With the No. 10 overall pick in the 2014 First Year Player Draft, the Mets selected Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto. Although technically he has the option to return to Oregon State, he's overwhelmingly likely to sign with the Mets (even telling a local reporter that he had "probably" already played his final college game). If and when he does so, will he begin his professional career with the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Savannah Sand Gnats or some other affiliate? Brooklyn, probably, but really, it does not matter much. It matters more how he finishes 2014.

Comparing Conforto to recent similar draftees can paint a fairly clear picture of his likely progression through the minor leagues.

Conforto's path, like so much of player acquisition and development, will be driven by the sport's collective bargaining agreement. The most recent collective bargaining agreement, finalized on November 16, 2011, has two major pieces that impact Conforto immediately. The CBA sought to hold down signing bonuses for amateur players by limiting teams to tightly controlled bonus pools for their entire draft class. Have no fear for Conforto's bank account - he will soon sign a seven figure contract - although it probably would be much larger in the absence of restrictions on amateur spending. Second, and more importantly for this discussion, the new CBA moved up the signing deadline for amateur draft picks from mid-August to mid-July (this year it falls on July 18).



The new system, with a July deadline, is better developmentally because even players who hold out until the deadline still get a month and a half of minor league baseball in their first season. Under the old system, players -- who would maximize their bonuses by waiting until the deadline -- would have not played a competitive game of baseball for two to three months, which meant that they were not in game shape when then signed. So, there are two major advantages for first year players in their draft year under the new CBA: 1. they are closer to game shape, 2. they have more season left.

How do the Mets generally handle college position players picked in the top half of the first round? That's a tricky question. Conforto is the highest drafted college position player the Mets have taken in the last 20 years. Sure, there were higher drafted players (Philip Humber was No. 4 overall in 2004 and Matt Harvey was No. 7 in 2010), but they were pitchers. The highest drafted collegiate position players were Ike Davis (No. 18 in 2008), Reese Havens (No. 22 in 2008) and Jason Tyner (No. 21 in 1998). Davis and Havens' selections and initial assignments played out under a different GM and front office and Tyner was a lifetime or two ago in baseball terms.

Since Sandy Alderson took over the Mets' reins in before the 2011 season, the Mets have sent their advanced college draft picks to Brooklyn, with one notable exception. The highest drafted collegian, Kevin Plawecki, in the supplemental first round of the 2012 draft, began his professional carer in Brooklyn. However, SS Matt Reynolds, drafted in the second round that year, began with Savannah that same summer. The top collegiate position players from the Mets' 2013 draft class -- fourth-rounder L.J. Mazzilli and fifth-rounder Jared King -- both began their Mets' lives as Cyclones. None of these players matched Conforto in terms of draft stature or potential as a hitter.



Since the new CBA took effect, before this draft, there have been seven college hitters taken in the top 20 picks in the June draft (Kris Bryant, Colin Moran, Hunter Dozier, D.J. Peterson, Hunter Renfroe in 2013 and Mike Zunino and Tyler Naquin in 2012). We will focus on the early career progression of this septet for clues for Conforto.

Six of the seven began their professional careers with their team's short-season Single-A affiliate, the equivalent of the Brooklyn Cyclones for the Mets. The only one of the seven who did not: Colin Moran, the Marlins' selection at No. 6 overall in 2013. Assigned to Greensboro in the South Atlantic League, Moran hit .299/.354/.442 with 13 extra-base hits and solid strike zone control (15 BB/25 K) in 175 PA over 42 games in 2013.

Of those seven players all but one -- Naquin -- earned a promotion to a full-season league in the season in which they were drafted. Four of these seven players finished in Single-A, Kris Bryant finished in advanced Single-A and Mike Zuninio, selected by the Mariners with the third overall selection in 2012, finished up that year in Double-A after the Mariners skipped him over both Single-A levels. He more than held his own, hitting .333 over the final 15 games with Double-A Jackson adding three doubles and four home runs. As a group, in their exposure to short-season baseball, these players had strikeout to walk rates around 1 and showed power with isolated slugging percentages better than .200. Naquin had some of the plate discipline (17 BB/36 K) but not the power - .110 ISO in 36 games with Mahoning Valley in 2012.

