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.

Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton, owner Derek Jeter and 2B Dee Gordon. Credit: USA Today Sports
Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton, owner Derek Jeter and 2B Dee Gordon. Credit: USA Today Sports

Marlins owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman will try this winter to cut the team's payroll by as much as $65 million, a source recently told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

Jeter, Sherman, and their ownership group recently agreed to pay $1.2 billion to buy the Marlins, who are expected to lose roughly $50 million in revenue next year, Spencer reports.

"They told us that they're prepared to dump," a rival executive recently told B/R's Scott Miller. "They're working on it and talking to clubs."

The Brewers ended 2017 with the lowest payroll at roughly $85 million, according to Spotrac.

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Will Girardi manage the Mets? 00:03:43
The DNL panel examines the possibility of Yankees manager Joe Girardi leaving the Bronx Bombers to manage the Mets in Queens.

The Mets have started interviewing candidates to be their next manager, a source with knowledge of the process recently told Newsday's Marc Carig.

In the days before and after the season, I'm told Mets GM Sandy Alderson and his staff internally reviewed a list of up to 15 potential candidates.

My understanding is, after pre-screening each person, talking about them with people outside the organization and gauging interest, that list has been whittled down to between six and 10 viable options, all of whom will have been formally interviewed before the end of next week.

Tags: 2017 Mets Manager Search, Matthew Cerrone
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Wilpon talks Syracuse purchase 00:01:28
Jeff Wilpon discusses purchasing the Syracuse Chiefs and bringing Mets' baseball back to Syracuse after the 2018 season.

The Mets will buy the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League and move their Triple-A affiliate from Las Vegas, NV to Syracuse, NY, playing at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse through at least 2025.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Mets' agreement with the Chiefs on Tuesday in Syracuse, with Mets COO Jeff Wilpon saying the Mets "look forward to the opportunity to work with the staff to continue to bring affordable, family entertainment to baseball fans in Syracuse."

The move will occur after the 2018 season, finally ending the organziation's five years out west.

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Potential Mets managers, according to the NY Post. Credit: USA Today Images
Potential Mets managers, according to the NY Post. Credit: USA Today Images

For the second time since taking over as GM in 2010, Sandy Alderson is looking for a new manager.

"We have a very long list," Alderson said earlier this month. "We will get it shortened after we've had internal discussions and then talks with people outside the organization."

In the last week or so I have talked with several MLB insiders, as well as reporters, fans and current and former players and coaches.

Tags: 2017 Mets Manager Search, Matthew Cerrone
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Mar 4, 2017; Lagares (12) chooses a bat in the dugout during spring training. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY
Mar 4, 2017; Lagares (12) chooses a bat in the dugout during spring training. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY

Mets OF Juan Lagares was the best defensive center fielder this season during the 85 games he played at that position, according to FanGraphs.com.

Unfortunately, as Logan Barer points out in a post to MetsMerized, Lagares doesn't qualify for a Rawling's Gold Glove because he only played 556.2 innings in center field this season, which is less than required for consideration...

Tags: Juan Lagares, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 26, 2014; Alderson in the dugout before a game at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2014; Alderson in the dugout before a game at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Indians OF Jay Bruce enjoyed his time playing for Terry Collins, but he is not surprised to see the Mets looking for new leadership, he told reporters Wednesday in Cleveland.

"I don't think it was hard to see," Bruce explained, according to Newsday. "I think that a lot of times in sports they feel like a shakeup needs to happen. The old saying is you can't fire 25 guys, so a lot of times managerial changes happen. I wish Terry the best in whatever he does next."

Bruce, who was traded in August, to the Indians for low-level reliever Ryder Ryan, also said he was disappointed see anonymous teammates being critical of Collins.

"Terry and I had a great relationship," Bruce concluded. "You would like to see people, if they do have a problem, approach him about it, talk to him about it, and not let it out through the media. But losing causes a lot of that stuff. If they're back in the playoffs this year, have a good season, no one's talking about any of it. It's an unfortunate situation, but the reality is it's kind of part of the game."

Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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This may the happiest I've ever been to see a baseball season end. It finally concluded Sunday with the Mets losing, 11-0, to finish with their most losses, 92, since 2009.

