New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen poses for photographs at CitiField Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen poses for photographs at CitiField Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has said on multiple occasions this winter that upgrading and stablizing center field is a priority for him when building next year's roster. 

The Giants, Mariners, Rockies, Rangers and White Sox have all reportedly been looking for a new center fielder as well. 

The overall market for everyday outfielders, especially up the middle, has been weak. 

It's always possible Van Wagenen chooses to add a corner outfielder and return to using a combination of last year's rotation in and out of center field. However, if he's looking to make a new addition, he'll likely have to choose from one of the four options...

A.J. Pollock

Van Wagenen expressed interest in the 31-year-old, right-handed hitting Pollock when speaking to reporters during early December's MLB Winter Meetings.

"A.J. fits us really well," he explained. "He's a guy that we have been in touch with his agent. ... I will continue to have dialogue."



However, I'm told the Mets quickly learned that Pollock is holding firm on asking for a six- or seven-year, nine-figure contract. I know no one in baseball that believes he will get such a lucrative and long-term contract.

This is almost certainly why recent reports indicate Van Wagenen has soured on Pollock, though I bet the the GM regains interest if the commitment reduces and the Mets continue to have a need in center field.

Adam Jones

The Mets have spoken with Jones, who is 33 years old. 

In November, multiple MLB insiders predicted to me that Jones would eventually sign for less than Andrew McCutchen, who the Phillies recently inked to three-year, $50 million deal with a fourth-year option.

As a result, the same insiders expect Jones will eventually agree to a two- or three-year deal paying him between $10-13 million each season.



I realize Jones should no longer be playing center field and now best suited in the corner. However, between him, Juan LagaresBrandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto, the Mets would have four guys able to play all three outfield positions and all with experience in center field. I'm certain Callaway and Van Wagenen's analytics team can figure out a day-by-day configuration that works for everyone involved.

More importantly, though, Jones is the exact type of veteran, professional hitter and leader who would benefit this specific Mets roster at this specific time. Plus, despite being 33 years old, he has played at least 139 games each of the past nine seasons, which is a lot more than I can say for most people currently on Callaway's roster.

Similar to Jones, the middle of the free agent market includes Carlos Gomez, Austin Jackson, Jon Jay, Cameron Maybin, Gerardo Parra and Denard Span, all of whom would need to split time around the outfield to justify being on the roster.

The trade market

The Rays have talked to teams about center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who signed an extension last winter that will pay him $43 million the next four years. 

He had four terrific seasons to begin his career, but struggled in 2018, hitting well below his career batting average and had fewer than than half his typical totals for extra base hits.

That said, the collective projections on FanGraphs.com have him producing just under 3.0 WAR next season, which would be roughly the same projected production from Pollock and more than anyone else mentioned in this post.



The problem is that his trade value is low from where it would have been one year ago. So, because of the lack of better options on the free agent market, my hunch is Tampa will keep him, use him and hope for a bounce back season. 

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have been pushing Kevin Pillar on front offices that are known to value defense in center field, which may or may not include the Mets. Pillar is a counterproductive hitter, but he's so good in the field that he nets out as a positive.

Pillar, 29, is arbitration eligible the next two seasons, during which he'll likely earn a total of around $14 million. He can be a free agent after 2020.

In addition to Pillar and Kiermaier, reported trade candidates also include Keon Broxton, and Michael Taylor, as well as Jacoby Ellsbury and Dexter Fowler, both of whom have expensive contracts weighing down the chance they get dealt.

Unless the Mets can move Todd Frazier and his salary in a deal for one of the above, I'd just as soon sign Jones and keep Frazier.

Juan Lagares

Lagares, 29, has been in the Mets organization since being signed in 2006. He started hot and healthy during his first two seasons starting in 2013, he won a Gold Glove in 2014, but has struggled to perform and stay healthy ever since signing a four-year contract that covered his first year of free agency.

The now-veteran center fielder has not played 100 games in a season since 2015. His 2018 season ended in May when needing surgery to repair a complete tear of the plantar plate in his big toe. He had surgery on his thumb the prior year. Even during his Gold Glove season in 2014 he went under the knife when after spending time on the DL with a strained right hamstring and a right intercostal strain, he needed surgery to correct a hyperextended right elbow, which ended his season during September.



