The minor league regular season ended on Monday, so it's time for the final stock watch, a monthly look at the Mets pre-season Top 41 prospects. We did this routine in May and June, and July.

(Again, guys who were not on the preseason Top 41 (Matt Reynolds, Jhoan Urena, Michael Conforto, etc.) will get their own post soon.)


1. RHP Noah Syndergaard

Stock: Still the best in the system

Syndergaard's last nine games were pretty good: 2.61 ERA and 58 strikeouts (28 percent ) against 17 walks (8.2 percent) in 48 1/3 innings, while allowing opponents to hit .262/.340/.344. At 133 innings this year, plus a playoff start, most likely, Syndergaard should be up near 175 innings as his limit in 2015.

2. C Travis d’Arnaud

Stock: Up - he's graduated.

Travis d’Arnaud has hit .264/.305/.472 with 12 doubles, a triple and nine home runs with 10 walks (4.8 percent) and 29 strikeouts (13.8 percent) in 53 games since his return from Triple-A. That's a distinct, low-walk, low-strikeout profile.

3. RHP Rafael Montero

Stock: In neutral

He's bounced between Triple-A and the big leagues in the last month and for the most part done OK. It's hard to see an impact starter here, but maybe there's a MLB starter in here.

4. OF Cesar Puello

Stock: Down

In his last 12 games since August 18, Puello has hit a scorching .364/.472/.659 with five walks, four HBP, and 11 strikeouts. He still finished the season by hitting .252/.355/.393 in 104 games at age-23 in his first exposure to Triple-A. Oh, and he hit .312/.409/.532 in 127 PA against lefties. Platoon piece anyone?

5. INF Wilmer Flores

Stock: Still auditioning in the big leagues.

So, the Mets have given Flores a chance to play almost everyday and in the last 31 games, just past his 21st birthday, he has hit .247/.286/.323 with four walks and seven strikeouts.

6. CF Brandon Nimmo

Stock: Up.

After finishing up the first half at .322/.448/.458 in the Florida State League, Nimmo earned his promotion to Double-A Binghamton. Now pretty clearly the top position player in the system, the 21-year-old hit .263/.330/.394 in 26 games in August. Worth pointing out here: for the year, Nimmo hit .304/.419/.485 against righties and .232/.347/.317 against lefties.

7. LHP Steven Matz

Stock: Up

Did you realize how good Matz was in August? Did you!? In five starts, the southpaw had a 0.90 ERA, with 24 hits, four runs -- three earned -- with 32 strikeouts (28 percent) against five walks (4 percent) in 30 innings. He's worked on his command and his curveball, and he's the best Mets pitching prospect not named Noah.

8. 1B Dominic Smith

Stock: Resting comfortably

Smith did not finish particularly well, hitting .218/.306/.333 in 24 games in August, but he did show strike zone control (10 BB and 13 K) and connected for his first triple and his first hom erun. He finished his age-19 season in Savannah, at .271/.344/.338 in 126 games.

9. SS Amed Rosario

Stock: Unchanged

The teenager finished his time in Brooklyn at .289/.337/.380 with a 16 percent strikeout rate and a 6 percent walk rate he was consistent across his time in Brooklyn, running OPSes between .702 and .737 for each month as a Cyclone. He was given a chance in Savannah in May, and the game looked fast for him. Now he's back for the SAL playoffs. The teenager is very focused on hitting to the opposite field, as his heat map from MLBFarm.com makes plain.

10. 2B Dilson Herrera

Stock: Up.

He's a big leaguer! Working as the youngest position player in Double-A, Herrera hit .340/.406/.560 with a 10.4 percent walk rate and a 19 percent strikeout rate. His 166 wRC+ was second in the league to the Red Sox Mookie Bets among all batters with at least 150 PA. In short, he was ridiculously good. I wrote about the 20-year-old at more length here. There's an everyday second baseman in here, and maybe an All-Star level guy if everything clicks.


11. C Kevin Plawecki

Stock: Up

Plawecki finished with a solid August at .305/.356/.432 in 15 games to finish his first 43 games in Triple-A at .283/.345/.421 with 14 walks against 21 strikeouts. He could be a cheap backup to Travis d'Arnaud as soon as next year. The Mets seem pleased by his progress defensively as we discussed here.

12. SS Gavin Cecchini

Stock: Oh, boy.

