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.

Lugo on WBC Experience 00:01:30
Seth Lugo describes his experience in the World Baseball Classic and how it helped prepare him for the 2017 season.

Where will Zack Wheeler start 2017?

Mets GM Sandy Alderson suggested Thursday that Zack Wheeler could still make the Opening Day roster as a relief pitcher, though he will not be used in a traditional bullpen role.

"You have to put bullpen in quotes," Alderson said, qualifying his statement, according to Newsday. "Is it a traditional bullpen role? Or, a less traditional bullpen role?"

Alderson said earlier this spring that Wheeler will not be allowed to throw more than 125 innings this season since it will be the pitcher's first full year back after having Tommy John surgery in 2015.

This past off-season, I heard the team had been considering having Wheeler piggyback starts made by - I assume - Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, who are most likely to throw the fewest innings per start.

Read More

Feb 24, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout during the first inning at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 24, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout during the first inning at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

By tomorrow morning, the Mets will have just eight Grapefruit League games left before starting the 2017 season April 3 against the Braves at Citi Field.

"It's crunch time," Terry Collins stated Monday, when asked about the remaining schedule and decisions facing the team during their final two weeks in Florida.

Here's what has to be decided before April 3...

Read More

Mets pitchers Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler, all of whom are competing for a spot on the roster (Photo Credit: USA today Sports Images)
Mets pitchers Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler, all of whom are competing for a spot on the roster (Photo Credit: USA today Sports Images)

Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz are a lock to be in the team's starting rotation when it begins their 2017 season in exactly two weeks...

Matt Harvey should be a lock, but has struggled this spring after last year's season-ending surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I expect he'll make the Opening Day roster, though I do think there's a small chance he stays back in St. Lucie where he'd begin the season in extended spring training and on the disabled list.

Meanwhile, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler have all pitched well enough to be considered for the rotation's final spot.

"It's a great problem to have," Terry Collins said Sunday. "We came into this camp knowing we had depth in the rotation. ... They have stepped up and showed us we weren't wrong."

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo throws a bullpen session during spring training baseball practice Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo throws a bullpen session during spring training baseball practice Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Mets RHP Seth Lugo is uniquely qualified to become this team's version of Indians reliever Andrew Miller, who made headlines last postseason for his ability to fill multiple bullpen roles.

Lugo is far from a household name. Unfortunately for the Mets, that is likely to change when baseball fans watch him start Friday night for Puerto Rico against Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

I'm very interested to see how people react to his curve ball, which you and I know can be amazing.

Tags: Seth Lugo, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario and 1B Dominic Smith (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports)
Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario and 1B Dominic Smith (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports)

Earlier this week, the Mets reassigned their two highest-rated position prospects -- SS Amed Rosario and 1B Dominic Smith -- to Minor League camp, reducing the number of players in big-league camp competing to be on the Opening Day roster.

Mets manager Terry Collins later said that while Smith may be in need of more work, Rosario is very capable of making his big-league debut with the Mets this season.

"I don't think there's any question," he stated.

I agree, TC. I don't think it's guaranteed to happen, but I do think there's a chance.

Read More

Duda's red-hot Spring Training 00:02:01
Lucas Duda keeps up his red-hot Spring Training by hitting another home run in today's game against the Miami Marlins.

In last week's Who's Hot, I focused on Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Travis d'Arnaud and Gavin Cecchini, who got off to terrific starts this spring. This week, I focused on just one hot hitter, while - unfortunately - moving Conforto to the cold side of post...

Tags: Lucas Duda, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Feb 26, 2017; Paul Sewald (79) warms before a game at First Data Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 26, 2017; Paul Sewald (79) warms before a game at First Data Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins said this past weekend that - in addition to Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler - relievers Ben Rowen, Rafael Montero, Josh SmokerAdam Wilk and RHP prospect Paul Sewald have quietly emerged in camp as possible candidates to make his Opening Day roster.

According to Collins, because other pitchers they expected to do well have underperformed - I assume he meant Josh Edgin and Tom Gorzelanny - he's now paying extra attention to Smoker, Rowen, Montero, Wilk and Sewald.

