Mets RHP Zack Wheeler
Mets RHP Zack Wheeler

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With September dominance, including Sunday night's gem of a start against the Dodgers, Zack Wheeler is making it awfully difficult for the Mets to let him walk out the door as a free agent.

Which prompts a couple of obvious questions:

1) Is it too late to make an offer that would keep him from testing the market?

Realistically, yes, because with Wheeler being this close he'd probably only sign a new deal if the Mets blew him away with a $100 million-plus offer of some type, and at that price they might as well see what other teams are willing to pay him.

2) Should the Mets pay top dollar to bring him back?

There is room for debate here because, as we've seen, Wheeler's inconsistency can be as exasperating as his brilliance can be spellbinding. And if last year's superb second half of the season didn't lead to an elite 2019 season, there's no reason to think the next few years, as he turns 30 next May, will get him over that hump.

Still, his inability to turn his eye-popping talent into greatness shouldn't be reason to underestimate Wheeler's value either, especially considering the Mets have no home-grown starting pitching of note on the immediate horizon -- and seem to have a tense relationship with Noah Syndergaard that could lead to a trade this winter.

Yes, they have Marcus Stroman for next season, but as an executive from an American League told me on Monday, "There's no way Stroman could dominate that Dodger lineup, with all of those lefthanded bats, the way Wheeler did. And that's not a knock on Stroman. There just aren't a lot of pitchers that have the stuff to do what Wheeler did last night."

Which, of course, is what will make him such a tantalizing option on the free-agent market, especially for analytic-heavy teams that might think some fine-tuning here and there could eliminate some of the inconsistency that has led to Wheeler's 4.09 ERA and several ugly starts this season.

But how much will teams be willing to pay to gamble on his dazzling upside?

To a degree Wheeler has taken some of the risk out of the equation with his durability the last two seasons. After that two-year recovery from Tommy John surgery that bled into a third injury-shortened season, his only blip has been that brief absence in July this season due to shoulder fatigue, and he has done his best pitching since then.



So he is proving he can stay healthy and pitch deep into games even on days when he is mystifyingly hittable: his total of 180.1 innings this season ranks sixth among all National League starters, and in back-to-back seasons he has gotten better and seemingly stronger in the second half.

Last year he was deGrom-like in the second half, pitching to a 1.68 ERA and a spectacular 0.813 WHIP over his final 11 starts, but the Mets were completely out of contention by then, which has to be factored into the equation.

With a lot more on the line this season, Wheeler again has improved in the second half, pitching to a 2.93 ERA, compared to 4.69 in the first half, and significantly reduced the mistake-pitch home runs that killed him in the first half -- giving up only four in 10 starts compared to 16 in his 19 first-half starts.

On the other hand, Wheeler has still given up 66 hits in 61.1 innings, resulting in a less-than-sparkling 1.321 WHIP in the second half, and he's also averaging two and half fewer strikeouts per nine innings in the second half.

Add all that up and the only way to make sense of it may to be simply acknowledge that when Wheeler is on, he can dominate any lineup in baseball, but when his command is off, he often can't limit damage and prevent big innings.

"When his mechanics get a little out of whack he doesn't seem to be able to band-aid his way through a game like a lot of top-of-the-rotation starters," is the way one long-time scout puts it. "His 'A' game is as good as anybody's but the guys that can limit the damage when they don't have their 'A' game are the ones that separate themselves."

"At this point I'm not sure Wheeler will ever be able to do that consistently. But if you're a big-market team that can afford to take the chance on him, that performance against the Dodgers is the kind that makes you want to write a big check. That was special.

"Put it this way: you can't teach that late life he's got on his fastball."

With all of that in mind, Wheeler may be making the cash register ring down the stretch of this season. He has allowed only one run in each of his last four starts, and has been much better lately at pitching out of trouble.

This winter, Wheeler is not going to get Gerrit Cole money, or Stephen Strasburg money if the Nationals' star opts out of his contract, but it appears he'll be in demand on a tier just below that.

