting a home run against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) reacts with center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) after hitting a home run against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With their trade for Jake Marisnick, the Mets have added an elite defensive center fielder who might not give them much in terms of offense. But the acquisition will likely have ripple effects throughout the roster.

GM Brodie Van Wagenen made it known earlier this offseason that he was seeking to improve the Mets' defense. He also made it clear he preferred to play Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo in the corner outfield spots.

With Wilson Ramos expected to return as the catcher and the infield defense up the middle set with Amed Rosario at shortstop and Robinson Cano at second base, center field seemed like the one spot where the Mets could seriously upgrade their defense. Now that they've done it, what will it mean for Conforto, Nimmo, and J.D. Davis? And what kind of impact will it have on Jeff McNeil?

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Mets' Jeff McNeil
Mets' Jeff McNeil

Earlier this week, SNY's Andy Martino reported that Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis or Dominic Smith could be required in order to trade for Brewers closer Josh Hader.

This makes sense, but McNeil isn't going to be traded.

"He has significant value to the Mets, not just on field, but as it pertains to their budget," an NL East executive told me this past weekend. "I see no reason when push comes to shove that they'd deal him."

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Matthew Cerrone
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Brodie Van Wagenen has expressed a desire to add a true center fielder this offseason, shift Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto to corner outfield spots, and use Jeff McNeil primarily at third base. All of that could impact J.D. Davis in a big way.

Davis spent 585.1 innings in left field in 2019 and 220 innings at third base. He was below average in left field and close to unplayable at third base, where he was worth -9 DRS

Speaking at Citi Field on Wednesday during the Mets' kids holiday party, Davis said his preference was to play third base -- where McNeil is expected to be most of the time -- but that he would play anywhere the team needs him.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Mets interested in trading for Brewers closer Josh Hader, one question is how much the Mets would have to give up in order to land him. Another question is how much they should be willing to give up.

Arguably the best reliever in baseball, the 25-year-old Hader has immense value. He is entering his first of four arbitration years, and will likely get more expensive each season from 2020 to 2023.

It can be argued that with their farm system still in the midst of being rebuilt that the Mets should be focused on the free agent market when it comes to improving the bullpen. But if they are serious about going for Hader, it could make sense to also take back Ryan Braun (and a sizable portion of what he's owed) in order to provide the Brewers even more salary relief and make what they send to Milwaukee hurt less.

Tags: Andres Gimenez, David Peterson, Edwin Diaz, Franklyn Kilome, Jeff McNeil, Mark Vientos, Thomas Szapucki, Danny Abriano
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Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)
Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets need an experienced, everyday center fielder, specifically Brett Gardner.

The Yankees, though, again have a hole in center filed now that Aaron Hicks is expected to miss a large chunk of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery.

This is why earlier this month, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that he's been in contact with Gardner's agent, despite reports late in the season that their time together had likely come to an end.

"I want to continue playing," Gardner said in October, according to the New York Post. "Physically and mentally I feel great. My family wants me to keep playing. Hopefully, that's here (with the Yankees)."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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May 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison (1) hits a double during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
May 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison (1) hits a double during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Two-time All-Star Josh Harrison signed with the Phillies on a minor-league deal on Tuesday, as announced by the team.

But according to a report from MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Phillies weren't the only NL East team in contention for the veteran.

Heyman reports that Harrison's second choice was the Mets, but the 32-year-old utility man elected instead to sign with the Phillies, who will invite him to spring training as part of the deal.

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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J.D. Davis
J.D. Davis

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

J.D. Davis was a tremendous hitter for the Mets in 2019, was an integral part of a loose and fun clubhouse that was a breath of fresh air, and is under team control through 2024. But where does he fit? 

The above is something Brodie Van Wagenen might have to wrestle with this offseason as he builds the team for 2020, with a focus on improving the bullpen and defense. He'll also have a hole to fill in the starting rotation if the continued dialogue with free agent Zack Wheeler is not fruitful.

When it comes to Davis, the likely scenarios Van Wagenen has laid out so far make it seem like he might be a man without a position.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Danny Abriano
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Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman announced on Twitter that he'll be wearing No. 0 for the 2020 season.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Jose Reyes
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So Theo Epstein is open for business, seemingly determined to shake up a roster that has fallen short of expectations since the Cubs' curse-busting championship in 2016.

He told reporters at the GM Meeting in Arizona this week that "change is not always easy but it's necessary," and declared "there are no untouchables" when it comes to the possibility of a trade this offseason.

Yes, with his once-youthful core of position players now speeding toward free agency, and a payroll that went over the luxury-tax threshold this season, Epstein apparently is ready to consider any and all deals that could save the Cubs some money while still giving them a shot in 2020 at another championship.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeff McNeil, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So Theo Epstein is open for business, seemingly determined to shake up a roster that has fallen short of expectations since the Cubs' curse-busting championship in 2016.

He told reporters at the GM Meetings in Arizona this week that "change is not always easy but it's necessary," and declared "there are no untouchables" when it comes to the possibility of a trade this offseason.

Yes, with his once-youthful core of position players now speeding toward free agency, and a payroll that went over the luxury-tax threshold this season, Epstein apparently is ready to consider any and all deals that could save the Cubs some money while still giving them a shot in 2020 at another championship.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeff McNeil, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Pirates OF Starling Marte
Pirates OF Starling Marte

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made it clear he hopes to add a true center fielder this offseason via trade or free agency -- talking up the need to improve the defense -- and has spoken about using Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo primarily in the corner outfield spots.

