Despite loud arguments about spending, budgets and business strategy, the Mets still have a roster to fill. Whether payroll goes up or down, Opening Day is fewer than 100 days away, and nothing is going to change that.

Here are 12 rumors and ideas I've heard direct from MLB insiders during the last week:

Bullpen market

There is still an available supply of quality mid-level relievers in the free-agent market, all of whom are likely to accept a one year deal in the range of $4-8 million. However, on the trade front, the Padres would rather keep reliever Brad Hand and field offers at the trade deadline. The same can now be said for the Tigers and Shane Greene.

Jay Bruce

The Giants have interest in signing Bruce, but they are more focused on finding a center fielder.



I also think teams would rather sign Carlos Gonzalez to a one-year deal than ink Bruce to a three-year contract.

Second base

The Mets appear to be the only active team looking for a second baseman, though the market is well aware they have an internal fall-back option with Asdrubal Cabrera. The Dodgers, Jays and Brewers have also checked in on second baseman, but it's far from their top priority.

The Rays may be Sandy Alderson's backup option to trade for a second baseman.

The Phillies do not want to trade Cesar Hernandez for prospects. Instead, they want to package him with a prospect and acquire a high-quality pitcher under team control. If they don't get the right pitcher back via trade, I suspect they'll start playing him at third base sometimes next season to make room for elite 2B prospect Scott Kingery.



By the way, I'm hearing Todd Frazier is pitching himself to teams as a character guy capable of playing corner outfield, first base, third base and, you guessed it, second base.

Mike Moustakas

If the Cardinals are unable to trade for Manny Machado or Josh Donaldson, it doesn't mean they'll move sign Mike Moustakas. I think they'd rather stick with Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter than add Moustakas and a long-term deal.

Center field

Jacoby Ellsbury may be a nice platoon partner for Juan Lagares, but the Yankees are only willing to pay one-third of his salary, which would only reduce him to a $15 million player. Ellsbury struggled after suffering a concussion in late May. However, during the season's final 33 games, he hit .327 with a .417 OBP, 13 extra-base hits and six stolen bases.

Ellsbury is 34 years old and under contract the next three years at $21 million each season.



The Pirates will likely trade Andrew McCutchen this winter. He rebounded to be worth double the $15 million salary he earned. He'll earn another $15 million next season, after which he's a free agent. They tried to move him last winter, but no one wanted to take the risk. If the Pirates wait and he struggles to start next season, again they'll be unable to trade him. 

The Marlins hope to package Martin Prado and his two-year, $28 million contract in any deal for outfielder Christin Yellich, who will still cost a team top prospects.

Eric Hosmer

The Padres are the only team seemingly interested in giving Hosmer a multi-year deal. As a result, I'm hearing speculation Hosmer may need to settle for a one-year deal and return to the Royals. At that level, though, I can envision the Mets, Yankees and Cardinals showing at least some interest.



Hosmer's agent, Scott Boras, has spent all winter talking up Hosmer's fielding and leadership skills, which speaks to his struggle to create a perfect fit.

Miscellaneous

Free-agent catcher A.J. Ellis would be a great mentor to Travis d'Arnaud.

I feel bad for Lucas Duda, who has been waiting seven years to be a free agent only to end up in the worst free-agent market for first basemen and designated hitters that I've ever seen.

Duda, 31, hit nearly 100 home runs over the last four years yet could be looking at a one-year deal paying him the same (or less) money he earned in 2017.


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the host of SNY's MetsBlog Q&ACast and the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!


Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

A look at where Mets ace Jacob deGrom's dominant season ranks in the top 10 of the last 50 years.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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See everyone deGrom struck out! 00:00:36
Mets ace Jacob deGrom struck out A LOT of people in 2018, will it be enough to win the Cy Young Award on Wednesday?

Mets ace Jacob deGrom struck out a lot of people in 2018. Will it be enough to win the Cy Young Award on Wednesday?

DeGromination Day -- a celebration of Jacob deGrom -- begins Wednesday at Noon on SNY, followed by live coverage on Baseball Night in New York after the announcement.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Jacob deGrom (48) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jacob deGrom (48) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

You might recall that R.A. Dickey's Cy Young Award in 2012 resulted not in a celebration but a quarrel between player and team that ended in the Mets trading Dickey to the Blue Jays before the end of the year.