Should the Mets be in the mix? That answer could depend largely on their plans for Syndergaard. They've indicated a preference to trade him, and in that case they're going to need more than Steven Matz and Stroman in support of Jacob deGrom if they're serious about trying to win a championship.

Bottom line: If the Mets aren't going to commit long-term to Syndergaard, well, Wheeler reminded them Sunday night just how much they could regret letting him walk.


MARTINO: Many layers of nuance to Callaway removing Wheeler on Sunday >> Read More

FORMER METS WATCH: Updates on Kay, Flores, others >> Read More

RELATED: NL Cy Young Watch: deGrom padded Cy Young resume on Saturday >> Read More

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Brodie Van Wagenen
Brodie Van Wagenen

The Winter Meetings wrapped up on Thursday in San Diego, but lots of questions remain for the Mets. Among them...

Rounding out the rotation...

Rick Porcello could have signed a multiyear deal, according to people aware of his market.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets' Jeff McNeil had a breakout season in 2019, batting .318 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI in 133 games.

Here are his six best moments of the season...

Tags: Jeff McNeil
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Mets 1B/OF Dominic Smith
Mets 1B/OF Dominic Smith

As part of their attempt to trade Jed Lowrie, the Mets have discussed a potential deal with the Rangers that would involve Lowrie and Dominic Smith heading to Texas, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported late Wednesday.

According to Rosenthal, talks between the Mets and Rangers have failed to progress to this point.

Aside from the Rangers, the A's have inquired with the Mets about Lowrie, SNY's Andy Martino reported Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Lowrie, who missed all but nine games in 2019 due to a variety of injuries, is owed $10 million in 2020 when it comes to how payoll is calculated for luxury tax purposes.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Danny Abriano
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Aug 3, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Mets won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Aug 3, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Mets won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

he Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen hopes to check off some of the Mets' needs, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


Joyce Kanopka (via e-mail): I don't understand why the Mets aren't trading Edwin Diaz. What evidence is there that he can ever get back to pitching like he did for the Mariners?

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

Speaking Thursday morning at the Winter Meetings with the Mets on the verge of finalizing deals with starting pitchers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, GM Brodie Van Wagenen strongly suggested that his plan might not include adding any external big league relievers.

Van Wagenen could be speaking in intentionally coy terms. But if not, the Mets would likely be neglecting their main area of need while hoping for bounceback years and other positive developments.

"We can bolster our bullpen by having (Seth) Lugo and (Robert) Gsellman go back to the bullpen along with (Brad) Brach if that's how it shakes out in spring training," Van Wagenen said. "It's a good position to be in. We'll sort of adjust on the fly in terms of what other opportunities come in. We have the ability to do wants now that many of our needs are filled."

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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The Mets added some starting pitching this offseason, and one of the new arms in their rotation is RHP Rick Porcello

Porcello is coming off a down year with the Red Sox after posting a 5.52 ERA over 32 starts. However, he brings 11 years of MLB experience to the table as a very valuable back-end rotation piece. 

So, as Porcello makes his way back to a very familiar place, here are some things you might not have known about the veteran:

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Brodie Van Wagenen said Thursday at the Winter Meetings that the Mets have "probably the deepest starting pitching rotation in baseball," noting that the added depth after signing Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha gives the team lots of "flexibility" when it comes to how they prepare for 2020.

As things currently stand, the Mets have Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Porcello, and Wacha as rotation options.

They also have the ability to use Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman in the rotation, with Van Wagenen saying the Mets are "staring at eight potential starting pitchers."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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Dellin Betances (Treated Image by SNY)
Dellin Betances (Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets have interest in signing free agent reliever Dellin Betances. Here's the latest...


Dec. 12, 1:30 PM:

The Dodgers are among the "most aggressive" teams when it comes to Betances, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Danny Abriano
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Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)
Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In an unexpected move, the Mets have reportedly inked Rick Porcello to a one-year deal worth $10 million. While the signing itself was surprising, the potential ramifications are even more intriguing.

