MetsBlog Executive Editor

Matthew Cerrone

Matthew Cerrone started MetsBlog.com as a project in college, generated 300,000,000 page views and 30,000 posts in 10 years, partnered with SportsNet New York and turned his hobby into a career. In 2011, SNY hired Matt to be Executive Editor and Director of Digital Content for their network of team sites, video content and podcasts.

Oct 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) hits a double during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in game three of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)
Oct 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) hits a double during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in game three of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)

Most of the talk around the Mets this offseason has been about adding a high-end catcher and potential runs at high-end relievers. While the Mets should be open to adding big-name players, here are four underrated, undervalued free agents the team should have interest in...

The veteran back-up catcher Nick Hundley

Hundley has been mostly a backup catcher the past two seasons, during which he has played in 197 games while hitting a combined .242 with 19 HR and 66 RBI in 608 at-bats.

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 (Seth Wenig)
(Seth Wenig)

The Mets should be looking to improve their bullpen, as well as add an everyday catcher, at least one impact hitter and depth beneath the entire roster.

Here are the latest headlines and rumblings from each of the above markets, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 30, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Josh Donaldson (27) bats during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports (Peter Aiken)
Sep 30, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Josh Donaldson (27) bats during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports (Peter Aiken)

The Mets should be looking to improve their bullpen, as well as add an everyday catcher, at least one impact hitter and depth beneath the entire roster.

Here are the latest headlines and rumblings from each of the above markets, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out -- with a twist today...

It is common this time of year for experts and columnists to publish predictions about where top free agents will land. There are some that seem obvious, others that are reasonable conclusions, and some that are simply wishful thinking. In the case of the following three free agents, MLB insiders made predictions to me that were a bit of surprise -- specifically former MVP candidate, 3B Josh Donaldson...

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It is common this time of year for experts and columnists to publish predictions about where top free agents wll land before the start of next season. There are some that seem obvious, others that are reasonable conclusions, and some that are simply wishful thinking.

In the case of the following three free agents, MLB insiders made predictions to me that were a bit of surprise, specifically former MVP candidate, 3B Josh Donaldson...

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Sep 7, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) throws to first base to retire Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Chris Archer (not pictured) during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Sep 7, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) throws to first base to retire Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Chris Archer (not pictured) during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

To gauge the trade value of potential Mets trade target J.T. Realmuto, I talked with multiple MLB insiders, including two agents, two league executives and three talent evaluators.

Last week, SiriusXM MLB reporter and radio Craig Misch said league sources indicated Realmuto will cost at least high-end, young pitching prospect and a position player.

The consensus I found was that the Marlins do not require a team's top prospect, nor do they require getting back a pitcher. Instead, based on packages being prepared by organizations with interest, it'll clearly cost one or two prospects considered to be among the Top 100 in baseball, as well as a third, mid-level prospect with significant upside...

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Aug 15, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Aug 15, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The Mets should be looking to improve their bullpen, as well as add an everyday catcher, at least one impact hitter and depth beneath the entire roster.

Here are the latest headlines and rumblings from each of the above markets, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out...

If a starting pitcher is traded, who is his replacement?

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Sep 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) is greeted by New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) as he crosses the plate after hitting a two run home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
Sep 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) is greeted by New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) as he crosses the plate after hitting a two run home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

The Mets should be looking to improve their bullpen, as well as add an everyday catcher, at least one impact hitter and depth beneath the entire roster.

Here are the latest headlines and rumblings from each of the above markets, followed by my take on how things may shake out...

MLB may be swapping headaches again

Tags: Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Matthew Cerrone
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Wilson Ramos, J.T. Realmuto, and Yasmani Grandal (USA Today Sports)
Wilson Ramos, J.T. Realmuto, and Yasmani Grandal (USA Today Sports)

The Mets should be looking to improve their bullpen, as well as add an everyday catcher, at least one impact hitter and depth beneath the entire roster.

Here are the latest headlines and rumblings from each of the above markets, followed by my take on how things are and may shake out...

The high-leverage relief market is percolating

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 (Scott Galvin)
(Scott Galvin)

The Mets should have interest, but not overpay, in potential trade talks with the Mariners, who reportedly have let teams know they may soon undergo a rebuild. As a result, every player on their roster could be available in trade during a team-wide sell off...

However, after talking with people in contact with the Mariners, I'm not 100 percent convinced they're committed to conducting a sell off, so much as they may be gauging market value for their players. And, on the basis of that info, they will create a set goal and plan to execute during the next 12 months. 