You might also recall that, last July, when Jacob deGrom's then-agent Brodie Van Wagenen called on the Mets to either extend or consider trading the ace, a well-placed source predicted to us that it would end in a "trade in the offseason."

DeGrom, it seemed at the time, was going the way of Dickey -- a top pitcher at first willing to stay in New York long-term, but ultimately used as a rebuilding chip.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Andy Martino
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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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Comparing Mets Cy Young winners 00:00:37
Jacob deGrom has the chance to become the New York Mets' sixth Cy Young award winner. Watch deGromination Day on SNY Wednesday, 11/14/2018.

Jacob deGrom has the chance to become the New York Mets' sixth Cy Young award winner when the results are announced on Wednesday night.

Watch deGromination Day on SNY on Wednesday, starting at noon!

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jacob deGrom said during the All-Star break this past season that he "loved" playing for the Mets and was open to signing a long-term extension.

Those comments came after then-agent and now-Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen made waves by suggesting the Mets should extend deGrom or trade him. And with his agent now his GM and the season in the rearview mirror, deGrom is still open to discussing an extension.

"I think anybody is open to an extension if it's right for you and your family," deGrom told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "Nothing is guaranteed in this game until you sign that deal or hit free agency and sign a deal there. You just have to sit down and, at the end of the day, look at what's right for you and your family and kind of make a decision based upon that."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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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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Jacob deGrom dominates 2018 00:01:29
Re-live the dominating moments of 2018 for Jacob deGrom, as the New York Mets ace looks to win the Cy Young Award on Wednesday.

Re-live the dominating moments of 2018 for Jacob deGrom, as the New York Mets ace looks to win the Cy Young Award on Wednesday.

SNY's celebration of deGrom beings at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14 on SNY!

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Jun 18, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) reacts after his inside the park home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Jun 18, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) reacts after his inside the park home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Mets OF Brandon Nimmo thinks the Mets are "getting the best of both worlds" with agent-turned-GM Brodie Van Wagenen.  

"I think you're gonna get someone who's really in to the analytics -- knows how to read 'em -- but also has that baseball mindset where he's gonna let the analytics kind of help him make baseball decisions and not the other way around," Nimmo said. "So I think we're getting the best of both worlds in that. I'm excited to see what he's gonna do."

Nimmo, who said he has spoken with Van Wagenen, cited his intelligence, but also seemed excited that the new GM had played the game before -- with Nimmo saying Van Wagenen was an injury shy of playing in the pros...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Tim Tebow, Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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deGrom's Cy Young-worthy ERA 00:00:32
Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom posted some elite numbers in 2018. Here's a look of how his ERA stacks up to other Cy Young starting pitchers.

Mets ace Jacob deGrom posted some elite numbers in 2018. In preparation for "DeGromination Day," here's a look of how his ERA stacks up to other Cy Young starting pitchers...

SNY's celebration of deGrom beings at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14 on SNY!

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Every Sunday, we'll be taking a look at how notable Mets prospects are faring in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL features some of the best prospects in baseball and its regular season runs through Nov. 15. The Championship Game is Nov. 17. 


Peter Alonso, 1B

The 23-year-old Alonso has cooled off significantly as the AFL winds down, with his line down to .221/.306/.442 in 24 games...

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Coming off a down year where he was limited to just 102 games because of a shoulder injury, the Cubs are open to trading 3B Kris Bryant, reports ESPN's Buster Olney.

According to Olney, The Cubs -- who have failed to agree on a long-term extension with Bryant, who is repped by Scott Boras -- could trade Bryant this winter.

With Bryant and Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard both arbitration-eligible through 2021 before being eligible for free agency, a swap of the two could make sense...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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Aug 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom has watched Brodie Van Wagenen transition from his agent to his general manager, but the Mets' ace is optimistic about the future of the team under new leadership.

"I honestly think he's going to do a good job at this," deGrom said, per MLB.com. "You hear all of this conflict-of-interest stuff. I don't really know how to feel on that part of it. But I truly do believe he is going to be rooting for every player on our team, and try to help them out the best he can."