After a ghastly July (.163/.230/.239, 3 XBH, 8 BB, 16 K in 27 games) Cecchini rebounded with a beastly August for St. Lucie: .286/.403/.459 with 10 XBH, and 21 walks against 14 strikeouts. The 20-year-old is up in Double-A for the Binghamton playoff run, and given his finish to the season, looks ready to start there in 2015.

We discussed him in the mid-season promotion feature. In short, there’s a big leaguer in here, but his bat will have to keep improving for me to think there’s an above-average everyday guy.

13. RHP Gabriel Ynoa

Stock: Holding

Ynoa finished off his first look at Double-A with three straight seven-inning starts to conclude the year. However, in 11 starts, he struck out just 42 batters in 66 1/3 innings, a scary-low rate of 15 percent for the fly-ball oriented 21-year-old. Our feature on him is here.

14. RHP Michael Fulmer

Stock: Slipping

Fulmer was solid in the FSL, and earned one start in Double-A, on August 19, which did not go well (3 1/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 HR, 3 BB, 1 K). After that outing, he was diagnosed with bone chips in his right elbow that ended the former supplemental first-rounder's year.

15. RHP Vic Black

Stock: Up and gone.

He’s a big leaguer now. (Unchanged since July.)

16. RHP Jacob deGrom

Stock: Up and gone.

He’s a big leaguer now. (Unchanged since July.)

17. RHP Domingo Tapia

Stock: Down.

Repeating the FSL, Tapia struck out 56 and walked 51. It's time to put him into the bullpen and see if the results improve.

18. RHP Jeff Walters

Stock: Down

Walthers, who was added to the 40-man roster in the fall, was ineffective in Triple-A and then had Tommy John surgery. (Unchanged since July.)

19. RHP Cory Mazzoni

Stock: Down

Mazzoni ran a crazy 41/2 K/BB in August on his way to a 4.30 ERA for Las Vegas. He'll go to the Arizona Fall League to continue his 2014 after the 51s season ends, but with little record of durability or success at the minors' highest levels, I think he's headed for the bullpen for his MLB career.

20. LHP Jack Leathersich

Stock: Down

When the Mets needed a left-hander for the big league bullpen, they called on Dario Alvarez and his 5 2/3 innings above Single-A over Leathersich and his two years in Double-A. Ouch.


21. RHP Luis Mateo

Stock: Down

Mateo’s Tommy John rehab tour stalled in Brooklyn where, at last check, he was throwing “lots” of 89-90 mph fastballs. The Mets basically sent him home. Not good.

22. CF Champ Stuart

Stock: Up

Stuart had a poor August in terms of batting average, as he hit .220/.261/.321 with five walks against 39 strikeouts as he expanded the zone and chase early and often. He also let his swing get long. It felt, for a period, as though he was starting every count at 0-2. And yet, his modest isolated slugging percentage of .101 was his highest in any month of more than 10 games this year. The speedster will head to St. Lucie to begin 2015. His speed and defense could very well get him to the big leagues, and if he hits at all, he's a starting centerfielder.

I wrote about Stuart here and here.

Personal note: I enjoy watching Stuart run.

23. OF Ivan Wilson

Stock: Slipping

As I wrote in July, "Wilson is big and strong, but strikes out a ton." In 58 games in the Appalachian League, he hit .176 with 11 homers and 99 strikeouts! His pitch recognition might never improve, but I'd send him to Savannah to start 2015 to give him as many gams as possible.

His profile, about his adjustments, big and small, is here.

24. RHP Luis Cessa

Stock: Down

Cessa was good in August, striking out a batter an inning for the first time in the FSL. Still, for the year, he ran a 4.00 ERA in a pitcher-friendly league.

25. RHP Robert Gsellman

Stock: Up

Gsellman, who get the game one start in the playoffs for Savannah, did not allow a run in three of his last four appearances. His curveball made progress this year, and when it was on, he was very tough. He's a realistic back-end starter type.

26. RHP Chris Flexen

Stock: Down

Just when he was starting to figure it out, he heads under the knife to have bone chips removed and for Tommy John surgery. (Unchanged since July.)

27. RHP Casey Meisner

Stock: Wobbly

Meisner was lights out in August/September: 5 GS, 30 2/3 IP, 28 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 1.47 ERA with 4 BB against 32 strikeouts. He'll get his shot in the Savannah rotation in 2015.