He remains a talented center field with potential to be elite. However, Van Wagenen repeatedly said he wants to eliminate from the roster all of the "Ifs," and Lagares is the poster boy for that category. This is probably why, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, the Mets have been shopping Lagares, which would also help shed the one year and $9 million left on his salary.

At this point, given his poor durability, Lagares can only be counted on to be a fourth outfielder, always available to come in to upgrade the late game defense. Otherwise, despite having a ton of potential and still an incredible glove, he just can't be counted on to man center field on a regular basis.

What would I do?

Ideally, the Mets trade Frazier, sign Bryce Harper and live with Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo splitting time in left and center field. 

If that can't happen, though, I'd work to trade Lagares, free up money and roster space and sign Pollock once his price drops as it inevitably will do. 

If I neither of the above can happen, I'd keep Lagares and sign Jones. 

Jones, Lagares, Conforto and Nimmo is not the most settled or productive outfield in the league. Also, the foursome clearly has risks, adds - and does not eliminate - question marks from the roster, and it probably means Van Wagenen has to somehow add offense at third. But, I genuinely believe a motivated Jones (much like McCutchen when traded last summer) will be better on both sides of the ball than people expect. And, just as important, I know his leadership and class will have a significant, positive impact on the overall roster, which is young and needing strong, respected, veteran leadership.


CERRONE: Is Brodie Van Wagenen right ... are Mets favorites in NL East? >> Read More

CERRONE: Here's the type of contract Mets should try to lure Bryce Harper with >> Read More

RELATED: Does Syndergaard's new bobblehead night mean he's safe? >> Read More


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!

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The Mets got some good news within the division earlier this offseason as Josh Donaldson elected to leave the Braves (and spurn the Nationals) to sign a multi-year deal with the Minnesota Twins.

No such luck this time around with Ryan Zimmerman, though.

According to a report from Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, Zimmerman is returning the Nationals on a one-year deal. The deal is has a base value of $2 million, but can be pushed up to $5 million with incentives.

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Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts

In his latest mailbag, Matthew Cerrone answers questions about a potential Mookie Betts trade, Luis Rojas, and more...


Are we getting Mookie Betts or not? The Padres seem to want him more. ~ Anthony Rosato

Boston's goal in trading Betts has been to significantly reduce payroll and get below the luxury tax threshold. The rumored deal between the Padres and Sox would send Wil Myers to Boston, which wouldn't cut enough money. Therefore, the sticking point between the two sides is likely David Price, who Boston has been trying to package with Betts because it's the biggest cost saving possible.

For the Mets, though, sending just Jed Lowrie to Boston could work for both sides.

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After his introductory press conference on Friday afternoon, Luis Rojas spoke to SNY's Steve Gelbs about his emotions on becoming the manager of the Mets.

"It's a birth of emotions," Rojas said. "I'm going crazy with the situation right now. The New York Mets manager, it's something that I've dreamed.

"When things unfolded for me to be a coach, and I landed with this organization in 2006, I saw how everything was so detailed," Rojas said. "My dream was to manage the New York Mets at one point. I knew it was going to take a lot. I was always proud to be a coach in the organization, I was always proud to be a manager in the minor leagues. And I was even more proud when I was on the coaching staff last year, but this is still a dream come true for me. And I'm willing to look forward and compete with the rest of the guys on the staff in this season."

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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen stood alongside new manager Luis Rojas after introducing him to the media on Friday, going into detail about why he was chosen for the job to replace Carlos Beltran.

"His communication not only to the players, but you'll learn his communication with you will be genuine," Van Wagenen said. "And certainly from a management standpoint, the ability to know that when we speak to Luis, it's gonna be the truth."

After Rojas' press conference was over, Van Wagenen went 1-on-1 with SNY's Steve Gelbs and provided further explanation on the choice of Rojas.

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Starling Marte (Charles LeClaire)
Starling Marte (Charles LeClaire)

In recent days, the Mets have once again been linked in trade talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates centered around outfielder Starling Marte.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen spent most of his availability on Friday answering question about the team's new manager Luis Rojas, but he was also asked about the team still looking to trade for an outfielder.