Since the Mets now have an excess of starting pitchers and 42 players for 40 spots (and are brushing up against the luxury tax), more moves have to be coming. So what happens now?

Are the Mets going to trade a starting pitcher?

With Porcello and Michael Wacha on board, the Mets seemingly have six starting pitchers for five slots. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Brewers LHP Josh Hader (Jeff Curry)
Brewers LHP Josh Hader (Jeff Curry)

While the Mets and Dodgers have spoken with the Brewers about a potential trade for Josh Hader, the Yankees have been the most "active pursuer," reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Rosenthal adds that "in some cases," Milwaukee has asked for a package in return that included at least one top prospect, but that teams are reluctant to part with that level prospect for Hader.

SNY's Andy Martino reported on Dec. 2 that the Mets were one of many teams interested in trading for Hader, but that it was not yet clear if the Brewers would deal him.

Martino added that the price for the Mets would be high -- in the J.D. Davis, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil category. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Danny Abriano
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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...


Dec. 12, 11:22 AM:

A potential acquisition of Marte from the Pirates is neither "dead nor close," SNY's Andy Martino reported, adding that the Mets are open to being creative.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Danny Abriano
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The Mets have agreed to a one-year deal with free agent RHP Rick Porcello, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical, according to Rosenthal.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal will be worth $10 million.

When the Mets signed Michael Wacha on Wednesday, the thought was that it would end their pursuit of Porcello. Clearly, that thought was wrong.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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As the Mets build their roster at the 2019 MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego, the pieces of the puzzle for the 2020 season have started to come together.

While the Mets weigh their options with moves such as last Thursday's Jake Marisnick trade and Wednesday's Michael Wacha agreement, RHP Noah Syndergaard is among the cornerstone pieces GM Brodie Van Wagenen believes to be pivotal for the team's success next year.

Discussing the Mets' rotation and bullpen in Wednesday's 1-on-1 interview with SNY's Steve Gelbs, Van Wagenen pointed to Syndergaard as one of the most important arms on the roster.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Oct 25, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) runs to first base on a double during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game three of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 25, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) runs to first base on a double during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game three of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

For the second straight season, the Nationals have lost one of their biggest offensive stars via free agency.

According to multiple reports, third baseman Anthony Rendon is heading to the Los Angeles Angels on a seven-year deal worth $245 million. That contract is identical to the one agreed to by Stephen Strasburg to keep him in DC.

Rendon, 29, has gotten better with each of his seven seasons with the Nationals. A career .290 hitter, Rendon made his first All-Star team in 2019. He also finished third in MVP voting behind Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich, ending his season slashing .319/.412/.598 with 34 home runs and 126 RBI.

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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Is there a chance the Mets could pull off a trade with the Astros for shortstop Carlos Correa?

They'd have to get awfully creative, put it that way.

At the Winter Meetings in San Diego, SNY's Andy Martino reported Wednesday that the teams have had "dialogue" about such a possibility, which comes on the heels of The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reporting Tuesday that the Astros have entertained the possibility of trading Correa as a way of dealing with their current -- and future -- payroll crunch.

Tags: Amed Rosario, John Harper
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Mets' Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Jacob deGrom (Treated Image by SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the wake of baseball's winter pitching splurge, a popular social media hot take around the Mets goes something like this: Jacob deGrom is a bargain, even at $27.5 million per year! 

Yes, the Mets are getting their money's worth out of the five-year, $137.5 million extension they gave their ace before last season, especially since he won a second consecutive National League Cy Young Award in 2019. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Anthony McCarron
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 (Joe Camporeale)
(Joe Camporeale)

Building pitching depth was priority number one for the Mets during the Winter Meetings, as stated repeatedly by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

On Wednesday, the team helped build that depth by agreeing on a deal with veteran Michael Wacha, who Van Wagenen has hinted will figure to be the team's fifth starter behind Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Steven Matz.