Keith Law saw Meisner pitch for Brooklyn early in the year, and was unimpressed, saying he was “throwing 87-91 mph with an above-average curveball but no command or deception.”

28. RHP Andrew Church

Stock: Down

Last year's second-round pick ran a 3.81 ERA in August with 19 K/8 BB in 26 innings. For the year, he fanned just 31 and walked 14 in 52 2/3 innings. There's no guarantee he makes the Savannah rotation to start 2015.

29. C Juan Centeno

Stock: Unchanged

He’s still a low-end backup catcher. (Unchanged since July.)


30. SS Wilfredo Tovar

Stock: Slipped.

Tovar returned from thumb surgery in June and hit .238/.293/.305 in the final month for the B-Mets. Now 23, maybe he's a big league bench piece, but more and more, he looks like an up-and-down guy who provides organizational depth as an emergency SS/2B.

31. 2B LJ Mazzilli

Stock: Up some

A really good August (.342/.383./459) helped Mazzilli earn a trip to Las Vegas for the playoffs to give the 51s another middle infielder. He hit for a little more pop in the FSL than he did in the SAL, but his walk rate drifted back into the dangerously low territory at 5.8 percent.

He says some advice from Yogi Berra in early May helped turn around his season. Scouts describe his work at second as mechanical, but he he’s on pace to start 2015 in Double-A.

32. OF Jared King

Stock: Down

King's August was his best month of 2014: .318/.362/.477 with nine doubles, a triple and two homers in 28 games. A broken leg kept him out for a few months, but he still only hit three home runs in 80 games between Savannah and St. Lucie.

33. RHP Erik Goeddel

Stock: Down

Goeddel was hit hard in August: 10.2 IP, 17 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 12 K. He left Vegas with a 5.32 ERA, so it's cool that he gets a month of big league money. Is he worth a 40-man roster spot this winter?

34. CF Matt den Dekker

Stock: Same

While turning 27 in August, the Mets gave den Dekker a shot to prove he could be the long half of a left field platoon. He's responded by hitting .255/.367/.314 with three doubles in 60 PA over 17 games. In other news, the Mets are still looking for a left-fielder for 2015.

35. OF Cory Vaughn

Stock: Down

In 115 games between Double-A and Triple-A, Vaughn hit .210/.305/.342 with 17 doubles and 10 home runs.

36. RHP Logan Verrett

Stock: Down

Verrett's August was pretty good, driven by an opponents' batting average of .168, he ran a 2.84 ERA in 38 innings. Maybe there's enough slider to play out of a big league bullpen, but after a 4.33 ERA in 28 starts for Vegas at age 23/24, it's hard to argue he's a big league starter.

37. RHP Akeel Morris

Stock: Up, but only a little

Morris' numbers were just sick: 0.63 ERA in 57 innings with 89 strikeouts (42 percent) against 22 (10 percent) walks. He was the best reliever in the SAL with an opponents' batting average of .103. His fastball touched 95 and his changeup was too much for SAL hitters. His breaking ball improved, although it's still spotty, at best. If Gonzalez Germen can pitch in the big leagues, Morris can too; his fastball is better.

38. RHP Ricardo Jacquez

Stock: Down

Didn't pitch at all in 2014.

39. RHP Bret Mitchell

Stock: Down

After an early injury and ineffectiveness in St. Lucie, he salvaged his season with a solid turn for Savannah (28 IP, 2.57 ERA, 8 BB, 34 K). Still down.

40. 3B Pedro Perez

Stock: Down

Moved off of third base to accommodate Eudor Garcia in Kingsport, Perez played 22 games at first for Brooklyn where he hit .193/.236/.217. Ouch.

41. SS Luis Guillorme

Stock: Up, a little

His August: .311/.349/.350. A slick defender, his skills in the field will keep him employed all the way to Double-A, and likely up to Triple-A too. His swing works, but he has to put everything he has into it to hit ordinary line drives to the outfield. He will need to add strength to profile as a big leaguer.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

May 6, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Craig Breslow (17) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 6-4. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
May 6, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Craig Breslow (17) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 6-4. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets and Yankees are among 12-20 teams that will watch lefty reliever Craig Breslow throw a showcase on Jan. 23, reports Peter Gammons. 

