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Jeff McNeil

The Mets took down their NL East-rival Nationals, 2-1, for their first spring training win on Monday.  >> Box Score

5 things to know from Monday's game...

1) Top pitching prospect David Peterson got the start for the Mets, and looked pretty good in his first spring outing. He let up just one single, but no runs. MLB.com's Anthony DiComo also pointed out that the radar gun had his fastball sitting around 93-94 mph, which is up from his previous seasons. That's a good sign for the lefty.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, David Peterson, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Paul Sewald, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Scott Thompson
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

The following are insights, ideas and notes gathered from recent conversations with team sources, rival executives, reporters, front office assistants, and talent evaluators...


Based on conversations with team insiders, at this early point in the spring, it sounds to me like Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil will 100 percent be kicking off Luis Rojas' lineup in April.

After that, expect Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto and some flip-flopping between Wilson Ramos and Robinson Cano. Amed Rosario seems destine to hit eighth or maybe even ninth on certain occasions, while the J.D. Davis/Yoenis Cespedes situation will impact left field and the heart of the lineup in a way that can't be known yet.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) waits to do defensive drills during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) waits to do defensive drills during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Minor League prospect David Peterson gets the start for the Mets down in Florida at 1:05 p.m. against the reigning World Seres champion Washington Nationals.

Mets notes

Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo will bat first and second in for the Mets, while Pete Alonso bats third as a DH and former Yankee Eduardo Nunez is in the lineup hitting seventh.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso
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J.D. Davis had a breakout 2019 season in his first year with the Mets, batting .307 with 22 home runs in 140 games. The Mets acquired him from the Houston Astros on Jan. 6, 2019 after he played just 66 games in two seasons with the team.

Davis spoke to SNY's Steve Gelbs on Sunday during the Mets' 3-3 tie with the St. Louis Cardinals about how he was a different person before coming to New York.

"Me, learning from how I was with the Astros, and my personality, I was kind of the quiet guy," Davis said. "I was a fly on the wall. I tried to blend in, not have any attention towards myself. Coming in here, I wasn't as happy as I was with the Astros. I wasn't really expressing myself. I remember just coming in and being free and loose, and just wanting to at least have a relationship with these guys. And these guys have the same kind of desire as well.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto
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The Mets fell to the Miami Marlins 5-3 in a split-squad outing in Port St. Lucie on Saturday, but the offense looked strong to get things started.

In the top of the first inning, Jeff McNeil slapped a single to left field to get things going, setting the table out of the leadoff spot. After loading the bases, Wilson Ramos drove in a pair with a wind-blown ground-rule double down the right-field line.

Check out the full highlights from Saturday's game with the Marlins...

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Wilson Ramos
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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

The Mets' split squad in Port St. Lucie got this year's spring training schedule started with a 5-3 loss to the Miami Marlins. >> Box Score

5 things to know from Saturday's game...

1) Rick Porcello got the first spring training start for the Mets in Port St. Lucie. The right-hander pitched only the first inning, with some mixed results. Porcello allowed a single to Monte Harrison with one out, and after stealing second, Harrison came around to score on a Garrett Cooper single. He did strikeout Isan Diaz on three pitches in the inning as well.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Thursday, in case you missed it...


With Mets Spring Training kicking off, we're about to go from "best shape of his life" stories that often don't matter to game results that never matter >> Read more

Yoenis Cespedes and Jacob deGrom faced off against each other in live BP >> Read more

Tags: Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes
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On Thursday night, Mets' Jeff McNeil joined the Mets Hot Stove at Duffy's in Port St. Lucie.

McNeil reflected on his 2019 All-Star season, what caused his power surge in the second half of the season, and how he feels about being the everyday third baseman.

Tags: Jeff McNeil
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As the Mets' 2020 season comes more into focus, it's only natural to start thinking about how the everyday lineup will look under new manager Luis Rojas.

And that lineup intrigue starts right at the top. 

Perhaps Jeff McNeil, who was in play for the NL batting title last season, is the perfect choice. SNY's John Harper recently spoke to scouts about whether or not McNeil will be an on-base machine again or whether he could see an uptick in power numbers.

Or maybe Brandon Nimmo is the right man for the Mets' leadoff spot. The left-handed hitting outfielder has started 106 games as the Mets' leadoff hitter over his career, by far the most time he's seen anywhere in the order. He also has a career OBP of .387, so even with a career average of just .254, he's still done a great job at getting on base over his first four years.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano
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Jeff McNeil
Jeff McNeil

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On July 6 last season, Jeff McNeil went 4-for-5 against the Phillies, lining four singles through or over the infield, into left, center, and right. At that point he was hitting .356 for the season, looking like a young Wade Boggs.

Or Tony Gwynn. Or even Pete Rose. Indeed, to scouts of a certain age who cringe at the number of strikeouts in today's game, McNeil was a throwback to an era when hitters prioritized contact over power.

"He was my new favorite hitter," one long-time scout recalled by phone on Monday. "I loved the way he choked up on that bat with the fat handle and hit the ball where it was pitched. Around the All-Star break I remember thinking he was going to hit somewhere between .340 and .350 and win the batting title."

