Tag:

Jeurys Familia

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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Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So much of the Mets' 2020 season already feels as if it's dependent upon Edwin Diaz re-discovering the form that made him arguably baseball's best reliever two years ago in Seattle. 

As one scout this week told me, "They'll win 90-95 games easy if Diaz figures it out again. And they should have a championship bullpen."

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, John Harper
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The Mets needed some bullpen help this offseason, and GM Brodie Van Wagenen made it happen when he signed former Yankees right-hander Dellin Betances to a one-year, $10.5 million deal.

In 358 appearances for the Yankees over eight seasons, Betances showed how dominant he can be coming out of the 'pen with a career 2.36 ERA, 621 career strikeouts in 381.2 innings, and 36 saves to his name as well. But the 6-foot-8 flamethrower had an injury-laden 2019 season that is simply unfair when you break it down. 

It's also the reason why a one-year, prove-it deal was given to him in free agency. Betances, though, is confident that he is entering Mets spring training ready to go. 

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Scott Thompson
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New Mets manager Luis Rojas sat down for his first spring training press conference on Tuesday, and touched on a multitude of topics as he begins to lead this squad into the new season. 

Here are a few answers from Rojas that stood out...

On the Syndergaard-Ramos connection

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Thompson
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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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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The temptation is to say things should settle down now that spring training is opening this week and actual baseball takes center stage, but over the years I've learned never to bet against calamities arising at any moment around the Mets -- now more than ever it seems. 

Still, it would have to be a doozy of a spring in Port St. Lucie to top the chaos of an offseason that saw Carlos Beltran hired and fired as manager before ever putting on the full uniform, Yoenis Cespedes stripped of millions of dollars due to a contract violation involving some type of confrontation with a wild boar, and the team being sold and then un-sold in the space of two months. 

We'll see. At least the focus turns toward the field now, with young Luis Rojas overseeing his first spring training as manager of a ballclub that has championship potential -- if all the ifs go their way, starting with the bullpen.

Tags: David Wright, Dellin Betances, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, John Harper
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It's been well-reported at this point Jeurys Familia has had a body transformation heading into spring training this year. The veteran reliever has dropped 30 pounds from the 270-pound mark he said he was at last season. 

Familia has been noticeably slimmer at the Mets' facility in Port St. Lucie, and with pitchers and catchers officially reporting on Monday, he spoke about his weight loss again -- saying he didn't even realize how heavy he was. 

"I was just really overweight," he told reporters through translator Alan Suriel after his workout on Monday. "Most seasons I would be around 240, 245 and I didn't realize I had gotten that far overweight. So I just wanted to come back and be at the same weight I was for the rest of my career."

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Scott Thompson
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Mets reliever Edwin Diaz, who enlisted the help of Hall-of-Famer Pedro Martinez this offseason, spoke Monday about the tips he has put to use, his (hopefully) improved slider, and more at spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

"It wasn't anything that I changed significantly," Diaz said about the tips Martinez gave him. "It was mostly the minor adjustments that I felt I needed to make. And I actually put those to work this offseason. I feel very good going into this season."

One of the things Martinez helped Diaz with was his mechanics, which Diaz struggled to harness for much of the 2019 season while also being unable to get comfortable throwing his slider.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Noah Syndergaard took to the field in Port St. Lucie without a shirt on for the second straight day and yukked it up with Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen.

Later, Edwin Diaz, Rick Porcello, and Jeurys Familia tossed bullpen sessions as Luis Rojas, Phil Regan, Jeremy Hefner, and Ricky Bones looked on.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard
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Mets pitchers and catchers don't officially report to spring training until next week, but lots of them -- and some position players -- have already arrived at Clover Park.

Among those in attendance on Thursday were Jacob deGrom (who threw a bullpen session) and a shirtless Noah Syndergaard.

Other pitchers on hand Thursday included Steven Matz, Edwin Diaz, and Jeurys Familia.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Mets pitchers and catchers don't officially have to report to spring training until next week, but Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz were among the players already in Port St. Lucie to get in some early workouts.

Familia, coming off of one of his worst seasons, was seen looking noticeably slimmer, telling reporters he lost about 30 pounds this offseason, down to around 238-240 pounds from the 270 he was last season.

