Second baseman Kelly Johnson (55) throws the ball against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)
Second baseman Kelly Johnson (55) throws the ball against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)

Kelly Johnson will join the Mets in Milwaukee tomorrow for the second game in their four-game series with the Brewers, which starts tonight.

The Mets announced Wednesday that they acquired Johnson and cash from the Braves for 23-year-old, Double-A pitching prospect Akeel Morris.

The Mets made a similar trade last summer when they acquired Johnson from the Braves for two minor leaguers.

"We have aspirations of winning the whole thing this year, so we're not going to sit around and wait," assistant GM John Ricco told reporters Wednesday in Pittsburgh. "We know what this team is. We know what this team can be, and we're going to give it every chance to get there."

Johnson, 34, was hitting .215 with a .273 OBP and .289 SLG in 132 plate appearances for the Braves this season, while playing first base, second base and left field.

"We're pretty happy to get him back," Ricco said of Johnson. "He was part of a team that went to the World Series last year. We hope he can help us get there again."


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The big talking points coming from the Mets yesterday and last night, when asked about Johnson, were all about his 'leadership,' 'big hits,' and 'clubhouse presence.' I heard little about his hitting, and more about his versatility and experience -- especially his experience playing in New York during a pennant race, which he did last season with the Mets. This is all correct, and should not be minimized. It's important, but the Mets still need hitting...

I think Morris is going to be a good big league pitcher. He looked overwhelmed in his tiny appearance last summer for the Mets, which was totally unfair to him. He should never have been promoted. He knew it. And, the Mets knew it, so much so they gave him an NL Championship ring, despite playing in just one game. He's a good kid, very talented and we haven't seen the last of him, especially since he'll now be with the Braves.

That said, like Ricco noted, the time for the Mets to win is now... not five years from now. I like this deal because it's aggressive and it rounds up the roster.

It's not enough, though. Johnson and Wilmer Flores can be a decent platoon at third base, while the Mets wait to see if David Wright ever returns from the disabled list. However, a light platoon at third base, plus James Loney at first base, no offense at catcher and a slumping, older Curtis Granderson is a lot to ask from a team that expects to win a World Series...

Again, this move is fine for now. It's a solid bandaid with full-season benefits. But, the lineup needs a lot more work, and I suspect the Mets already know this...

Tags: Kelly Johnson, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Yankees shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria at bat at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria at bat at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets signed shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, SNY.tv's Steve Gelbs confirmed.

Hechavarria, 29, adds dept to a Mets infield that already consists of Amed Rosario, Jed Lowrie and Robinson Cano.

Last season, Hechavarria hit .247/.279/.345 with six home runs and 31 RBIs in 94 games with three teams: the Rays, Pirates and Yankees.

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Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper

We might finally get one of the top free agents off the board by the end of tonight, as talks surrounding Bryce Harper are "intensified," per Fancred Sports' Jon Heyman

The Mets' NL East rival Phillies are the favorite here, and former Marlins president David P. Samson is hearing that their offer to the 26-year-old is worth $310 million over 10 years. The Phillies said they were going to spend "stupid money" this offseason, and that deal would certainly do it to go along with their other signees like Jean Segura, David Robertson, and Andrew McCutchen.

If that is the case, Harper and his agent Scott Boras would get their desired $300 million, long-term deal. It doesn't top Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million deal he signed with the Marlins back in 2015. 

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Cano appreciates David Wright 00:00:56
Robinson Cano was given David Wright's locker in Port St. Lucie, his response about Wright and what it means will make Mets fans happy.

When Robinson Cano got down to Port St. Lucie, he saw his new locker in the clubhouse with his new orange and blue threads. But it isn't just any locker Cano was given. 

It was David Wright's locker.

Wright won't be in the clubhouse this season, but instead, will serve as a special assistant in the Mets' front office. So the Mets thought giving Cano, one of the fresh faces in the building, his empty locker, and Cano realizes how much of an honor it is.

Tags: Robinson Cano, David Wright
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The 'Big 3' highlight the day 00:00:56
Watch highlights from a busy day at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie. DeGrom, Syndergaard and Wheeler all took the mound against live hitters.

