Oh, wow, it's August already, huh? Four months into the season, let’s check on which Mets prospects have changed their prospect stock. We did this routine in May and June.

1. RHP Noah Syndergaard

Stock: Still the best in the system

After an injury-marred June, Thor seems to have turned a corner as July has come to a close. He's allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his last four starts. Overall, in those four, he has a 3.27 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with 26 strikeouts against eight walks against the 99 batters he's faced. It now seems possible, if not probable, that he will make his big league debut sometime in 2014.

He, Wally Backman and Frank Viola talked to Jared Diamond about his learning curve in Triple-A.

2. C Travis d’Arnaud

Stock: Up.

Travis d'Arnaud finished July at .272/.314/.481 with 10 extra-base hits in 21 games in the month. He's sitting at .288/.327/.500 in his 27 games since returning from his Triple-A exile. He's doing much better. He still has to learn a little more strike zone control as in those 27 games he's struck out 20 times and walked just five in 110 PA. There's nothing wrong with a strikeout rate of 18 percent - actually, that's really good - but a walk rate of 4.5 percent is just not going to cut it.

3. RHP Rafael Montero

Stock: In neutral

Coming off a left oblique strain on June 14, Montero made the full rehab tour stopping in with both complex affiliates in the GCL and the Florida State League, before returning to Triple-A on July 20. In his three starts this month in Triple-A, he allowed six runs on 14 hits in 15 2/3 innings with six walks and 15 strikeouts. That's solid, but hardly dominant. His 6 2/3 shutout innings on the final day of the month seems like a step in the right direction, however.

4. OF Cesar Puello

Stock: Down

Since coming off the disabled list on July 6, Puello hit a solid .282/.404/.513 in 15 games in the month with strike zone control - as he earned four walks against nine strikeouts. However, he started 13 of the 51s 24 games since his return. He lost playing time to a red-hot Matt den Dekker, Andrew Brown, Anthony Seratelli and Cory Vaughn. Even in Triple-A, plate appearances and innings pitched are investments in a team's big league future. The Mets are clearly choosing not to invest in Puello.

5. INF Wilmer Flores

Stock: Looking for an opening

He can hit in Triple-A, but he's still trying to prove he can do it in the big leagues. If the Mets were willing to move him around to all four of first, second, third and short in the big leagues (and use him as a platoon replacement for Lucas Duda — a career .215/.294/.323 batter vs. LHP — at first) he could start 4-6 games a week.

6. CF Brandon Nimmo

Stock: Up.

After finishing up the first half at .322/.448/.458 in the Florida State League, Nimmo earned his promotion to Double-A Binghamton. After a slow start, he's hit .243/.355/.447 in July with four homers and 18 walks against 25 strikeouts in 27 games. He's fine. Actually, he's better than fine, he's doing very well at age 21.

7. LHP Steven Matz

Stock: Up

Matz was roughed up a bit in his last start of the month, but he finished July with a 3.03 ERA in 29 2/3 innings with 24 (19.5 percent) strikeouts against six walks (4.9 percent). He's working on improving his curveball. As long as he's healthy, Mets fans should see him in 2015, or if there's a need in the rotation, September 2014 is a possibility too.

8. 1B Dominic Smith

Stock: Resting comfortably

Smith hit .292/.375/.333 in 26 games in July with 14 walks (12.5 percent) against 15 strikeouts (13 percent). He's doing everything good hitters do - making contact, walking and not striking out - except for hitting for power. Obviously, hitting for power is part of the job description at first, but Smith is 19 and playing in a huge ballpark to rightfield.

9. SS Amed Rosario

Stock: Unchanged

Rosario hit .286/.330/.371 in 27 games in July in the New York Penn League which is pretty close to his full-season line in the league of .289/.335/.380 in 44 games as a Cyclone as an 18-year-old. He's striking out in only 15 percent of his plate appearances, which is strong.

10. 2B Dilson Herrera

Stock: Up.