After signing back with the Mets in December 2018, Familia struggled all season long. The right-hander pitched to a 5.70 ERA with a 1.733 WHIP. His command was all over the place, as he walked a whopping 42 batters in just 60.0 innings. He also allowed seven home runs, and by the end of the season, he had lost his spot as a "high-leverage" pitcher in the back end of the bullpen.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia
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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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Apr 30, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 30, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After a stellar 2018 season, the Mets were excited to bring Jeurys Familia back to their bullpen. Along with the trade for Edwin Diaz, the Mets were primed to have one of the best back-end reliever tandems in the league. 

But, of course, it didn't play out the way it looked on paper. Diaz was the exact opposite of his dominant 2018 self, and Familia saw his ERA jump from 3.13 to 5.70. 

It was uncharacteristic for both pitchers, but Familia has figured out at least one major reason why he saw those results. He gained weight...

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Scott Thompson
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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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Edwin Diaz's struggles in 2019 are well-documented.

During his first season as a Met, the 25-year-old pitched to a 5.59 ERA and a 1.379 WHIP. He converted just 26 saves in 33 opportunities and was often plagued by the long ball.

Still, Carlos Beltran was ready to enter 2020 with Diaz set as the team's closer.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So the Josh Donaldson domino finally fell on Tuesday night, and by landing in Minnesota it didn't tilt the balance of power in the NL East, after all. Or my offseason grades, for that matter.

Either the Nationals or the Braves could have separated themselves by signing -- or re-signing -- the power-hitting third baseman. Instead, there's not much to separate the work the four contenders did this offseason, and even the Marlins at least warrant a grade this time for spending a little dough to upgrade their roster.

Last season, the division was the toughest in the majors, producing the 97-win Braves, the World Series-winning Nationals, a Mets team that went 46-26 in the second half (falling just short of a wild-card berth), and the dangerous-but-flawed Phillies who faded down the stretch but at least finished at .500.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Starlin Castro, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Josh Donaldson (Treated Image by SNY)
Josh Donaldson (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the balance of power in the NL East potentially hinging on where Josh Donaldson signs, the Nationals' spending spree on lesser free agents in recent days could be an indication they believe he's likely to sign elsewhere. 

The Mets better hope so, anyway. 

In truth, there's probably no good outcome for the Mets here, especially with reports out of Minnesota that the Twins are ready to move on, pessimistic about their chances of signing the last big-splash free agent still on the market. 

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, John Harper
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

At the Dellin Betances press conference on Thursday, Brodie Van Wagenen said the Mets could have "one of the best bullpens in baseball" next season, and while it may have sounded like more of the Brodie-Bravado for which he has become known, in this case he's not wrong. 

He just a long way from being right. 

As a long-time scout said on Friday, "The Mets could have a scary-good bullpen if all goes right but that could be asking a lot. I don't think anybody in baseball has as much of a gap between ceiling and floor as they do in the bullpen, coming off their problems last year.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, John Harper
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Brodie Van Wagenen, Dellin Betances, and Jeff Wilpon
Brodie Van Wagenen, Dellin Betances, and Jeff Wilpon

The Mets report to Spring Training in just over a month. What have they accomplished with their offseason moves and could Brodie Van Wagenen have another move up his sleeve? Plus, what is the best Mets moment of the last decade?


Diane M (Twitter) >> What's one more thing you would like to see Brodie Van Wagenen add to the team before spring training starts?

I want a big move, which will likely also mean making a few more smaller moves. For instance, to pull off a trade for and afford Nolan Arenado, Brodie may first need to find a taker for Jed Lowrie and/or Jeurys Familia. If that sort of thing can happen -- something bold that excites the team, players and fans -- I'm for it.

Tags: David Wright, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets RHP Dellin Betances
Mets RHP Dellin Betances

Brodie Van Wagenen wasn't shy on Thursday when explaining what he thinks the signing of Dellin Betances could mean for the Mets.

"This signing is different. This signing was intended to blow the cover off of our ceiling," Van Wagenen said at Citi Field while introducing Betances as the newest member of the Mets. 

