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

McCutchen (22) at bat at PNC Park (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
McCutchen (22) at bat at PNC Park (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Pirates turned down acquiring elite prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from the Nationals for OF Andrew McCutchen, former GM and current SiriusXM host Jim Bowden said Dec. 9.

The Nationals also offered Giolito and Lopez in a deal for Chris Sale, among other prospects, before sending them to the White Sox for OF Adam Eaton.

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Sep 6, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) reacts after delivering a final out against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 6, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) reacts after delivering a final out against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have not ruled out exploring a trade for White Sox RH reliever David Robertson, a source recently told Newsday's Marc Carig.

Robertson, 31, will earn $12 million in 2017, $13 million in 2018, and then be a free agent.

He had a 3.47 ERA (3.58 FIP) and 37 saves for the White Sox last season, while striking out 75 batters in 64 innings.

In September, Robertson had arthroscopic surgery to clean up a meniscus issue in his left knee. However, the White Sox have repeatedly said he'll be 100 percent for the start of spring training.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia
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John Ricco on free agent market 00:02:23
Mets assistant GM John Ricco speaks with Steve Gelbs on the free-agent marketplace at the Winter Meetings.

The Mets have yet to talk with their current crop of starting pitchers about the possibility of signing contract extensions, Mets assistant GM John Ricco told SNY's Mets Hot Stove on Thursday.

"It's something that's certainly in mind when we talk about how we're going to keep this team in tact for the long term, and win in the long term," Ricco said, noting that such discussions usually happen in January and February not December. "But, to date we haven't really engaged at all, though like in the past, if it makes sense we'll aggressively approach them."

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Photo: Chris McShane
Photo: Chris McShane

The Mets again told teams interested in top shortstop prospect Amed Rosario that he is unavailable via trade, GM Sandy Alderson explained to reporters before leaving the Winter Meetings.

For instance, according to Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert, the Royals asked for Rosario when the Mets inquired about Wade Davis, who was eventually traded to the Cubs.

"We've made that clear before and continue to make that clear when his name is mentioned, so I think clubs have gotten the message," Alderson added.

MLB.com, Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus all consider Rosario to be the Mets' top prospect.

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Sep 25, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a single during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		  (Anthony Gruppuso)
Sep 25, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a single during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

Dec 9 | 10:00AM

The Mets initially thought the Rangers and Blue Jays were a possible landing spot for Jay Bruce, but - so far - both teams have just limited interest, according to NY Post reporter Mike Puma.


Matthew Cerrone: The market for Bruce will develop after free agents Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are off the market. The Rangers, Jays, Orioles and Indians are all reportedly interested in Encarnacion and Bautista, but they all can't sign them. Eventually, these two will sign new contracts, leaving two other teams - and the Giants and Dodgers - turning to the trade market to fill their DH and outfield vacancies. 

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Dexter Fowler (Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports Images)
Dexter Fowler (Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals and free-agent outfielder Dexter Fowler agreed to a deal Thursday night, according to multiple reports.

The team scheduled a press conference for Friday at 11 a.m. ET. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fowler, 30, hit .276 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs in 125 games for the Chicago Cubs last season, helping lead them to their first World Series title in 108 years. He earned $13 million last year.

Tags: St. Louis Cardinals
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Granderson (3) catches a fly ball in the fourth inning (Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)
Granderson (3) catches a fly ball in the fourth inning (Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

Curtis Granderson will likely begin next season in center field, Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters earlier this week at the MLB Winter Meetings.

As a result, Collins said Michael Conforto will likely spend most of his time in right field, while occasionally filling in for Granderson in center, where Juan Lagares will also get time.

In late November, general manager Sandy Alderson told WOR 710 AM radio that he wants Conforto to be an every-day player in 2017, including possibly getting time as a back-up first baseman.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Quiet Winter Meetings for Mets 00:04:19
Steve Gelbs, Andy Martino and Anthony DiComo wrap up all the latest news and action for the Mets as the Winter Meetings come to an end.

SNY's final Winter Meetings Podcast

In their last podcast of the week, hosts Matthew Cerrone and Rob Brender answered several fan voicemails, talking about trading an outfielder, acquiring a new center fielder, why and how to improve the bullpen, and what is likely to happen before Spring Training...

