Toby Hyde: This past Monday, the Mets signed Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal worth a reported $21 million.

The acquisition also means the Mets must forfeit their 2015 first-round draft pick (No. 15 overall), because the Rockies made a Qualifying Offer to Cuddyer.

The Mets are closer to contention than many people realize, so giving up the pick and signing Cuddyer makes sense. They needed to upgrade their corner outfield position and, as Sandy Alderson said during a conference call Tuesday, adding an outfielder was of the "highest priority."

However, there are reasons to be wary of this deal, as well.


Why this move made sense...

The playoffs are a realistic goal for the Mets in 2015.
  • In 2014 the team won 79 games. By Pythanpat, based on runs scored and allowed, they "should" have won 82 games, and by baseruns, which takes sequencing out of the equation, they were a 76-win team. Either way, they were not terribly far off from 79 wins. Baseball Prospectus' second and third order winning percentage suggest a similar hierarchy.
  • It takes 88-90 wins to get into the wild card game. If almost all of the Mets play to roughly the same level in 2015 as they did in 2014 the Mets have a chance. This is a terrible assumption because it will never happen that every player just repeats the year that he had, but just play along for a moment.
  • In 2014, David Wright had one of his worst years as a professional, worth 2.8 bWAR after a mark of 5.8 in 2013. Lets say he bounces back. This is reasonable,  Steamer's projects him to be worth 4.2 fWAR in 2015, which is a fine number for these purposes. Simply add the extra two wins a healthy and productive Wright provides the Mets moves the team from 79 to 81 wins for 2015.
  • In 2014, while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Matt Harvey offered the Mets zero innings. In 2013, in 178.1 innings, he was worth 5.2 bWAR. That's a good 4.7 wins more than the Mets derived from their fifth starter's spot, held by mostly by Bartolo Colon, in 2014. So, add a healthy Harvey to a healthy Wright to the 2014 Mets and the 2015, with zero external additions might well be something like an 85-win team.
  • From Opening Day through June 6, when he was sent to triple-A, Travis d'Arnaud was worth -1.8 wins by WPA. From his return on June 24, he was worth 1.4 WPA. In the case where d'Arnaud basically produces at the rate he did from June 24th through the end of the season, that would add another two-three wins to the Mets. Now the team is up to 87 wins and really within range of a playoff spot.
  • From 87-win talent, it's only a short hop to 89 wins and a playoff spot.
The Mets needed to upgrade their corner outfield spots.

By Fangraph’s WAR, Mets’ cornermen ranked 18th in baseball at 3.1 total fWAR contributed. Playoff teams averaged almost 10 fWAR from their corner outfield spots.

Cuddyer actually fits the Mets roster. 1) He bats right-handed, 2) He can hit, 3) He can play right field or first base.

The roster before Cuddyer needed another corner outfielder. Outside of Curtis Granderson, the incumbents were Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt den Dekker and Eric Young. Cesar Puello is out of options in the minor leagues. The default solution was something like a Nieuwenhuis/Young/Puello or den Dekker/Young/Puello combo platter  in whichever corner Curtis Granderson was not playing.

After 11 seasons with the Twins, he has enjoyed a three-year run with the Rockies in which he hit .307/.362/.525 in 280 games with a 126 OPS+ over three years from age 33 to 35.  Yes, he improved in his mid-30s. No, that's not common.

Lucas Duda badly needs a platoon partner at first base. He is a career .212/.292/.317 (AVG/OBP/SLG) hitter against lefties in 470 plate appearances coming off a .180/.264/.252 mark against southpaws in 125 PA in 2014. The less Duda plays against lefties, the better he and the Mets will be.

Cuddyer is a career .297/.378/.504 hitter against lefties in his career.