Following the game, Terry Collins handed in his resignation, after which Sandy Alderson announced he will stay on as the team's General Manager.

Here are 4 things that should be Alderson's to-do list when he returns to the office today...

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Mets First Pitch: McAnaney/Carig 00:04:14
Newsday reporter Marc Carig talks to Eamon McAnaney about his story detailing the lack of cohesion between Terry Collins and Mets' brass.

In case you missed it, more than a dozen anonymous team sources informed Newsday's Marc Carig of several disappointing items about the current state of the Mets.

However, for me, these three stood out most...

  1. The front office is concerned about the relationship between Collins and his players.
  2. In the last few years, Collins repeatedly refused input from the front office on ways to better manage his bullpen and keep from using relief pitchers on back-to-back days. In addition, the front office believes Collins consistently makes tactical blunders during games.
  3. Despite Jeff Wilpon and Sandy Alderson wanting to change managers at multiple points during the last few years, Fred Wilpon repeatedly argued to keep Collins.

Here are my thoughts on the above...

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The Mets had a three-and-a-half-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East on Sept. 10, 2008, but lost 10 of their final 17 games and were eliminated from NL East contention with two games left in the season.

The Wild Card remained a possibility until -- for the second consecutive year -- the Marlins ended New York's season during the year's final game, winning 4-2. The loss, coupled with a win by the Brewers earlier in the day, rewarded Milwaukee the National League Wild Card, officially making September 28, 2008 the final game ever played in Shea Stadium.

I recently re-stumbled on this picture, which still hurts me when I see it...

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Oct 1, 2016; Terry Collins celebrates after clinching a wild-card playoff berth Credit: Hamilton-USA TODAY
Oct 1, 2016; Terry Collins celebrates after clinching a wild-card playoff berth Credit: Hamilton-USA TODAY

This post was originally published Sept. 5, 2017...

Lately, Mets manager Terry Collins has acted so mellow, so indifferent to the losing and injuries, that it seems to me that he's accepted he will not be back next season. And, interstingly, he also seems OK with it.

According to multiple reports, Collins has told people he's unsure if he'll return to managing after this season. There have not been any reports indicating Collins and the Mets have discussed a contract extension.

Basically, it's time. His job here is done.

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Sep 2, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (67) delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Sep 2, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (67) delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

With Wednesday's loss, the Mets (63-82) are guaranteed a losing season for the seventh time in the last nine years. They have lost 20 of their last 30 games and are on pace to lose 91 for the first time since 2009...

The Mets finish their series with the Cubs (79-66) on Thursday at 8:10 pm ET when Seth Lugo (6-4, 4.64 ERA) faces 22-year-old RHP Jen-Ho Tseng, who will be making his major league debut. 

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Free-agent infielders Todd Frazier, Neil Walker and Eduardo Nunez (Credit: USA Today, 2017)
Free-agent infielders Todd Frazier, Neil Walker and Eduardo Nunez (Credit: USA Today, 2017)

The Mets need to acquire a bonafide third baseman this winter, regardless of whether David Wright is confident he'll be able to play baseball next season.

"We don't have an everyday, top-shelf third-base option the way some teams do," Alderson told reporters in early-August, when asked if Wright's status had been impacting his offseason plan. "We didn't go into this season with a solidified situation in part because we weren't sure what David's condition would be."

Alderson only knows now that Wright's shoulder has been surgically repaired. He doesn't know how the shoulder will respond or if it will even matter in David's attempt to get back on the field.

I'm sure Alderson would agree that it would be great to have Wright fight his way back on field, especially if the Mets are successful next year. However, with rookies starting at first base and shortstop, and Michael Conforto's return date in question, Alderson cannot again leave himself short like he did in 2017...

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets begin a four-game series with the Reds at Citi Field tonight at 7:10 p.m. 

Matt Harvey (4-4, 5.97 ERA) will make his second start since returning from the disabled list to face rookie Tyler Mahle (0-1, 2.45 ERA).

Also on Thursday, Noah Syndergaard (torn lat) will continue his rehab assignment in a start for Single-A Brooklyn.