That said, they're obviously thinking big and, in situations like that, anything is possible if a team is willing to overpay in trade... 

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New Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen and other team executives will descend on Carlsbad, California on Monday for MLB's GM meetings, which conclude Thursday.

In addition to voting for and learning about new league business (such as swapping the elimination of trade waivers while moving the trade deadline to mid-August), teams typically use this week as an opportunity to set their plan for the offseason, learn of other organization's wants and needs and basically kick start the Hot Stove Season...

According to reports and his own social media accounts, Van Wagenen has spent the past few days meeting his players and coaching staff, including manager Mickey Callaway, who he essentially said will be back for at least the start of 2019. Here are four storylines to watch this week...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen poses for photographs at CitiField Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen poses for photographs at CitiField Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

The GM Meetings begin today in Carlsbad, CA, and continue through Nov. 7. 

Typically, during the day, GMs and their staff spend more time discussing business about the game.

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Oct 3, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman (right) before the 2018 American League wild card playoff baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 3, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman (right) before the 2018 American League wild card playoff baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)

The GM Meetings begin Monday in Carlsbad, CA, and continue through Nov. 7. 

Typically, during the day, GMs and their staff spend more time discussing business about the game.

However, in addition to conferences and meetings about league issues, the GM Meetings are used for teams to meet, talk about agendas, player values, offseason plans and learn who plans to do what and who may be available as everyone looks to improve their position through the offseason...

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New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen poses for photographs at CitiField Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen poses for photographs at CitiField Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

The GM Meetings begin today in Carlsbad, CA, and continue through Nov. 7. 

Typically, during the day, GMs and their staff spend more time discussing business about the game.

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Omar Minaya speaks to the media in the Mets club house Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, at Citi Field in New York.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Omar Minaya speaks to the media in the Mets club house Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, at Citi Field in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Omar Minaya will remain an essential voice within the Mets front office with new GM Brodie Van Wagenen, according to SNY's Andy Martino. This is a major positive for the organization's new front office.

Minaya, who ran the Mets from 2015-2010, still lives in Manhattan with his family, he loves the Mets, loves New York, knows the market, knows the team's farm system, he knows the local media and since being replaced in 2010 is said by insiders to have maintained strong relationships throughout the city, at the commissioner's office and around MLB.

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New GM Brodie Van Wagenen expects the Mets to win now, he said Tuesday. He doubled down on this statement when later talking to WFAN's Mike Francesa, saying, "I think we've got a lot of talent," and, "We're in a position right now to go run to the front (of the NL East)."

Along those lines, Van Wagenen needs to go all-out to sign Manny Machado (which I wrote about here). Here is the rest of what I'd like to see Van Wagenen do --  which when combined with Machado should only raise the payroll from its already $140 million to around $165 million...

Trade for J.T. Realmuto

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New GM Brodie Van Wagenen expects the Mets to win now, he said Tuesday. He doubled down on this statement when later talking to WFAN's Mike Francesa, saying, "I think we've got a lot of talent," and, "We're in a position right now to go run to the front (of the NL East)."

The Internet was riddled Tuesday with fans, reporters and radio hosts picking apart Van Wagenen's words hoping to determine how he plans to make his goal a reality.

And one of the first things Van Wagenen should do is go all-out to sign Manny Machado...

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New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, right, responds to questions during a news conference to announce Brodie Van Wagenen as the Mets' new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, right, responds to questions during a news conference to announce Brodie Van Wagenen as the Mets' new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

The Van Wagenen Era in Mets history officially started earlier Tuesday afternoon and with roughly two weeks before the GM Meetings and six weeks before the Winter Meetings

During his introductory press conference, Brodie Van Wagenen could not have been more clear about his expectations for 2019.

"The goal is to win right now," he repeatedly said.

He did not, however, detail his plan to make that happen. To do so, he'll need to have a firm plan in place to address the following four issues to achieve his goal...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Noah Syndergaard, Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya, and Brodie Van Wagenen (AP) (AP)
Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya, and Brodie Van Wagenen (AP) (AP)

The Brodie Van Wagenen Era in Mets history will officially begin this afternoon during a press conference introducing him as the team's GM to fans and media. 

He's going to be asked a ton of questions, he'll do interviews with SNY and other local media outlets and, as a result, begin to clarify his play for bringing success back to Citi Field. 