The Mets' "Big 3" of Jacob deGromNoah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler highlighted Sunday's action in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as New York readies for its Grapefruit League opener.

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Highlights from Cano's presser 00:02:30
Robinson Cano talked to the media for the first time in Florida. Highlights include why he thinks he and the Mets can be in the playoffs.

Much like the man who brought him back to New YorkRobinson Cano has high expectations for the Mets this season. 

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen wanted to change the team's culture, and he did so almost immediately with a blockbuster deal that landed Cano and closer Edwin Diaz. Van Wagenen has since made other deals, like signing Jed Lowrie and Wilson Ramos, to add more firepower in what everyone hopes will be a playoff season for New York. 

That's exactly what Cano envisioned when he waived his no-trade clause immediately after learning a deal was in place to send him back to the concrete jungle. He knows this team has the potential to make it back to the postseason.

Tags: Robinson Cano
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deGrom, Syndergaard race 00:00:21
Competition is everywhere at Spring Training, even if it?s two dominant pitchers, deGrom and Syndergaard, casually racing on their way back.

One of the best parts of Spring Training each year is watching the in-house competition that takes place between the players. Some players, though, have it easier than others as established pieces, like Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard for the Mets. 

But who says they can't have their own competition? 

After each starter threw a live batting practice session, deGrom and Syndergaard were walking to leave the field when they hauled it into a spring to see who would reach the gate first. 

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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Ah, spring training. In some ways it's the best time for baseball writers, a time when players, managers, and executives are more relaxed and willing to talk before the pressure of the long season takes hold. 

I first went to spring training in 1982, and suffice it say we writers were a lot more relaxed as well in those days, before Internet deadlines and social media changed everything about the job. 

The quotes aren't nearly as colorful these days, when players seemingly live in fear of the Twitter reaction to even the smallest misstep, but as I head to Florida to write about both the Mets and Yankees for SNY, there's still nothing better than baseball and sunshine in February.

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Tim Tebow spoke to Kyler Murray 00:00:48
New York Mets prospect Tim Tebow has proven he's a two sport athlete and had some sound advice for NFL prospect Kyler Murray.

Before Kyler Murray decided he would pursue a career in the NFL as a quarterback over his baseball career with the Oakland A's, he sought advice from another fellow Heisman Trophy winner -- Tim Tebow

While the 31-year-old Mets prospect did not have to make a decision between football and baseball out of college like Murray, he understands how difficult a decision this is for the 21-year-old but had a simple message for him:

Follow your heart. 

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Tim Tebow talks Mets journey 00:01:36
New York Mets prospect Tim Tebow speaks about his goals for this season heading into camp and his journey within the Mets organization.

Mets prospect Tim Tebow is always a hot commodity in Port St. Lucie. But, while the past two seasons he didn't have a shot at breaking camp with the Mets, things feel different now for the 31-year-old. 

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said earlier this offseason that Tebow has a shot at making the Majors this season, making this Spring Training critical for him. Tebow will likely start the season in Triple-A Syracuse Van Wagenen pointed out, but this will be the first step to proving he is worth a call-up this season.

"Use this Spring Training as a time really get a lot better and improve and making strides because this will be sort of the biggest Spring Training for me," Tebow said. "Before, I didn't know what I was doing, it was my first time. Then last year, I didn't play one snap of -- one snap -- one pitch of outfield. I only took a few at-bats and most of those I probably took steps back because I was trying to do it with bad form and pain."

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Peter Alonso talks making roster 00:01:19
New York Mets prospect Peter Alonso has a lot of hype to be the Mets next first baseman. How does he feel entering camp this spring?

At this time last year, Mets top prospect Peter Alonso wasn't prepared to compete for a job in Port St. Lucie. But that certainly isn't the case following a season where he teared through the minors. 

There is a good chance the Mets break camp with Alonso as their starting first baseman on Opening Day. And that is the obvious goal for the 24-year-old slugger, who admitted this year has a "different feel" in Spring Training.

"It's definitely a different feel from last year because last year I was a non-roster invitee, same as this year but I only had couple weeks of experience in Double-A," Alonso told the media on Saturday. "Got up to Triple-A last year and I kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. So I'm just going to work hard and see what happens."