He just keeps hitting. In 26 games in July, he hit .340/.402/.585, with 14 extra-base hits. Sure, there's lots of batting average in there, but also a .245 isolated slugging percentage. In 37 games in Double-A, he's at .344/.404/.556. I wrote about the 20-year-old at more length here.

11. C Kevin Plawecki

Stock: Up

In a July in which he got to play in the Futures Game, Plawecki has hit .310/.383/.452 in 13 games for the 51s. He's run a 6/7 BB/K ratio in 18 games in Triple-A. The Mets have a good situation with d'Arnaud figuring it out at the big league level, and Plawecki progressing behind him. The Mets seem pleased by his progress defensively as we discussed here.

12. SS Gavin Cecchini

Stock: Oh, boy.

Cecchini earned a promotion after the first half from Savannah to advanced Single-A St. Lucie at age 20, where he has struggled, hitting .191/.246/.260 in 37 games. Some of that is BABIP - he's down to .219. But he's also not hitting for any power as evidenced by his .069 isolated slugging percentage and his 3.5 percent extra-base hit rate. Basically, he'll be repeating the FSL next year at age 21.

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

13. RHP Gabriel Ynoa

Stock: Up

Ynoa has been a little up and down in Double-A, but it's all worked out to a 4.08 ERA in 28 2/3 innings over five starts. He's been hittable, with 38 hits allowed and a .309 batting average against. Just 21, there might be a fly-ball oriented rotation piece in here. Our feature on him is here.

14. RHP Michael Fulmer

Stock: Slipping

In his last five starts, Fulmer owns a 2.22 ERA over 28 2/3 innings, but that overstates how well he's pitched as he's allowed six unearned runs to run his total r/9 to 4.13. However, in those five, he's fanned 30 and walked 10 for a 24 percent strikeout rate and an 8 percent walk rate, which are both very solid. So, maybe he's starting to figure it out.

15. RHP Vic Black

Stock: Up and gone.

He’s a big leaguer now.

16. RHP Jacob deGrom

Stock: Up and gone.

He’s a big leaguer now.

17. RHP Domingo Tapia

Stock: Down.

Well under the radar, Tapia put together a very solid July: 2.35 ERA, 23 IP, 21 H, 9 BB, 17 K. I still think he's a reliever in the end, but that's nice progress from a guy who had walked 31 and fanned 23 in his first three months. I love the arm, and who wouldn’t like 96-98 mph with sink and run?

18. RHP Jeff Walters

Stock: Down

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

19. RHP Cory Mazzoni

Stock: Down

Mazzoni's rehab tour took him from the GCL to advanced Single-A to Triple-A. In three starts with the 51s, he's been wild: 14.1 IP, 15 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 10 BB, 8 K. Yeah, that's more walks than strikeouts. Not good. Maybe there's a big league reliever in here.

20. LHP Jack Leathersich

Stock: Barely holding

Still putting up big strikeout numbers in Double-A, while repeating the level.

21. RHP Luis Mateo

Stock: Same

Mateo's Tommy John rehab tour has stalled in Brooklyn where at last check, he was throwing "lots" of 89-90 mph fastballs.

22. CF Champ Stuart

Stock: Up

The 21-year-old hit .271/.358/.357 in 20 games in July in which he dealt with some relatively minor nagging injuries including a hip flexor and a pitch off his hand. Oh, and he was 11-for-11 stealing bases in the month. He might be the fastest player in the Mets' system now, which gives him a chance to really impact a game on the base paths and defensively in center.

I wrote about Stuart here and here.

Personal note: I enjoy watching Stuart run.

23. OF Ivan Wilson

Stock: Slipping

Wilson is big and strong, but strikes out a ton. In 22 games in July, he hit .256/.323/.360 in Kingsport with 38 strikeouts. Until he can cut down on the strikeouts, he's more great athlete, than really good baseball prospect.

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

24. RHP Luis Cessa

Stock: Down

Meh. He was ok in July (23 IP, 4.70 ERA, 18 K, 6 BB) but he's been ok for most of the year. It's hard to project a big league future for Cessa, although he should make it up to AA and even AAA at some point.