Here are six questions I hope get asked of Van Wagenen and the answers I hope and expect us to hear...

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Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya, and Brodie Van Wagenen (AP) (AP)
Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya, and Brodie Van Wagenen (AP) (AP)

The critics have a point -- Brodie Van Wagenen's lack of experience running an MLB front office, which is zero, might be an issue now that the Mets officially named him GM on Monday night.

However, as a high profile agent who had been running the baseball division of one of the most powerful talent agency businesses in the world -- where he generated hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients -- he is experienced in creating leverage, outsmarting his competition, making final evaluations on talent, identifying openings in the marketplace and delegating to a large staff.

In addition, in order to recruit new business, he and his team had to understand scouting and developing young baseball players. Lastly, he had to choose his words well when repeatedly speaking to media on behalf of his clients and agency, while not disrupting the market or insulting the people with whom he was negotiating...

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Brodie Van Wagenen will be the Mets' next head of baseball operations, sources told SNY's Andy Martino, and beating out Rays senior VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom, as well as former Rangers and Brewers GM Doug Melvin for the job.

The deal won't be official until next week, but here's what you need to know about Van Wagenen.

Who is Brodie Van Wagenen?

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In the event the Mets' new front office decides to trade a top starting pitcher, I'm sad to say Noah Syndergaard should be the one to go...

I'd prefer the Mets do nothing, keep their rotation in tact, and rely on cash -- not trades -- to add position players from the free agent market, such as 26-year-old superstar 3B-SS Manny Machado.

However, if due to budget or ideology they need to swap players, I'd hold my nose and deal Syndergaard because he will bring back the most talent of the guys able to be replaced on the open market...

Tags: Clint Frazier, Gary Sanchez, Jacob deGrom, Justus Sheffield, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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Dec 14, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president, baseball operations Chaim Bloom during the MLB winter meetings at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 14, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president, baseball operations Chaim Bloom during the MLB winter meetings at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Mets have narrowed their GM search to three candidates: CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen, former Rangers and Brewers GM Doug Melvin, and Rays senior VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom.

Second round interviews are expected to wrap up later this week, with the Mets potentially making the new hire shortly after. 

Who is Chaim Bloom?

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The Mets have narrowed their GM search to three candidates: CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen, former Rangers and Brewers GM Doug Melvin, and Rays senior VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom.

Second round interviews are expected to wrap up later this week, with the Mets potentially making the new hire shortly after. 

Who is Doug Melvin?

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The Mets have narrowed their GM search to three candidates: CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen, former Rangers and Brewers GM Doug Melvin, and Rays senior VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom.

Second round interviews are expected to wrap up later this week, with the Mets potentially making the new hire shortly after. 

Who is Doug Melvin?

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The Mets need to make multiple guesses about the health and likely production of their in-house options at first base before considering whether to acquire someone new heading into 2019.

Triple-A 1B prospect Peter Alonso will almost certainly be promoted and starting every day at Citi Field at some point after May, which is typically the cut off for Super Two qualification. This delay is common around baseball -- just ask Kris Bryant, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron JudgeMike Trout and countless other top prospects that were held down by their teams until late Spring, early Summer for financial benefit. 

I'm sure the Mets would prefer to use Jay Bruce, Wilmer Flores and Todd Frazier at first base until Alonso is promoted... 

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Apr 28, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs number 10 pick Patrick Mahomes II poses for a photo with his mother Randi and father Pat during the press conference at Stram Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Apr 28, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs number 10 pick Patrick Mahomes II poses for a photo with his mother Randi and father Pat during the press conference at Stram Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

The most-talked about quarterback in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes II of the Chiefs, is the son of former Mets pitcher Pat Mahomes, who you may remember from Bobby Valentine's postseason teams in 1999 and 2000.

Prior to Sunday Night's matchup against the Bengals, the young Mahomes arrived at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City wearing his father's No. 23 Mets jersey

"Pat Mahomes was honestly one of the best guys I ever managed," Valentine told me earlier Monday of the elder Mahomes. "He was a pitcher, but also one of the best athletes I ever had. He could hit and run the bases, so much so I considered occasionally using him in the outfield."

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The Mets finally have enough young talent to trade for an impact hitter, according to multiple talent evaluators. And if they include a big-league pitcher in the deal, such as Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler, they have enough talent to pull off a blockbuster...