Tags: Peter Alonso, Scott Thompson
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As he left his position as prominent agent and head of baseball at CAA, Brodie Van Wagenen entered his new job as General Manager of the Mets surrounded by countless questions. However, while some people continue to wonder about his preparedness and potential conflicts of interest, one thing is clear, he isn't short on confidence. 

"I think 84 wins is light," Van Wagenen told WFAN's Mike Francesa on Monday. "If we do the things we're capable of, we're going to win. We're not afraid of the competition outside of the division, and we're certainly not afraid of the teams inside the division. We will and should be a playoff team."

The confidence emitting from Van Wagenen isn't just limited to fans, players and media, but is also being noticed by rival executives. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Todd Frazier, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Everyone seems shocked that Jacob deGrom left the door open to the notion he'd consider limiting his innings in 2019 if he doesn't the contract extension he wants. But, sorry, I can't buy into the outrage.

This isn't Matt Harvey, suddenly springing the idea of shutting himself down in the heat of a September pennant race.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, John Harper
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New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)
New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Luis Severino got paid life-changing money and didn't have to endure the potential hurt feelings that the nitpicking of an arbitration hearing can sometimes make bloom. The Yankees grabbed cost certainty on an ace-level arm. 

And the rest of us scored some juicy topics to kick around when the Yanks and Severino came to an agreement Friday on a contract extension for the righty. Especially this: 

Does Severino's deal signal that the Yanks are ready to talk pre-free agency deals with the rest of their young studs? In other words, on deck, Aaron Judge

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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Cespedes gives an injury update 00:00:54
Cespedes was honest about his recovery admitting he's around 50% and doesn't know exactly when he'll be back.

After all the moves made this offseason, the Mets are positioned to be much better than their 77-85 record last season. And that's why OF Yoenies Cespedes can't help being frustrated. 

Cespedes has been in Port St. Lucie, but he hasn't been on the same workout plan as the rest of his teammates. The veteran continues his rehab regimen following double heel surgery, and the Mets are being very cautious with his progress as they don't want to rush him back. 

"We want to make sure that he's 100 percent healthy when he comes back," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said last week, "whenever that day is."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Thompson
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Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With Spring Training upon us, MLB Network released it's "Top 20 Players Right Now!" and a certain Mets starter made the list. 

The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom comes in at No. 10 on the list. He is the first pitcher named on the list, making him the best pitcher in baseball among the panel's eyes.

And that isn't hard to debate given his insanely dominant season last year. DeGrom produced one of the best single seasons in baseball, pitching to the tune of a 1.70 ERA/1.99 FIP with 269 strikeouts and a 0.91 WHIP over 217 innings (32 starts). The Mets' offense didn't help him much, as he owned a 10-9 record at the end of the year. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mets Highlights from Day 3 00:01:59
Day 3 in sunny Port St. Lucie and the squad is in full swing at Spring Training.

It was another beautiful day down in Port St. Lucie, as the Mets' pitchers and catchers got another session in at the team's facility. 

Pitchers hit the mound for a quick bullpen session, as Steven Matz, Jeurys Familia, and Seth Lugo were among those working on their arsenal. Oh, and doesn't Edwin Diaz look good in his new blue and orange threads? 

The mets' first full team workout will take place on Monday...

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New York City, NY, USA; General view of Citi Field between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
New York City, NY, USA; General view of Citi Field between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The top prospect sites all release their Top 10-30 players for every organization at the start of each season. However, by mid-summer, those lists end up being shaken around by guys getting traded, falling from grace, getting injured or - hopefully - improving and shooting up the ranks.

Here are five Mets prospects I believe have the potential to move up a few slots this season, be it into the organization's elite list or - in the case of one player - MLB's Top 50...

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Doug Williams and Nelson Figueroa discuss the news coming from Jacob deGrom and Brodie Van Wagenen's press conferences. 

Should the Mets feel pressured to sign deGrom or should they wait?

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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With the new baseball season upon us, The Athletic's Jayson Stark released his annual Spring Training Preview to catch a glimpse at what some in the game think happened this offseason. 

The extensive report saw Stark poll "30 esteemed baseball managers, coaches, scouts and executives" to see what they believed about how the league shapes out this season based on certain questions. 