The Mets typically carry seven, sometimes eight relievers to start the season. So, that means eight to 10 pitchers are competing for just two - maybe three - bullpen spots.

Read More

Stuart's two-run homer 00:00:47
Champ Stuart puts the Mets on the board with his first homer of the spring, a two-run shot to left against the Tigers on Thursday.

Mets OF prospect Champ Stuart hit a two-run home run Thursday against the Tigers, during which he also started in center field and hit ninth in the order.

As I mentioned before and after yesterday's game, he is almost always praised for his speed. The kid is crazy quick and he loves to run.

However, in addition to his off-the-chart speed, "Stuart is willing to work counts and draw walks, knowing his job is to get on base," MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo said last summer. "He also has some strength, unlike some pure speed guys, giving hope that there's some hitting ability to be unlocked."

Read More

Michael Conforto, Gavin Cecchini, Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud (Credit: USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Conforto, Gavin Cecchini, Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud (Credit: USA TODAY Sports)

OF Michael Conforto: He's batting .421 with two HR, as well as six strikeouts, through 22 at-bats during eight games for the Mets this spring. He's looked outstanding at the plate. He's back to being comfortable, smooth and handling left-handed pitching like a veteran.

I still have no idea how this is going to play out for him, though. I can see a scenario where he hits .400 and crushes the ball all spring, yet, because Jay Bruce is still on the roster, Conforto starts 2017 in Triple-A. The thing is, I have no idea how the Mets will justify this move, especially if he keeps showing he's their best option in right field...

Tags: Gavin Cecchini, Michael Conforto, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Feb 28, 2017; Travis d'Arnaud (18) connects for a solo home run at Roger Dean Stadium. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2017; Travis d'Arnaud (18) connects for a solo home run at Roger Dean Stadium. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Mets C Travis d'Arnaud hit his second home run of the spring during Monday's 8-2 win against the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.

Throughout his career, d'Arnaud's swing had included a pronounced wrapping of his bat over his helmet, which would make his swing too long, hitting coach Kevin Long explained to the NY Post in February. By eliminating the 'bat wrap,' Long believes d'Arnaud will regain his quickness and consistency at the plate.

In 20 at-bats this spring, d'Arnaud is hitting .450 and has four RBI.

"We set out for him to do one thing, and that's to repeat his swing," Long said Monday, according to Newsday's Marc Carig. "He's done exactly that. ... So, hopefully we can keep him in that lane and - if he does that - we know what he can do."

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

David Wright sits in the dugout while filming a segment for SNY in St. Lucie (Photo Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
David Wright sits in the dugout while filming a segment for SNY in St. Lucie (Photo Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

It could be at least four weeks, and after another exam, before David Wright is able to stand at third base and throw a baseball across the diamond, people in St. Lucie predicted Thursday.

In other words, I'm not expected Wright to get his first big-league at bat until at least May - and that's assuming he doesn't experience any other set backs along the way...

He can throw. However, what once was just mild irritation in his shoulder after neck surgery as turned in to radiating pain and weakness when he raises his hand and arm above his shoulder.

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

In an article for ESPN.com, former GM and current MLB insider Jim Bowden brainstorms a potential trade between the Mets and Cardinals swapping OF Brandon Nimmo for 1B Matt Adams.

In Bowden's view, Adams, who lost his starting job with the Cardinals, would be the perfect complement to Wilmer Flores at first base, freeing the Mets to either trade (or absorb another injury from) Lucas Duda.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

David Wright sits in the dugout while filming a segment for SNY in St. Lucie (Photo Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
David Wright sits in the dugout while filming a segment for SNY in St. Lucie (Photo Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

The only person in control of whether David Wright retires is David Wright. The fact is, he has a guaranteed contract for the next four years and he is going no place unless he or his doctors say so.

That said, he has made it quite clear during the last two decades that he respects us -- the fans -- and has the utmost love and appreciation for the Mets organization, their ownership, front office and his teammates, and he will never put his ego in front of what's best for the overall group.

The thing is, whether he returns to being an All-Star, everyday third baseman or he transitions to being a bench player or bounces between third and first base, David knows that he's a leader and he believes he can help the Mets on the field. 

Unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to see him consistently do any of the above during the last two seasons, which is why he and everyone around him is growing frustrated -- all while he gets older and older and continues to be paid...

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

In the past, the only sound heard during the team's morning stretch had been coaches barking instructions, fan's clamoring for autographs, bird chirping and cameras snapping.

This year there really loud music courtesy of a large on-field speaker controlled by one of the trainer's phones...

Read More

d'Arnaud on his expectations 00:02:41
Travis d'Arnaud joins Mets Hot Stove to discuss his expectations for himself behind the plate and at bat this season.

Glenn Sherlock may have been hired this past offseason to be the entire team's catching instructor, but he was clearly tasked with planting himself in Travis d'Arnaud's back pocket.

In the week that I've been here, I've only seen d'Arnaud out of ear shot from Sherlock once or twice, and it was walking from one field to another where Sherlock eventually ended up anyway...

Tags: Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Feb. 21, 2017: Mets RHP Matt Harvey gets set to throw during a bullpen session (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 21, 2017: Mets RHP Matt Harvey gets set to throw during a bullpen session (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

I know, and you know, the Mets have some serious pitching talent. I actually take it for granted, I think. But, when seeing them all lined up together, throwing side by side, it takes the realization to a different level...

This morning, I watched Zack Wheeler work at length for the first time this spring. He threw free and easy and - most important - he showed no signs of discomfort or awkwardness. There was no shaking out his arm or looking at his elbow, which is what I recall earlier in camp. In today's instance, it was all business. He simply tossed a bullpen session, did it well, and that was that...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

It was photo day today, which is when players get in full uniform to pose for head shots, pictures and promos used across baseball...

The individual photographers and media outlets set up stations that players go through one by one, where they stop, take direction and mostly do whatever is asked of them...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

The dynamic I see between David Wright and Jose Reyes is not what I remember from the old days. It has changed, just as I am sure they have changed as men.

In the early days of their relationship, they were the two young guys called up to Shea Stadium at roughly the same time. The team was built around them. They were always paired together in photo shoots, on magazine covers and on the same side of the field...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Feb. 20, 2017: Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes talk between batting practice sessions during Spring Training (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 20, 2017: Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes talk between batting practice sessions during Spring Training (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

The big-name players on the Mets are all spending way more time together on and off field than I recall seeing here in previous spring trainings. That said, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes are close to inseparable.

They stretch together, they hit in the same groups, they eat together before and after practice, and they joke around in the field and at the cage. They're clearly doubling down on the friendship they began building last summer.

Hopefully, that escalation doesn't end in St. Lucie, but continues to grow and fuel the team's run production like it did during the second half in 2016...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Feb. 21, 2017: The sun rises over Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 21, 2017: The sun rises over Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

It was not photo day Tuesday morning. I wish I knew that, because I thought it was and got to Tradition Field at 6:55 am ET. No worries, though, since it was a great opportunity to watch the sunrise and catch the ballpark get started for the day...

Read More

In the 10 years I've been coming to Tradition Field, I don't recall seeing so much smiling and laughing going on between the team's star players and the coaching staff.

It's nice to see. It's one of those things that - if the Mets go on to have a poor season and miss the playoffs - people will look back on and blame, saying they were too loose and not taking things seriously enough. Of course, if they steamroll the NL East and get back to the World Series, we'll look back and believe their success started in St. Lucie...

Read More

Jose Reyes, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes take batting practice at Tradition Field in 2017 (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Jose Reyes, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes take batting practice at Tradition Field in 2017 (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

In his talk with the team before stretching on Sunday, Terry Collins essentially told the team that last year was an anomaly because of the injuries. He said he's proud of how they fought through adversity, but this year will be different...

In short, because I was down wind and roughly 40 feet away from where he was standing, I heard him say they will be healthy and strong and continue what they started in 2015.


Read More

Finally on Sunday, during the team's first official full-team workout of Spring Training, David Wright and Jose Reyes were in the same place at the same time. Of course, it took a while before they stood close enough to one another to exchange words and be photographed together...