"At this point we feel very confident in the group we have," said Van Wagenen. "We're excited about the guys that we have invited to camp. We're excited about the returning players that we'll have back on the roster, and we think we've added some key pieces from the outside that will help us this year. 

"We don't want to disrupt what we have. We do have the chemistry I spoke of. We have a culture where people buy into one another and they believe they can pick each other up. I don't see a deal that's going to disrupt that environment, and if there's an opportunity to continually improve our roster we'll explore it, but our aggressiveness is focused on getting ready for spring training with the players that we have."

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The Mets introduced Luis Rojas on Friday as the 23rd manager in franchise history, with Rojas replacing Carlos Beltran less than three months after Beltran took over.

Amidst the strangeness of a second new manager press conference in the same offseason, Rojas spoke at the podium -- answering questions in both English and Spanish -- before taking part in multiple scrums with local reporters.

Throughout it all, Rojas was both direct and reflective, mentioning on numerous occasions how getting this job was his "dream."

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Pirates OF Starling Marte
Pirates OF Starling Marte

The Mets have interest in trading for Pirates CF Starling Marte. Here's the latest...


Jan. 24, 2:59 PM:

The Mets and Pirates remain "engaged" in trade talks for Starling Marte, but there is still "plenty of work" to be done, Jon Heyman reported, adding that the Padres, Diamondbacks, and Rangers could also be in play.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Carlos Beltran, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts

With the Red Sox in a state of flux this offseason, there's long been a thought that the team might look to deal superstar right fielder Mookie Betts.

The Mets, meanwhile, would seem like a strong fit for Betts, as the team looks to solidify their outfield and add another big bat to go along with Pete Alonso in the lineup.

Could Betts end up in the National League this season after all?

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas (Jasen Vinlove)
Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets announced Luis Rojas as the team's 23rd manager in Thursday evening.

The team had been working to finalize a multi-year deal with Rojas, and the deal is now official.

The 38-year-old Rojas has been a member of the Mets organization since 2007, managing on different minor-league levels before joining the big-league staff as quality control coach in 2019.

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Luis Rojas (Treated Image by SNY)
Luis Rojas (Treated Image by SNY)

Luis Rojas will meet the media on Friday at Citi Field when he is officially introduced as the new Mets manager.

When news came out Wednesday that the Mets had chosen Rojas to replace Carlos Beltran, the reaction was mostly positive -- Rojas has been with the Mets since 2007, has terrific credentials, and is viewed by many as a rising star.

But one of the main concerns some had revolved around how Rojas would handle the media on a daily basis. He'll get his first test on Friday. Here are five (of many) questions Rojas should be asked...

Do you still need to earn the respect of the players?

Despite having already managed a vast majority of the players on the roster while in the minors -- including Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, and many others -- there is a thought that Rojas may need to work to earn additional respect now that he's in the big league manager's chair.

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Mets manager Carlos Beltran and Brodie Van Wagenen (SNY)
Mets manager Carlos Beltran and Brodie Van Wagenen (SNY)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Here's a weird question. Was Carlos Beltran ever the Mets manager?

What we mean is, when the franchise lists its all-time skippers, will Beltran be included despite the fact that the team hired and parted ways with him before he ever saw game action?

The question has implications both trivial and meaningful for Luis Rojas. Is he about to become the 22nd or 23rd manager in franchise history?

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Amed Rosario
Amed Rosario

During the past two weeks, I reached out to current and former players, coaches, scouts and league executives to learn who on the Mets is most likely to take a big step forward in 2020 compared to 2019.

The following three players were mentioned most...

1) Amed Rosario

Rosario hit .287 with a .323 OBP, 15 home runs, 30 doubles and 19 stolen bases, while producing 2.7 WAR in 2019, according to FanGraphs.