One of those questions asked who the most improved team was in the National League, and the Mets came out on top with 24 votes. Next, was an NL East rival in the Phillies with 22 votes, with the Reds (20), Nationals (10) and Cardinals (10) rounding out the Top 5.

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Callaway clarifies McNeil's role 00:02:06
Mickey Callaway clarified what the Mets see as Jeff McNeil's role for the 2019 season.

We know Jeff McNeil's role with the Mets in 2019 will be primarily as an outfielder. We know his former college coach thinks he can handle it. We know McNeil thinks he can handle it. And now we know another player it will impact.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Thursday that McNeil will probably be in left field most of the time, with the team wanting him to get comfortable "with all those angles."

And when asked if McNeil would play every day against right-handed starting pitchers and whether that means Brandon Nimmo in center field and Michael Conforto in right field on the days McNeil starts, Callaway answered in the affirmative...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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deGrom, Van Wagenen on extension 00:02:40
deGrom's answer on maybe limiting innings or pitches headlines the latest on a potential extension deal being reached in Spring Training.

Minutes after Jacob deGrom told reporters that he would like the feeling to be mutual from the Mets regarding an extension and wouldn't rule out limiting his innings if he didn't get one, GM Brodie Van Wagenen sat behind the same microphone for his first presser of Spring Training. 

"Yes, Jacob is 100 percent a part of our future now and hopefully for years to come," Van Wagenen said at the start of his roughly 20 minute session (with all but one question about deGrom). 

Van Wagenen was expansive while discussing the deGrom situation, and gave a forthcoming response when asked how much of a priority it is to get a deal done with deGrom before the March 28 deadline the deGrom camp has set. 

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Reacting to deGrom's comments 00:01:07
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom proved he is an elite pitcher but with a contract extension up in the air, will he limit his innings?

Jacob deGrom said Thursday that he won't call himself frustrated, but the Mets' ace seems perturbed at the lack of movement when it comes to a potential contract extension. And he isn't ruling out placing innings restrictions on himself this season if a deal isn't struck.

"The line of communication is still open," deGrom said Thursday in Port St. Lucie. "We have not received an offer. ... I really enjoy playing here and would like to be here, but that's kind of up to them."

The "kind of up to them" line from deGrom was a telling one, as he reiterated multiple times what he also said multiple times last season: He wants to be here, but the Mets have not yet made an official offer to keep him in New York beyond 2020...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Bobby V's words to Todd Zeile 00:00:33
Ever thought about an ex...player on Valentines Day? Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine has kind words for former Mets player Todd Zeile.

After sending out his own letter to his ex...player, former Mets manager Bobby Valentine has everything you need for the perfect Valentine's Day with your loved one.

Do you need some advice to make your Valentine's Day go smoothly? Valentine has a few pointers...

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

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New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

It's official: Jacob deGrom will be the Mets' Opening Day starter in 2019.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said deGrom, the reigning National League Cy Young award winner, will get the nod when New York opens the season on the road against Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals on March 28.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Washington Nationals
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deGrom, Syndergaard take field 00:01:05
It's the second official day of Spring Training and Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are ready to go in Port St. Lucie.

It's the second official day of Spring Training down in Port St. Lucie, and pitchers and catchers were all working hard in preparation for the team's first full workout on Feb. 18. 

Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, of course, were among the pitchers getting their work in on Day 2...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard
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A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))
A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))

The Mets are "on the verge of blowing up their stadium renovation deal" with St. Lucie and looking for a new Spring Training home, reports Keona Gardner of the TC Palm.

According to Gardner, the potential of the Mets looking for a new Spring Training home comes amid the ongoing renovation plans for First Data Field -- something Gardner reports has gotten contentious with St. Lucie county blowing through their original budget and demanding more money from the Mets.

Gardner notes that the Mets have already given an extra $2 million toward the renovation costs, but have so far balked at a request for more. 

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New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom sits in the dugout prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom sits in the dugout prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports)

April 7 is Jacob deGrom Cy Young bobblehead day at Citi Field. Will his award be repaired by then?