To listen using a pop-out player, click here, or simply use the audio player below...

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Alderson on Mets moving forward 00:03:03
Sandy Alderson chats with Steve Gelbs from the last day of the Winter Meetings and where the team stands on a number of areas.

It was a newsless Winter Meetings for the Mets, as it was for most teams, but it certainly wasn't quiet. In the end, the Mets held a lot of meetings where they talked with agents and team representatives for a variety of relief pitchers open to accepting major- and minor-league deals.

In an effort to free up a roster spot, raise money and have fewer left-handed hitting outfielders, the Mets spent time talking with teams about Jay Bruce, though they reportedly saw more interest in Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto, which is understandable.

In the end, I expect the Mets will eventually trade Bruce and one of two things will happen, 1) They'll get back a big-league reliever making a decent salary, after which they'll use the difference to sign one or two more low-cost relievers, or 2) They'll trade Bruce for nothing, and use his entire $13 million to sign someone like Brad Ziegler, as well as one or two more low-cost relievers.

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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)

Sandy Alderson conducted his final briefing with reporters at the Winter Meetings early Thursday and said he is confident the Mets laid groundwork that will continue through the winter.

"Conversations will continue," he explained.

He reiterated that his desire to trade an outfielder has more to do with playing time than it is motivated by raising money by shedding payroll. 

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The Mets did not add or lose any players during the Major-League phase of this Thursday's annual Rule 5 Draft, which is the final event each year the Winter Meetings.

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Andy Martino on Winter Meetings 00:03:57
Andy Martino discusses the latest from the Winter Meetings including the Nats-White Sox Trade, Yankees, Mets and Wade Davis to the Cubs.

MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone and Robert Brender recorded their final Winter Meetings Podcast, during which they answered questions about Andrew McCutchen, Dexter Fowler, Jose Abreu, what's going on with the Nationals, what will happen to Jay Bruce, Sandy Alderson's bullpen, and if Darrelle Revis will play in the AFL...

To listen in a seperare pop-up player, click here, or use the audio player below...

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Alderson on the Mets' outlook 00:02:51
Steve Gelbs chats with Sandy Alderson to discuss the progress the Mets have made at the Winter Meetings and their remaining offseason plans.

Sandy Alderson talked with reporters late Wednesday and said, while he doesn't know that he'll make any deals before the end of the Winter Meetings, he's made progress in talks with teams and agents that he hopes will benefit the Mets before the end of the offseason.

Alderson also had the following to say about...

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McCutchen (22) at bat at PNC Park (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
McCutchen (22) at bat at PNC Park (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nationals, who had reportedly shown interest in Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen, will acquire White Sox OF Adam Eaton for prospects Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and Reynaldo Lopezaccording to multiple reports.

In this case, I really, really hope the Mets use this opportunity to get in on McCutchen.

The Rangers, Dodgers, Mariners and a "mystery team" have all recently asked about McCutchen, according to reports on MLB Trade Rumors. The Nationals had been reportedly pursuing him since last summer.

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Aug 4, 2016; Bruce (19) celebrates a three run home run with Granderson (3) (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Aug 4, 2016; Bruce (19) celebrates a three run home run with Granderson (3) (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Dec 7 | 3:20 PM

The Mets met with the Rangers on Wednesday, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.


Matthew Cerrone: In addition to starting pitching, the Rangers have reportedly been looking to acquire a corner outfielder or Designated Hitter, such as Jay Bruce. At the same, I've heard from MLB insiders that they've been offering up RH reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who the Mets had interest in acquiring last summer before he was dealt from the Brewers to Rangers with Jonathan Lucroy. It's worth also noting that Texas still has Lucroy, who the Mets were trying to trade for last summer, as well, despite saying they were committed to Travis d'Arnaud. I see no evidence that the Rangers are looking to deal Lucroy. But, if they are, I assume the Mets would be intrigued, despite again saying they're commited to d'Arnaud.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce
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Aug 4, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Aug 4, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

In the wake of trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox, multiple reports indicate the White Sox have started shopping several of their high-priced players.