According to Gammons, Breslow, who was released by the Marlins last July, has worked on lowering his arm angle and improving his breaking pitch. 

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Latest on Jay Bruce 00:05:04
Mets Hot Stove analyzes the Mets decision to either trade Jay Bruce or keep him on the roster.

Latest Update...

Jan. 15 | 4:15 PM

The Mets are looking to acquire two prospects in exchange for Jay Bruce, reports CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. 

According to Salisbury, the Phillies are interested in Bruce but are wary of dealing their prospects as they rebuild.

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

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

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

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

Tags: Wilmer Flores, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 7, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores (4) watches his three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 7, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores (4) watches his three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Wilmer Flores and the Mets did not agree to a deal before Friday's arbitration deadline and the two sides will go to a hearing to determine his 2017 salary, the team announced.

Flores has filed at $2.2 million, while the Mets have offered $1.8 million, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The Mets changed their stance this offseason in regard to arbitration-eligilble players, and GM Sandy Alderson said Thursday that he had no issue going to a hearing to determine a new contract if an agreement could not be reached by the Jan. 13 deadline.

Tags: Wilmer Flores
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 (Kathy Willen/AP)
(Kathy Willen/AP)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with RHP Matt Harvey, agreeing to a deal worth $5.125 million that contains $100,000 in performance bonuses, reports James Wagner of the NY Times.

Harvey made $4.325 million last season.

He had a 4.86 ERA (3.47 FIP) and 1.46 WHIP with 76 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings (17 starts) in 2016 before Thoracic outlet syndrome that resulted in surgery ended his season after his start on July 4.

Tags: Matt Harvey
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 (Frank Franklin II/AP)
(Frank Franklin II/AP)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with RHP Jacob deGrom, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth $4.05 million that includes performance bonuses, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN.

DeGrom, who made $607,000 last season, received a base salary that's the largest ever for a first-time abirtration-eligible starting pitcher who didn't qualify for the ERA title. 

He had a 3.04 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 143 strikeouts in 148 innings (24 starts) last season before a pinched ulnar nerve in his right elbow resulted in season-ending surgery on Sept. 20.

DeGrom told reporters in early December that he planned to soon begin his offseason throwing program and be 100 percent healthy for spring training.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with closer Jeurys Familia, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth $7.425 million, reports James Wagner of the NY Times.

Familia, 27, made $4.1 million last season.

He had a 2.55 ERA (2.39 FIP) and 1.21 WHIP with 84 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings (78 appearances) while saving a team-record 51 games.

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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 (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
(Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with RH reliever Addison Reed, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth $7.75 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Reed, 28, made $5.3 million last season.

He had a 1.97 ERA and identical 1.97 FIP with a 0.94 WHIP while striking out 91 in 77 2/3 innings (80 games) in 2016. 

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia
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 (Brad Barr/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Barr/USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with LH reliever Josh Edgin, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.

The terms of the deal are not yet known.

Edgin, 30, made $625,000 last season, which was his first year back from Tommy John surgery.

Tags: Josh Edgin
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A general view of Tradition Field during the game between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. (Scott Rovak)
A general view of Tradition Field during the game between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. (Scott Rovak)

Mets minor league pitcher Gary Cornish, who last pitched for the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones, has been suspended 50 games for a positive test of an amphetamine, MLB announced Friday. 

Cornish, 22, was selected by the Mets in 19th round of the 2016 draft out of the University of San Diego. 

In 14 relief appearances with the Cyclones, Cornish had a 2.16 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 25 innings. 

 


Mets pitchers Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. (Jeff Curry/USATSI)
Mets pitchers Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. (Jeff Curry/USATSI)

The Mets have not yet talked with their young starting pitchers about about multiyear-contract-extensions beyond their current deals, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters during a lunch Thursday at Citi Field.

"I don't see it as a pressing issue," Alderson said, according to ESPN's Adam Rubin.

In late-December, Alderson made a similar statement, saying he had no plans to talk contract extensions prior to spring training.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Sep 18, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) steps up to single to left during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports 
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Sep 18, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) steps up to single to left during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with C Travis d'Arnaud, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal, according to FanRag's MLB reporter Jon Heyman.

D'Arnaud, who earned the $524,000 league minimum in 2016, will earn $1.8 million next season.