Why this move is baffling

  • Cuddyer is 36.
  • For 2015, Steamer projected Cuddyer to be worth a 109 wRC+ (where 100 is average), and -14.1 runs defensively, for a 0.9 fWAR.
  • ZiPS, run for Cuddyer in New York, projects him to be worth 1.0 fWAR in 2015 and 0.3 in 2016 on playing time of 87 games and 79 respectively. As with Steamer, ZiPS has a similar distribution of production in which it forecasts Cuddyer an above average hitter who loses value thanks to below average defense and lost playing time.
  • Joe Sheehan did the research for his column Tuesday regarding 36-year-old baseball players:
  • "There were 11 of them last year. Just two played in 100 games. Just three produced at least one bWAR. Just one, Marlon Byrd, was worth two bWAR. Collectively, all 36-year-old position players produced 7.5 bWAR. Want to go back a year? In 2013, five 36-year-olds played in 100 games, three were worth at least 1.9 bWAR, the group was worth a bit more than five wins... Actuarially speaking, Michael Cuddyer is quite likely to be a bad player."
  • Cuddyer's numbers in the last three years are inflated by Coors field.
  • Expecting Cuddyer to maintain his offensive value from Colorado in New York is likely pure fantasy.
  • Coors Field's impact shows up strongly in Cuddyer's batted ball profile in his HR/FB rates. For his career, 13.4% of his fly balls have turned into home runs. In his three years as a Rockie, his rates were 18.2%, 16.9%, and finally 22.7% in an aberrant 2014. The Mets just went through this with Granderson, whose big home run years with the Yankees were buoyed by HR/FB rates (20.5% and 24.2%) well above his career average (14.4%). Dropped into Citi Field last year, his HR/FB rate was 10.1%, or a closer match for his 2013 of 10.1.
  • Cuddyer is not a full-time player.
  • Cuddyer's games played since turning 30:
  • 153, 157, 139, 101, 130, 49
  • He's averaged 93 games a year in the last three years, his age 33-35 seasons. His median season in that span is 101. He might play more than that in 2015. But expecting him to play everyday is unreasonable.
  • Cuddyer is an bad defender.
  • Here are Cuddyer's defensive metrics from the last five years.
.DRSFangraphs' Defense (UZR based)Total Zone
2010-20-17.1-8
2011-16-1.3-7
2012-7-1.4-9
2013-16-12.3-12
2014-5-3-4
  • One can quibble with the precise run value of Cuddyer's defense in a given year, but given 100 games, he's somewhere like 7 to 9 runs below average, or almost a full win. In 2013, in 130 games, he was between 12 and 16 runs below average. That's more than a win and less that two. It's a relatively big number.
  • By UZR per 150 games, Cuddyer is -8 in right field and -4.4 at first base. So, he's better at first, but still below average.
  • Alderson told reporters that the Mets are "comfortable with his defensive abilities."
  • Note that the Twins played Cuddyer at second base for 17 games in 2011 and he did not do well there. However, from 2012 forward, he's played all but two games at first base and right field.
  • Cuddyer, who is deaf in his left ear, has not played leftfield since 2006. He and Curtis Granderson have both indicated that they are willing to play either corner. Moving Granderson from right to left will help: Granderson's arm was worth -7.4 runs in 2014 and generally leftfielders have to make fewer demanding throws than rightfielders.


What this move costs...

  • Cuddyer costs the Mets $21 million over two years
  • Cuddyer costs the Mets their 2015 first round draft pick.
The money alone is reasonable enough. If Cuddyer can offer the Mets three wins in two years, they will have payed the rough going rate for free agent talent of $7 million/win. Note that none of the publicly available projection systems expect him to be worth that much, but with a healthy Harvey and Wright, the next marginal wins, moving from 85 towards 90, could be very, very valuable to the 2015 Mets.

What does losing their 2015 first round pick actually cost the Mets? Quite a bit, actually.

The Angels had the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft. The slot for the pick was worth, $2,475,600 or just under 43% of the team's total draft budget. Slot values rose 2% from 2013, after rising a little over 8% from 2013 to 2014 but the relationship between the 15th pick and the overall pool is not likely to shift dramatically. The Mets can expect a similar relationship. With a 2% rise in draft bonuses, the Mets just lost over $2.5 million and over 40% of their 2015 draft budget for the right to sign Michael Cuddyer. The Mets lost the opportunity to not just pick a top 15 player, but also to use any leftover bonus money from that first pick to chase other players in the draft. They did not quite punt the whole draft, but certainly badly harmed their ability to use the 2015 draft to acquire talent.

While not all draft picks pan out, teams can expect to derive value from the picks. The returns to picks drop precipitously from the first pick on down. Analyst Christopher Long described an equation to find the surplus value of a draft pick as $40M/sqrt(n) where n is the nth overall pick in the draft. This yields an estimate of $10.3 million in surplus value the Mets gave up with the 15th pick.

One simple way to think about this is to add this value to the cost of the contract that the Mets signed for Cuddyer. Instead of two years at $21 million, this contract is more like two years at $30 million.