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Alderson watches players take batting practice in Port St. Lucie, Fla (Credit: Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)
Alderson watches players take batting practice in Port St. Lucie, Fla (Credit: Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

MLB teams are now allowed to promote any player who's on their 40-man roster to the majors. Typically, in the case of non-contending teams like the Mets, organizations wait to promote people until after their minor league affiliates finish their respective seasons.

At that point, teams promote players already on the roster to add depth and guys that will soon have to be added to the 40-man roster due to their Rule 5 Draft eligibility.

Here are 10 players that will be talked about being promoted, only some of which will actually get the call during the next month.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jose Reyes, Kevin Plawecki, Robert Gsellman, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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Collins, pitchers on loss 00:05:30
Manager Terry Collins, reliever Jeurys Familia and starter Zack Wheeler discuss what went wrong in the Mets' 3-2 loss to the D-backs.

The Mets are 7-14 since the start of August, during which they have the second-worst record in the National League. They remain on pace to lose 92 games, their most in a season since 2009, after which Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya were fired and replaced with Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins.

What's Next

The Mets (55-71) begin a 10-game road trip in Washington against the Nationals (75-49) at Nationals Park Friday night at 7 p.m. on SNY.

Jacob deGrom (13-7, 3.49 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) opens the series looking to snap a stretch of three losses in four starts. The right-hander allowed five runs for the second consecutive outing in a loss to the Marlins on Sunday. DeGrom is 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA in three starts against the Nationals this season.

The Nationals have not announced a starter for Friday's game.

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Mets players leave the field injured during 2017. Credit: USA Today Images
Mets players leave the field injured during 2017. Credit: USA Today Images

In what can only be described as a potential miracle, in broad daylight, the Mets handled an injury in seemingly perfect and appropriate fashion Wednesday. By proactively delaying Noah Syndergaard's live batting practice session, it indicated - maybe, just maybe - the coaching and training staffs, front office and players are all working from the same playbook.

"We're going to err on the side of caution and give him some extra time," Collins explained. "We talked about it and got a lot of people together, including the trainers, and they said they'd like to take an extra day with him. I think you'll see him throwing to hitters soon."

In May, after several, devastating injuries to his team, which was followed by harsh criticism from fans and media, Mets GM Sandy Alderson announced that he planned to start holding daily meetings with his medical staff.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets talk 4-2 win over Arizona 00:06:17
Terry Collins, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith and Chris Flexen break down the Mets' 4-2 win over the D-backs on Wednesday night.

The Mets snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday as Terry Collins won his 536th game as Mets manager, tying Bobby Valentine for the second-most wins in franchise history.

What's Next

Today at 12:10 pm, Rafael Montero (2-8, 5.47 ERA) will try to maintain his recent success when he faces Robbie Ray (9-5, 3.11 ERA) in the final game of a four-game series with the D-backs at Citi Field...

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Aug 16, 2017; Alderson (left) talks to Collins (10) at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2017; Alderson (left) talks to Collins (10) at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2017 is without question the most disappointing season that I've experienced during my 32 years rooting for the Mets. I have seen previous teams lose more games playing worse baseball, and I've seen them bungle bigger individual moments.

I was demoralized watching a season fall apart during the final weeks of 2007, followed by similar pain in 2008, which coincided with the fall of Shea Stadium. However, in terms of the distance between expectations in spring and the reality on field in August, 2017 is the worst...

It was a grind watching the Mets in the early 90s, early 00s, and during the first five years under Sandy Alderson. But, I entered those seasons expecting them to play poorly and lose more games than they won. So, finishing under .500 during 14 of the last 25 seasons was not necessarily a disappointment. Instead, it just sucked...

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Wright on return to the field 00:04:47
David Wright discusses his return to the field as he began a rehab assignment as the designated hitter for St. Lucie on Tuesday.

David Wright, who last played for the Mets on May 27, 2016, officially started a rehab assignment with Single-A St. Lucie, batting third as the designated hitter Tuesday night.