Actually, at one point, Reyes literally jobbed to a different field as Wright emerged.

"Uh oh, David's here, I need to go," he said laughing...

Reyes returned, photographers and reporters gathered, but they continued to stand apart...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Less than a year and a half ago, MLB.com considered then 19-year-old Mets RHP Marcos Molina to be the organization's top pitching prospect. He then had Tommy John surgery, missed an entire season and dropped to fourth on MLB.com's 2016 list last summer.

Molina, now 21, tossed a bullpen session Saturday a few feet away from Dan Warthen, Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and his staff...

Read More

I love watching the pitchers throw their bullpen sessions on the 10-pack on the back side of Tradition Field's training complex. There are a lot of people hanging around, from media, to coaches, to front office executives, multiple pitchers throwing at one time, multiple catchers, teammates tracking pitches and side conversations about mechanics and pitch section...

In the case of right-handed, side-arm reliever Ben Rowen, who signed a free-agent, minor-league contract, it was an opportunity for Dan Warthen to talk with him about his repertoire and how he approaches right-handed batters compared to left-handed batters...

Tags: Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith (74) watches top SS prospect Amed Rosario (61) during big-league batting practice at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith (74) watches top SS prospect Amed Rosario (61) during big-league batting practice at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario and 1B prospect Dominic Smith took batting practice together during Friday's big-league workout at Tradition Field in St. Lucie.

It was pretty cool seeing them in the same place, crushing baseballs together and talking hitting with the big-league team's assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler.

It's also worth noting they spent time intensely working on their high-five routine...

Read More

Mets infielder Jose Reyes looks off field during batting practice in Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets infielder Jose Reyes looks off field during batting practice in Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

It feels like Jose Reyes never left. He looks at home here in St. Lucie.

And, despite a successful team having been built after he left for Miami, he carries himself and interacts with his current teammates as if he had been here the entire time.

In the old days, I marveled at watching Reyes field ground balls and throw to first base. It's such a routine, simple act, but he was so much more smooth -- yet also explosive -- in his movements it made the players around him look they were playing a different game...

Tags: Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Yesterday was my first day in Mets camp, and -- despite this being my 10th season covering spring training -- I had a really difficult time getting my bearings on field. At first, I thought it was me. But, I quickly realized the Mets are doing things slightly different than they have in the past.

Interestingly, they are adjustments every team probably should have implemented years ago -- especially in a world where every person is holding a camera capable of live streaming information to thousands of people.

For instance, the day's workout schedule is no longer posted in public. And, whereas media had long been able to walk up and down the dirt surrounding the grass (from left field to right field to behind the backstop), we are now only allowed to be in a designated 15-20 foot area marked by yellow lines in front of the dugouts...

Read More

Mets OF Jay Bruce speaks to the media in St. Lucie for the first time in 2017 (Photo: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets OF Jay Bruce speaks to the media in St. Lucie for the first time in 2017 (Photo: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets OF Jay Bruce walked in to the team's media room, sat down at the microphone, answered every question, said all the right things, smiled once or twice, got up and walked back in to the clubhouse. The end...

He was professional and courteous, complimented the roster and hyped the team's potential. But, he also spoke like someone dragged to a party he was not invited to attend.

"I'm here until I'm not," he said with a dry tone when asked about rumors of Sandy Alderson attempting to trade him before Spring Training.

It's a perfect response, because it's true for all of us. But the context of Bruce's short seven months in New York, it has a different meaning. It reads and sounded like someone biding his time...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Adam Rubin announced earlier this week on Twitter that he will no longer be covering the New York Mets for ESPN.com. Instead, he is leaving journalism to work in public relations. 

With Rubin no longer on the job, it's going to be a lot less noisy - and a lot less newsy - at Citi Field. 

Trust me, speaking as someone who has been writing daily about the Mets for 14 years, no one hustled harder and went further to get next-level information about the Mets than Rubin. His need to be first and do it with depth and context is an art and science that future reporters should look to when studying the craft...

Read More

Mets Hot Stove: Addison Reed 00:01:22
Mets Hot Stove talks to Addison Reed about his preparation for Spring Training and the 2017 season.