Or, for Cuddyer to produce the surplus value that this estimate of draft pick value provides, he would need to be worth something like 4.5 wins over the life of his contract. That's plausible, but unlikely.

Other analyses, based on the quality of prospect a team can expect to receive from the No. 15 pick, put the value of a pick higher, in the $20 million range.

The Mets first-round pick from 2015, could reasonably be expected to contribute to the big league team sometime in the 2018-2022 window, depending on whether they took a high school or college player. In essence, then, the Mets are borrowing, and heavily at that, from their future to pick up an extra win or two in 2015.


Other Considerations

Draft Accounting

Now, the Mets can do something further to lessen the cost of the Cuddyer, in draft pick terms. If the team signs another free agent who is subject to compensation, having already forfeited their first round pick, they will also yield their second round pick. If the second player is better than Cuddyer, then perhaps in accounting terms, one might think about that second player as costing the first round pick and Cuddyer as costing the second. Compensation picks between the first and second round drive second round picks down the board, so last year, the Angels second pick came at #53 overall. A second round pick at #50 overall, is worth about $5.7 million in surplus value instead of the $10.3 million a first round pick is expected to cost.

The problem with this theory is that the Mets have given no indication that they are planning to, or have the financial flexibility, to make another play at the top of the free agent market, whether its for a pitcher like Max Scherzer or James Shields.

Adding another top quality free agent would also, in theory, increase the returns for the Mets' spending on Cuddyer because every win would move the team ever closer to 90 wins and a playoff spot.

Other Targets

The best free agents left who qualify for compensation are Max Scherzer, James Shields, Hanley Ramirez,  Francisco Liriano and Ervin Santana. The Mets don't need Pablo Sandoval at third since they're committed to Wright. Would they dare run Hanley Ramirez out at shortstop, where his defense is poor, in a full-on bid for offense? Jon Lester, who was traded mid-season does not come with compensation.

Outfielders who would not have required compensation picks include Colby Rasmus, Yasmani Tomas and Nori Aoki. Tomas will be far and away the most expensive player of this trio.

Among free agent outfielders who would have also required compensation, the Mets could have looked at Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera. Cruz is going to expensive and is almost as old as Cuddyer. On the other hand, Cabrera is only 30, and earned $8 million annually from the Blue Jays for the last two years. He was more valuable than Cuddyer last year at 2.6 fWAR.

In terms of trade targets, Alderson pointed out that they would have cost the Mets players who were already closer to the Majors than the 2015 draft pick.



The best use for Cuddyer would be as a platoon partner for Duda for the 30-40 games a year the Mets face a left-handed starter mixed with some work in rightfield against righties. The team saw 33 left-handed started in 2014. In this scenario, the Mets would still need to add someone to play a corner outfield spot against lefties.

The problem for the Mets is that once the draft pick is included, the total value the team gave up for Cuddyer demands that he be a two-win per year full-time player. The public projection systems do not value his 2015 and 2016 that highly. This would imply that the Mets think Cuddyer will be a better hitter, or defender or healthier than the public projection systems suggest is most likely. Essentially, the Mets believe their private metrics are better or draft picks are being overpriced.

The Mets made one move to shift their assets from 2018 and beyond into 2015. Now, they must follow up that leading bet with another strong move. For example, the team still need to address the shortstop. And they still have to add a corner bat who can play right or first against lefties because Cuddyer certainly cannot do both simultaneously.

The most likely scenario is that this move that will not improve the team materially in 2015-2016 and will harm them, by depriving them of the value of a first round pick after that. However, if Cuddyer performs at the top of reasonable expectations, he can make the contract on its own a break even piece for the Mets. Even so, the health and efficacy of players who were Mets before Cuddyer signed, including David Wright, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Juan Lagares, Lucas Duda, Travis d'Arnaud and Daniel Murphy, will likely have more to say about whether the Mets are competitive for a playoff berth in 2015 and 2016 than Cuddyer's performance.

With a playoff berth in the fall of 2015, delirious Mets fans will likely forgive a missing first round pick from June, and the forgone expected value later in the decade. However, signing Cuddyer just moves the odds ever so slightly towards the postseason. Outside of forgone trades, this is the first consummated transaction of the Sandy Alderson tenure that explicitly trades value in the medium future to increase assets in the coming season. The message is clear: the Mets have made a move for 2015.