Van Wagenen, who as deGrom's agent this summer said that the Mets should either extend him or "consider trade opportunities," was happy to hear the right-hander's comments about his new role as general manager.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Keith Hernandez talks baseball 00:04:07
SNY's Steve Gelbs catches up with Keith Hernandez at his Gold Glove Hall of Fame induction to talk defense, Van Wagenen, deGrom and Hadji

SNY's Steve Gelbs catches up with Keith Hernandez at his Gold Glove Hall of Fame induction to talk defense, Brodie Van Wagenen, Jacob deGrom, and Hadji.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Chase Utley, who tormented the Mets as a member of the Phillies from 2003 to the middle of 2015 and broke Ruben Tejada's leg with a dirty "slide" in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS as a Dodger, was released by the Dodgers Friday to facilitate his official retirement.

Utley, 39, announced during the season that it would be his last. 

The season after breaking Tejada's leg in the NLDS, Utley was thrown behind at Citi Field by Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. That moment led to Syndergaard's ejection and the now-infamous 'ass-in-the-jackpot' argument between crew chief Tom Hallion and then-Mets manager Terry Collins...

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Aug 17, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) tosses his bat after hitting a home run against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Buchanan)
Aug 17, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) tosses his bat after hitting a home run against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Buchanan)

SNY's Andy Martino has been reporting that the Mets are not expected to sign free agent Manny Machado, and Jon Heyman of FanCred shed some more light on the Mets/Machado non-situation on Friday. Heyman noted that the Mets are "not seen as a player" for Machado, adding that the "sense is that they don't see him as the right player to spend big on."

The 26-year-old Machado could command a deal of 10 or more years worth $300 million or more. A potential Machado deal could also include one or multiple opt-outs. 

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | If ever there was a "right player to spend big on" for the Mets at this point in time, it can be argued that it's Manny Machado. There could be legitimate reasons why the Mets don't think Machado is a fit -- and it would be interesting to hear those reasons. But on the surface, Machado seems like the perfect player at the perfect time for the Mets. Some reasons why...

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J.P. Ricciardi (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) (Keith Srakocic/AP)
J.P. Ricciardi (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) (Keith Srakocic/AP)

The Mets announced Friday that the club and special assistant to the GM J.P. Ricciardi have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately.

"The Mets are grateful for all J.P. has brought to the team over the last eight seasons and we wish him all the best going forward," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. "He was and will continue to be a friend. J.P. was instrumental in identifying and bringing talent to the Mets that helped develop our growth throughout the entire system and stepped up to play an even larger role when we needed him over the time Sandy had to step away."

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported earlier Friday that the Athletics could be a landing spot for Ricciardi...

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Sep 25, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) is congratulated by first baseman Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting the game winning home run against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 25, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) is congratulated by first baseman Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting the game winning home run against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter | Why is it that the more Brodie Van Wagenen insists Travis d'Arnaud could still be a big part of the Mets' catching solution, the more I think of Bubba Crosby.

For the most part, Van Wagenen has made a good early impression in his transition from agent to the Mets' front office, and falling into GM-speak is to be expected, but one thing fans don't want to hear is that all is well on the catching front.

Yet the new GM has spoken excitedly of d'Arnaud's potential, even coming off Tommy John surgery, as if the last five seasons hadn't already happened...

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, John Harper
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Aug 25, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) hits a solo home run against the Washington Nationals during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 25, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) hits a solo home run against the Washington Nationals during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets shortstop Amed Rosario went homerless in the final 15 games of the 2018 regular season. But he's working on his power in Japan.

In the second game of the Japan All-Star Series, a best-of-six series between the two sides, Rosario went 3-for-4 with a mammoth home run at Tokyo Dome.

Watch below:

Tags: Amed Rosario
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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 2018 GM Meetings in Carlsbad, CA have officially come to a close on Thursday, with each team's GM heading back to their respective cities to gear up for the Winter Meetings next month. 

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen was at the meetings for the first time in his new role, and though he had to walk back a few comments, we learned a lot about what he plans on doing this offseason. Also, SNY's Andy Martino got some inside scoops on what players the Mets could be targeting as well.

Here are the top storylines from the meetings...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard
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Matz talks Mets' new GM 00:00:18
Mets' starting pitcher Steven Matz reveals that new GM Brodie Van Wagenen reached out to him, and that he's excited about the hire

Mets' starting pitcher Steven Matz revealed that new GM Brodie Van Wagenen reached out to him, and that he's excited about the hire.