He is eligible for arbitration in 2018 and 2019, after which he can be a free agent

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

The Mets have avoided arbitration with 1B Lucas Duda, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal, the team announced Thursday.

The deal is worth $7.25 million, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag.

Duda, 30, hit .229 with a .302 OBP and .412 SLG with seven HR last season while being limited to just 47 games due to a back injury.

He hit .244 with a .352 OBP and .486 SLG with 27 HR in 135 games in 2015.

Tags: Lucas Duda, Zack Wheeler
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Aug 28, 2016; Flores (4) singles against the Phillies at Citi Field. Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 28, 2016; Flores (4) singles against the Phillies at Citi Field. Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets infielder Wilmer Flores's favorite position to play is second base, he told SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio early Friday morning.

"I enjoyed playing first base too last season, it was a lot of fun," he added. "But, I'll do the job wherever they put me."

In 2016, Flores played 51 games at third base, 27 games at first base, 18 games at second base, and eight games at first base, while hitting .267 with 30 extra base hits and 49 RBI in just 307 at-bats.

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

Latest Update...

Jan. 13 | 8:20AM

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

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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Latest on Jay Bruce 00:05:04
Mets Hot Stove analyzes the Mets decision to either trade Jay Bruce or keep him on the roster.

During his lunch with reporters at Citi Field on Thursday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said it's possible he begins spring training with all of his current outfielders, including Jay Bruce.

"Obviously the market for certain players, certain free agents and therefore trade candidates has been slow at best, nonexistent at worst," Alderson said, according to NJ.com. "What we continue to do is reassess where we are and what our options are going forward, and those options range from doing something soon, which is possible or was possible, is possible, or doing nothing."

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mets 1B Lucas Duda, RHP Matt Harvey, C Travis d'Arnaud and RHP Jacob deGrom (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets 1B Lucas Duda, RHP Matt Harvey, C Travis d'Arnaud and RHP Jacob deGrom (Credit: USA Today Images)

The deadline for teams and unsigned arbitration-eligible players to file salary figures is January 13, after which the final salary will be determined during an arbitration hearing.

The Mets intend to take a more strict position on their potential arbitration cases than they have in past, Newsday's Marc Carig reported Thursday.

According to Carig, if the two sides cannot agree by Friday's deadline, the Mets have no issue letting the situation play out in arbitration.

This year's remaining, unsigned arbitration-eligible players for the Mets are...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Mets have signed LH reliever Adam Wilk to a minor league deal that includes an invite to major league Spring Training, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Wilk, 29, last pitched in the majors in 2015, allowing one run in 2.0 innings for the Angels.

He has also pitched for the Tigers, appearing in five games in 2011 and three games in 2012.

Tags: Jerry Blevins
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Wally Backman speaks out 00:06:32
Baseball Night in New York looks into Wally Backman's recent negative comments about Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he hasn't been contacted by other teams about former Mets minor league manager Wally Backman, who recently told the Bergen Record's Bob Klapisch that he's being blackballed across Major League Baseball by Alderson.

Alderson, who said Backman is a "good baseball man," added that "Wally did a good job for us at Las Vegas. ...Nobody has called about Wally," according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Backman, 57, had been coaching within the Mets minor league system since 2009, most recently serving as manager for their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas from 2013-16. However, resigned from his role after last season in order to pursue other opportunities.

"It's not Sandy's nature" to be this vindictive, a non-Mets baseball executive told Klapisch...

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Yanks and Mets share Series odds 00:03:31
Baseball Night in New York wonders whether Las Vegas made the right call by giving the Yankees and Mets the exact same World Series odds.

The Mets currently sit at 13-to-1 odds to win the World Series in 2017, the same odds as the Yankees, according to information provided by the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas...

The Yankees finished 84-78 during 2016, but missed the playoffs by five games. The Mets, on the other hand, went 87-75 last season to win the top Wild Card spot.

Tags: Michael Conforto, Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

The Mets will conclude their Spring Training game schedule on March 31 against Army at West Point, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Mets pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, FL on Feb. 12, with position players required to report by Feb. 17.

Their Grapefruit League schedule begins Friday, February 24 against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, FL.

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

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

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

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

Tags: Oakland Athletics, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws in the spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Tradition Field. (Brad Barr)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws in the spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Tradition Field. (Brad Barr)

Zack Wheeler and the Mets avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $800,000 deal on Wednesday, the team announced. 