So far, I have yet to read or hear of any rumors connecting the Mets to the White Sox. However, Chicago clearly has players that should be of interest to Sandy Alderson, specifically closer David Robertson and 1B Jose Abreu. 

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Wheels in motion 00:02:52
Jon Hein and Marc Malusis discuss the Mets' plan of action for Zack Wheeler, including his possible use out of the bullpen.

Zack Wheeler spoke about his health and a potential move to the bullpen during an appearance at the Mets' annual coat drive at Citi Field on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old said he threw about three weeks ago and will do so again around Christmas in what he called a "normal offseason," according to Joe Trezza of MLB.com. Wheeler added that he has not felt pain since April and that "this is the best he's felt."

He was also open to the idea of moving to the bullpen to start 2017, something Mets GM Sandy Alderson mentioned prior to the start of the Winter Meetings this past Sunday.

 

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Free-agent OF Dexter Fowler, Royals OF Lorenzo Cain and Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen (USA Today Images)
Free-agent OF Dexter Fowler, Royals OF Lorenzo Cain and Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen (USA Today Images)

The price on position players -- especially outfielders -- is going down by the minute, according to multiple MLB market markers.

The top-tier, free-agent market includes outfielders Dexter Fowler, Jose Bautista and Ian Desmond, while the trade market reportedly includes Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), Charlie Blackmon (Rockies), Adam Eaton (White Sox), Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson (Royals), Odubel Herrera (Phillies) and Jay Bruce (Mets), among others.

"If I'm Fowler, I give up making $18-20 million a season and quickly grab one of those four-year, $60 million offers, because it might not be there if he waits," a team executive told me.

In regards to the Mets, this doesn't bode well for wanting to trade Bruce. And, it probably explains why reports now indicate Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto are off the table. Because, if prices are dropping, it's not worth moving them.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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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)

Mets GM Sandy Alderson should have at least one or two reasonable trades on the table for OF Jay Bruce, according to teams that have talked with the Mets.

However, because he's comfortable with slow-playing the free-agent market for relief pitchers, Alderson appears totally fine holding off on dealing Bruce for an arm, while letting the outfield market play out and revisiting his options during December.

"Things are generally slow," Alderson explained Tuesday, talking to reporters. "Hopefully things start to loosen up a little bit. ...Clubs are still trying to figure out exactly what they think is exactly the best way to go. The contours of the market are still a little bit vague, so you don't see a lot of movement."

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Tuesday's News and Rumors...

The Mets contacted the Royals about closer Wade Davis >> Read more!

The Mets also may have interest in free-agent relievers Matt Belisle, Joe Blanton, Junichi Tazawa, Drew Storen and Boone Logan, as Jerry Blevins is seeking a three-year deal >> Read more!

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he and his staff are planning to change the workload and routine of their starting pitchers >> Read more!

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Oct 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) and center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) celebrates after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in game two of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Oct 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) and center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) celebrates after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in game two of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

Dec 7 | 6:15 AM

The Mets asked the Royals about closer Wade Davisbut were asked to part with elite SS prospect Amed Rosario, who the team considers untouchable, according to Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert.

Instead, the Cubs are close to acquiring Davis for 24-year-old OF Jorge Soleraccording to multiple reports on MLB Trade Rumors.

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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 Mets are not yet willing to pay some of Curtis Granderson's $15 million salary or Jay Bruce's $13 million salary to help trade them during this week's Winter Meetings.

"Not at this point," Alderson said Monday, when specifically asked about the scenario.

Alderson is not usually this vague, though, which makes me think he'll eventually give in. However, right now, it's early enough in the off season that he isn't feeling desperate. Instead, I'm hearing they're more likely to give up a prospect or two in the deal, so the acquiring team is incentivized to absorb Bruce's $13 million.

Remember, the goal here is to a acquire as many relief pitchers as possible before the start of spring training, and I see Alderson eventually getting his men one of the following ways...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Nov 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler (24) talks during the World Series victory rally in Grant Park. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Nov 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler (24) talks during the World Series victory rally in Grant Park. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

The Mets are not trading both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce so they can sign free-agent OF Dexter Fowlera high-ranking team official told SNY's Steve Gelbs.