25. RHP Robert Gsellman

Stock: Up

Gsellman was effective in five July starts: 2.93 ERA, 30.2 IP, 13 R, 10 ER, 11 BB, 30 K.

His is a funny profile as a fastball/changeup righty. Still, at 90-92, touching 93/94 with a big body and feel for a changeup, it’s not hard to imagine Gsellman in a MLB rotation. he found the curveball in his last two starts and was untouchable: 14.2 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 16 K. Do it again, and again, and again, and I'll believe and send him shooting up the list.

26. RHP Chris Flexen

Stock: Down

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

27. RHP Casey Meisner

Stock: Down

Keith Law saw Meisner pitch for Brooklyn, and was unimpressed: "Meanwhile, Brooklyn starter Casey Meisner was awful, throwing 87-91 mph with an above-average curveball but no command or deception."

In five starts in July, Meisner gave up 20 runs, 16 earned in 16.1 innings with eight walks and 20 strikeouts on 27 hits. Ouch.

28. RHP Andrew Church

Stock: Down

Last year's second round pick gave up 25 hits in 18 innings in Kingsport in July and 16 runs, nine of which were earned while only striking out 11. In six starts for the K-Mets, he's allowed 42 hits in 26.2 innings.

As I wrote in June, "I got a look at Church in Kingsport, Tennessee on June 23, and the word I kept coming back to, as I watched his first star of 2014 was “flat.” Kingsport Manager Jose Leger and Pitching Coach Jonathan Hurst also called his stuff “flat” as well. The Mets’ second round pick in 2013 out of high school in Nevada sat 90-91. His changeup was firm at 83-84 and he used a slurvy slider at 79-ish sparingly. I thought he lost his release point at times as he dropped his arm. Church is not physically imposing at 6’2″, but he will pitch the entire season as a 19-year old."

29. C Juan Centeno

Stock: Unchanged

He’s still a low-end backup catcher. And he even got six games in the big leagues already this year to prove it! Now, he's back in Double-A.

30. SS Wilfredo Tovar

Stock: Unchanged.

Thumb surgery in June interrupted his season when he was hitting .313/.377/.373, 47 games in. He's rehabbing in St. Lucie and should be back up to Binghamton in short order.

31. 2B LJ Mazzilli

Stock: Holding, barely

Promoted from Savannah, Mazzilli hit .265/.318/.398 in 25 games for St. Lucie in 25 games in July in his age-23 season, so he's sitting at .281/.338/.444 in 35 games in advanced Single-A. He need to get hot in August to move up this list.

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

32. OF Jared King

Stock: Down

A broken fibula has kept King out from May 11 to July 4. When he was healthy, the Mets promoted him from Savannah to St. Lucie where he's hit a punchless .239/.316/.268 in 20 games.

33. RHP Erik Goeddel

Stock: Down

Goeddel pitched better in July: 13.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 15 K after nasty control problems earlier this year. With a good August, as a 40-man guy, he might get a big league look in September.

34. CF Matt den Dekker

Stock: Same

den Dekker had a monster July in Vegas, hitting .420/.508/.630 in 29 games. He'll be 27 in August. This is his peak.

35. OF Cory Vaughn

Stock: Down

In 17 games in Triple-A, he hit .180/.281/.280 in July to take his overall line in Vegas to .229/.327/.328 in 39 games. Yup, he's playing over Cesar Puello some nights for some reason.

36. RHP Logan Verrett

Stock: Down

His July saw him allow seven home runs in 30 innings over five starts on his way to a 5.10 ERA. This could be Luis Cessa's future.

37. RHP Akeel Morris

Stock: Up, but only a little

I know in theory what he's doing in Savannah - working to repeat his delivery to refine his command and improving his curveball. However, he could probably be doing those things in advanced Single-A against better competition. For the year, he's run a 0.78 ERA in 46 innings with 72 strikeouts against 18 walks.

38. RHP Ricardo Jacquez

Stock: Down

He’s injured, and was back in Texas.