"I think it's a unique situation for sure," Matz said Thursday night at his Tru32 charity bowling event in Times Square. "I think we're all excited about it. Like I said he reached out to me, which is really cool, and I'm sure he's doing that to all the other guys as well. I think everybody is excited. It's a new year, we got Brodie coming in and let's see what he can do."

Matz hosted "Strikes with Steven," an event to raise scholarship money for children of New York City first responders who have died in the line of duty.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Sep 15, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (44) records a base hit against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)
Sep 15, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (44) records a base hit against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)

The Diamondbacks appear to be open for business, and according to Fancred Sports' Jon Heyman, that includes 1B Paul Goldschmidt

With the Mets needing a solid everyday starter at first base, should GM Brodie Van Wagenen make a push for the 31-year-old veteran?

At the moment, the Mets do have a few options at first. Jay Bruce and Dominic Smith can both play the position on the current big league roster, with Bruce's injury history and the Mets testing Smith in the outfield, they don't look to be their first baseman of the future. 

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Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) throws to first for an out against Boston Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt (not pictured) in the second inning in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)
Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) throws to first for an out against Boston Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt (not pictured) in the second inning in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)

The Mets' biggest need this offseason is arguably finding an upgrade at catcher, and they have expressed interest in signing free agent Yasmani Grandal, reports Jon Morosi of Fox Sports

Aside from Grandal, the other high-impact free agent catcher on the market is Wilson Ramos, who could reportedly sign relatively early. And the Mets have checked in on Ramos and defensive-minded Martin Maldonado, according to Jon Heyman of FanCred

On the trade market is J.T. Realmuto, who is the best overall catcher in baseball, but who would likely coast a ton in terms of prospects...

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Van Wagenen talks deGrom deal 00:02:30
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen hints that he would like to keep star pitcher Jacob deGrom after his contract expires

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen reiterated on Thursday at the GM Meetings his desire to try to keep Jacob deGrom long-term.

"I've remained steadfast there that I think he's tremendous and would love to try to keep him if it's possible," Van Wagenen said. "We'll explore that in the coming weeks."

Van Wagenen noted that while the team remains open to a long-term deal with deGrom -- who is under team control through the 2020 season -- official talks have not started.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Sep 27, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller (24) pitches against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports (Jay Biggerstaff)
Sep 27, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller (24) pitches against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports (Jay Biggerstaff)

The Mets and Yankees have requested the medicals for free agent LH reliever Andrew Miller, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

In addition to the Mets and Yankees, many other teams have requested the medicals for Miller, who Martino suggests should be able to get a two-year deal. 

The 33-year-old Miller had a 4.24 ERA (3.51 FIP) and 1.38 WHIP with 45 strikeouts in 34 innings (37 games) this past season. It was the first year since 2013 where Miller's WHIP was above 1.00.

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Aug 5, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera (13) hits a two RBI home run in front of Miami Marlins catcher Bryan Holaday (28) during the eighth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Aug 5, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera (13) hits a two RBI home run in front of Miami Marlins catcher Bryan Holaday (28) during the eighth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets have met with the representative for free agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post, who says the Mets are seeking a player who can play second base (either as a starter or reserve) while also giving the team a backup shortstop option. The soon-to-be 33-year-old Cabrera hit .262/.316/.458 with 23 homers in 147 games last season split between the Mets and Phillies, who the Mets traded him to for RHP Franklyn Kilome

While the Mets have Jeff McNeil "penciled in" as their second baseman, according to GM Brodie Van Wagenen, they are in need of a backup shortstop since Jose Reyes' Mets career is over.

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | If the Mets are truly interested, a reunion with Cabrera as a jack-of-all-trades who can fill in at second base, shortstop, and third base makes sense. As someone who would potentially start on a team that hopes to contend, it does not...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Gavin Cecchini, Jose Reyes, Luis Guillorme, Wilmer Flores
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Aug 3, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; St. Lucie Mets left fielder Tim Tebow (15) leaves the dugout prior to the game against the Tampa Yankees at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Aug 3, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; St. Lucie Mets left fielder Tim Tebow (15) leaves the dugout prior to the game against the Tampa Yankees at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

On Tuesday, GM Brodie Van Wagenen would not rule out the possibility that Tim Tebow would be on the Mets' Opening Day roster.