Tags: Jeff McNeil, John Harper
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Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training
Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Spring Training is in full swing for the Mets in Port St. Lucie, with games starting in just four days.

While every member of the team has arrived in camp, some (Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes to name two) don't appear to be on track to be ready for game action when the bell rings on Saturday.

Going by the above, listening to manager Luis Rojas talk, and reading between the lines, here's our roster prediction 3.0...

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, Rene Rivera, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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It's another day at Mets spring training, and the players are all out getting their work in as games begin at the end of the week. 

Wilson Ramos took some hacks in the batting cage, and infielders like Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil corralled some grounders as fans looked on. Check it out above.

Below is some batting practice action from Tuesday:

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Mets 1B/OF Dominic Smith is heading into the 2020 season aiming to stay on the 26-man roster throughout the year, and make big contributions like his walk-off homer that ended the 2019 season on the highest note.

The journey up until this point for the former first-rounder has had its ups and downs, but in an exclusive 1-on-1 with SNY, Smith discussed that journey and explained why he's so excited to see what this Mets team can do this year. 


SNY: We were just talking about how we were in Las Vegas, which was 3-4 years ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago I'm assuming for you? 

Tags: Amed Rosario, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Scott Thompson
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A general view at Mets spring training
A general view at Mets spring training

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Tuesday, in case you missed it...


Seth Lugo is dealing with a small fracture of his left pinky toe but the Mets are not concerned >> Read more

Brodie Van Wagenen detailed what's ailing Jed Lowrie and touched on what his chances are of being ready for Opening Day >> Read more

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

MLB Network has released its Top 100 Players Right Now, and four Mets make an appearance on the list.

Jacob deGrom leads the way for the Mets at No. 8, coming off of his second straight NL Cy Young Award. DeGrom led the National League in strikeouts with 255, and posted an 11-8 record with a sparkling 2.67 ERA. He's the second-highest pitcher ranked on the list, slotted just below new Yankees acquisition Gerrit Cole, who came in at No. 7.

Coming off of an historic rookie season, Pete Alonso debuts on the Top 100 Right Now list at No. 24. After winning NL Rookie of the Year and setting the single-season rookie home run record with 53 dingers, Alonso comes into his second season with sky-high expectations, but has done his best to downplay his personal goals early in spring training

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso
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In his latest Mets mailbag, Matthew Cerrone weighs in on the outfield situation, Yoenis Cespedes, what Edwin Diaz' role should be, and more...


What's the opening day outfield? ~ @JoeBacci

Barring a blockbuster trade, which for an outfielder at this point is improbable, the outfield is set up to be J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto.

Yoenis Cespedes is the wild card. If Cespedes is jacking the ball, running well and showing strength, I think he and Davis platoon from the start of the season, with Davis also backing up Jeff McNeil at third base.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Tomas Nido, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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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)

On Thursday, the MLB Network put out their list of the Top 100 players in baseball right now.

Coming in at No. 8 overall is Mets star pitcher Jacob deGrom.

In 2019, deGrom won his second-straight NL Cy Young Award, going 11-8 with a 2.43 ERA and 255 strikeouts in just 204 IP.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso
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Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Monday, in case you missed it...


Jeff McNeil, who was recently ranked the No. 5 third baseman in baseball, arrived in camp and talked (among other things) about what it's like to prepare this season knowing he'll likely be playing third base most of the time >> Read more

Edwin Diaz talked about his improved slider and how Pedro Martinez helped him this offseason >> Read more

Wilson Ramos says things will be better in Year 2 with the Mets pitching staff: "It's going to be a good rotation. Those guys know how to fight and I will be ready behind the plate to help those guys to win and that's what we need" >> Read more

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Like many Mets, Jeff McNeil is down in Port St. Lucie early to gear up for the start of spring training. Position players don't have to report until the end of the week, but that hasn't stopped many from getting a head start. 

McNeil also comes into spring training with a more defined role than he had last season. Though he played very well in a super-utility role, the 27-year-old is expected to be the Mets' everyday third baseman. And it's something that he believes will make this spring simpler as he prepares for the 2020 regular season.

"Yeah, a little bit," he said on Monday morning. "I think for the most part I'll be at third base, I'm not 100 percent sure about that yet. But, yeah, kinda know what I'm doing this year so makes it a little bit easier."

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Todd Frazier, Scott Thompson
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Mets INF/OF Jeff McNeil (Adam Hunger)
Mets INF/OF Jeff McNeil (Adam Hunger)

Back in 2018, Jeff McNeil was strictly a second baseman -- at least according to former Mets manager Mickey Callaway. Heading into the 2020 season, he's been ranked one of the best third basemen in baseball.

According to MLB Network's 'The Shredder,' McNeil is the No. 5 third baseman in the game.

The full list:

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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For the most part, Brodie Van Wagenen's roster is set. However, within it, he'll need to make some decisions.

Third Base and Left Field

Jeff McNeil recently told the Daily News that he expects to play third base this season. I suspect this in large part is depended on what is happening this spring training in left field and if Jed Lowrie is healthy and productive.