39. RHP Bret Mitchell

Stock: Down

He was injured and then walked nine in 11 innings in the Florida State League and now he’s back in the SAL where he's been largely effective with 14 strikeouts in 9.1 innings in July.

40. 3B Pedro Perez

Stock: Down

After a slow start, he hit .272/.378/.446 in 26 games in July in Kingsport while playing more games at first than third. That move across the diamond cuts into his value in a big way.

41. SS Luis Guillorme

Stock: Up, a little

His July: .253/.324/.295. A slick defender, he's never going to hit for much pop.

Tags: Hot Sheet, Toby Hyde

What is the ideal Mets outfield? 00:02:33
Mets Hot Stove discusses the Mets outfield options following their re-signing of slugger Yoenis Cespedes.

Mets Hot Stove discusses the team's outfield options following their re-signing of slugger Yoenis Cespedes.

Are they likelier to trade Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson?

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes

Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

MLB's 2016 Winter Meetings will begin Monday, Dec. 5, from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C.

The Meetings conclude Thursday morning after the Rule 5 Draft.

In short, the MLB Winter Meetings is a three-and-a-half day conference at a large hotel, where MLB executives, their staffs and managers meet with agents, players and other team's executives, staffs and managers in hopes of working on or completing ways to improve their team. There is also a trade expo and job fair for people looking to work in baseball.

The buzz around the game points to more trades next week than free-agent signings...

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Wally Backman (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
Wally Backman (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

Pedro Lopez will succeed Wally Backman as the Triple-A Las Vegas manager, reports ESPN's Adam Rubin. Lopez had been the Double-A manager of Binghamton.

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Is deGrom ace of Mets staff? 00:03:36
Daily News Live discusses Jacob deGrom's recovery and debate who the ace of the Mets starting rotation will be.

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom expects to begin throwing soon, he told reporters Friday at Citi Field.

DeGrom also said the Mets have not yet approached him about a contract extension. He is arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason and is under team control through the 2020 season.

He earned $607,000 last season and is projected to make $4.5 million in 2017.

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

Tags: Jacob deGrom

 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Mets INF Asdrubal Cabrera will play for Venezuela during the World Baseball Classic, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

The WBC begins on March 6 and ends with the championship on March 22.

Cabrera, 31, played through a left knee injury for the majority of the second half of last season.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Noah Syndergaard
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 (Jeff Curry)
(Jeff Curry)

The Mets have avoided arbitration with C Rene Rivera, agreeing with him on a one-year deal worth $1.75 million, the team announced Friday.

Today is the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Head here to see the other Mets who are eligible >> Read more!

Rivera, 33, hit .222 with a .291 OBP and .341 SLG with six HR and 26 RBI in 65 games last season.

He threw out 30 percent of would-be base-stealers.

Tags: Rene Rivera
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Owners, players, MLB officials and the Major League Baseball Players Association reached an agreement Wednesday night on new a five-year collective bargaining agreement, the league announced Friday afternoon.

The deal includes revised rules for free-agent and qualifying offer compensation, the international amateur market and luxury tax threshold.

In the previous labor deal, teams were fined for payrolls exceeding $189 million. In the new agreement, the luxury tax threshold will rise annually from $195 million to $210 million. Teams that repeatedly exceed the payroll threshold by a certain rate will be subject to increasing tax rates, which could reach as high as 90 percent. 

Teams will still lose their first-round pick for signing a free agent that turned down a one-year qualifying offer. However, this rule changes after next season, at which time compensation will include a variety of picks and be based on whether the signing team is under the luxury-tax threshold.

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Mets C Rene Rivera and 1B Lucas Duda (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets C Rene Rivera and 1B Lucas Duda (Credit: USA Today Images)

The Mets and MLB teams have until midnight tonight to decide whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players.

If they decide to tender (offer, guarantee) a contract, the Mets retain team control over that player, after which the two sides are free to begin negotiating his 2016 salary. If the Mets decide to non-tender the player, he immediately becomes a free agent and can sign with any team.