Van Wagenen seemed to simply be covering all bases, speaking in generalities about a host of topics. But on Wednesday, he clarified his comments about Tebow, saying the full expectation is that Tebow will start 2019 with Triple-A Syracuse. 

"Knowing Tim Tebow, if you say he can't do something, he's just going to work that much harder to try to prove you wrong," Van Wagenen said. "But for Tim our full expectation is that he will start in Syracuse. That's a great next step for him. Clearly he had his season cut short last year, so his momentum was stopped a little bit, but I have every expectation that he will pick that momentum right back up."

Tags: Tim Tebow, Danny Abriano
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In the latest episode of Shea Anything, Doug Williams is joined in studio by former Mets Senior Director of Baseball Operations Adam Fisher, as Andy Martino calls in from the GM Meetings in California. The guys react to Brodie Van Wagenen's comments about Peter Alonso and look into the coaching changes announced by the new Mets GM. They also cover what really goes down at the GM Meetings, and what to look forward to the next few weeks of the offseason.

Don't forget - we want hear from you! Go to SNY.tv/SheaAnything and upload a video or audio clip of your take on the Mets. Keep it to 30 seconds or less, make it good, and you may be on the show!

Click below to listen...

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Van Wagenen talks Boras, Tebow 00:02:37
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen reveals he has actually met Scott Boras and updates his position on trading Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.

On Tuesday, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen told SNY's Andy Martino that he was open to all avenues this offseason, including the prospect of trading away the team's two top rotation arms in Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.. 

Well, that's not exactly what he meant. 

During his media session at the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, CA on Wednesday, Van Wagenen walked back on that claim, saying both righty aces are extremely valuable to the franchise, and a deal won't be getting done. At least, not by the end of the meetings.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard
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Aug 22, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (68) hits an RBI single against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 22, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (68) hits an RBI single against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said on Wednesday that 26-year-old second baseman Jeff McNeil is "penciled in" to start at second base.

McNeil made the most of his first major league stint last season when he hit .329/.471/.852 with 11 doubles, six triples, three homers, and 19 RBI in 63 games.

McNeil, whose success came during the second half of the season as he filled the void left by Asdrubal Cabrera, also impressed defensively.

Prior to his promotion, McNeil spent five and a half seasons making his way through the ranks of the Mets' minor league system. In 88 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season, he hit .342/.411/.617 with 19 homers and 71 RBI.

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Apr 3, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Sports agent Scott Boras watches batting practice during a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Apr 3, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Sports agent Scott Boras watches batting practice during a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Scott Boras is a household name when it comes to top agents in the MLB. And during his time with CAA, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen was another big-time agent in the league. 

But, to everyone's surprise at the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, CA, Boras said he has never once spoken to Van Wagenen.

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Jul 11, 2018; Trenton, NJ, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies outfielder Tim Tebow (15) warms up for batting practice prior to the game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jul 11, 2018; Trenton, NJ, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies outfielder Tim Tebow (15) warms up for batting practice prior to the game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Speaking on Tuesday, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen would not rule out the possibility of minor-leaguer and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow making the team's Opening Day roster in 2019.

Frankly, my initial reaction to this comment was laughter and a gigantic eye roll. 

In terms of his baseball talent, Tebow is developing well for a prospect. The thing is, he's 31 years old and has yet to get an at-bat above Double-A. This alone is reason to doubt his upward mobility. Then I stopped laughing, though, and remembered this past spring training and the impact Tebow had on camp and, I thought, you know, maybe Tebow on the Mets in 2019 is not that crazy...

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Apr 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis (30) during batting practice prior to a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Apr 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis (30) during batting practice prior to a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Mets are planning to conduct bench coach interviews next week, before diving into their search to replace fired hitting coach Pat Roessler. But Chili Davis, recently axed by the Cubs, is on their early list for hitting coach, according to major league sources.

Following a 19-year MLB playing career, Davis has served as hitting coach for the A's, Red Sox and Cubs. Chicago fired him after the 2018 season.

Candidates for the bench coach position include former managers Jim Riggleman and Pete Mackanin.

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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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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)

The Braves have a "strong offer on the table" to trade for Marlins C J.T. Realmuto, reports Craig Mish of SiriusXM.

Mish, who said the Marlins are operating as though a trade -- to the Braves or elsewhere -- is likely to happen, with the asking price reportedly being a "high-end" young pitching prospect and a position player.