Wacha is a 28-year-old right-hander, originally from Iowa City, Iowa, though he played his high school ball in Texarkana, Texas. He was selected by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Texas A&M.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) celebrates with designated hitter Yordan Alvarez (44) after hitting a three run home run as New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) looks on during the sixth inning of game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) celebrates with designated hitter Yordan Alvarez (44) after hitting a three run home run as New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) looks on during the sixth inning of game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Day 3 of the Winter Meetings are upon us, and the Mets remain active in trying to bolster their 2020 roster. Here's the latest news today...


Dec. 11, 8:16 PM:

With the Mets working hard to finalize a one-year deal with Michael Wacha to help stabilize the starting rotation, it now seems like the Mets are exploring other potential moves.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances
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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)

The Mets have talked with two MLB teams about trading Jed Lowrie.

The Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers have inquired with the Mets about the utility INF, SNY's Andy Martino reported Wednesday.

Lowrie, 35, was an All-Star in 2018 with the A's, who Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle first noted are interested in another reunion.

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Oct 27, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) hits a two run home run during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals in game five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 27, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) hits a two run home run during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals in game five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Mets made a move with the Astros last week. Could New York do so again with one of Houston's top players?

After the Mets traded for CF Jake Marisnick last Thursday, they "have had dialogue" with the Astros regarding SS Carlos Correa, SNY's Andy Martino reported Wednesday.

Correa, 24, slashed .279/.358/.568 with 21 home runs and 59 RBI in 75 games. He missed most of his 2019 season due to injury, between a fractured rib that cost him 50 games and late-August back discomfort.

Tags: Amed Rosario
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On Wednesday afternoon, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen once again met with members of the media as the MLB Winter Meetings roll on in San Diego.

Van Wagenen had plenty to talk about on Wednesday. including the Mets' reported addition of veteran Michael Wacha.

Here are four takeaways from Van Wagenen's availability:

On Michael Wacha

On Wednesday, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed the Mets are working hard to finalize a one-year contract with the veteran starter Wacha.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo
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Aug 15, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Aug 15, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Heading into the Winter Meetings, free agent reliever Blake Treinen seemed to make a lot of sense for the New York Mets, a team in need of building bullpen depth.

Now it appears that Treinen is off the market.

ESPN's Jeff Passan has reported that Treinen and the Dodgers are in agreement on a one-year deal worth $10 million. Passan added that Treinen had multiple offers within that same price range.

Tags: Seth Lugo
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Michael Wacha (Jeff Curry)
Michael Wacha (Jeff Curry)

The Mets are 'working hard' to finalize a one-year deal with free agent Michael Wacha, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed.

Wacha's deal will be worth $3 million guaranteed, with an additional $7 million in potential incentives, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Wacha, 28, had a 4.76 ERA (5.61 FIP) and 1.56 WHIP in 126.2 IP in 2019 for the Cardinals as he struggled with injuries and inconsistency.

.. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Masahiro Tanaka and Noah Syndergaard
Masahiro Tanaka and Noah Syndergaard

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The long-awaited scientific findings on the 2019 baseball were released on Wednesday, and the conclusions likely aren't going to satisfy pitchers throughout the majors who were convinced MLB intentionally juiced the ball to fly farther and produce more home runs.

Yet at least there is reason to believe Noah Syndergaard wasn't crazy when he kept complaining that he couldn't throw his slider as effectively in the past -- due to a decrease in the height of the seams on some of the balls that apparently contributed to the record-breaking number of home runs.

And maybe there is now even more reason to believe the Mets should gamble on signing free-agent reliever Blake Treinen, whose fall from dominance with the A's last season was due largely to the ineffectiveness of his sinker -- thought to be at least partly related to lower seams on the ball.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Masahiro Tanaka, Noah Syndergaard, John Harper
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Dom Smith
Dom Smith

The Mets could be looking to move Dom Smith during MLB's Winter Meetings.