The current price to trade for an elite hitter requires at least one of your top 20 prospects, including two of your team's top 10, who is also among the overall Top 100 in the league.

The Mets have four top-100 prospects, according to MLB.com -- 19-year old Jarred Kelenic, 20-year-old Andres Gimenez, and 23-year olds Peter Alonso and Justin Dunn...

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It was 12 years ago today that Mets OF Endy Chavez made his legendary, snow cone catch to rob Cardinals 3B Scott Rolen of what would've been a go-ahead home run during Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS at Shea Stadium.

"It was very special for me," Chavez told NJ.com's Matt Ehalt in 2016. "People are still talking about it like it was last season. I'm very grateful because I have very good support from the fans, especially from Mets fans. I remember every second of that moment."

Click below to watch...

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Oct 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) celebrates with catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) after scoring on an RBI single by center fielder Cody Bellinger (not pictured) defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the thirteenth inning in game four of the 2018 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)
Oct 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) celebrates with catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) after scoring on an RBI single by center fielder Cody Bellinger (not pictured) defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the thirteenth inning in game four of the 2018 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)

With the Mets clearly in need of adding a veteran catcher, I expect to soon hear a lot of rumors connecting them to current Dodgers catcher and soon-to-free-agent Yasmani Grandal.

Similarly, Mets fans and media will spend the next month or two pressuring the team to break the bank for current Dodgers third baseman Manny Machado, who will be the most prized free agent of the winter.

Interestingly, the above players are a hot topic in the baseball world Wednesday, both which should be of particular interest to Mets fans given the potential demand for their services in Queens...

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The Mets' top two prospects -- 1B Peter Alonso and SS Andres Gimenez -- are repping the team in the Arizona Fall League, the October-November league run by MLB featuring many of the top prospects in the game.

Alonso is expected to be promoted to the Mets at some point after next May, after which calls by fans for Gimenez will begin to grow in volume.

According to MLB.com, Gimenez is considered the Mets top' prospect, followed by Alonso, with both checking in on the site's Top 100 at No. 55 and No. 58 respectively...

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It has become an annual tradition here to write about how the Mets must improve their bullpen during the offseason. For what it's worth, this same article is often written about most teams in baseball. It's hardly exclusive for the Mets. Nevertheless, nearly every winter and trade deadline for the past decade we all push our respective teams to add relievers...

The thing is, this cycle is in constant replay because bullpens are notorious for being inconsistent and rarely do what is expected of them when on paper the previous winter.

For instance, while it's easy to forget given how the staff performed for much of the spring and early summer, the Mets were considered to have a pretty good bullpen entering 2018. MLB.com went so far as to rank them as the fifth-best bullpen in the National League prior to the start of the season. The opposite occurred, though, with the Mets finishing this past season with the second-worst bullpen...

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Mets C Travis D'Arnaud had Tommy John surgery this past April, which means the starting catcher job in 2019 is now wide open.

D'Arnaud, who will be 30 years next February, is expected to be out through the first few months of next season. He's also eligible for arbitration this winter and could end up earning as much as $4 million next season, after which he can be a free agent for the first time in his career.

My hunch is the Mets will cut d'Arnaud loose and use the saved money to hopefully help in acquiring a more -productive, proven, everyday starting catcher. Even if cut, I expect d'Arnaud will sign a lesser deal to remain with the Mets, with whom he can continue his rehab with trainers that know in St. Lucie.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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The way I've heard it, the Mets hiring a new GM and front office personnel is not being done in preparation of the team ripping down the roster and going through another rebuild. Instead, the goal is to install people with experience winning so they can build on what exists and and get the Mets back to the World Series sooner than later.

If that's the case, the answer to the question in the headline is simple...

To best way for the team to gain trust and show full-force commitment to winning is to sign free-agent-to-be Manny Machado...

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The Mets would be wise to sign at least one elite power hitter to play corner outfielder or third base, while also adding a top-tier relief pitcher to their bullpen. I talked with three insiders (currently working for teams that aren't the Mets) to better understand how this winter's top free agents at the above positions will be valued on the open market...

Manny Machado (Third base, shortstop)

As a third baseman and shortstop, Machado can expect to see offers worth as much $35 million per season, as opposed to $5 million less had be been marketing himself at only the hot corner. This is why he and his agent were so adamant about his playing shortstop this past season...