Tags: avsny, Hide, jfsilver, matthewcerrone, MetsBlog, tobyhyde, Toby Hyde

Phillies big inning beats Mets 00:01:05
Steven Matz homered in his second straight start but the bullpen failed to provide any relief in a 5-2 loss to the Phillies

The Phillies couldn't score against Steven Matz, so they pounced on the Mets' bullpen en route to a 5-2 win at Citizens Bank Park.

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The guys talk Steven Matz 00:01:59
Gary & Ron discuss Steven Matz's stellar performance since the All-Star break and what he can do to join the ranks of the elite.

Steven Matz homered yet again and pitched five shutout innings, but Jerry Blevins and Drew Smith combined to allow five runs in the sixth inning and the Mets fell to the Phillies on Tuesday night, 5-2.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) With his third-inning solo blast, Matz joined Tom Seaver and Ron Darling as the only other Mets pitchers to homer in consecutive starts. His latest home run comes just five days after his first major league home run. Matz struggled with control on the mound Tuesday night, walking five batters, but he never allowed it to cause real damage. He walked five batters but allowed just two hits in five innings.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Matz doing it all 00:00:20
Steven Matz makes an incredible behind-the-back grab of Roman Quinn?s line drive and turns it into a double play

Mets LHP Steven Matz made an impressive catch in the fifth inning of Tuesday's game against the Phillies.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Matz shines in Mets loss 00:00:39
Mickey Callaway and Steven Matz talk about Matz's second home run in as many starts

Mets LHP Steven Matz hit a solo home run in the third inning of Tuesday night's game against the Phillies, marking his second homer in as many starts.

Matz became the third pitcher in Mets history to homer in back-to-back starts -- and the first since Ron Darling completed the feat in 1989. Tom Seaver also hit home runs in consecutive starts.

Matz's blast off Phillies ace Aaron Nola gave the Mets a 1-0 advantage. His home run traveled 362 feet, according to Statcast.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets will play the second game of their three-game series against the Phillies on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Mets notes

The Mets have posted a .688 winning percentage (11-5) in the month of September, which ranks fourth-best in the majors and first in the NL ... The Mets have now won the season series vs. Philadelphia seven straight years ... The Mets are 44-20 at Citizens Bank Park since 2012 and have hit 31 home runs at the park since last season.

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Aug 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) smiles during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Aug 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) smiles during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

In a poll where BBWAA (Baseball Writers' Association of America) voters were asked who should win the NL Cy Young award, Mets ace Jacob deGrom was the near-unanimous choice.

DeGrom received 30 of 33 first place votes in MLB.com's poll, with Max Scherzer of the Nationals receiving the other three first place votes.

When it came to point total, deGrom received 153, Scherzer received 101, and Aaron Nola of the Phillies received 63.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is showing signs that he has picked up where he left off before dislocating his shoulder during the second half of last season.

He's been especially on fire since September 4, hitting .345 with five doubles, six HR and 20 RBI during 12 games and 55 at bats.

"This is the Michael Conforto that everybody wants to see," manager Mickey Callaway said after Monday night's game, during which Conforto had a career-high six RBI...

Tags: Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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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)

Mets OF Tim Tebow, whose season ended in July due to a broken hamate bone in his right hand that required surgery, will likely be back in 2019 for more Tebow Time.

"I'd be surprised if he didn't want to continue," assistant GM John Ricco recently said, according to Newsday.

Tebow hit .273/.336/.399 with six HR and 36 RBI in 84 games this season for Double-A Binghamton. On July 11, he served as the Eastern League's designated hitter in the Double-A All-Star Game.

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) leads the high five line after a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) leads the high five line after a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets won their 70th game of the season on Monday night, matching their win total from 2017 -- when they finished 70-92.

Having gone 38-32 since their disastrous 5-21 showing in June, the Mets are 70-80 on the season with 12 games remaining.

But while they have righted the ship, the Mets -- who were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Monday night -- are still in fourth place in the NL East, where they will almost certainly finish the season behind the Braves, Phillies, and Nationals.

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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway watches from the dugout during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway watches from the dugout during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Monday after the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves.

The Cardinals' 11-6 win put the Mets 12 1/2 games back for the second spot in the wild card with 12 games to play.

New York was already eliminated from the NL East race; despite beating the Phillies 9-4, the Mets are 13 games back with 12 games left.