New York is "actively talking to teams" about the 24-year-old 1B/LF, SNY's Andy Martino reported Wednesday.

Smith slashed .282/.355/.525 with 11 home runs and 25 RBI in 89 games throughout the 2019 season.

Tags: Dominic Smith
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Aug 28, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) hits a home run during the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Aug 28, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) hits a home run during the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Yu Darvish knows a good hitter when he sees one.

The seven-year veteran RHP has faced some of MLB's best since arriving from Japan in 2012, ranging between the AL with the Texas Rangers (2012-17) and the NL with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2017) and Chicago Cubs (2018-present).

Coming into his third season with the Cubs in 2020, Darvish shared five of his toughest opposing hitters from the 2019 season. J.D. Davis made the cut, evidently leaving Darvish impressed after facing the Mets LF/3B in two games of a breakout year.

Tags: JD Davis
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New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner)
New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner)

Although he didn't pitch in 2019, Bartolo Colon is not giving up on his desire to pitch again in the majors, reports Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

Sanchez shared a video of Colon throwing off a mound in the Dominican Republic while wearing Mets shorts and a t-shirt.

Click below to see...

Tags: Bartolo Colon, Danny Abriano
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) celebrates his solo home run against the New York Yankees with left fielder Dominic Smith (22) during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) celebrates his solo home run against the New York Yankees with left fielder Dominic Smith (22) during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen hopes to check off some of the Mets' needs, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


Vincent Palma (via e-mail): If the Pirates have interest in Brandon Nimmo, it seems like there should be a lot of options to make a deal with them. Who do you think is Van Wagenen's target?

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, David Peterson, Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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Starling Marte and Brandon Nimmo
Starling Marte and Brandon Nimmo

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As talks between the Mets and Pirates about a potential trade for Starling Marte have intensified, SNY's Andy Martino has reported that the Mets are "open" to dealing Brandon Nimmo to Pittsburgh.

Marte is a very good player, but so is Nimmo. And the Mets should be open to trading for Marte only if it means not including Nimmo in the deal (with one caveat). Here's why...

It would negatively impact the Mets' outfield defense

Brodie Van Wagenen has made improving the team's defense one of his main goals this offseason, and he did that when he acquired Jake Marisnick. But Marisnick profiles as a part-time player.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Feb 23, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view at First Data Field prior to the game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 23, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view at First Data Field prior to the game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets fans, time to circle some Spring Training dates on your calendar, as the team released its schedule to kick off the new year. 

Here's how it all breaks down: 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE DATES

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The Mets continue to be linked to Pirates outfielder Starling Marte.

According to SNY Insider Andy Martino, the team is still in on the 31-year-old, and they would likely need to trade a major league outfielder in any deal for him.

Brodie Van Wagenen admitted that the team currently has a surplus of outfielders, with Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, Jake Marisnick, and even Dom Smith, who can play both left field and first base.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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Starling Marte (Charles LeClaire)
Starling Marte (Charles LeClaire)

The first day of Winter Meetings have come and gone in San Diego, and the Mets are still looking to do some business. Here are the latest rumors for today...


Dec. 10, 10:41 PM:

According to SNY Insider Andy Martino, the team is still in on Starling Marte, and they would likely need to trade a major league outfielder in any deal for him.

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 (Orlando Ramirez)
(Orlando Ramirez)

New Mets manager Carlos Beltran made an appearance at the Winter Meetings in San Diego Tuesday evening and discussed the upcoming season for his new ball club and what he's done in the first month since being named manager.

"It's been a lot of work trying to catch up with all the information, all the details, trying to reach out to all the players," Beltran said in his opening statement. "But it's been fun, it's been a learning experience, there is no doubt that, you know, being in the job a lot of times from the outside you think that being a manager is something that happens from one day to another, but really it takes time to catch up with all the information. The good thing is that I have a good group of guys around me that are being supportive and they've been guiding me through the process."