"We believe that a healthy and dominant Dellin, combined with Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson, Jeurys Familia, Brad Brach, Robert Gsellman. This collective group has the potential to be one of the best bullpens in baseball."

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)
David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In a Mets decade that produced two Rookies of the Year, three Cy Young Awards in addition to an All-Star Game starting pitcher, a batting champ, a major-league home run leader and a record-setting post-season home run hitter, you'd think the team in Queens would have more highs to look back on than lows.

Yet it's not even close.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, John Harper
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Jul 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As the Mets look to take the next step, the ZiPS projections for the 2020 season are bullish on their chances.

The annual projections from Dan Szymborski/FanGraphs see a dominant season coming from Edwin Diaz, another tremendous year from Pete Alonso (43 homers and a .551 slugging percentage), and a bounceback from Noah Syndergaard coming.

Their projections for Robinson Cano (.260/.316/.405 triple slash) and Brandon Nimmo (a slugging percentage of just .420) are not as rosy.

Tags: David Peterson, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Danny Abriano
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New York Yankees RHP Dellin Betances (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees RHP Dellin Betances (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

If all goes well for Dellin Betances, meaning that neither last season's shoulder impingement nor Achilles tear is an issue in 2020, the Mets now have the wild card they need to have a real shot at winning the killer division that is the NL East. 

As such, the signing of Betances this week was both a necessary gamble and a desperately needed way for Brodie Van Wagenen to energize a highly skeptical fan base in an otherwise uneventful winter. 

The GM simply didn't have any credibility in trying to sell the notion that the Mets could bank on bounce-backs from Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz as the cure for the bullpen that wrecked their season. 

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Yoenis Cespedes, John Harper
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Yoenis Cespedes/Edwin Diaz
Yoenis Cespedes/Edwin Diaz

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sing with us, everyone! "Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the Mets' bullpen is delightful." 

Wait, that's not right. 

But maybe Baseball Santa has answers to the club's relief woes and some other trouble areas as we look at some gift ideas for Flushing's favorites. What's going under their blue-and-orange tree this holiday season? Let's see

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Seth Lugo, Anthony McCarron
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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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With the end of the decade just a handful of days away, SNY is taking a look back at the best players to call New York home over the past 10 years. The following Mets All-Decade Team was put together by insider Andy Martino. Find out if you agree with the list ...


Manager: Terry Collins (2011-17)

When Collins took over for the Mets in 2011, he hadn't been a big-league manager since 1999 with the Angels. The Mets finished under .500 in each of his first four seasons, but in 2015, Collins and the Mets finished with 90 wins, taking home the NL East crown. Collins then saw the team make their first World Series since 2000, though they came up short against the Kansas City Royals.Ultimately, Collins won 551 games as Mets' skipper.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes
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On Friday, former All-Star closer Brad Lidge spoke with SNY's Andy Martino about the Mets bullpen during Lidge's Sirius XM MLB Network Radio show.

"The Mets don't need to do anything in that bullpen," Lidge said. "Because if Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia, if they get back to even close to their normal selves, then this could actually be one of the better bullpens in the National League."

Martino and Lidge would then go on to talk about Diaz specifically, and try to figure out what he can do to get back to his 2018 All-Star form.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets left the Winter Meetings having secured two starting pitchers and after having discussions about potential moves involving Starling Marte, Jed Lowrie, Dominic Smith, and others.

But while GM Brodie Van Wagenen said on Thursday that the Mets can now focus on "wants" instead of "needs," the team still has some needs -- both in terms of players they need to bring in and players they should be looking to move on from.

Here's what should still be on their agenda with about two months to go until spring training begins in Port St. Lucie...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

Speaking Thursday morning at the Winter Meetings with the Mets on the verge of finalizing deals with starting pitchers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, GM Brodie Van Wagenen strongly suggested that his plan might not include adding any external big league relievers.

Van Wagenen could be speaking in intentionally coy terms. But if not, the Mets would likely be neglecting their main area of need while hoping for bounceback years and other positive developments.

"We can bolster our bullpen by having (Seth) Lugo and (Robert) Gsellman go back to the bullpen along with (Brad) Brach if that's how it shakes out in spring training," Van Wagenen said. "It's a good position to be in. We'll sort of adjust on the fly in terms of what other opportunities come in. We have the ability to do wants now that many of our needs are filled."