The 27-year-old Realmuto is eligible for arbitration in 2019 and 2020, after which he can be a free agent. MLBTradeRumors projects Realmuto will make $6.1 million in 2019, which would be a ridiculous bargain for whoever he plays for.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Oct 25, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller reacts after striking out Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross (not pictured) to end the top of the 7th inning in game one of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 25, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller reacts after striking out Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross (not pictured) to end the top of the 7th inning in game one of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | TwitterBoth the Mets and Yankees have expressed interest in free agent reliever Andrew Miller, but he is not close to a deal with either team.

Coming off a down year caused by patellar tendinitis in his left knee, Miller is seeking a multi-year deal, according to major league sources. Interested teams are waiting to see if the medicals give them pause, and hope that an offseason of rest will restore Miller's health.

The Yankees like Miller because they know him, and considered him an especially good clubhouse presence during his first go-around with the team. They are also looking to maintain a dominant pen despite the potential departures of Zach Britton and David Robertson...

Tags: Andrew Miller, Andy Martino
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Aug 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler had a breakout season in 2018, with his incredible second half performance stacking up with those of some of the best pitchers in the game -- including teammate Jacob deGrom

With Wheeler set to hit free agency after the 2019 season, GM Brodie Van Wagenen was asked Tuesday at the GM Meetings whether he's gotten any indication Wheeler and his agents are open to doing anything long-term. 

"I'll be meeting with his representatives down here, as I'll be meeting with a lot of the different agents that represent our current roster," Van Wagenen said. "But I'll be meeting with his camp here in the coming days." 

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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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)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Getting an upgrade at catcher should be one of the main goals for the Mets this offseason, as new GM Brodie Van Wagenen looks to add to what he believes is a strong core -- with the aim being to win now.

Kevin Plawecki hit .210/.315/.370 with seven homers in 79 games in 2018 while playing average defense. That .370 slugging percentage put him in the middle of the pack for all catchers. But while he may still have some room to grow, Plawecki profiles better as a backup, and will likely be in that role in 2019 with the team potentially non-tendering Travis d'Arnaud, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Mets don't have any answers at catcher in the upper levels of the minors, so -- if Plawecki isn't the starter -- they'll need to go outside the organization for their 2019 everyday catcher...

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, Danny Abriano
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Cashman respects GM Van Wagenen 00:02:55
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman discusses his relationship with new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen and if they could be trade partners.

During Brodie Van Wagenen's days as an agent, he has had to deal with Yankees GM Brian Cashman on numerous. Now, the Mets GM will be interacting with his newly-found crosstown rival as his equal. 

Cashman had nothing but kind words for Van Wagenen when asked about his new role during the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, CA.

"My deals with Brodie Van Wagenen as an agent has always been positive, transparent, very communicative, trustworthy," Cashman said. "So I think all those types of characteristics are great qualities of leadership...He was someone to easily pick the phone up and deal with. So, if you're an owner and he was able to have those things resonate with the Wilpons which clearly he did, that's the atmosphere of somebody you want to work with."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Scott Thompson
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Van Wagenen open to trading aces 00:05:06
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen discusses how he isn't ruling out trading aces Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard for the right price.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has expressed his want to win next season, and he is exploring all avenues to create a roster to achieve that goal.

And all avenues includes the prospect of trading RHP Jacob deGrom and RHP Noah Syndergaard

In an in-depth interview with SNY's Andy Martino at the GM Meetings, Van Wagenen responded to Martino's question about a potential trade for deGrom or Syndergaard saying nothing has been taken out of the cards just yet. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard
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Feb. 2018: Mets 1B prospect Peter Alonso takes BP in St. Lucie. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog
Feb. 2018: Mets 1B prospect Peter Alonso takes BP in St. Lucie. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog

Mets prospect Peter Alonso can sure hit the ball, but questions remain about his defense. 

However, Brodie Van Wagenen does not anticipate the Mets potentially moving the first baseman to the outfield. 

In an in-depth interview with SNY's Andy Martino on Tuesday, Van Wagenen explained that he sees the 23-year-old improving in the field. 