The Mets made additional changes to their coaching staff aside from Beltran this offseason, adding the likes of Hensley Meulens as their bench coach and Jeremy Hefner as the new pitching coach. 

Beltran noted that 'It was a team effort" in picking and finalizing this new coaching staff.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Robinson Cano, Yoenis Cespedes
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For the second straight day during the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen met with the media.

Tuesday's topics included how the team will respond to other moves being made within the division, players have specific nutrition plans, and how the team may use their 26th spot on the active roster.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday's availability:

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Two Mets were named to the inaugural All-MLB First Team on Tuesday afternoon, with Pete Alonso taking the first baseman slot and Jacob deGrom grabbing one of the four spots available for starting pitchers.

Alonso was named the NL Rookie of the Year after setting the MLB rookie record for home runs in a season with 53--that effort was also good enough to lead the league in home runs in 2019.

The rookie held slashes of .260/.358/.583 for the season and was named to the NL All-Star team.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso
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Jun 24, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yasnkees pitcher Dellin Betances (68) looks on against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 24, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yasnkees pitcher Dellin Betances (68) looks on against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

During the course of the day, I often text and talk with a variety of MLB insiders to better understand what is happening in the hot stove.

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

Adding to the bullpen...

My hunch is the Mets will sign at least one relief pitcher before the end of the Winter Meetings.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Dellin Betances (Treated Image by SNY)
Dellin Betances (Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets think "they have ability" to add pitching help this offseason, which could mean a free agent reliever such as Dellin Betances, perhaps another reliever in addition to a Betances-type, and a back of the rotation starting pitcher, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Martino adds that Betances currently has multiyear and one-year opportunities.

Brodie Van Wagenen spent much of his media availability on Monday night at the Winter Meetings talking about the potential of adding depth to the roster, and was coy when it came to exactly what the Mets could or would allocate to each area of need.

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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

The Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen prepares to wheel and deal, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


1) Gorman (via Twitter): Seeing a lot of people including top prospect Andres Gimenez in trade scenarios. Is it because he's blocked by Amed Rosario? Who has more trade value, Rosario or Gimenez? Is Gimenez good enough to consider using Rosario to acquire a superstar?

If the people you are referring to are our fellow fans, I wouldn't worry about it because being an Armchair GM is what we are supposed to do this time of year. It's part of the fun.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 20, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte (6) circles the bases on a three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Aug 20, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte (6) circles the bases on a three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The general sense after the Mets traded for center fielder Jake Marisnick was that it would end any potential pursuit of Pirates center fielder Starling Marte. Maybe not.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Monday that part of the reason why the Mets swung the deal for Marisnick when they did was because of a fear that they would be unable to land Marte. And Rosenthal suggested that Marte could still be in play.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported Tuesday that the Mets have not ruled out Marte and that they would meet with the Pirates at the Winter Meetings, adding that the Pirates are seeking a "young, controllable" catcher.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Danny Abriano
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Jul 24, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets injured left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) watches from the dugout during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 24, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets injured left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) watches from the dugout during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

MLB's Winter Meetings have officially begun in San Diego, and the Mets are looking to upgrade their 2020 roster. Here are the latest rumors for today...


Dec. 9, 11:55 PM:

Brodie Van Wagenen met with reporters at the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego, and among the topics he discussed was whether or not the Mets expect to have outfielder Yoenis Cespedes back for the 2020 season. 

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David Wright has been fairly quiet behind the scenes in his role as a special advisor with the Mets, but he was on hand Monday in San Diego for the start of the MLB Winter Meetings.

Among the topics that Wright discussed was the hiring of his former teammate Carlos Baltran as the team's new manager.

According to Wright, Beltran's outstanding baseball IQ sets him up very well for his new position. 

"Probably one of the smartest baseball men that I have been around," Wright said in San Diego. "His baseball IQ is off the charts. And I think in the latter part of his career he almost became like a player-coach on the field, so I am excited about what he can share with the younger players, certainly because I think every player strives to be a Carlos Beltran type of player, a five-tool guy."