As soon as he started to get himself stable and performing well in the field, he also began swinging at fewer pitches out of the strike zone, while swinging at more pitches in it. Not surprisingly, he also started making more and better contact overall, while also reducing how often he struck out.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 24, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) rounds third base in front of Miami Marlins third baseman Starlin Castro (13) after hitting a two run home run against the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 24, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) rounds third base in front of Miami Marlins third baseman Starlin Castro (13) after hitting a two run home run against the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto, who has been one of the most valuable outfielders in baseball since making his Major League debut in 2015, has been ranked among the Top 10 right fielders in baseball by MLB Network's The Shredder

The 26-year-old Conforto, who hit .257/.363/.494 with 33 homers, 29 doubles, and 92 RBI in 151 games in 2019, came in at No. 9 on the list.

Conforto was one spot behind Joey Gallo and one spot ahead of Nicholas Castellanos.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Luis Rojas (Lizzy Barrett/Getty Images)
Luis Rojas (Lizzy Barrett/Getty Images)

The Mets announced Wednesday that they're finalizing a deal that will have Luis Rojas will take over as manager for the 2020 season.

The praise amongst Mets players such as Marcus Stroman, Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith, among others, has been great to see. As many have said, the hiring of Rojas seems incredibly popular amongst players. Thus, this level of response is not surprising.

I understand there are some questions about Rojas being a first-time big-league manager, and there was buzz that there was some doubt organizationally if he was ready to be a big-league manager when he interviewed in October for the job. Do not be mistaken though, Rojas is an incredibly qualified person for this job. He is a baseball lifer with the bloodlines from the Alou family, which is one of the most respected families in baseball history. While he may not have big-league managing experience, you are talking about a guy who has managed in the Mets organization since 2007 with the Mets Dominican Summer League team. 

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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The more you hear about Luis Rojas, the more reason there is to believe he could be a good major-league manager. But is he ready in 2020? Will his inexperience cost the Mets in a win-now season? How will he react to being grilled daily about every significant decision he makes?

So many questions that nobody can answer until the games begin, and it's the great unknown that makes this such a huge gamble for Brodie Van Wagenen, especially with the expectation of a change in ownership that could raise the stakes even higher for the GM this season.

To me, it's the reason it made more sense to go get a proven commodity like a Buck Showalter or a Dusty Baker, especially after the Carlos Beltran hire backfired on the Mets and added a level of chaos that begged for credibility in the manager's office. 

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Pete Alonso, John Harper
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the wildly different takes on Luis Rojas that have surfaced during a week of reporting rolling around in my head, it was hard to form an opinion on the Mets' managerial choice. 

Then, during SNY's breaking news coverage, Keith Hernandez summed it up in a way that finally made sense: "I'm going to need at least 24 hours to digest this."

Keith was on the right track there. Our only amendment to his take is that we might need even more time -- 24 weeks maybe? -- to formulate an informed take on the news.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Andy Martino
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Sep 7, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Jed Lowrie (4) reacts after striking out with two men on base against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth
		inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 7, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Jed Lowrie (4) reacts after striking out with two men on base against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

While the Mets have reportedly discussed Jed Lowrie in potential trades throughout the offseason, New York and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen are pleased with the infielder's progress entering 2020.

After a 2019 season in which he only played nine games due to injuries, Lowrie is making strides ahead of his second season with the Mets.

"We were pleased with his progress on where he's at physically," Van Wagenen said, according to Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. "We did some testing to measure his strengths (and) he's progressing to the point where we're optimistic of having him participate in a meaningful way in (Spring Training) games."

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Aug 1, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Luis Avilan (43) delivers the ball in the eight inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Aug 1, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Luis Avilan (43) delivers the ball in the eight inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

The Yankees signed former Mets LHP Luis Avilan to a minor-league contract with a major-league Spring Training invite, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Avilan, 30, went 4-0 on the 2019 season with a 5.06 ERA and 30 strikeouts to 14 walks in 45 games.

He logged his first seven MLB seasons with four different teams, joining the Mets after spending 2018 on the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, pitching to a 2-1 record and 3.77 ERA.

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Mets manager Luis Rojas
Mets manager Luis Rojas

New Mets manager Luis Rojas is a relative unknown to most. However, among his attributes, he is already well-respected inside the Mets' clubhouse, has been around the team for over a decade, has tons of managerial experience, and has famous MLB bloodlines.