This is disappointing, if true. I'm sure it is, but I also know Mets GM Sandy Alderson and his front office tend to make statements based on what's happening at that specific moment, and it does not necessarily recognize where things are headed.

Remember, Alderson and his staff repeatedly told reporters that the Mets wouldn't release Jason Bay, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, nor would they be trading Carlos Beltran and RA Dickey, and they eventually did all of the above. I'm not saying the Mets will sign Fowler, or trade both Bruce or Granderson, I'm simply suggesting that we all take what they say with a grain of salt... because things have a way of changing as the environment changes around them...

That said, this is exactly the move I want to see the Mets make.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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MNoah Syndergaard (34), Jacob deGrom (48) and Matt Harvey (33) walk in from the bullpen at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
MNoah Syndergaard (34), Jacob deGrom (48) and Matt Harvey (33) walk in from the bullpen at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

For the second time this offseason, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he and his staff are planning to change the workload and routine of their starting pitchers, he told reporters Tuesday at the Winter Meetings.

Last month, Alderson said he is open to occasionally using a six-man rotation and mixing in spot starters so guys can get extended rest between appearances.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Robert Gsellman pitches against the Braves last Tuesday in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)
Robert Gsellman pitches against the Braves last Tuesday in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)

Teams have asked about RHP Robert Gsellman, but Sandy Alderson has told them he's not available, sources told ESPN.com's Adam Rubin.

Gsellman, 23, had a 2.42 ERA (2.63 FIP) and 1.27 WHIP, while striking out 42 batters in 44 2/3 innings, during seven starts and one relief appearance for the Mets in 2016.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler
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Free-agent relievers Fernando Salas, Brad Ziegler, Joaquin Benoit and Joe Smith (Credit: USA Today Images)
Free-agent relievers Fernando Salas, Brad Ziegler, Joaquin Benoit and Joe Smith (Credit: USA Today Images)

Dec 6 | 4:00PM

Free-agent LH reliever Jerry Blevins is seeking a three-year deal worth $5-6 million a season, MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reported on Twitter.

"If Blevins is willing to do a two-year deal, maybe Sandy Alderson can reel him back," MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone wrote Nov. 22. "But, if Blevins finds himself eventually weighing three-year offers, I bet Alderson passes and, instead, signs a veteran or two on minor-league deals."

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Tebow during an Arizona Fall League game at Camelback Ranch (Credit: Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today)
Tebow during an Arizona Fall League game at Camelback Ranch (Credit: Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today)

The Mets haven't decided whether OF Tim Tebow will be invited to play in big league games during Spring Training, GM Sandy Alderson said Tuesday.

"That's a decision we'll make some time in the near future," Alderson said, adding that there's "no benefit" to having him in big league camp.

Mets manager Terry Collins said earlier Tuesday that Tebow would play for the Mets during Grapefruit League games this spring, even if he's in minor-league camp

However, late last month, Tebow would not say if he plans to attend Spring Training.

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Sale of Two Cities 00:02:22
The DNL panel discusses the ramifications of the Chris Sale trade to the Boston Red Sox in a blockbuster move at the Winter Meetings.

The Nationals will not be adding Chris Sale, who is about to be traded to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech and two other prospects, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

Earlier Tuesday, Rosenthal said the Nationals would have included RHP prospects Lucas Giolito and Victor Robles in a deal with Chicago. However, they've been reluctant to put them in a deal for Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen, who they've reportedly been pursuing since last summer.

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In honor of Mets media relation executive Shannon Forde, who lost her long, difficult battle with breast cancer last March, MLB announced Monday it will renovate a youth field in Forde's honor in her hometown of Little Ferry, N.J.

"I think a picture says a thousand words," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said at a press conference at the Winter Meetings. "This is the group that loves and misses Shannon every day."

To raise money for the project, which is part of their annual Play Ball program, MLB is auctioning off a number of unique opportunities, including a pitching lesson from Johnny Cueto, player and manager meet-and-greets, a dinner with Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez.

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