The Mets officially miss the playoffs for the second straight season after reaching the World Series in 2015 and making the wild card in 2016.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler improved to 9-1 in the second half by pitching seven strong innings in Monday's 9-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Wheeler (12-7) struck out four batters and allowed four runs, three hits and three walks in what could have been his final start of the season.

Manager Mickey Callaway said it's possible the team will shut Wheeler down for the rest of the season given his 182 1/3 innings he's logged this year are nearly 100 more than he threw last year and are his most in a season since 2014.

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Zack Wheeler
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Conforto hammers Phillies 00:01:26
Michael Conforto drove in a career-high 6 runs and Zack Wheeler grinded through 7 innings for the win as the Mets topped the Phillies, 9-4

Michael Conforto drove in six runs and Zack Wheeler earned his 12th win of the season as the Mets beat the Phillies 9-4 on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies
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The guys talk Conforto 00:01:44
Gary & Ron discuss the return to form of Michael Conforto and his red-hot September at the plate

Michael Conforto homered and collected a career-high six RBIs as the Mets defeated the Phillies, 9-4, on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Conforto had a two-run single in the fourth, a tie-breaking double in the seventh and a three-run shot in the ninth. It was his fifth multi-RBI effort in 16 games this month during which he's gone deep seven times while driving in a Major League-best 22 runs. Conforto has 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 56 games since the All-Star break. 

 

Tags: Michael Conforto, Philadelphia Phillies, Zack Wheeler
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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler throws to Los Angeles Dodgers' Joc Pederson during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John McCoy) (AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler throws to Los Angeles Dodgers' Joc Pederson during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John McCoy) (AP)

As he approaches his career-high for innings pitched, Monday night's start against the Phillies could be Zack Wheeler's final start of the season, manager Mickey Callaway said earlier Monday.

Callaway said the team isn't sure whether Wheeler will pitch again in 2018, adding that the team will monitor the situation -- and will be conservative with Wheeler on Monday niight and moving forward.

Wheeler has tossed 175.1 innings so far this season, ten shy of his career-high of 185.1 in 2014. In Spring Training of 2015, Wheeler was diagnosed with a torn UCL in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery that March -- missing the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons while recovering.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) walks off the field during the seventh inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) walks off the field during the seventh inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets are skipping Jason Vargas' next turn through the rotation in order to keep everyone else on track, Mickey Callaway said before Monday's game -- calling Vargas the "odd man out."

Vargas had initially been expected to pitch on Tuesday. Instead, Steven Matz will get the start, followed by Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday.

The biggest impact of skipping Vargas, though, could be down the line -- on Jacob deGrom.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Jul 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets rightfielder Brandon Nimmo (9) singles against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jul 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets rightfielder Brandon Nimmo (9) singles against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets continue their 10-game road trip when they open a three-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Mets notes

The Mets won three of five games when they faced the Phillies on the road from Aug. 16-19, outscoring them 43-20 in the series. ... New York has not lost three games in a row since Aug. 26-28. Since then, the Mets have won 11 of their last 17 games. ... The Mets have a better record on the road (36-38) than they do at home (33-42).

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Zack Wheeler
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Mookie on Aging Actively 00:00:47
Mookie Wilson discusses his approach to aging actively and how he has shaped his mind to enjoy growing older.

Mookie Wilson discusses his approach to aging actively and how he has shaped his mind to enjoy growing older.

"Everything changes when you grow a little older and I've had to make that adjustment. Sometimes you can't eat what you used to eat, when you grow a little older you can't do the things you did. You may have to sleep more or sleep less. Your eyesight changes, you have to make those adjustments. I still have to work out, now what I do is that I do a lot of walking."

"A lot of people spend so much time trying to be that person that they imagine themselves being. You have to understand who you are. Your body is your body but you can actually shape your mind. So when you do that life will be easier to make those adjustments. Aging can be a blessing and something you can really enjoy."

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Mets RHP Zack Wheeler has been one of the league's best pitchers since the All-Star Game, during which the Mets are 30-25.

In his 10 starts since the break, Wheeler has eight wins and the second-best ERA in baseball (1.32). He also has the league's best WHIP (0.81) and he's tied for fourth overall with a 2.5 fWAR since mid-July.