This is great news for Wright. However, regardless of what happens the next six weeks, if Sandy Alderson has any doubt about Wright's ability to play at a high level in 2018, he has to proceed this winter as if Wright will not be on the roster next year. If Wright is healthy next spring, and Alderson has too many infielders, so bet it. He can cross that bridge when he gets to it. Because, sadly, the fact is, that bridge may never come in to view...

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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Yoenis Cespedes drives in the Mets' lone run against the D-Backs.  (AP)
Yoenis Cespedes drives in the Mets' lone run against the D-Backs. (AP)

In his last 13 games, Yoenis Cespedes has five home runs, 11 RBI, including a run-scoring single Monday night against the D-backs.

It's a terrific two weeks following major slump, which was proceeded by a fairly positive April. The point is, Cespedes is frustrating. He regularly lays up on fly balls, jogs to first base and tosses under hand pop ups to the field. Then, the next night, he'll hit a mammoth home run, hustle to make a sliding catch and run first base to third as well as anyone in baseball.

Similarly, this past Sunday, Cespedes missed two pop ups that MLB's Statcast said he had a 76 and 99 percent chance of catching. The next night, he hustled to make a terrific, sliding catch in left-field that he had only a 19 percent chance of catching.

According to Statcast, during his catch sensational catch Monday, Cespedes reached a sprint speed of 27.6 feet per second, which allowed him to cover 81 feet in the four seconds he needed to make the grab...

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Curtis Granderson follows through on a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves.  (John Bazemore/AP)
Curtis Granderson follows through on a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves. (John Bazemore/AP)

There are five teams, including the Nationals, that have recently reached out to the Mets about acquiring Curtis Granderson, radio host Mike Francesa reported Friday on WFAN.

I'd also list the Orioles, Brewers and Twins -- and maybe the Pirates and Yankees -- among the teams still keeping an eye on Curtis, who is free to be traded after clearing waivers earlier this month. 

In the event he's traded during the next few days, I expect it will be similar to what Sandy Alderson got from the Indians for Jay Bruce. In other words, the acquiring team will likely pick up his remaining salary with Alderson adding another arm or two to his farm system.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 17, 2017; Matz (32) throws the ball the first inning at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2017; Matz (32) throws the ball the first inning at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mets manager Terry Collins said LHP Steven Matz may be skipped in the rotation after his winless stretch reached nine games in Thursday's 7-5 loss to the Yankees at Citi Field.

Matz allowed seven runs (six earned) in just 3 1/3 innings, giving up a three-run home run to Gary Sanchez in a 40-pitch first inning and surrendering four straight hits to begin the fourth inning.

The 26-year-old Matz hasn't won a game since June 28. Over his last eight starts, he is 0-6 with a 10.19 ERA, having allowed 38 runs (37 earned) and 57 hits in 32 2/3 innings.

"We've been trying different stuff and it's not really translating to the mound," Matz said. "I've never gone through a stretch like this before in my career. It is tough, but I never want to say that I'm lost. ... I want to think I'm just one step away from where I need to be and things will just click.''

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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JRSportBrief: Judge or Conforto? 00:01:26
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR compares Aaron Judge to Michael Conforto as the Subway Series begins Monday

20 years after playing their first regular season, interleague series, the Mets (53-62) and Yankees (61-55) begin a four-game, home-and-home series ay Citi Field and Yankee Stadium this week.

The Yankees won the first-ever series, which was played at Yankee Stadium, though the Mets won the opening game 6-0 behind Dave Mlicki's nine-hit shutout.

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Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)
Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)

Terry Collins is in the final year of a two-year extension he signed at the end of 2015.

To date, there have been no reports that he and the Mets have discussed a contract extension.

"That his situation remains unresolved is just one indication that there doesn't seem to be a clamoring within the Mets organization to retain Collins, and it may well be that -- after seven years of managing the Mets -- he's ready to move on to something else," ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote this past weekend. "Nobody has said anything out loud, one way or the other."

Tags: David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

It was 14 years ago that we watched with anticipation as the Mets promoted the highly rated, aggressive, speedy and charismatic Jose Reyes. The next year, Reyes was joined by the quiet, mild-mannered, smooth and sound David Wright.