As the Mets search for that true center fielder, they can scour the free agent market. While not completely barren, the list of free agent center fielders leaves a lot to be desired, with Brett Gardner (who could be heading back to the Yankees) and Cameron Maybin (whose 2019 might have been fool's gold) highlighting the better options.

This is where Starling Marte comes in.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

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


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

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

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

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

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Ronny Mauricio, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Michael Conforto (30) reacts after hitting a two run RBI double against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Michael Conforto (30) reacts after hitting a two run RBI double against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Shortly after the 2019 season ended, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen sought to cut off any rumors about Noah Syndergaard and Edwin Diaz before they began, saying that the plan was for both of them to be part of the team in 2020.

What about Michael Conforto?

Asked on Monday at the GM meetings whether he would put Conforto on a list of basically untouchable players along with Syndergaard and Diaz, Van Wagenen indicated that he would.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Red Sox OF Mookie Betts
Red Sox OF Mookie Betts

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

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

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

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Yasmani Grandal
Yasmani Grandal

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

"Could we get better defensively? Sure," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Monday at Citi Field after introducing Carlos Beltran as the 22nd manager in team history.

The above answer came after Van Wagenen was asked what he might focus on this offseason as he puts the team together for 2020. He also mentioned a desire to add depth to the starting pitching and "fortify" the bullpen.

Adding starting pitching depth shouldn't be too difficult, nor should fortifying the bullpen. When it comes to improving the defense, though, it could require a multipronged attack.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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Anthony Rendon (Thomas B. Shea)
Anthony Rendon (Thomas B. Shea)

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

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

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

Tags: Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Sep 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Wilmer Flores (41) hits a home run during the fifth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Wilmer Flores (41) hits a home run during the fifth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

A year after being non-tendered by the Mets, Wilmer Flores is back on the free agent market.

Flores, who hit .317/.361/.487 this past season for the Diamondbacks, had his option for the 2020 season declined on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Flores made $3.5 million in 2019 and his 2020 option was worth $6 million (with a $500,000 buyout).

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Wilmer Flores, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

Tags: Amed Rosario, Anthony Swarzak, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Shogo Akiyama
Shogo Akiyama

If the Mets want to add a true center fielder this offseason, their best bets could be to turn to the trade market (Starling Marte?) or perhaps the free agent market. But not the major league free agent market, because that one is basically barren.

Enter Japanese free agent Shogo Akiyama?

According to MLBTradeRumors, Akiyama is now an international free agent. And under the new rules, any team that signs him can do so outright -- no longer having to deal with paying a fee to his old team through the posting system.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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J.D. Davis
J.D. Davis

To get back impact value in trade, it requires giving up impact value in trade.

And that's where the Mets' breakout hitter J.D. Davis comes into play.

Davis, 26, exceeded expectations in 2019, which marked his first full big-league season despite making his debut with the Astros in 2017. At the time of his first promotion, Davis had been Houston's ninth-best prospect.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Todd Frazier, Matthew Cerrone
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J.D. Davis
J.D. Davis

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

J.D. Davis emerged as one of the most intriguing Mets this past season, a Brodie Van Wagenen success story who had a knack for big hits, a glittering stat line and a catchy nickname: "Just Dingers."

But while Davis mashed enough that the Mets must find a regular lineup spot for him, there is some uncertainty around the 26-year-old slugger this offseason. That means he could be one of the most intriguing Mets of the winter, too.

Is Davis the club's starting left fielder in 2020? What about all those other outfielders on the roster? Perhaps he could start at third base, his regular position in the minors. One former Met believes if Davis were given that job before spring training, the confidence boost would help him handle the position defensively.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes, Anthony McCarron
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Aug 4, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) hits an RBI double against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Aug 4, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) hits an RBI double against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

These three Mets didn't have strong seasons in 2019, but there's reason to believe that the trio could turn things around in 2020 and beyond ... 

Robinson Cano

It was a tale of two seasons for Cano, who is 36 years old, under contract the next four years and due just under $80 million. The problem is, given his 2018 suspension for PEDs, his age and his up-and-down 2019, it's almost impossible to know what to expect of him in 2020. 

He started well, hitting .270 with three home runs through the end of April, and then everything fell apart. He looked out of sync at the plate and totally out of gas during May and June. Then came random injuries, issues with Mickey Callaway about running out ground balls and what seemed like a a trip to the injured list caused partially by spite.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 4, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) and left fielder Jeff McNeil (6) celebrate after the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Sep 4, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) and left fielder Jeff McNeil (6) celebrate after the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Mets and their fans were taken on an emotional roller coaster this past season, going from hopeful to hopeless, back to hopeful, then landing in a cold bucket of September reality.

"We're definitely not satisfied with where we're at," Michael Conforto told reporters after the team was eliminated from playoff contention on Sept. 25. "We want to play in October. That's the goal. I think we have the guys in here to do it. We have to put six months of baseball together and we didn't do that this year."

The bullpen has been the default answer when media and fans debate what the Mets need to improve when building a better team for 2020. However, for me, it's third on the list...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Tyler Bashlor, Walker Lockett, Matthew Cerrone
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