Wheeler underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2015 and missed each of the past two years. The 26-year-old last pitched in 2014 when he had a 3.54 ERA and 1.32 WHIP while striking out 187 batters in 185 1/3 innings.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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 (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports Images)
(Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets have invited 13 minor leaguers to big league Spring Training, the team announced Wednesday.

Top 1B prospect Dominic Smith highlights the list.

The other invites are RHPs Chase BradfordKevin McGowanPaul SewaldCorey Taylor, and Logan Taylor, LHPs P.J. Conlon and David Roseboom, C Xorge Carrilllo, infielders Phillip Evans and Luis Guillorme, and outfielders Champ Stuart and Travis Taijeron.

Absent from the list is OF Tim Tebow, who signed with the Mets over the summer and played in the Arizona Fall League.

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Nov 3, 2016; Tebow with the Mets against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2016; Tebow with the Mets against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Mets minor leaguer Tim Tebow considered sticking with football, but instead chose baseball to take on a new challenge, he told ESPN's 'First Take" on Tuesday.

"I wanted to do something I wanted to do, that would be fun for me, a challenge for me," Tebow told host Max Kellerman. "That's why I chose to pick up a baseball bat."

Tebow, who signed a $100,000 contract to join the Mets this past summer, hit .194 with a .296 OBP, no home runs, three doubles and 20 strikeouts in 19 games during October's Arizona Fall League.

"At a certain point, it's not about what other people want you to do it's about what you want to do," he reitterated to Kellerman, parroting a line he frequently used during his book tour last November. "It's your life, not everybody else's life. I could go play football at another position, but why settle. Life isn't about settling, life is about striving."

Tags: Tim Tebow
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New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia (58) throws against the Miami Marlins during the spring training baseball game at Tradition Field in 2015. (Brad Barr)
New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia (58) throws against the Miami Marlins during the spring training baseball game at Tradition Field in 2015. (Brad Barr)

Suspended relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia and the Mets went through the formality Tuesday of agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1,976,000, money he will not ever receive. 

Mejia was given a lifetime ban from baseball last Feb. 12 after his third positive test under the major league drug program. He remains on the Mets roster on the restricted list, and because he has four years of major league service he was eligible for salary arbitration. However, players serving drug suspensions do not get paid. 

Mejia's salary was cut the maximum 20 percent from his $2.47 million salary last year - money he also did not receive. 

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

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

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

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

Tags: Jay Bruce, Baltimore Orioles, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets infielder Jose Reyes received advice on hitting today from his friend, former Mets OF and current Astros DH Carlos Beltran.

"You're never too old to take advice," Reyes wrote on Instagram after working out with Beltran at the Bomberville Indoor Baseball Facility in the Bronx...

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

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

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

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

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 9, 2016; Kelly Johnson (55) hits a RBI double at Turner Field. Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2016; Kelly Johnson (55) hits a RBI double at Turner Field. Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves are interested in signing free-agent infielder Kelly Johnsonaccording to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Johnson signed with the Braves as a free agent prior to each of the past two seasons and was traded to the Mets both years.

In 2015, the Mets acquired Johnson and Juan Uribe for minor leaguers John Gant and Robert Whalen. Last season, they acquired Johnson in return for RHP prospect Akeel Morris.

In 131 games with the Mets during that time, Johnson, 34, hit .260 with a .319 OBP, 14 home runs, 14 doubles, 25 stolen bases and 37 RBIs, while playing all four infield positions and left field.

Tags: Atlanta Braves, Kelly Johnson
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Jan. 7, 2017: Citi Field covered in snow (Credit: @Mets on Instagram)
Jan. 7, 2017: Citi Field covered in snow (Credit: @Mets on Instagram)

It's after Jan. 1 and freezing in New York. Thankfully, Spring Training is roughly a month away...

Mets pitchers and catchers are required to report to Tradition Field by Feb. 12, with their first full workout coming two days later. The team's position players are not required to report until Feb. 17, with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Feb. 19.

That said, just like in previous seasons, I'm sure dozens of players will begin descending on St. Lucie in the next couple of weeks. Thanks to having their strength and conditioning consultant, Mike Barwis, in St. Lucie running his facility at Tradition Field, the pre-spring meet up essentially turns in to an official-unofficial mini camp. In other words, the reporting dates are nothing but a formality...

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