The Mets have a similar dynamic about to hit the stage this August with prospects Amed Rosario (who was promoted to the Mets earlier this week) and Triple-A 1B Dominic Smith (who is expected to follow in Rosario's footsteps later this month).

During their first three years together with the Mets, Wright and Reyes scored more than 500 times, collected nearly 1,000 hits, won 205 games and got to the National League Championship Series, while also playing side-by-side during the 2006 All-Star Game...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) bats in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Aug 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) bats in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

It was 14 years ago that we watched with anticipation as the Mets promoted the highly rated, aggressive, speedy and charismatic Jose Reyes. The next year, Reyes was joined by the quiet, mild-mannered, smooth and sound David Wright.

The Mets have a similar dynamic about to hit the stage this August with prospects Amed Rosario (who was promoted to the Mets earlier this week) and Triple-A 1B Dominic Smith (who is expected to follow in Rosario's footsteps later this month).

During their first three years together with the Mets, Wright and Reyes scored more than 500 times, collected nearly 1,000 hits, won 205 games and got to the National League Championship Series, while also playing side-by-side during the 2006 All-Star Game...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

The MLB Trade Deadline is always disappointing, especially in New York, where expectations are consistently sky high... even when selling not buying. However, to be fair, it helps to judge the Mets against how other teams did and how the Mets stacked up trading similar players that got moved by other teams.

In that context, I'm confident the Mets did well essentially swapping free-agents-to-be Lucas Duda and Addison Reed and prospects Merandy Gonzalez and Ricardo Cespedes for right-handed pitching prospects Drew Smith, Jamie Callahan, Gerson Bautista and Stephen Nogosek and big-league closer A.J. Ramos and his 92 career saves...

"We're pleased with how things developed and turned out over the course of the week," Mets GM Sandy Alderson said during a conference call after the deadline, during which he said his priority was helping his bullpen in 2018.

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Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed and Neil Walker, all of whom are eligible to free agents after the 2017 season (Credit: USA Today Sports)
Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed and Neil Walker, all of whom are eligible to free agents after the 2017 season (Credit: USA Today Sports)

Today is the "Trade Deadline," as it's known around MLB...

In other words, the Mets have until 4 pm ET today to trade Jay Bruce, Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Addison Reed, and anyone else they want to move, without having to first expose them the player to waivers.

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Jul 27, 2017; Bruce (19) is congratulated by Granderson (3) at Petco Park. Credit: Roth-USA TODAY
Jul 27, 2017; Bruce (19) is congratulated by Granderson (3) at Petco Park. Credit: Roth-USA TODAY

Jay Bruce, who is 30 years old, is tied for fourth in the National League with 26 home runs. He's owed roughly $5 million, due to be a free agent after the season, and is not drawing any significant interest in the trade market, a source recently told Newsday's Marc Carig.

Meanwhile, Curtis Granderson, who will also be a free agent this winter, is six years older than Bruce, has 13 fewer home runs and is due more money, yet teams have started showing interest in trading for him, according to MLB reporter Jon Heyman.

According to one team executive I talked with earlier this week, part of the issue with Bruce is that teams are putting less value on power because most teams already have it. This season, home runs are up across the entire league and for nearly every team. So, trading for a guy that is known for being only able to hit home runs is not something worth overpaying to get...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

It's feeling like the Mets may be missing the moment to make a trade. Admittedly, I started today worried they may botch the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, end up stuck with pending free agents and lose out on acquiring prospects and players who could help next season.

However, after talking to people around baseball, I'm slightly less pessimistic.

For starters, according to Ken Rosenthal, Mets GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets are willing to include cash in trades to get better prospects back in deals, sources with knowledge of the team's thinking said.

This is good news. It'll help push things through. And, I'm glad Alderson was able to convince ownership of this approach when the front office held a strategy session earlier this week.

Tags: Addison Reed, Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Steven Matz, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 18, 2017; Reyes reacts after failing to complete the double play. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 18, 2017; Reyes reacts after failing to complete the double play. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets were charged with three errors, which led to three unearned runs, during Tuesday's 5-0 loss to the Cardinals at Citi Field.