Mets reliever Addison Reed will do whatever is asked of him by Terry Collins, including filling in at closer if Jeurys Familia is suspended for an incident of domestic violence from last year.

"I take the same mindset out there no matter what inning, I'm throwing,'' Reed told reporters at Tradition Field on Thursday. "The only thing different about the ninth inning is that it is one inning later than the eighth."

I don't see any reason to treat it differently," Reed continued. "If you are throwing the first inning you don't want any runs to score. If you are throwing the ninth inning, you don't want any runs to score."

Tags: Willie Reed, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes smiles while taking questions from reporters during a news conference announcing his new $110 million, four-year contract with the Mets (Credit: Associated Press)
Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes smiles while taking questions from reporters during a news conference announcing his new $110 million, four-year contract with the Mets (Credit: Associated Press)

If available, I would be buying stock in Yoenis Cespedes.

I think he's going to be a monster this season, lead the Mets to a franchise-best third consecutive postseason and get - at least - several MVP votes.

To say I have lofty expectations for Cespedes is an understatement. The thing is, from what I'm hearing, they pale in comparison to what he expects from himself.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Apr 13, 2015; Terry Collins (10) high-fives his team before opening day game 2016. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2015; Terry Collins (10) high-fives his team before opening day game 2016. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

So, after four months of rumors, writing, tracking, arguing and researching, the Mets are essentially bringing back the same team they had in 2016, minus Bartolo Colon. And, I'm OK with this...

This past weekend, they reportedly reached agreements with relievers Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas, while also signing Tom Gorzelanny to a minor-league deal.

First off, Sandy Alderson and his staff deserve credit for being patient with the market for relief pitching. They had offers to trade prospects for a right-handed reliever, they could have dumped Jay Bruce for a bag of balls and overpaid Blevins, who was pressing for a multiyear deal, but instead they held firm and ended up getting two pitchers (a lefty and righty, who know the city, team and expectations) for what teams had been paying for one guy earlier in the winter.

In regards to the roster, there is something to be said for continuity. I realize it's not exciting and Alderson's offseason will not make anyone's Hot Stove winners or losers list. But, the goal isn't to get complimented in January. The goal is to win a World Series.

Read More

This Day in Mets History 00:00:37
On this date in Mets history, the Mets completed a trade for starting pitcher Johan Santana and signed him to a six-year extension.

This date in 2008, the Mets acquired Johan Santana from the Twins for OF prospect Carlos Gomez and pitching prospects Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra.

In order to get Santana to waive his no-trade clause, the Mets had to offer him a six-year, $137.5 million contract, which he eventually accepted.

Read More

Latest on Blevins and bullpen 00:07:11
The Baseball Night in New York crew discusses the latest on the Mets pursuit of Jerry Blevins and bullpen help for the 2017 season.

To date, most reports have indicated the Mets planned to only offer one-year and minor-league deals to free-agent relief pitchers, in their effort to improve their bullpen.

However, MLB insiders say the Mets are finally talking with this group about two-year deals. And based on Tuesday night's report in the NY Post, they may be aiming to back-load the contract, which would help keep them under budget and have money available to improve the team at the trade deadline.

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Hot Stove on Mets in 2017 00:02:03
FanGraphs projects the Mets to win 83 games and finish in second place in the NL East for the 2017 season.

As currently constituted, FanGraphs.com projects the Mets to win just 83 games, lose the NL East by seven games and miss the Wild Card by one game...

Read More

Mets Hot Stove talks bullpen 00:02:48
Jim Duquette and Nelson Figueroa debate what the Mets options are as they look to add solid relievers in the bullpen.

First off, I was wrong. I recently argued in favor of the Mets signing Sergio Romo, but I've changed my mind. In the last few days, I've been talked out of Romo by friends in San Francisco, a former manager and one scout that has watched him closely the last few years.

"He's not their kind of a guy, and Sandy Alderson has to know that," one person said. "Plus, Terry would burn him out in a week."