Here are five things to know about Rojas...

Was viewed as a rising star when he managed in minors

While coaching for the Mets in the minors, Rojas was voted by his peers as the best managerial prospect in the Florida State League (with the High-A St. Lucie Mets) in 2015 and 2016 after being voted as the best managerial prospect in the South Atlantic League (with Low-A) in 2014, according to JJ Cooper of Baseball America

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Yoenis Cespedes (52) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Yoenis Cespedes (52) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been crossing thresholds this offseason as he continues to work his way back from multiple ankle fractures that ended his 2019 season before it began. And he's getting closer to being a realistic option for the 26-man roster to start the 2020 season.

Cespedes' hitting progression has "reached the point where he's ready to go for spring training on the offensive side," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said on Wednesday.

Of course, being ready to go on the offensive side is only one half of what Cespedes needs to do in order to be a player who can start games for the Mets this coming season.

Tags: Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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The Mets have named Luis Rojas their next manager, and SNY's Mets game analyst Keith Hernandez was very straight-forward with his reaction. 

"This is kind of just my initial reaction: I must admit I'm absolutely stunned at the choice -- not for any negative reason," he said. "I'm not so concerned about how he handles the press. He's a very bright guy, I think he'll be fine with the media.

"My concern is, and I believe that a manager has to be the leader of the team, you're getting a very young manager with virtually no major league experience taking over the team."

Hernandez, who admitted that Joe Girardi was the guy he wanted from the onset, continued to discuss the hiring by talking about today's trend in hiring new managers, and how Rojas' experience with the Mets should help him down the road with his roster...

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The Mets have found their replacement for Carlos Beltran as manager in Luis Rojas, who is finalizing a multi-year deal with the team

And the players are very excited about the new hire. 

Some of the current Mets -- and even some of Rojas' old pupils from the minors -- have commented on the news. Here are a few reactions, starting with Pete Alonso, who was quick to share his happiness on Twitter...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso, Scott Thompson
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Luis Rojas (Treated Image by SNY)
Luis Rojas (Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets are working to finalize a multi-year deal to make Luis Rojas their next manager.

Rojas, 38, had been one of the Mets' three finalists for manager, along with Hensley Meulens and Tony DeFrancesco, SNY's Andy Martino reported Tuesday.

The Mets' coaching staff around Rojas will remain intact, according to Martino. That staff includes Meulens (the bench coach, who had also been linked to the managerial opening in Boston) and DeFrancesco (the first base coach who managed Triple-A Syracuse in 2019).

 

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Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas (Jasen Vinlove)
Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets are finalizing a multi-year deal to make Luis Rojas their next manager, replacing Carlos Beltran who mutually parted ways with the team last Thursday. 

Rojas was getting plenty of buzz as the Mets conducted their second managerial search of the offseason, with team brass focused on an in-house option to take over. The 38-year-old has managerial experience in the minors and was the team's quality control coach before this promotion. 

However, there were some doubts on Rojas, as it was said the team didn't believe he was ready to take over as manager back in November when he was initially considered for the job. That has clearly changed now, and some current Mets always believed Rojas had what it took to be a big league manager after playing under him. 

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Tomas Nido, Danny Abriano
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Sep 30, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) celebrates his second home run of the game a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Sep 30, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) celebrates his second home run of the game a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The relationship between Nolan Arenado and the Rockies could be irretrievably broken, with the star third baseman recently going public over his frustration with GM Jeff Bridich.

After Bridich said earlier this week that the team had listened to Arenado trade offers and planned to move forward with him on the team in 2020, Arenado shot back. And if Colorado again opens trade talks, the Cardinals and Rangers could be two of the strongest suitors for Arenado, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported on Wednesday.

According to Morosi, the Rockies have informed interested teams that they would have to improve their 2020 big league team and acquire prospects in any deal for Arenado.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Mets' second managerial search of the offseason starting to wind down, three names have emerged, according to SNY's Andy Martino.