By the end of the game, T.J. Rivera had committed two errors, Jose Reyes misplayed a ground ball and bungled a double-play ball, Asdrubal Cabrera confused his feet on two throws to second, Yoenis Cespedes let a fly ball drift over his head and Lucas Duda dropped a pop up in foul ground. He also struggled to scoop several short hops at first base, but that is mostly due to the consistently poor throws coming to him from Rivera and Reyes.

"It was kind of ugly for us in the beginning," Reyes said.

The beginning? Try the middle and the end, too, Jose...

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Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)
Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)

Terry Collins said this past weekend that he isn't currently focused on the Wild Card race. Instead, he's preaching to his team a goal of getting to 90 wins.

"You can't just throw up the white flag and say the season is over,'' Collins said before losing on Sunday. "I said going into the break, let's win 51 of the 76 left. That's got to be our goal, get to 90 wins and see where we're at. I don't think for any stretch of the imagination that this is over yet.''

To win 90, the Mets must win 67 percent of their remaining games to go 49-24. In other words, they need to win every series they play, despite winning just half the series they have already played this season.

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The 2017 group of Mets infielders. Credit: USA Today Sports Images
The 2017 group of Mets infielders. Credit: USA Today Sports Images

Prior to last night's postponed game, Terry Collins expressed frustration with his team's fielding.

"When you're a team that relies on pitching the way we do, that's built the way we are, it's disappointing when your defense isn't sharp," he explained. "Every time we make a mistake, it seems like it always comes back to bite us."

The thing is, this is hardly a new issue...

In the span of three weeks in May and June, I argued that it was time for Sandy Alderson to make fielding and fundamentals a bigger priority when building his team...

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Apr 19, 2016; Cespedes (52) celebrates with Conforto (30) after hitting a home run. Credit: Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 19, 2016; Cespedes (52) celebrates with Conforto (30) after hitting a home run. Credit: Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In an effort to continue giving themselves a chance to win this season, but also work on improving the roster for next season, I wonder if the Mets will consider acquiring a pending free agent, such as Rangers C Jonathan Lucroy or Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen.

I realize this reads counterintuitively, and could possibly be foolish. However, in the event the Mets are considering signing Lucroy or trading for McCutchen this winter, is there a benefit to acquiring them and learning now how they handle New York? 

For instance, if the Mets have no interest in retaining, say, Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, and Asdrubal Cabrera, could they trade some of these guys for a collection of so-so prospects, which would add depth to the farm system and make it easier to trade for a player like McCutchen or Lucroy?

Teams set up to sell usually dump their higher-priced, pending free agents for high quality prospects, most of whom they intend to keep, nurture and use during future seasons. However, the Mets intend to compete for a World Series in 2018, and they still believe they can put up a fight in 2017...

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Rivera's RBI double 00:00:56
After an RBI single from Jay Bruce, T.J. Rivera brings Bruce home with an RBI double to give the Mets a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Mets infielder T.J. Rivera picked up three more hits and two RBI during Thursday's 6-3 win against the Marlins in Miami.

Rivera, 28, has at least three hits in eight of 57 starts during his big-league career. He also has 11 multi-hit games this season, during which he's batting .303.

The Mets demoted Rivera to Triple-A when Yoenis Cespedes was activated from the disabled list June 11. However, he rejoined the team two days later when Asdrubal Cabrera went on the DL.

Tags: TJ Rivera, Matthew Cerrone
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Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)
Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)

In case you haven't noticed, the Mets have picked up five games in seven days in the race for the final Wild Card spot. Last week, they trailed the Rockies by 13 losses. Today, they're eight back, thanks in large part to Colorado losing eight games in row.

At the same time, there are now just three games dividing the six closest teams chasing the Rockies, who lead the Cubs by only five losses.

The point is, things are tightening up. The Mets play seven of their next 10 games against teams that are below .500, after which they welcome the Rockies for three games at Citi Field. In other words, if the Rockies can keep in their current downward spiral, and continue losing in Queens, the National League could soon be in store for a pretty crazy, seven-team Wild Card race...

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DNL: Gsellman's injury 00:01:01
The Daily News Live panel discusses how much of an impact Robert Gsellman's injury will have on the Mets' injury plagued starting rotation

Robert Gsellman left Tuesday night's game in the fourth inning with a left hamstring strain.