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) celebrates his solo home run against the New York Yankees with left fielder Dominic Smith (22) during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) celebrates his solo home run against the New York Yankees with left fielder Dominic Smith (22) during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen hopes to check off some of the Mets' needs, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


Vincent Palma (via e-mail): If the Pirates have interest in Brandon Nimmo, it seems like there should be a lot of options to make a deal with them. Who do you think is Van Wagenen's target?

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, David Peterson, Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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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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Jun 24, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yasnkees pitcher Dellin Betances (68) looks on against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 24, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yasnkees pitcher Dellin Betances (68) looks on against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

During the course of the day, I often text and talk with a variety of MLB insiders to better understand what is happening in the hot stove.

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

Adding to the bullpen...

My hunch is the Mets will sign at least one relief pitcher before the end of the Winter Meetings.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Dom Smith
Dom Smith

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Unless the Mets are pulling a heck of a misdirection play, all indications are they don't plan to spend significantly for the pitching help that they figure to need if they're serious about winning the NL East next season.

So how do they get creative, to use the strategy that Brodie Van Wagenen has referenced in speaking of this offseason?

Their most obvious trade chip is Dom Smith, mostly because he's blocked at first base by Pete Alonso and would be a liability in left field. Smith has value after proving last season that he can do damage with the bat, but the Mets almost certainly see J.D. Davis as a better fit, since he can play third base and left field. 

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, John Harper
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Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts

The Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen prepares to wheel and deal, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


Nicholas Giordano (via Twitter): Is there a realistic scenario where the Mets can dump Jed Lowrie's or Jeurys Familia's contracts and still improve the team? I don't want to attach J.D. Davis/Dominic Smith to a trade just so we can dump salary.

Sadly, I think the only way Van Wagenen can move Lowrie and/or Familia and their full contracts is to either bring back an equally risky and bad contract or do what you don't want and include Davis and/or Smith.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets enter the Winter Meetings having re-signed Brad Brach to a one-year deal with a player option for 2021 that could turn out to be a steal if Brach performs in 2020 like he has during most of his career. 

But Brach isn't nearly enough.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Jul 16, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Jul 16, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Anthony McCarron
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Brad Brach
Brad Brach

The Mets have agreed to sign reliever Brad Brach, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed. 

Brach's deal will be for one year and $850,000 and also contains a player option for 2021 that is worth $1.25 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Brach, Chris Flexen was designated for assignment.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) celebrates his solo home run against the New York Yankees with left fielder Dominic Smith (22) during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) celebrates his solo home run against the New York Yankees with left fielder Dominic Smith (22) during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Mets having multiple needs to fill this offseason and potentially not much wiggle room in the budget to do so, they are reportedly exploring creative ways to clear money from the payroll.

One thing they're considering is trading Jed Lowrie and/or Jeurys Familia and enticing potentially interested teams to take on the money owed to either player by attaching a "low-cost, zero-to-three" player to the deal, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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Blake Treinen (David Richard)
Blake Treinen (David Richard)

As they look to cut payroll for the 2020 season, the Athletics are discussing trades of reliever Blake Treinen, infielder Jurickson Profar, and catcher Josh Phegley, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, adding that all three players are non-tender candidates.

For the Mets, who already have a potentially overcrowded infield and a starting catcher, the only player of interest here should be Treinen.

The 31-year-old Treinen was one of the best relievers in baseball in 2018 and one of the worst in 2019, and is projected to earn $7.8 million via arbitration in 2020 -- a potentially steep price for any interested team to pay in addition to giving literally anything up via trade.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Nationals may have won the World Series but the Braves were the best team in the NL East over 162 games last season, totaling 97 wins, and they could be better in 2020 considering: 

They have the best core of age 25-and-under players in the division, as well as a Top Five farm system, and they've moved quickly this off-season to load up in the bullpen, signing Will Smith, the top reliever on the free agent market, and re-signing Chris Martin.  