I think this is probably right. The Mets have reportedly reached out to Romo, but I now doubt he's Alderson's top target.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Aug 15, 2016; Bruce against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 15, 2016; Bruce against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets recently informed Jay Bruce they intend to have him be their everyday right fielder to start the 2017 season, sources told the NY Post's Ken Davidoff.

GM Sandy Alderson had reportedly been shopping Bruce for multiple prospects in an effort to create more playing time for Michael Conforto and free up money to acquire a relief pitcher.

In a recent article for the NY Post, columnist Kevin Kernan argues in favor of keeping Bruce on the roster, despite his late-summer slump and what his presence might do to Conforto's playing time...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Who's that Bruce? 00:03:19
The panel on Mets Hot Stove play "Who's that Bruce?" using clues to guess famous people named Bruce.

Instead of trading Jay Bruce for a reliever, I'm hearing from MLB sources that Sandy Alderson's new plan may be to try and trade prospects for another team's low-cost reliever, who has experience pitching in high-leverage situations...

Read More

Mets C Travis d'Arnaud and free-agent C Matt Wieters (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets C Travis d'Arnaud and free-agent C Matt Wieters (Credit: USA Today Images)

Mets GM Sandy Alderson has repeatedly said this winter that Travis d'Arnaud, Rene Rivera, and Kevin Plawecki will be his catchers in 2017. Meanwhile, it's Jan. 25, pitchers and catchers report in less than three weeks, and free-agent C Matt Wieters is still available on the open market.

In early-January, Mets sources told Daily News reporter John Harper that the team was not interested in spending money on a catcher, including Wieters.

However, in lieu of Tuesday night's news that Jay Bruce may be on the Opening Day roster (despite attempts to trade him all winter for a reliever), I expect fans and media will soon start contemplating signing Wieters, while trading d'Arnaud and prospects for the relief pitcher they hoped to get for Bruce.

Personally, I prefer d'Arnaud. I believe he can realize his potential, which he showed in 60 or so games during 2015. It's still possible -- catchers are notorious for developing late and he's still only 28 years old.

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Jay Bruce (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Jay Bruce (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

According to countless reports since December, the Mets have been trying to trade Jay Bruce and his salary so they can free up money to add a relief pitcher.

Bruce is due $13 million next season, after which he can be a free agent.

In the event Bruce is traded, Yoenis Cespedes is expected to start most days in left field, with Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares splitting time across center and right field.

That said, it's quite clear the Mets totally misread the market for power hitters and outfielders this winter. Or, this is a risk they were willing to accept. In either case, position players are due to report to St. Lucie in less than three weeks and Bruce is still on the roster, which is why Mets GM Sandy Alderson recently told reporters it's possible he begins spring training with all of his current outfielders, including Bruce.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Aug 26, 2016; Collins (10) takes the ball from a starting pitcher before going to his bullpen at Citi Field. Credit: Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2016; Collins (10) takes the ball from a starting pitcher before going to his bullpen at Citi Field. Credit: Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets may stick to signing free-agent relief pitchers to only minor-league deals, Sandy Alderson suggested to reporters at Citi Field in mid-January.

"If you go back and look at our history, we haven't exactly come up cherries on signing free agent relievers and I think that has a lot to do with the volatility they represent,"Alderson explained, according to NJ.com's Matt Ehalt. "The fact is, once you commit to someone that eliminates and detracts from the flexibility we currently have right now and I think we have flexibility with quality."

This is fair. I don't disagree with Sandy's premise, but - given expectations for this season and the importance being put on their pitching - I'd say this is the year to do whatever is necessary to help make the bullpen as good as it can be.

Read More

The Mets will wear a new alternate hat at Citi Field this season, according to uniform insider Paul Lukas of Uni-Watch.com...

The only difference is the elimination of the orange brim, which I actually kind of liked. It's also the same as the standard home cap, but with the white outline added to it, which I don't mind, but is nevertheless a strange 'update.'

It also looks like these might be MLB's new Spring Training warm-up jerseys, which are always kind of odd, especially their love of those underarm vent patches.