In a world where J.D. Davis stumbles and Yoenis Cespedes isn't ready for action, McNeil may be needed back in left field, at which point Lowrie will need to take the hot corner. Ideally, Cespedes is bathing in the Fountain of Youth and Davis is crushing home runs. In that scenario, McNeil gets third and all of a sudden Luis Rojas has too may outfielders.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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In his latest mailbag, Matthew Cerrone answers questions about Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Kris Bryant, and more...


Is there any hope Brodie Van Wagenen can trade for Kris Bryant?

The only way the Mets acquire Bryant is if they're willing to exceed the luxury tax threshold. I see zero evidence that will happen. It's a shame, because in talking with people aware of Chicago's goal, there is a deal to be made with the Mets, but it would require Van Wagenen taking on all of Bryant's $16 million in 2020, as well as taking on a similarly expensive contract, such as Tyler Chatwood, who will make $13 million this season.

To read more on what a deal for Bryant could look like, read my Notebook from earlier this week.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Luis Guillorme, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard is three seasons removed from his peak, Cy Young-worthy season in 2016.

His 2017 season was derailed by multiple injuries.

In 2018 and 2019, Syndergaard returned to being a mostly-dominant, top-of-the-rotation pitcher producing the sixth-most WAR in the NL. However, I can't stop seeing those results from 2016.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 17, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) circles the bases on a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Aug 17, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) circles the bases on a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Phillies and Nationals both missed out on potential game-changers earlier this offseason when Anthony Rendon signed with the Angels and Josh Donaldson inked a deal with the Twins. But they could now be in play for another big fish.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, both Philadelphia and Washington have shown "exploratory interest" in trading for Cubs 3B/OF Kris Bryant.

Bryant, who recently lost his service time grievance against the Cubs, has two years of team control remaining. He will earn $18.6 million in 2020 before being arbitration-eligible one last time in 2021.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Danny Abriano
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Sep 15, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Trevor Williams (not pictured) during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports  (Daniel Bartel)
Sep 15, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Trevor Williams (not pictured) during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports (Daniel Bartel)

The following are insights, ideas and notes gathered from recent conversations with team sources, rival executives, reporters, front office assistants, and talent evaluators...


Instead of Citi Field, call it Bryant Park...

Now that suitors know Kris Bryant will be under team control through 2021, as opposed to becoming a free agent after this season, the Cubs have engaged teams that once expressed interest in their third baseman.

If they move Bryant, the Cubs want a center fielder, your top pitching prospect, and at least one or two position prospects considered to be among the league's top 100. In addition taking on all of Bryant's 2020 salary, they're also pushing the acquiring team to take on another contract, such as reliever Tyler Chatwood, who is due $13 million this season before becoming a free agent.

This is a lot to give up, I think.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Ronny Mauricio, Matthew Cerrone
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General view of the field for the National Anthem prior to the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
General view of the field for the National Anthem prior to the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

We took our first crack at predicting the Mets' Opening Day 26-man roster about a month and a half ago. Since then, Dellin Betances has signed a free agent deal (he was in our initial prediction, so we'll give ourselves a pat on the back for that one).

Beyond the Betances signing, the Mets have made a bunch of minor league signings since then, with Matt Adams deal being the most notable.

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, Rene Rivera, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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While just about all of the big-name free agents in baseball have already signed with teams, much of the attention on the MLB hot stove now shifts to the trade market.

And there are no two bigger names available for trades than Colorado's Nolan Arenado and Chicago's Kris Bryant.

Both third baseman seem to be available for the right price, but where might they end up?

In the NL East alone, there are at least four teams who could potentially look to acquire one of the two sluggers, and the Baseball Night in New York crew shared their thoughts on which team would benefit the most from adding Arenado or Bryant. 

Tags: Jeff McNeil
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Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie
Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

MLB rosters expanding to 26 players for the 2020 season will help every team, but the Mets -- who could be carrying some compromised players health-wise -- could be one of the teams that benefits the most from the extra slot.

Still, that doesn't mean New York is sitting in an envious position right now.

In the words of Brodie Van Wagenen, Yoenis Cespedes is ready to go offensively. As far as Jed Lowrie is concerned, Van Wagenen recently said the 35-year-old who dealt with various injuries for most of 2019 has progressed to the point where the team is "optimistic of having him participate in a meaningful way" come spring training.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Aug 5, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) in a defensive stance during the game against the Washington Nationals at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Cody Glenn-USA TODAY Sports (Cody Glenn)
Aug 5, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) in a defensive stance during the game against the Washington Nationals at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Cody Glenn-USA TODAY Sports (Cody Glenn)

Pablo Sandoval is sticking with the San Francisco Giants, returning on a one-year minor-league deal reportedly worth $2 million.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman (who also broke the news), both the Mets and Phillies were interested in Sandoval before he elected to return to the Bay Area.

Sandoval, 33, began his major-league career as a third baseman but now can play both corner infield positions, having made 47 appearances at first base over the past two seasons.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso
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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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