Barring a late entrant or unknown candidate, the race is down to internal options Luis Rojas, Hensley Meulens, and Tony DeFrancesco

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Danny Abriano
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Ronny Mauricio (Tom Priddy, Four Seam Images)
Ronny Mauricio (Tom Priddy, Four Seam Images)

As they do every year, Baseball America has released its new Top 100 prospects in the game list heading into the 2020 season. And two Mets have made the cut. 

Shortstop Ronny Mauricio and catcher Francisco Alvarez have come in at No. 66 and 67, respectively, on the list. 

The outlet already had Mauricio as its top prospect in the Mets organization, as the 18-year-old has shown tremendous progress in just two seasons of pro ball. He slashed .268/.307/.357 with four homers and 37 RBI over 116 games with Low-A Columbia last season. If he continues that growth, Mauricio has a chance to find himself in Double-A at some point this year. 

Tags: Robinson Cano, Ronny Mauricio, Scott Thompson
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Hensley Meulens (Treated Image by SNY)
Hensley Meulens (Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets' search for a new manager could be reaching its final stages.

According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets have narrowed the search down to three internal candidates: Luis Rojas, Hensley Meulens, and Tony DeFrancesco.

Martino notes that while there's a chance another candidate could still enter the mix, the Mets "see benefits of going internal."

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso
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Jun 15, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (44) talks with New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) during ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Pirates 11-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 15, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (44) talks with New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) during ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Pirates 11-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets made a move to address their catching depth on Tuesday evening. 

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Mets are bringing back veteran Rene Rivera on a minor-league deal. Per Nightengale, the contract is worth $1 million, though there are $300,000 worth of incentives if he makes the big-league team.

Rivera, 36, has played parts of three seasons with the Mets. After beginning his Major League career with stops in Seattle, Minnesota, San Diego and Tampa Bay, Rivera joined the Mets in 2016, when he appeared in 65 games and hit .222 with six home runs and 26 RBI. He had previously had a stop with the Mets organization in 2009, but never played higher than Triple-A that season.

Tags: Rene Rivera
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May 28, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets former infielder Wally Backman is introduced to the crowd during a pregame ceremony honoring the 1986 World Series Championship team prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 28, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets former infielder Wally Backman is introduced to the crowd during a pregame ceremony honoring the 1986 World Series Championship team prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Wally Backman, former Mets second baseman and currently the manager of the Long Island Ducks, was in court on Long Island on Tuesday for alleged criminal mischief and harassment.

Backman, 60, allegedly shoved his ex-girlfriend Amanda Byrnes into a wall and stopped her from calling police when the incident occurred in August.

According to the New York Post, Backman faces up to a year in prison if convicted.

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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes
Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes

When the offseason began, the thought of Yoenis Cespedes contributing to the 2020 Mets was a pipe dream. Then he started hitting bombs. Then his contract was restructured to incentivize him making it back on the field. Then he started running.

Now, the idea that the 34-year-old Cespedes will trot out to left field in in the top of the first inning on March 26 against the Nationals at Citi Field before toting his lumber to the batter's box in the bottom of the first seems downright plausible.

Yes, Cespedes still needs to prove he can handle a full nine innings in left field. And yes, he still needs to get through the rest of the offseason without suffering any setbacks. But after roughly two seasons on the shelf, Yo is close. And his healthy return could have serious ripple effects on the 2020 Mets...

A very crowded situation in left field

In a world without a healthy Cespedes, the Mets would likely enter the 2020 season with J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto as their starting outfielders from left to right.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Feb 15, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas (60) during spring training at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 15, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas (60) during spring training at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets remain "hopeful of choosing a manager within the next few days," SNY's Andy Martino reported on Tuesday, adding that he has still not heard of any external candidates being in the mix.

Still, while the names of serious external candidates haven't come out, Martino cautioned that it doesn't definitely mean there aren't any.

As the Mets continue their search for Carlos Beltran's replacement, with most of the buzz surrounding internal candidates such as Luis Rojas, the Astros have seemingly cast a much wider net.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Danny Abriano
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Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado

The following are insights, ideas and notes gathered from recent conversations with team sources, rival executives, reporters, front office assistants and talent evaluators...