DeGrom's Cy Young award was chipped in transit and will be sent back to the manufacturer for repair, according to the New York Post's Mike Puma.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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First look at Harvey on Angels 00:00:37
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Matt Harvey dons his new threads and talks about being with his new team.

The Matt Harvey era in New York ended last year when the Mets traded the former ace to the Reds, and the right-hander is now attempting to revive his once-promising career with the Angels.

But after all of the off-field issues, the surgery to fix his thoracic outlet syndrome and his inability to regain his All-Star form in Flushing leaves lingering regret within Harvey.

Tags: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Matt Harvey
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Jun 8, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Doug Fister (38) pitches against the Houston Astros during the game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Jun 8, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Doug Fister (38) pitches against the Houston Astros during the game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Despite making multiple moves to improve their roster this season, the Mets were still in the market for starting pitching depth, according to SNY's Andy Martino. There are numerous starters still waiting to sign with a new team for the season.

But one came off the market on Wednesday, and not because he inked a new deal.

Veteran RHP Doug Fister will retire from the MLB after 10 big league seasons, his agent Page Odle told MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Fister was on the Mets' radar along with several other starters, including Gio Gonzalez and Brett Anderson

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What will Cespedes do in 2019? 00:00:41
Anthony DiComo takes a look at what type of role Yoenis Cespedes will have for the Mets in 2019. Will he be healthy?

The only certainty regarding Yoenis Cespedes for the 2019 Mets is that he won't be on the field at the start of the season as he continues to recover from surgery on both of his heels.

As Cespedes enters spring training, Anthony DiComo explores the major questions surrounding the slugger as it pertains to 2019.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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 (Gary A. Vasquez)
(Gary A. Vasquez)

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has boldly said "come get us" about the team's competitors in the NL East this season. And when it comes to the Mets' odds to win the World Series, they're on pretty equal footing.

The Mets, Nationals, and Braves all have 16/1 odds to win the World Series, while the Phillies -- strangely -- have 10/1 odds, according to BetOnline

BetOnline must be gambling that the Phillies land one of the megastar free agents still on the market -- Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. But landing one of those players might not even vault the Phillies to the top of the division.

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Best of Mickey Callaway 00:02:44
For the first time this spring, Mickey Callaway officially talked to the press. He discussed lessons learned, Cespedes and deGrom's status.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway spoke with reporters Wednesday afternoon for the first time since arrivnig at Spring Training.

Here are the takeaways...

Lessons he learned in 2018

Tags: Jason Vargas, Juan Lagares, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Diaz is happy to be Mets closer 00:02:35
Edwin Diaz spoke for the first time in Port St. Lucie. He is ready to embrace the high-pressure stage that being a closer in NY brings.

New Mets closer Edwin Diaz, who was acquired from the Mariners along with Robinson Cano earlier this offseason, doesn't think closing in New York will be different from Seattle.

"I don't think so," Diaz said Wednesday after reporting to Spring Training in Port St. Lucie. "Same game, same place, same field. Nothing changed."

On his mindset going into games, Diaz said he's ready to pitch more than one inning if necessary...

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The Mets have four players on the new FanGraphs Top 100 Prospects list, with 1B Peter Alonso (No. 48), INF Andres Gimenez (No. 52), SS Ronny Mauricio (No. 68) and 3B Mark Vientos (No. 92) making the cut.

New York had two players on new Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects list, and the same players were their only two representatives on MLB Pipeline's new Top 100 Prospects list. Meanwhile, Keith Law of ESPN, who had Vientos ranked as his best Mets prospect, ranked the Mets' farm system No. 14 in baseball

On the new FanGraphs list, compiled by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel, there was an eye-popping player comparison made regarding the 17-year-old Mauricio, with FanGraphs writing that "This is what Fernando Tatis, Jr. looked like at age 17."

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May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Watch live on SNY's Facebook and Twitter today at 1 p.m. as Mets manager Mickey Callaway holds his first presser of Spring Training.

Mets pitchers and catchers officially reported on Tuesday.


5 questions Callaway should address in first presser >> Read More

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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway speaks during a news conference ahead of the official start of spring training baseball practice Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway speaks during a news conference ahead of the official start of spring training baseball practice Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway had his ups and downs in his first year as the team's skipper in 2018. After an 11-1 start to the season, the Amazin's looked destined for the postseason. But a horrendous June month washed away that hope, even after the team put together a strong finish to the season. 