All of which sets an awfully high bar for the Mets next season if they're going to deliver on the win-now expectations that have defined Brodie Van Wagenen's actions as GM.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets have given every indication that improving the bullpen is going to be the priority for them this offseason, though to what extent is quite fuzzy as Brodie Van Wagenen has been making the case that he's counting on Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz to have bounce-back seasons.

And, oh by the way, Will Smith -- arguably the best reliever on the market -- signed with the Braves on Thursday as the NL East champs took a big step to strengthen what was an area of weakness for them in 2019.

Smith got $39 million over three years, and the Mets apparently weren't willing to spend that much, at least in part because they're already paying Familia $10 million a year for two more years.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Brodie Van Wagenen
Brodie Van Wagenen

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

MLB free agency is officially underway, and while there is a steep dropoff after the triumvirate of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg, there are still dozens of quality players available.

For the Mets, there are solid options on the market who could help them address their three biggest needs: The bullpen, center field, and the starting rotation. New York also has the option of going the trade route to fill some or all of their needs, but with the team in need of restocking their farm system (instead of further diminishing it), the wiser play would be to fill most of their needs via free agency.

Along the above lines, here are five free agents the Mets should consider pursuing...

Tags: Brett Gardner, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Pineda, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Sep 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) looks at the scoreboard in the tenth inning of game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) looks at the scoreboard in the tenth inning of game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

After putting up a league-leading 57 saves and 124 strikeouts with a 1.96 ERA with the Mariners in 2018, the Mets did not get that type of production out of Edwin Diaz in his first season in Flushing. 

The Mets saw the closer's ERA balloon to 5.59 last season. That wasn't what New York general manager Brodie Van Wagenen envisioned when acquiring him via trade in his first offseason at the helm. 

But enter new manager Carlos Beltran. What does the Mets skipper see for Diaz in the future? Something mirroring 2018. 

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia
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Jun 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) and New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) look at the scoreboard during game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) and New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) look at the scoreboard during game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The following six players (and four others) all have value to the Mets, but may also have value to other teams via trade.

I asked two rival team executives and two people in player development if the Mets should keep or push to trade each player.

Here are the results along with my reaction...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, John Harper
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Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) and teammates walk to the dugout after defeating 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 third baseman Todd Frazier (21) and teammates walk to the dugout after defeating the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen and COO Jeff Wilpon didn't just discuss why they decided to move on from Mickey Callaway as their manager. They also highlighted what they though about the 2019 Mets season as a whole. 

It obviously wasn't the result Van Wagenen, Wilpon, or anyone inside the organization wanted to see. Their second-half surge was all for naught, falling short of the second Wild Card spot. And though they were 10 games over .500, the Mets still finished third in their division behind the Braves and Nationals -- both postseason teams. 

To fall short yet again of a playoff berth, especially with the expectations the franchise set for themselves this season, had Wilpon describe the season like this: 

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Scott Thompson
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Pete Alonso, Mickey Callaway and Jacob deGrom
Pete Alonso, Mickey Callaway and Jacob deGrom

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

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

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, John Harper
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The Mets blasted two home runs on their way to a 4-2 win over the Braves on Friday night. >> Box score

Five Takeaways from Friday's game

1) In the bottom of the first inning with an 0-1 count, Pete Alonso hit his 52nd home run of the season. With that homer, he ties Yankees' star Aaron Judge for the MLB record for home runs by a rookie. Alonso ended the game going 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. He now has 119 RBI on the season, good for third in the National League behind the Braves' Freddie Freeman (121) and the Nationals' Anthony Rendon (124).

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Seth Lugo, Todd Frazier
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As Jorge Alfaro stepped into the batter's box with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the sixth inning, Steven Matz knew he had to be careful with his pitches.

Alfaro's second-inning solo shot to left field gave Miami an early 1-0 lead, which doubled to 2-0 following an RBI single to center field by Migual Rojas. The Marlins threatened again when the cleanup hitter arrived at the plate after Matz began the sixth with three straight hits.

The Mets made a mound visit, but the southpaw's 1-1 pitch found too much plate, with the 89-mph slider at Alfaro's belt over the inner half and landing over the right-center field wall for a game-breaking grand slam.

Tags: Amed Rosario, JD Davis, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Rajai Davis, Steven Matz, Todd Frazier, Walker Lockett, Wilson Ramos
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