Nolan Arenado isn't happy

Arenado was set to become a free agent after 2019, but signed a long-term contract that he can opt out of after 2021. During negotiations, he was assured the Rockies would make additions and increase payroll to push for a deeper postseason run. So far, that hasn't happened. In fact, they took a step back -- finishing 71-91 in 2019 -- and are on pace to reduce payroll from last season to this season.

The buzz from Colorado is that Arenado is frustrated because the Rockies are not following through on their promise. At this point, it seems likely he'll opt out unless dealt to another team. The thing is, the acquiring team almost certainly has questions about how the opt out will be handled.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Curtis Granderson, Edwin Diaz, Giancarlo Stanton, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 24, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Sep 24, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

Interested parties should take note: The increasingly tumultuous relationship between the Rockies and their All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado appears to be getting even, err, rockier.

On Monday evening, the Denver Post reported that Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich was no longer fielding offers for Arenado, who signed an eight-year, $260 million extension with the team prior to last season. 

"With the season coming up and spring training on the horizon, we are going to start focusing on that," Bridich said. "We have listened to teams regarding Nolan and really nothing has come of it. We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected -- with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman.

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As the Mets continue to look for a new manager, a few names have surfaced, some of whom have interviewed for other open spots, but nothing has emerged just yet.

On SNY's The Thread, the panel discusses whether or not it's time for Mets fans to panic.

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Jun 18, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws against the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
Jun 18, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws against the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

The Mets are still reeling and in search of the man who's going to manage their roster in 2020, but the oddsmakers aren't too down on them for that. 

Odds Shark posted early over/ under totals for the 2020 MLB season and the Mets are in a tie for the fifth-highest over/ under total in the National League. 

Sitting at 86.5, the Mets are tied with the Cubs at that number. However, the over/ unders released indicate what many predict in 2020: the NL East is going to be tight. 

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May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Blaine McIntosh, the Mets' 13th round selection at the 2019 MLB Draft, earned a prestigious honor this past weekend. 

McIntosh took home the 2019 Todd Helton Award, given to Tennessee's high school baseball player of the year. 

The 18-year-old is a speedy 6-foot-4 center field prospect who was described an as "explosive" outfielder by MLB.com prior to the draft. 

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Yoenis Cespedes
Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes said he would have a grand comeback this season, and the latest video of his offseason workouts shows he's preparing to live up to his word. 

Cespedes is down in Port St. Lucie putting in work that includes running on turf, hitting batting practice, and in typical Cespedes fashion, making absurd catches in the outfield...

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Luis Rojas
Luis Rojas

After mutually parting ways with Carlos Beltran, the Mets are searching for a new manager. Here's the latest on candidate Luis Rojas ...


Jan. 20, 4:08 PM:

After MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Buck Showalter, Dusty Baker and John Gibbons were all getting interviews from the Astros, SNY's Andy Martino came to Twitter to agree. But he also dropped this nugget about Rojas...

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Eduardo Perez
Eduardo Perez

The Mets are currently searching for their next manager after mutually parting ways with Carlos Beltran, and ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez is a top candidate to replace him. 

Here is the latest news on Perez...


Jan. 20, 3:23 PM:

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Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets RHP Marcus Stroman is back on Twitter to talk about the Astros' sign-stealing scandal, and this time, he has video. 

Stroman spoke out about the situation in general last week, saying "This is crazy. Truly can't believe all this s--t coming out in baseball." But the right-hander did his research and found a clip put together by Daily Hive Toronto's Ian Hunter that shows very clearly the Astros using their sign-stealing method against Stroman. 

His reaction? 

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

Mets legend David Wright had already made it known that managing wasn't on his mind after ending his playing career following the 2018 season. 

And that is still the case today. 

MLB Network's Jon Heyman did his due diligence on the matter with the Mets currently looking for a new manager after mutually parting ways with Carlos Beltran. Wright's answer is just the one you'd expect...

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Oct 9, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (12) walks to the mound against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning in game three of the 2017 NLDS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports (Jerry Lai)
Oct 9, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (12) walks to the mound against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning in game three of the 2017 NLDS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports (Jerry Lai)

The Mets continue their search for their next manager after mutually parting ways with Carlos Beltran on Thursday. Multiple names have surfaced as potential replacements for Beltran, and with less than a month until pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie, a decision could be coming soon. 