He is expected to miss at least two-to-three weeks, though how long he's out will ultimately depend on the severity of the strain. In either case, it means both Tyler Pill and Rafael Montero could be in the team's rotation at the same time, depending on if Zack Wheeler is ready to return from the DL for Saturday.

I don't blame you for being confused. I'm confused. The roster is impossible to track.

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Collins, Gsellman on injuries 00:04:18
Terry Collins and Robert Gsellman discuss the injury Gsellman suffered tonight and where the Mets go from here in the rotation

It's the little things that kill a season, and the seventh inning last night felt like a microcosm of what is killing this team in 2017. I know, I know, it's the injuries too, but then it's the little things...

For instance, Travis d'Arnaud tied last night's game with a home run in the top of the seventh inning. Neil Ramirez then entered in relief for the Mets and began the bottom of the inning by walking Miami's leadoff batter, J.T. RealmutoJT Riddle then followed with a single to give the Marlins runners on first and third with no one out.

In relief of Ramirez, Jerry Blevins was called on to face pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki, who slapped a single on the ground to left field. Dee Gordon moved the runners up with a hit, and Giancarlo Stanton was intentionally walked to load the bases. Christian Yelich then hit a a 2-2 pitch up the middle to drive in two more runs and extend Miami's lead to 6-3, which would end up being the final score.

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Matthew Cerrone
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Jun 21, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins reacts during a MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers defeated the Mets 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jun 21, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins reacts during a MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers defeated the Mets 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Mets are doing it again, aren't they? By winning three in a row, despite still being significantly below .500 and a mile back from a postseason spot, they've got me running scenarios again and wondering what it will take for them to get back in a playoff race.

And, of course, I'm taking the bait. Because, as the Mets swept the Giants, the Rockies -- who lead for the second Wild Card -- lost five in a row.

I know, I know, the Mets beat up on the Giants, who have lost nine of their last 10, are the second worst team in the NL, and more or less a total mess and shadow of the team that beat the Mets in the Wild Card game last October...

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Terry Collins speaks to the media in San Diego during 2015. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY
Terry Collins speaks to the media in San Diego during 2015. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY

These last four days in Los Angeles have to rank among the worst four-day stretches in Mets history, at least in terms of playing baseball, getting beaten up, losing, and crushing everyone's hopes and dreams for a season as early as June.

The fact is, things already seemed bleak when they were just six games under .500, 10 back of the Nationals and 11 games back of the Wild Card, as the Mets were on Monday before starting their series against the Dodgers. 

However, after watching them get stomped on in Los Angeles, being outscored 36-11, having more players end up on the disabled list, and dropping to 10 games under .500, 12 back of Washington and 14 games away from a Wild Card, any shot at a successful season now feels impossible. And that sucks... It really does, because I still feel like this season never actually started.

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Collins on the recent struggles 00:04:24
Manager Terry Collins breaks down the recent struggles of Zack Wheeler and talks about how the Mets can improve.

"The Mets have some serious pitching talent," I wrote in Spring Training, moments after watching Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard simultaneously throw bullpen sessions in February. "I actually take it for granted. But when seeing them all lined up together, throwing side by side, it takes the realization to a different level."

I wish I owned a time machine. I also wish pitchers weren't so easily and routinely injured. The thing is, while I understand that injuries are part of the game, especially for pitchers, do they all need to also pitch poorly at the same time?

As intimated in my quote from February, this season's success was supposed to happen because of the starting pitching. This isn't my theory. It is the strategy that was repeatedly emphasized by Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and the starting pitchers themselves. Instead, the arms never showed up.

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Jun 6, 2017; Lucas Duda (21) on the field in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Heitman-USA TODAY
Jun 6, 2017; Lucas Duda (21) on the field in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Heitman-USA TODAY

Lucas Duda may end up being the most likely position player to be traded by the Mets, assuming Sandy Alderson decides to trade away an asset or two in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

In 48 games this season, Duda has 12 home runs and 21 RBI, while batting .244, but with a ..353 OBP and 0.8 WAR, according to FanGraphs.com. Also, by the time the deadline rolls around, he will only be due roughly $3-4 million through the rest of this season, after which he's eligible to be a free agent.