Read More

Apr 11, 2016; Rawlings presents Cespedes (52) with a Golden Glove award for 2015. Credit: Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2016; Rawlings presents Cespedes (52) with a Golden Glove award for 2015. Credit: Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes is the best left fielder in baseball, anonymous MLB scouts and team executives recently told ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

In late-November, Cespedes and the Mets agreed to a four-year, $110 million contract, which -- so far -- is the only nine-figure deal given to a free agent this offseason.

"They don't have a lot of lineup depth or power, which underscores the importance of Cespedes's production for them," Olney explains. "While his defense has been in clear regression, his ability to throw still makes him a weapon."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Mar 27, 2016; Wright (5) throws over to first base at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2016; Wright (5) throws over to first base at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Mets third baseman David Wright has started baseball activity in Virginia and the team hopes to see him ready for spring training, GM Sandy Alderson told reporters in early-January.

"We won't know until we get down [to Florida] and he shows up and tells us where he's at," manager Terry Collins recently said of Wright, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "David knows himself better than anybody, so if he feels he's ready to play games or, you know, when he's ready to get in the lineup, we're going to get him in there."

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores takes a curtain call after hitting a three-run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores takes a curtain call after hitting a three-run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The bullpen and starting pitching will be the key to success in 2017 for the Mets, infielder Wilmer Flores told SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio early Friday.

"When we got to the World Series in 2015, it's no secret that our pitching took us to the World Series," he told the hosts at 7:30 AM on route to his morning workout. "We're built on pitching and it's going to be healthy. ... So, it's going to be an interesting year."

Flores said he's proud of how the team fought through injuries to get to the Wild Card game in 2016. However, this season, he expects them to get back to the Fall Classic.

Tags: Wilmer Flores, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Sep 24, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo (54) pitches during the tenth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Sep 24, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo (54) pitches during the tenth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

The Oakland A's and free-agent reliever Santiago Casilla have agreed on a two-year, $11 million deal that contains $3 million in incentives, according to multiple reports.

This is a lot of money for a 36-year-old right-handed reliever. So, if reports are accurate and the Mets are pinching pennies, then it makes sense to pass on him. That said, Casilla is the type of experienced pitcher the Mets say they have been looking for, and given their window to win and the need for bullpen help, it's disappointing to see them hold back.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters in December he would prefer to acquire a pitcher that can handle "high-leverage situations" and has experience closing games, even though the pitcher might not be considered a closer.

Tags: Oakland Athletics, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Jul 27, 2016; NFamilia (27) reacts as he heads to the dugout at Citi Field. Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 27, 2016; NFamilia (27) reacts as he heads to the dugout at Citi Field. Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Update...

Jan. 13 | 8:20AM

Sandy Alderson told reporters Thursday that he does not know when MLB will make a decision about whether to suspend Jeurys Familia, who he assumed will miss at least some period of time during the 2017 season (Rubin, Jan. 12).

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Will Jay Bruce ever be traded? 00:05:17
The Baseball Night in New York panel discusses the trade market for Jay Bruce and which teams he would fit the best with.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson is operating under a mandate not to spend on new players until he removes money currently on the payroll, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.

While Alderson is notorious for wanting to begin the season with budget space to make in-season deals, which he has done the past two years, I hope this is not accurate considering the organization is coming off back-to-back postseason appearances.

In either case, Alderson obviously wants to trade Jay Bruce and his $13 million salary for an established, high-leverage, right-handed relief pitcher, then use his remaining money to sign a left-handed reliever and any pitcher willing to accept a minor-league deal.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Baltimore Orioles, Matthew Cerrone
Read More

Jay Bruce (19) has dominated the Mets news cycle during the Winter Meetings (USA TODAY Sports)
Jay Bruce (19) has dominated the Mets news cycle during the Winter Meetings (USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets have reportedly been trying to trade Jay Bruce for a relief pitcher or prospects, while freeing up salary to sign additional help for their bullpen.

In the last four months, the Orioles, Rangers, Blue Jays, Giants and other teams have all reportedly shown some level interest in trading for Bruce.

Here's how I would characterize each team as a possible trade partner...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
Read More
Login with Facebook Login with Twitter Login with SNY.tv