The last Mets pitcher to have nine or more wins after the All-Star break was Steve Trachsel in 2001. During Wheeler's past 12 starts, the Mets are 10-2...

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets ace Jacob deGrom tossed his MLB-record 27th-straight start while allowing three runs or fewer on Sunday against the Red Sox in Boston in what was his third-to-last (or was it?) start of the season.

Meanwhile, Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola each had one of their worst starts of the season.

Here's where things stand with deGrom, Scherzer, and Nola in the race for the NL Cy Young award...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Gary Cohen on 9/11 00:01:38
Gary Cohen reflects on 30 years of broadcasting Mets games, including the first game the Mets played after 9/11 in Pittsburgh.

Gary Cohen reflects on 30 years of broadcasting Mets games, including the first game the Mets played after 9/11 in Pittsburgh.

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This season, thanks to Citi, each time the home run apple goes up at Citi Field, another step is taken in the fight against childhood hunger.

For each Mets home run hit at Citi Field this season, Citi has pledged to donate enough for No Kid Hungry to provide 20,000 meals to kids in need in NYC and throughout the U.S. Learn more about the Citi Community Home Runs program at Mets.com/Citi.  

 

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Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

The Mets rallied from an early deficit to help Jacob deGrom but the Red Sox scored a run in the eighth to win the rubber game, 4-3, Sunday at Fenway Park.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Seth Lugo allowed a tie-breaking sacrifice fly to Andrew Benentendi in the eighth inning. Tzu-Wei Lin led off the inning with a double and scored the go-ahead run two batters later. Lugo (3-4) surrendered a run for only the second time in his last eight appearances.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Boston Red Sox
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Mets fall in Boston, 4-3 00:01:35
Despite a rally to tie the game, the Mets fell late, and Jacob deGrom received a no decision as the Mets lost to the Red Sox, 4-3 on Sunday

Jacob deGrom earns a no decision as Boston scores in the eighth inning, with the Mets falling to the Red Sox, 4-3, at Fenway Park.

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Gary and Keith talk deGrom 00:02:13
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez discuss Jacob deGrom's Sunday outing in Boston and where he stands in the NL Cy Young race moving forward.

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom faced off against the best team in the MLB, and it was another impressive outing for the Cy Young hopeful. 

DeGrom started his game red hot, collecting five strikeouts against the first six batters he faced. However, the Red Sox offense was entirely stale against the righty. 

The third inning was deGrom's only rough one as Boston's three runs came across in the frame. Mookie Betts hit a sacrifice fly to score Christian Vazquez, and Brock Holt launched a two-run homer in the next at-bat to give the Sox a 3-0 lead early on. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets (69-79) and Red Sox (102-47) finish their three-game series at Fenway Park on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. on SNY.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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On Episode 8 of Rain Delay Theater: The Podcast, Steve Gelbs and Wayne Randazzo are joined by GARE! That's right, SNY's play-by-play announcer Gary Cohen in on the show this week. Gary talks about the road he took in his career to get to the Mets booth, shares stories about the legendary Bob Murphy, and reveals the secrets behind his massive tie collection.

Click below to listen...

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Sep 15, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Sep 15, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

Mets RHP Corey Oswalt allowed an unearned run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings during a spot start on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.

Oswalt, who was slotted back into the Mets' rotation for a doubleheader earlier in the week, allowed an RBI double to Xander Bogaerts, but was not charged with the run because Dominic Smith committed an error.

Oswalt struck out three batters and walked one while throwing 61 pitches.

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Red Sox overwhelm Mets 00:01:18
Despite a big Brandon Nimmo home run, the bullpen couldn't hold the lead as the Mets fell to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, 5-3.

The Red Sox pounced on the Mets' bullpen and New York's offense generated only two hits in a 5-3 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday.

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Gary and Keith on Nimmo in 2019 00:02:31
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez talk about a solid season for Brandon Nimmo, and whether or not he'll be a Mets starting outfielder in 2019.

Brandon Nimmo hit his 17th home run of the season, but Paul Sewald blew the lead during a four-run fourth inning and the Mets lost to the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon, 5-3.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) A day after the Mets scored eight runs in a shutout victory, New York's offense could muster just two hits. Brandon Nimmo supplied the Mets with their only runs of the game when he hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning. It was an otherwise-quiet day, as Jeff McNeil accounted for the Mets' only other hit of the game.