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Oct 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer shakes hands with staff members before game three of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Oct 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer shakes hands with staff members before game three of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

In the days after Sandy Alderson stepped down as GM due to health reasons, I mentioned how the Mets should not just hire a GM, but also hire a President of Baseball Operations to set short-term goals for the GM and staff, all of which should be based on a clear, longer-term strategy.

Four of the five teams currently using this hierarchy (Red Sox, A's, Dodgers and Cubs) made the postseason this year. It's a successful structure because it separates the day-to-day networking, media updates, transaction management and paperwork from the big picture concepts, communicating with ownership and the restructuring and overseeing of all new and existing departments.

The other advantage to interviewing for a more senior-level position is that it more or less assures the Mets the opportunity to talk with current lower-level executives from with other teams...

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The response to and emotions shown to David Wright Saturday after his likely final game with the Mets was a rare occurrence in sports, let alone for the Mets. 

Since they have Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, Jacob deGrom and others, the Mets will not be without leadership next season just because Wright is gone. The fact is, despite his reputation always hovering above the team, any physical leadership he provided the past few years was done mostly from afar.

That said, despite three other players having the potential to be the next homegrown player that achieves great things, makes us proud and does it only ever wearing a Mets uniform, only one guy has the necessary tools needed to be like Wright...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Todd Frazier, Matthew Cerrone
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Sept. 29, 2018: David Wright looks to the sky after the National Anthem and before the final game of his career. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY
Sept. 29, 2018: David Wright looks to the sky after the National Anthem and before the final game of his career. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY

David Wright bounced up the steps in the moments after Saturday's game and with three simple words summed up the 17-year relationship between himself and his fans.

"This is love," he said, surrounded by about 44,000 friends, a lot of whom were holding back tears.

The night was supposed to be about us honoring Wright. It turned out to be just as much about our love and appreciation for him as it was about his love and appreciation for us and the countless people connected that helped him create a life he so cherishes.

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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Wright/Reyes having fun 00:00:24
David Wright and Jose Reyes share a laugh and embrace during pre-game warmup in the outfield

This weekend will likely be the official end of the David Wright-Jose Reyes Era with the Mets in Queens.

We don't yet know what the future holds for Wright, who will start Saturday at Citi Field for the first time since early 2016. However, it's quite clear, based on multiple reports, that Reyes will not be retained, though he has said he would like to continue playing beyond this season.

In either case, fully understanding the significance of the moment, Mets manager Mickey Callaway recently said he plans to start Reyes at shortstop on Saturday, allowing the two long-time friends and teammates one more chance to play next to one another.

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 28, 2008; John Franco waves to the fans at Shea Stadium. Credit: STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
Sep 28, 2008; John Franco waves to the fans at Shea Stadium. Credit: STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

The worst day for the Mets at Shea Stadium was the last day of Shea Stadium, which occurred exactly 10 years ago today. And, despite a full decade behind me, I still lose my breath and get visually stressed when thinking about how that cold, rainy day played out...

The easiest, most succinct way to convey the nightmare is to look at David Wright in the following picture, which was taken by the Associated Press as the Mets left their dugout that afternoon...

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Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

Jacob deGrom's 2018 is the most dominant, most incredible year of pitching that I've ever witnessed by anyone playing for the Mets during my 35 years watching them play baseball.

Wednesday night at Citi Field, in what will be his final start of a magical season, he fittingly tossed eight scoreless innings, allowed just two hits, walked no one and struck out 10.

He ends his season with a major league-best 1.70 ERA, which is the sixth-lowest qualifying total since 1969. In addition, he struck out 269 batters and walked just 46 in 217 innings.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matthew Cerrone
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Following his 2010 season, David Wright was clearly on track to be a Hall of Fame third baseman and he would have been a wearing a Mets hat if inducted.

Unfortunately, after two more outstanding seasons and two that disappointed, he was diagnosed at 32 years old with lumbar spinal stenosis, which has forced him to miss 89 percent of the team's last 643 games.

Had he never injured himself in early 2011 (when a stress fracture sparked his eventual spine condition) at the very least, there would have been a vigorous debate among fans and media about Wright's Hall of Fame candidacy...

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets' David Wright hits a two-run home run during the first inning of Game 3 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip/AP)
New York Mets' David Wright hits a two-run home run during the first inning of Game 3 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip/AP)

David Wright, who hasn't played in the majors since May 27, 2016, was activated from the 60-day DL on Tuesday and will start at third base on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Citi Field.

Here's a look at the 10 most memorable moments of Wright's Mets career...