Here is the latest on each candidate...


Hensley Meulens

The Mets bench coach is a top candidate for the position, but New York isn't the only team considering him as a replacement at the moment.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Red Sox has showing some interest in Meulens. Alex Cora also parted ways with Boston following the Astros' sign-stealing scandal, throwing them into the manager search now as well. 

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Hensley Meulens (Jason Getz)
Hensley Meulens (Jason Getz)

In the wake of the electronic sign-stealing scandal that ultimately left three MLB teams without managers, one is reportedly eyeing a relatively recent addition to the Mets' coaching staff.

The Red Sox "have shown interest" in recently hired Mets bench coach Hensley Meulens, according to a Sunday evening report from Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

A follow-up note from Heyman moments later added that the Mets had not contacted John Gibbons or Buck Showalter. Both are reportedly candidates for the Astros, whom Dusty Baker is focused on.

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Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates with the Lamar Hunt Trophy after beating the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports (Jay Biggerstaff)
Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates with the Lamar Hunt Trophy after beating the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports (Jay Biggerstaff)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' performance in Sunday's AFC Championship Game, a 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium, resonated with more than just the average NFL fan.

As the Chiefs clinched their first Super Bowl appearance since January 1970, the only set of rings they have to date, former Mets catcher Mike Piazza saluted Mahomes on the signal caller's heroic effort.

Piazza, who played with Mahomes' father and former Mets RHP Patrick Mahomes Sr. from 1999-00, took to Twitter late Sunday evening and extended an according shout-out.

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Oct 9, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (12) in the dugout during the sixth inning in game three of the 2017 NLDS playoff baseball series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports (Jerry Lai)
Oct 9, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (12) in the dugout during the sixth inning in game three of the 2017 NLDS playoff baseball series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports (Jerry Lai)

After mutually parting ways with Carlos Beltran, the Mets are searching for a new manager. Here's the latest...


Jan. 19, 9:05 PM:

Dusty Baker has not heard from the Mets or Red Sox and is focused on the Astros, he said Sunday evening while updating his managerial pursuit with reporters in Houston, including Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

Tags: Carlos Beltran
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 (Jeff Curry)
(Jeff Curry)

Steroids blew up the record books, changed the way we look at Cooperstown talent and cast a shadow of distrust and suspicion over the National Pastime.

Sign stealing has polluted the World Series, besmirched talented championship teams, cost four prominent executives their jobs - so far - and is making some wonder if technology should be banned from ballgames.

With the current uproar over sign stealing, there seems to be a natural urge to measure one modern scandal against the other. Both plunged spiny tentacles deep into the soul of the baseball, but which is worse, getting jacked up chemically to play better, or swinging based on ill-gotten electronic intel?

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SNY's Keith Hernandez sat down to talk with comedian Jerry Seinfeld about how the former Mets first baseman landed on an episode of Seinfeld.

"I don't know if Larry (David) has ever said to you how we landed on you," Seinfeld said. "He must've asked me who was my favorite Met at the time, and I'm sure I said you."

Hernandez famously appeared as a guest star in "The Boyfriend" episode of Seinfeld's sitcom which aired Feb. 12, 1992.

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Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets second baseman Joe Panik (2) hits a single in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets second baseman Joe Panik (2) hits a single in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

After returning home to New York towards the end of last season, Joe Panik is now headed north of the border. The Hopewell Junction, N.Y., native and St. John's product has agreed to a deal with the Blue Jays, according to MLB.com's Jon Heyman.

Panik, 29, was released by the Giants in August after spending the first six seasons of his Major League career in San Francisco. He finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2014, was named an NL All-Star in 2015, but never fully developed into the player the Giants were hoping for when they drafted him in the first round in 2011. 

Panik slashed just .235/.310/.317 in 108 games with Giants last year, but was quickly signed by the Mets just two days after his release. He rebounded slightly with the change of scenery, finishing his 39-game stint in Queens with a .277/.333/.404 slash line.

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