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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)

The Mets (69-78) and Red Sox (101-47) continue three-game series at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. on PIX11.

Tags: Corey Oswalt
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Noah and HRs take Mets over Sox 00:01:25
A dominating Noah Syndergaard was backed by four home runs in Boston, as the Mets took down the Red Sox on Friday at Fenway Park, 8-0.

The Mets hit four home runs to back Noah Syndergaard's seven-inning outing in an 8-0 victory over the Red Sox on Friday.

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Gary, Keith, and Ron on Bruce 00:01:39
Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling look at the success Jay Bruce has had since his return from the DL, and what it means for 2019.

Noah Syndergaard pitched seven scoreless frames and the Mets hit four home runs en route to an 8-0 victory over the Red Sox on Friday in the first of three games at Fenway Park.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Austin Jackson, Jay Bruce, Amed Rosario, and Jeff McNeil all contributed home runs, but Bruce led the way with four RBI. Bruce drove in the Mets' first run in the first inning before launching a three-run blast two innings later to make it 4-0. Jackson and Rosario each homered in the eighth inning -- Jackson hit a two-run homer while Rosario had a solo home run. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Sep 13, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; A general view of Fenway Park before the Toronto Blue Jays play the Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports  (Paul Rutherford)
Sep 13, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; A general view of Fenway Park before the Toronto Blue Jays play the Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports (Paul Rutherford)

The Mets (68-78) and Red Sox (101-46) begin a three-game series at Fenway Park on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.

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 (Bill Kostroun/AP)
(Bill Kostroun/AP)

David Wright will start for the Mets one final time on Sept. 29, but he could appear in games before then too.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Friday that he could look to give Wright pinch-hitting appearances at Citi Field between Sept. 25 and Sept. 28.

Callaway added he would give Wright ample notice before any potential pinch-hitting assignment.

Tags: David Wright, Danny Abriano
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Gooden supports deGrom 00:00:38
New York Mets legend Dwight Gooden thinks the numbers say that Jacob deGrom should win the Cy Young this year, despite his lack of wins.

Mets legend Dwight Gooden thinks the numbers say that Jacob deGrom should win the Cy Young this year, despite his lack of wins.

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It's been speculated for a while that the Phillies would land either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper this offseason in free agency, but could they actually land both?

MLB executives told Jon Heyman of FanCred that they feel "it's quite possible" that the Phillies will scoop up both superstars -- the cream of this year's free agent class and two of the biggest prizes in free agent history.

"Of the more than 10 executives contacted this week, though the question was about who'd get the bigger deal between outfielder Bryce Harper and infielder Manny Machado, a few volunteered that they believed Philly could sign both players," Heyman wrote, noting that the Phillies' revenue from their TV deal, their relatively low payroll, and their understanding that they need to catch up to the Braves are among the reasons why the Machado/Harper swoop-in could happen.

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Mets third baseman Todd Frazier rounded third base Thursday at Citi Field after hitting a walk-off homer and found a strange obstacle in his way at home plate -- the umpire. 

Home plate ump Tom Hallion was standing directly on top of the plate as Frazier came through, with Frazier bumping him out of the way before turning his head and appearing to say something to Hallion. 

It's normal protocol for the home plate ump to make sure a player crosses the plate on a game-winning hit, but not normal for that ump to stand on top of the plate like this...

Tags: Todd Frazier, Danny Abriano
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St. Lucie, 2017: David Wright jokes around with teammates during batting practice before a Spring Training workout. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY
St. Lucie, 2017: David Wright jokes around with teammates during batting practice before a Spring Training workout. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY

It took me three versions to publish this post because I just can't find the right words to describe how I feel about David Wright's retirement. In the moments after his press conference Thursday, charged by SNY with writing an "emotional reaction," I just shook my head, teary eyed, staring blank at the screen.

We all knew today was inevitable, having watched him struggle and miss the last two seasons with a major spinal condition. However, through it all, as long as he was still on the roster, working in St. Lucie, there existed a small, though unrealistic, hope that he might one day return. 

It turns out that's exactly what it will be, just one day.

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) in line prior to the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) in line prior to the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Click below to see how the New York papers reacted to the news that David Wright will play for the Mets on Sept. 29 -- likely for the last time ever...

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Mets sweep Marlins 00:01:07
Michael Conforto drove in 3 runs and Tomas Nido hit his first Major League homer as the Mets completed a sweep of the Marlins, 5-2

Michael Conforto drives in three runs as the Mets complete the sweep over the Marlins.