No. 10) Major League debut, July 21, 2004

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets' David Wright waves to the crowd after Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The Mets won 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (David Goldman/AP)
New York Mets' David Wright waves to the crowd after Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The Mets won 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (David Goldman/AP)

David Wright will play his first game with the Mets in over two years this Saturday at Citi Field.

Wright is a Mets legend, as I explained here in a post last week.However, to most Mets fans, David is more than a bunch of stats. He was our rock. In good times he made us smile and feel a sense of pride only experienced from a great, passionate, homegrown player. And in bad times, he always stood out front, answering difficult questions, and convincing us to stay loyal.

In an unreleased interview from January of 2016, Wright talks about his call-up, first at-bat, loyalty of Mets fans, and much more...

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

In April, new Mets manager Mickey Callaway was adored and viewed as terrific. In June, during which the Mets were 5-21 and killed their season, he was labeled a fool. Not surprisingly, with his team 31-27 in the second half, including 12-7 during September, he's back to being revered.

The above is the life of a baseball manager, especially in New York.

I tend to judge managers based on wins and losses. To nitpick specific moves in the moment is a dangerous game because -- despite having access to tendency and predictive stats -- we can never know how the human element and luck factored in to the manager's choice in the moment...

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September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE
September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE

17 years ago today, Mike Piazza hit a go-ahead, two run home run in the eighth inning off of Steve Karsay of the Braves to propel the Mets to a 3-2 victory in the first professional sporting event in New York after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Anyone who saw it will be happy, anyone who didn't see it will be told about it," Piazza's manager, Bobby Valentine, told reporters from his office after the game...

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September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE
September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE

17 years ago today, Mike Piazza hit a go-ahead, two run home run in the eighth inning off of Steve Karsay of the Braves to propel the Mets to a 3-2 victory in the first professional sporting event in New York after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Anyone who saw it will be happy, anyone who didn't see it will be told about it," Piazza's manager, Bobby Valentine, told reporters from his office after the game...

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Phillies C Wilson Ramos will be a free agent after this season and I want him to be on the Mets in 2019, when he'll still be just 31 years old.

The Mets are set up to again have a dominant starting rotation next year, with or without Jason Vargas. My hunch is no one from the current group will be traded, which means Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and the matured and impressive Zack Wheeler will need a veteran catcher capable of taking charge, instilling confidence and providing stability for them behind the plate.

Travis d'Arnaud is not likely to be back until the middle of next season after having Tommy John surgery this past summer. But, let's be honest, even if d'Arnaud is healthy, there is absolutely no guarantee he'll be able to elevate his game to a level that is needed to help the team contend for a playoff spot. I realize there is no guarantee that anyone will remain healthy and productive, but d'Arnaud's track record indicates he's even less of a guarantee than most. My guess is he gets non-tendered anyway, but that's just a hunch...

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Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is showing signs that he has picked up where he left off before dislocating his shoulder during the second half of last season.

He's been especially on fire since September 4, hitting .345 with five doubles, six HR and 20 RBI during 12 games and 55 at bats.

"This is the Michael Conforto that everybody wants to see," manager Mickey Callaway said after Monday night's game, during which Conforto had a career-high six RBI...

Tags: Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets RHP Zack Wheeler has been one of the league's best pitchers since the All-Star Game, during which the Mets are 30-25.

In his 10 starts since the break, Wheeler has eight wins and the second-best ERA in baseball (1.32). He also has the league's best WHIP (0.81) and he's tied for fourth overall with a 2.5 fWAR since mid-July.

The last Mets pitcher to have nine or more wins after the All-Star break was Steve Trachsel in 2001. During Wheeler's past 12 starts, the Mets are 10-2...

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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St. Lucie, 2017: David Wright jokes around with teammates during batting practice before a Spring Training workout. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY
St. Lucie, 2017: David Wright jokes around with teammates during batting practice before a Spring Training workout. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY

It took me three versions to publish this post because I just can't find the right words to describe how I feel about David Wright's comments In the moments after his press conference Thursday, charged by SNY with writing an "emotional reaction," I just shook my head, teary eyed, staring blank at the screen.

We all knew today was inevitable, having watched him struggle and miss the last two seasons with a major spinal condition. However, through it all, as long as he was still on the roster, working in St. Lucie, there existed a small, though unrealistic, hope that he might one day return. 

It turns out that's exactly what it will be, just one day...

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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