Since then, the Mets have entered a win-now mode, spearheaded by its new GM in Brodie Van Wagenen. The former agent has brought in the necessary pieces to see the Mets compete for a division title in what is expected to be a tough NL East. And they still tout arguably the best starting rotation in the game.

With Van Wagenen already stirring the pot this offseason by saying "come get us" to the Mets' rivals, Callaway has some lofty expectations on his shoulder to produce a postseason-quality club. So, with that in mind, here are some questions he should be facing from the media in his first presser down in Port St. Lucie...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Todd Frazier, Zack Wheeler, Scott Thompson
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter | : You could see this coming from the day Brodie Van Wagenen crossed over from agent to GM, and now he's in a staredown with Jacob deGrom that is not only pivotal for the organization, but perhaps his own credibility with his players.

Van Wagenen, after all, wants to be a good-guy boss, having spent years as an agent cultivating relationships with players. Two of his big moves this offseason were acquiring former clients, Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie, and he made both at least partly out of a strong belief in what he came to know about them as people as well as players.

Furthermore, BVW has spent the offseason declaring his faith in the 2019 Mets, talking them up as favorites with a bravado that has been well received by the players.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, John Harper
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Tuesday that Jacob deGrom setting an Opening Day deadline on contract extension talks was a "mutual understanding," suggesting it shouldn't be viewed as a negative.

However, this situation certainly can't be viewed as a positive -- not on the heels of deGrom being disappointed last week with how the negotiations were going.

So now the Mets are in a precarious spot, under pressure to get something done with deGrom. And if they don't, there's a chance their dream rotation -- the area they've built their entire team around in an effort to contend now -- will fall apart sooner rather than later...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Wilson Ramos ready for 2019 00:02:11
Wilson Ramos is healthy for spring training for the first time in awhile. He looks forward to learning about his new teammates on the Mets.

One of the Mets' biggest needs this offseason was improving the catcher position. They not only wanted a solid defensive player, but one that also made an impact in the batter's box. 

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen ended up signing veteran C Wilson Ramos, calling him "the perfect fit for us" back in December. Ramos has the power bat, strong arm, and defensive prowess at the dish that makes him the everyday catcher heading into Port St. Lucie on Tuesday, as pitchers and catchers officially reported to camp. 

Ramos said he is "100 percent" coming into camp, and has been working hard this offseason to last a full season -- the same goal he had when he signed with the Mets back in December. 

Tags: Wilson Ramos, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Van Wagenen talks deGrom 00:02:32
Brodie Van Wagenen held an impromptu media scrum to discuss the status of Jacob deGrom's possible contract extension.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen weighed in Tuesday on Jacob deGrom setting an Opening Day deadline on contract extension talks, saying that the team and deGrom's camp came to a "mutual understanding" about the negotiation. 

"The last thing either side wants to do is have it be a distraction once the season starts," Van Wagenen said from Port St. Lucie during a scrum with reporters at Spring Training. 

"I think it's for everyone's best interest so that the focus when the season starts is on the performance of the team," Van Wagenen added...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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The Valentine's Day Dating Game 00:00:47
It's almost Valentine's Day, so what better time to play the SNY Baseball Dating Game with former New York Mets manager, Bobby Valentine!

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, so SNY decided to play the "Baseball Dating Game" with none other than former Mets manager Bobby Valentine

With three random players up on the board, Valentine had to choose one to start his team around. Does he go for Player 1, 2, or 3....

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deGrom dominates report day 00:01:14
deGrom announced he won't negotiate a long-term deal once the season starts. Anthony DiComo tells us his take on the situation.

Brodie Van Wagenen reiterated on Tuesday that the Mets want to keep Jacob deGrom for the long-term. Now, there's a deadline.

DeGrom -- who is under team control for two more seasons -- has set an Opening Day deadline to get a potential extension done, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed. The Mets open the season March 28 against the Nationals. 