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Feb 19, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) during practice drills at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 19, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) during practice drills at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

When David Wright makes his emotional final Mets start on Sept. 29, he'll have his partner in crime next to him just like the old days.

Wright wants to start alongisde Jose Reyes one final time, and Mickey Callaway didn't hesistate to honor that request.

"Absolutely," Callaway said after the Mets' 5-2 win over the Marlins on Thursday night. "They probably both deserve that."

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Sep 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Tomas Nido (3) hits a solo home run against the Miami Marlins during the fifth inning during game two at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Tomas Nido (3) hits a solo home run against the Miami Marlins during the fifth inning during game two at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets rallied from an early deficit and defeated the Marlins, 5-2, to complete a sweep of Thursday's doubleheader at Citi Field.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) After belting a game-tying homer in the ninth inning in the first game, Michael Conforto doubled, singled and drove in three runs in the nightcap. He hit .333 (10-for-30) with four homers, two doubles and 10 RBIs in seven games during the homestand. His 11 home runs since Aug. 12 are tied with the Braves Ronald Acuna for the most in the Majors in that span.

 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Miami Marlins, Michael Conforto
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David Wright (5) \ Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
David Wright (5) \ Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Mets captain David Wright will return to the field with the Mets on Sept. 29 for what will almost certainly be his final game.

Click below for a look at some of his most memorable moments in the orange and blue...

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Sep 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (40) 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 starting pitcher Jason Vargas (40) 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 (67-78) and Marlins (57-88) play Game 2 of a doubleheader on Thursday at 6:20 p.m. on SNY after winning game one in walk-off fashion.

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Mets walk-off on Marlins 00:00:54
Steven Matz belted his first career homer but it was Michael Conforto and Todd Frazier going back-to back in the 9th that won gm 1 of the DH

Down 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th with two outs, Michael Conforto tied the game with a solo home run then Todd Frazier blasted a walk-off home run for a thrilling 4-3 win over the Marlins in game one of Thursday's doubleheader.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Matz threw 6.1 IP, giving up three runs on three hits with four strikeouts. More admirably, he cracked his first career home run off Marlins rookie Sandy Alcantara, though Alcantara got the better of Matz on the mound...

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If you were five years old when David Wright debuted for the Mets, you're probably in college or working now. If you were in college on July 21, 2004, maybe you have kids and a mortgage. If you were 21 years old that day, as Wright was, you're nearly 36 now, with two daughters and a back, neck and shoulder that bark at you every morning.

Why was Wright crying at the podium on Thursday afternoon, while announcing plans to end his baseball career after one final appearance? Why were you probably a little weepy too, watching at home or following along online?

Standing in the back of the room as Wright spoke, feeling an unmistakable heaviness in the air, what struck me was the passage of time, the reminder of our own fragility, and unmistakable sense that no matter how much success we enjoy, or money we make, the only guarantee about anything is that it will eventually end...

Tags: David Wright, Andy Martino
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David Wright reveals future 00:05:24
New York Mets captain David Wright gets emotional about his past and his future, as the team says he will play one more time in 2018.

David Wright is returning to the Mets' active roster, though not in the way that he had hoped.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon opened Thursday's press conference at Citi Field by saying that although Wright's body has not responded the way it needed to, "out of respect for him personally, professionally, and for our fans, we want to give him this opportunity."

Wright, who Wilpon referred to as "one of the finest players and people to ever wear the uniform -- Mets uniform or any uniform," will be activated prior to the team's final homestand on Sept. 25, and will start at third base on Saturday, Sept. 29...

Tags: David Wright, Danny Abriano
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Wright has no regrets 00:00:39
New York Mets captain David Wright reflects on the road back to the team, as he fights back from injuries to try to play one more time.

Mets captain David Wright will be activated for the final homestand of the season, and will start at third base on Sept. 29. But he said Thursday he can't see any possibility his career continues beyond 2018.

With this almost certainly the end of the road for Wright, the baseball world reacted to the news...

Tags: David Wright, Danny Abriano
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Steven Matz hits a homer! 00:00:25
New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz hit his first career home run against the Marlins at Citi Field on Thursday.

Mets left-hander Steven Matz hit his first career home run against the Marlins at Citi Field on Thursday.

Tags: Steven Matz
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