This year's arbitration eligible players for the Mets include...

Tags: Lucas Duda, Rene Rivera
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Steven Matz joins Mets Hot Stove 00:04:08
Steven Matz joins Steve Gelbs on Mets Hot Stove to examine his injury history and moving forward with his career.

Mets LHP Steven Matz has been cleared by the Mets and team doctors to proceed with his normal offseason routine, he told WOR radio Thursday.

"The doctors said, 'You're good to go,'" he told WOR's Pete McCarthy.

Matz had surgery in late September to remove a large bone spur from his pitching elbow. He ended his season early due to a rotator cuff impingement, which Sandy Alderson said in November did not require surgery. Instead, Matz received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his left shoulder.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Apr 20, 2016; Duda (21), Cabrera (13), Wright (5) and Walker (20) during a pitching change (Credit: USA TODAY Sports)
Apr 20, 2016; Duda (21), Cabrera (13), Wright (5) and Walker (20) during a pitching change (Credit: USA TODAY Sports)

After years of injuries and ineffectiveness leading to a middle-infield-merry-go-round, the Mets find themselves entering the 2017 season with a stable tandem of shortstop and second base. Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker are both coming off strong performances in 2016 and - ideally - they will provide a stable presence to an infield with question marks in the corners.

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Mets Hot Stove: Matt Harvey 00:04:12
The Mets Hot Stove panel discusses Matt Harvey's injury rehab and their expectations from the right-handed hurler in 2017.

In July, 2016, Mets RHP Matt Harvey had season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, which was done to restore feeling in his pitching arm and fingers.

According to former Mets GM and SNY analyst Jim Duquette, Harvey is not yet throwing off a mound, but he's feeling strong, on schedule with his post-surgery, off-season throwing program and will be 100% ready for spring training.

"He's had a great deal of time to work out and focus on his body and strength. We expect him to come back and be the Matt Harvey of old," his agent, Scott Boras, told reporters in early November at MLB's GM Meetings. "He's throwing free and easy and he's strong."

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

Mets pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, FL on Feb. 12, the team announced Thursday.

Position players are required to report by Feb. 17.

Earlier this month, the Mets today their official 2017 Spring Training Grapefruit League schedule, which begins Friday, February 24 against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, FL

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

The Pirates are shopping OF Andrew McCutchen, with the Nationals in pursuit and hoping to acquire him before Friday, reports Jayson Stark of ESPN.

"Of all the big names available in trade, McCutchen might be the most likely to go," FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal added last night.

In addition to the Nationals, the Giants, Rangers, Mariners, Blue Jays, Orioles and Dodgers, among others, have all reportedly expressed interest in acquiring an outfielder this winter.

The Blue Jays, Giants and Orioles have been linked in rumor to Mets outfielders Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, who the team would like to deal for at least a relief pitcher.

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Mets relievers Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Mets relievers Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

Sandy Alderson has repeatedly said this offseason that he'd like to add at least one reliever to his bullpen before the start of spring training.

"There are some questions in the bullpen that we are going to have to answer, either internally or from external sources," he reiterated during Wednesday's press conference to announce the signing of Yoenis Cespedes.

Alderson said in early November that he has no interest in signing free-agent closers Aroldis Chapman, Mark Melancon or Kenley Jansen, who similarly have little interest in the Mets because Jeurys Familia is already the team's closer.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) during spring training at Tradition Field. (Brad Barr)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) during spring training at Tradition Field. (Brad Barr)

The Mets have discussed using RHP Zack Wheeler in the bullpen to start the season, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.

Wheeler, who had Tommy John surgery during March, 2015, was shut down in early September after being examined by Dr. James Andrew and diagnosed with a mild flexor strain in his pitching arm.

Wheeler went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA for the Mets in 2014. In addition to the flexor strain, his return to action was also delayed in 2016 after having an undissolved stitch surgically removed. He also had an anti-inflammatory injection to treat nerve pain...