Mets brass met with deGrom's representatives from CAA at the Winter Meetings this past December in Las Vegas (minus Van Wagenen, who was recused because he used to be deGrom's agent), and left with the expectation that a long-term offer was coming. The offer still hasn't come...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Mets are busy in Port St. Lucie 00:00:38
The number of Mets players in Florida is growing by the minute. The squad is getting ready for the official start of Spring Training.

Pitchers and catchers officially reported to camp on Tuesday, which means it's the official start to the 2019 season. But many position players have made their way to Port St. Lucie to get early reps in preparation for the first team workout on Feb. 18. 

The Mets come into camp with fresh faces all around -- Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Jed Lowrie, and Edwin Diaz to name a few.

And they were all brought in by the team's new GM Brodie Van Wagenen, who has already been boisterous about the team's postseason and division goals this offseason.

With those expectations in mind, the stage is set for the Mets to begin this new era of win-now baseball under Van Wagenen. And everyone is all smiles at the hop between the lines once again to kick off a new year...

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Jul 11, 2018; Trenton, NJ, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies outfielder Tim Tebow (15) warms up for batting practice prior to the game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jul 11, 2018; Trenton, NJ, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies outfielder Tim Tebow (15) warms up for batting practice prior to the game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Kyler Murray may be ditching baseball for football, but Tim Tebow remains fully committed to reaching his goal of playing major league baseball. 

The 31-year-old Mets prospect, who is expected to report to Port St. Lucie on Friday for Spring Training, was offered a chance to return to the gridiron and pursue a football career in the new Alliance of American Football League, according to Steve Spurrier. 

The former South Carolina coach, who is head coach of the AAF's Orlando Apollos, told PFT Live on Tuesday that Tebow declined the offer as he continues to pursue his career in baseball. 

Tags: Tim Tebow
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New York Mets' Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Zack Wheeler didn't just turn a corner in 2018, he turned into one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball in the second half of the season. And he attributes it to something really simple.

"I think it was just being healthy," Wheeler said Tuesday morning during an appearance on the MLB Network.

"I was able to actually concentrate on all my bullpens," Wheeler added, noting that the ability to focus on work rather than worry about any kind of health issue helped him reach the next level.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

As pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie on Tuesday, Jacob deGrom will be looking to replicate his dominant Cy Young results of last season. But he will do so without a long-term contract. 

DeGrom and the Mets avoided arbitration this offseason on a record-breaking $17 million deal for the 2019 season. It was a sensable gesture to baseball's best starter last season, but it only extended the Mets' time before they offer deGrom an extension. 

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen knows signing deGrom long-term is something the Mets want to lock down sooner than later.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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 (Jennifer Buchanan)
(Jennifer Buchanan)

When Robinson Cano came over in Brodie Van Wagenen's first blockbuster deal as new Mets GM, he was very specific about what he wanted his role to be on his new team. 

And that role is being the Mets' everyday second baseman.

"To be honest, it's hard when you have to move around when you play second base for 14 years," he told SNY's Steve Gelbs back at his introductory press conference with new closer Edwin Diaz. "Hopefully I'll be able to play second base every day."

Tags: Robinson Cano
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McNeil is good to play anywhere 00:02:13
Jeff McNeil is excited for Spring Training and looking forward to playing wherever the Mets need him.

Jeff McNeil hasn't played in the outfield with any semblance of regularity in more than half a decade. But he's not losing sleep over his transition to come in Port St. Lucie this spring.

During an interview Monday on WFAN, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen reiterated how he anticipates most of McNeil's playing time coming in the outfield. The 26-year-old has mostly played second and third base since the Mets selected him in the 12th round of the 2013 draft.

"McNeil we see being a primary guy in the outfield," Van Wagenen told WFAN's Mike Francesa. "His focus in spring training is gonna be a transition to the outfield because we think we can be a lethal lineup with a McNeil, (Michael) Conforto, (Brandon) Nimmo outfield against right-handed pitching."

 

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Juan Lagares, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets pitchers and catchers will have their first official workout of Spring Training on the back fields of First Data Field on Thursday, Feb. 14.

The games, which start Feb. 23, are fun to watch. It's a sunny, upbeat, breezy environment as you're surrounded by true Mets fans and local old-timers that have been going to games here for over 30 years.

For me, though, if I had to choose, I prefer to attend the workouts, which begin this week...

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