Tags: Lucas Duda, Matthew Cerrone
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Division title or Wild Card? 00:04:16
Jonas Schwartz, John Harper, Sal Licata and Peter Botte discuss what might be the best possible path to the postseason for the Mets.

The Diamondbacks and Rockies, who are currently leading the NL Wild Card race, are on pace to both win what would be 100 games -- which would be the most ever for a Wild Card team. This is why, despite winning six of their last 10 games, the Mets still lost ground in their pursuit of a third-straight postseason appearance.

To end this season with 100 wins, the Mets would need to go 69-25 the rest of the year, which is a .734 winning percentage. The Mets never played better than .650 baseball (during a 30-day stretch) when hot at the end of each of the last two seasons. 

In other words, to reach their third consecutive postseason in 2017, the Mets need to play a lot better than they did down the stretch in 2015 and 2016, plus do it with fewer healthy players and for a longer stretch of time...

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Collins, deGrom on Mets' win 00:06:21
Jacob deGrom and Terry Collins discuss deGrom's pitching performance and his first career home run in the Mets' 5-1 win over the Nationals.

During Sunday's series finale against the Nationals at Citi Field, Jacob deGrom did everything he could to get the Mets a win on a day that often felt like it might be the last relevant game of the season -- despite there being 95 left to go.

For starters, by getting a victory, he helped the Mets avoid being totally embarrassed by losing four games to the Nationals at home during a vital stretch of the season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matthew Cerrone
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Jun 2, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 2, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets are not 30-35 simply because of weak talent, spending, coaching, and executive action or inaction. Yes, all of the above is a factor, but the big culprit begins and ends on the disabled list.

The current DL is about to look like this, with six of these guys out another several weeks...

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40 years since the Seaver trade 00:00:40
SNY.tv looks back at the trade that sent Mets pitcher Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds.

In my book, "The Mets Fans' Bucket List," which published June 1, I detail 10 painful moments from the organization's history helped to create the #LOLMets experience...

Naturally, the "Midnight Massacre," which occurred 40 years ago today, is on the list...

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Apr 3, 2017; Fans wait in line outside Citi Field on Opening Day. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2017; Fans wait in line outside Citi Field on Opening Day. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I feel bad complaining, since the Mets have actually won five of their last seven games and appear in good position to keep winning against the Nationals this weekend.

Nevertheless, because this entire season - which is only 64 games old, by the way - has been so chaotic (Harvey's suspension, Mr. Met's finger, Terry's Omertà), so full of injuries and endless frustration, their recent winning is literally having zero impact on my ability to be hopeful about its outcome.

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Travis d'Arnaud (18) talks to Matt Harvey (33) in the fourth inning at Citi Field. Credit: Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Travis d'Arnaud (18) talks to Matt Harvey (33) in the fourth inning at Citi Field. Credit: Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Harvey told reporters he will see a doctor Thursday after experiencing arm fatigue during Wednesday's difficult start against the Cubs.

In just four innings pitched, Harvey tossed only 58 pitches and allowed four runs, including three home runs, while walking one batter in what was his shortest outing the season.

"I'm just pretty tired, my arm's just not working," he told reporters after the game. "In past games it's taken a while to get loose, that's kind of been the issue. But tonight, it got loose and kind of progressively felt really tired."

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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Jun 13, 2017; Smoker (49) pitches against the Cubs at Citi Field. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2017; Smoker (49) pitches against the Cubs at Citi Field. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mets LH reliever Josh Smoker entered during the second inning Tuesday and tossed four innings pitching in relief of Zack Wheeler.

In what was his longest relief appearance of the season, Smoker faced 21 batters, gave up six hits, struck out five batters, walked four and was charged with three earned runs.

"He saved us, because we could have burnt out a lot of pitching tonight," Terry Collins later said. "He went out there and pitched some tough innings and I appreciated it."

In his previous three relief appearances, Smoker combined to throw 75 pitches. He tossed a total of 81 pitches during his appearance Tuesday night.

Tags: Josh Smoker, Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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