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Steve Gelbs interviews Cespedes 00:03:25
SNY's Steve Gelbs caught up with Yoenis Cespedes after the press conference announcing his deal with the Mets on Wednesday.

The Mets reintroduced OF Yoenis Cespedes during a press conference at Citi Field on Wednesday afternoon.

"The last two years in Mets history have been about winning," GM Sandy Alderson said. "It has been clear that when Yoenis Cespedes plays for the Mets, the Mets win."

After COO Jeff Wilpon presented him with a Mets jersey, Cespedes weighed in on his return, saying he was "very proud to once again be back with the New York Mets."

Cespedes said Mets fans have "made New York feel like home," adding that his "goal will be to bring back another World Series championship to this team, to the fans, and the organization"

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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BNNY on Cespedes deal 00:06:48
The BNNY panel discusses the ramifications of the Mets' deal with Yoenis Cespedes, who agreed to a four-year, $110-million deal.

The Mets have announced their four-year deal with OF Yoenis Cespedes and will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Citi Field, which will air live on SNY.

The deal will be worth $110 million, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

"Yoenis is a dynamic player who can beat you in many ways," Mets manager Terry Collins said in a press release. "It's a great holiday present for the Mets to know he'll be in the middle of our lineup. He makes everyone around him better."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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 (Rick Osentoski)
(Rick Osentoski)

The Mets have trade RHP Logan Verrett to the Orioles for cash considerations, the team announced.

The trade frees up a 40-man roster spot for recently re-signed OF Yoenis Cespedes.

Verrett, 26, had a 5.20 ERA and 1.56 WHIP while striking out 66 batters in 91 2/3 innings (12 starts, 23 relief appearances) for the Mets last season.

He had a 3.03 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in 38 2/3 innings for the Mets in 2015.

Tags: Logan Verrett

Aug 1, 2016; Alderson speaks to reporters after the trade deadline (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Aug 1, 2016; Alderson speaks to reporters after the trade deadline (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets are expected to turn their attention to "reconfiguring the outfield," and, "adding to the bullpen," as a source recently told me, now that Yoenis Cespedes is back in the fold.

Also, though it's far from a top priority, I expect the Mets to explore finding a new every-day catcher, "specifically a veteran to handle their pitching staff," as a rival team described it.

How do the Mets reconfigure the outfield?

According to multiple reports since early November, the Mets are open to dealing Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson to eliminate a left-handed bat, open a spot in the outfield and save money on payroll. Alderson has been asked a lot about Michael Conforto, but the Mets are unlikely to deal him because he's got a ton of potential as a hitter, plus he's athletic enough to center field and first base.

The Mets will use next week's MLB Winter Meetings to pin down a deal for Bruce or Granderson. However, because there are several teams in the market for a corner outfielder, I think Alderson could find himself in a situation where he may be able to trade both of these guys, add speed and a reliever and either upgrade at catcher or save money.

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Sandy Alderson (left) talks with Wilpon at Citi Field (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson (left) talks with Wilpon at Citi Field (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

According to multiple sources and reports, the Mets want to keep their Opening Day payroll around $140 million, which would leave money in reserve for mid-season acquisitions.

However, their current projected payroll already sits around $145 million when including upcoming raises, players under contract and after bringing back Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker.

At the same time, the Mets will likely save on part of Jeurys Familia's estimated $8.5 million salary, because they don't have to pay him during a potential suspension. Also, trading away Jay Bruce's $13 million would free up additional money.

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New York Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher/USATSI)
New York Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher/USATSI)

The Twins announced on Monday that they've hired Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins as special assistants in the team's baseball operations department.

The trio will work with Twins executives and coaches to ensure development in player understanding of culture, talent evaluation and organizational vision, as well as be available as a resource for players and coaches in the mental and fundamental aspects of the game, the team said in a press release.

Cuddyer played for the Mets in 2015, after which he officially retired from baseball with one year left on his contract.

Tags: Michael Cuddyer, Matthew Cerrone
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Tim Teufel will stay with the Mets as a roving infield instructor and club ambassador, the team announced Friday.