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud
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Eastern Division's Tim Tebow walks to talk to the third base coach during the second inning of the Eastern League All-Star minor league baseball game, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
Eastern Division's Tim Tebow walks to talk to the third base coach during the second inning of the Eastern League All-Star minor league baseball game, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

We could be inching closer to Tebow Time in Queens. 

Tim Tebow, 31, is likely to start 2019 at Triple-A Syracuse, but Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen would not rule out the possibility that the former Heisman Trophy winner could be on the Mets' Opening Day roster, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. 

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Sep 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) tips his cap to the crowd after a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) tips his cap to the crowd after a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

During another media session at the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, CA, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen touched on many of his current players, including 3B David Wright

Wright still holds a spot on the 40-man roster, but his role with the team next season is still up in the air. Van Wagenen said he has been talking with Wright "regularly," and hopes they can discuss what that new role might be down the road.

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Tags: David Wright
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | CARLSBAD, Calif. -- It's too early in both the offseason and Brodie Van Wagenen's tenure as GM to say definitively what the Mets' free agent strategy this winter will be, but the team is weighing high-profile bullpen acquisitions as a way to contend in 2019.

With a thin pen and no obvious closer on the roster, the Mets are considering pursuing impact relievers like Craig Kimbrel, Zach Britton, David Robertson, Adam Ottavino and Andrew Miller, according to major league sources. After a down year, Miller could be available on a one-year deal.

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Sep 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos (40) walks to the plate to bat during the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos (40) walks to the plate to bat during the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Free agent catcher Wilson Ramos, who the Mets could pursue as they look to strengthen one of their weakest positions, could sign relatively early, reports Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com

As far as what Ramos will get on the open market, Jon Heyman of FanCred recently predicted he'll get $9 million for one year, with an expert Heyman spoke to predicting $10 million for one year.

Morosi is more bullish on what Ramos could get in terms of years, suggesting he could sign a two or three-year deal worth roughly $10 million annually...

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USA infielder Peter Alonso hits a two-run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Park. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
USA infielder Peter Alonso hits a two-run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Park. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

A few hours after GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Monday that Peter Alonso would have a chance to be the Mets' Opening Day first baseman in 2019, the prospect blasted his fifth homer of the Arizona Fall League.

Click below to see...

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Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Mets prospect Peter Alonso has continued demolishing baseballs during the Arizona Fall League after crushing 36 homers in 132 games in the minors this season, and GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Monday that Alonso will have a chance to win the first base job in Spring Training.

"He is a really hard worker and he has a burning desire to succeed, and he communicated that very clearly to me," Van Wagenen said during the first day of the GM meetings in Carslbad, CA. "I told him that we're gonna give him every opportunity to try to capitalize on that both in the short term and the long term. "

The 23-year-old Alonso, who had dinner with Van Wagenen last week in Arizona, hit .285/.395/.579 between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas in 2018 as he continued to work on his defense at first base...

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Sep 26, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman (35) stands on the dugout steps in the game against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Sep 26, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman (35) stands on the dugout steps in the game against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The Mets reportedly reached out to former MLB manager Jim Riggleman for their bench coach vacancy, according to Fancred Sports' Jon Heyman.

This is a move that John Harper had suggested might be good for Mickey Callaway and the team.

Riggleman, 65, was the Reds' interim manager this season after Cincinnati fired Bryan Price. He formerly managed the Padres from 1992 to 1994, Cubs from 1995 to 1999, Mariners on an interim basis in 2008 and the Nationals from 2009 to 2011, going 726-904 in his managing career.

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Van Wagenen addresses media 00:02:56
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen met the media at the GM meetings, where he discussed prospect Peter Alonso and the Mets' coaching changes

The Mets on Monday announced they would not retain hitting coach Pat Roessler and would reassign bullpen coach Ricky Bones. But new GM Brodie Van Wagenen wasn't done announcing changes to New York's coaching staff.

Van Wagenen, speaking at GM Meetings on Monday, said former first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr. would move into a role with the front office, Gary Disarcina would move from bench coach to third base coach and third base coach Glenn Sherlock would be the team's new first base coach.

Amaro, 53, had only spent three seasons as a first base coach -- two with the Red Sox from 2016 to 2017 and last season under Mickey Callaway. Prior to that, Amaro had spent more than a decade in the Phillies front office, serving as their general manager from 2008 to 2015.

"He can be a valuable asset for me in the front office," Van Wagenen said of Amaro.

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