Tags: Carlos Beltran, David Wright
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Dom Smith
Dom Smith

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Unless the Mets are pulling a heck of a misdirection play, all indications are they don't plan to spend significantly for the pitching help that they figure to need if they're serious about winning the NL East next season.

So how do they get creative, to use the strategy that Brodie Van Wagenen has referenced in speaking of this offseason?

Their most obvious trade chip is Dom Smith, mostly because he's blocked at first base by Pete Alonso and would be a liability in left field. Smith has value after proving last season that he can do damage with the bat, but the Mets almost certainly see J.D. Davis as a better fit, since he can play third base and left field. 

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, John Harper
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Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen helped kick off the MLB Winter Meetings on Monday, meeting with members of the media in San Diego.

Van Wagenen was asked about the team's priorities at this point in the preseason, how the team's rotation may look without Zack Wheeler, and much more. Here are five takeaways from Van Wagenen's media availability:

On Jake Marisnick

The Mets have already made one notable move this offseason, acquiring outfielder Jake Marisnick from the Houston Astros.

Van Wagenen wouldn't lock in Marisnick as the team's everyday starting center fielder, but he said the outfielder gives the Mets a lot of options moving forward.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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After his new club officially announced the signing of former Met Zack Wheeler on Monday, Phillies manager Joe Girardi was on hand at the Winter Meetings in San Diego to give his thoughts on, among other things, the addition of the starting pitcher. 

In his mind, there's an awful lot to be excited about.

 

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts

The Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen prepares to wheel and deal, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


Nicholas Giordano (via Twitter): Is there a realistic scenario where the Mets can dump Jed Lowrie's or Jeurys Familia's contracts and still improve the team? I don't want to attach J.D. Davis/Dominic Smith to a trade just so we can dump salary.

Sadly, I think the only way Van Wagenen can move Lowrie and/or Familia and their full contracts is to either bring back an equally risky and bad contract or do what you don't want and include Davis and/or Smith.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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During this week of MLB's Winter Meetings, free agency is the main driver of rumors that swirl around. However, big time trades have also went down during this pivotal week in the offseason. 

The Mets did just that last season, when Brodie Van Wagenen burst onto the scene with a blockbuster trade for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. So would Van Wagenen be that guy again to make the big splash on the trade market instead of free agency? 

A big name out there is Indians SS Francisco Lindor, and while taking questions during SNY's "Winter Meetings Live" on Facebook Monday, Steve Gelbs and Andy Martino broke down a proposed trade proposal for the Mets and Lindor. 

The trade package was Lindor for SS Amed Rosario and RHP Noah Syndegaard, which both Gelbs and Martino were very intrigued by. But would it be worth it? They break it down...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Mets free agent target Dellin Betances is "likely" to sign a one-year deal in an effort to increase his value and hit the market again in 2020, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network.

Curry added that the Yankees have engaged with Betances, who he says attended a congratulatory dinner for Carlos Beltran after Beltran was named manager of the Mets.

Betances, who will turn 32 before Opening Day, pitched just 2/3 of an inning in 2019 after dealing with a lat injury. He returned toward the end of the season, but suffered an Achilles injury in his only appearance that ended his year. 

Tags: Dellin Betances, Danny Abriano
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Oct 23, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) after a pitch against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of game two of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 23, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) after a pitch against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of game two of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Stephen Strasburg has agreed to a seven-year deal with the Nationals worth $245 million, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN. It is a record deal for a pitcher both in terms of total value and average annual value.

The deal includes a full no-trade clause and does not have any opt-outs, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo.

While the Nats have made a huge move by retaining Strasburg, his return almost certainly means the end of free agent Anthony Rendon as a National.

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The Mets are in need of a starting pitcher to fill the empty slot in the rotation and also need bullpen help.

With that in mind, former big league executive Adam Fisher and SNY contributor John Harper each tossed out a trade idea on Sunday night...

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