Teufel was replaced as third base coach by Glenn Sherlock on Nov. 15.

He was also offered the position of Triple-A Las Vegas manager, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported.

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The Rays would like to bring back free-agent 1B-OF Steve Pearce, who they traded to the Orioles last summer, according to their local beat reporter Marc Topkin.

Last week, Mets GM Sandy Alderson mentioned Pearce and free-agent OF Jose Bautista as the type of players he might pursue if the Mets are unable to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws during the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws during the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard will not participate in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, his agent, Ryan Hamill, said in a statement Tuesday.

"Noah feels his performance the past two years is, in large part, due to his offseason and spring workout routines," Hamill explained. "After consulting with the Mets, and given the injuries that plagued their rotation last year, and his role on the team moving forward, both Noah and the Mets feel it is important to stay in his established routine."

Syndergaard, 24, was diagnosed with a bone spur in his elbow earlier in the season, which did not impact his performance and does not require surgery, Sandy Alderson said in early November.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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April 1990: Mets LHP Frank Viola starts at Shea Stadium (Associated Press via MLB.com)
April 1990: Mets LHP Frank Viola starts at Shea Stadium (Associated Press via MLB.com)

The Orioles, who had interest in Frank Viola for their pitching coach vacancy, have hired Roger McDowell for the position, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Viola has been the pitching coach for Triple-A Las Vegas since 2014. He interviewed for, but did not get, the Twins' pitching coach job after the 2014 season.

McDowell, who pitched for the Mets from 1985 to 1989, had spent the last 11 seasons as the pitching coach for the Braves.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Matthew Cerrone
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It's a weak market for free-agent relievers. So, free-agent LH reliever Jerry Blevins must have smiled earlier this week when the Cardinals gave LH reliever Brett Cecil a four-year, $30.5 million deal. Because, if that's the high mark for a left-handed reliever, Blevins will be justified asking for at least two years... maybe even three years guarenteed...

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Josh Edgin, Josh Smoker, Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets have talked to multiple teams about trading for an established reliever, under team control, with experience pitching late in games, according to MLB insiders.

The same people say the Rays, White Sox and Padres have been the most aggressive teams offering up relievers that fit this mold, specifically Dave Robertson and Alex Colome.

Why do the Mets want a late-game reliever?

The Mets anticipate their closer, Jeurys Familia, will eventually miss time next season serving a suspension by MLB for domestic violence, despite it looking like those charges may be dropped. If you recall, similar charges against Jose Reyes were dropped a year ago, yet MLB still found enough evidence to suspend him 51 games. The Mets must believe the same could happen to Familia...

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 (Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE)

Former-Mets LHP Johan Santana, who turns 38 years old in March, will attempt a comeback this coming season, reports Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.

Santana has not pitched in the majors since 2012. He had anterior capsule shoulder surgery in 2013 and tore his Achilles tendon in 2014.

He attempted comebacks with the Blue Jays in 2014 and Orioles in 2015 but suffered setbacks that prevented him from returning.

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Jeurys Familia's wife has asked for the simple assault charge against the closer to be dropped, the prosecutor told Jim Baumbach of Newsday.

Familia (27) reacts during the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field (USA TODAY Sports)

Most Recent Updates...

Nov. 19 | 8:55 PM

Familia's wife, now identified as the victim, asked for the charges to be dropped and does not have any concerns about her safety. 

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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Amed Rosario plays in the Futures Game in San Diego July 10 (Gary A. Vasquez)
Amed Rosario plays in the Futures Game in San Diego July 10 (Gary A. Vasquez)

The Mets have added SS Amed Rosario, RHP Marcos Molina, OF Wuilmer Becerra, RHP Chris Flexen, and C Tomas Nido to the 40-man roster, which will protect them from December's Rule 5 Draft.

The deadline for teams to file their list of minor-league players that will be protected was today.

"Generally speaking, college players drafted in 2013 and high school players drafted in 2012 are Rule 5 Draft eligible this offseason," Joe Rodgers of the Sports News recently explained.

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