Every single one of these seven players began their first full season after their draft year at advanced Single-A or higher. The ones who played above advanced Single-A were Bryant, who began this year in Double-A, and Zunino, who made his MLB debut last June, began 2013 with Triple-A Tacoma. (Bryant, by the way, is hitting a stupid .357/.460/.722 in the Double-A Southern League with 18 doubles, 22 homers and 39 walks against 72 strikeouts in 63 games for the Tennessee Smokies.) By advanced Single-A, the underlying differences in the players' skills starts to become more pronounced - some guys hit for lots of power (Bryant, Zunino, Peterson, Renfroe) while other do not (Moran, Dozier, Naquin).

The most successful hitters in this group - Bryant (18), Moran (0), Peterson (29), Renfroe (25) and Zunino (29) - all played fewer than 30 games in short-season Single-A.



So, the Mets can send Conforto out to Brooklyn when he signs and let him get a taste of minor league baseball in the big city, and introduce him to professional baseball in the more controlled and comfortable environment of the New York Penn League.

However, the experience of draftees similar to Conforto is that they have been ready for a full-season league after less than a month. The hitters who are off to successful starts to their professional career showed major secondary skills in short-season ball, controlling the strike zone and hitting for big time power to earn promotions to full-season baseball in a month.

Thus, expecting Conforto to finish 2014 with Savannah or St. Lucie is not just a reasonable expectation. Rather, doing so, is a positive marker on his developmental pathway to the big leagues.


Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.com breaks down the 2014 Mets first-round draft pick outfielder Michael Conforto...

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

 (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
(Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets take on the Tigers in Port St. Lucie on Sunday at 1:10 p.m., which will be broadcast on WPIX. 

Right-hander Chris Flexen is set to start for the Mets and will be opposed by left-hander Matt Boyd. 

Prospect Dominic Smith, who came in late during Saturday's game and drew two walks, will get the start at first base Sunday. 

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Feb 22, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL; Duda (21) takes infield practice at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL; Duda (21) takes infield practice at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is dealing with back spams and should be back on the field in a few days, he told reporters Sunday.

He received a cortisone injection in both hips on Friday after he felt soreness in his hips and back, Terry Collins told reporters Saturday. 

Tags: Lucas Duda
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Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mets third baseman David Wright played in his first Grapefruit League game on Saturday, going 0-for-2 as the DH in New York's 8-6 loss. 

It was Wright's first game action since May 27, 2016, after which he had neck surgery and missed the rest of the season.

Despite not recording a hit on the day, Wright felt the game was a positive. 

Tags: David Wright
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Maggie Wiggin, MetsBlog.com:

With the roster largely set, the Mets have begun looking at lineup construction to maximize the offense from a team that underperformed for much of last season. As usual for this team, one of the spots still pending a long-term answer is leadoff.

When Jose Reyes is starting, it's largely a given that he will bat leadoff, assuming his bounceback 2016 numbers continue to hold steady. With major question marks surrounding David Wright's health, this may very well resolve the leadoff issue for the bulk of the season. 

The vast majority of Reyes's career plate appearances have come out of the leadoff spot and despite no longer displaying the stolen base prowess that secured him that spot in his youth (nor the on base percentage that tends to define the classic leadoff hitter nowadays), his reputation and general offensive competence will certainly place him there for the foreseeable future...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Jose Reyes, Neil Walker, Maggie Wiggin
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Post Game Extra: 2/25/17 00:01:54
Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling break down the Mets' loss to the Washington Nationals.

The Mets lost to the Nationals, 8-6, on Saturday at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie.


  • Sean Gilmartin started for the Mets, allowing one run in two innings of work. 
  • Yoenis Cespedes went 1-for-2 with a double. 
  • Pinch-hitting in the sixth, Michael Conforto drove in a run with a single. 
Tags: Washington Nationals
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 (Jasen Vinlove)
(Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets host the Nationals on Saturday at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, live on SNY at 1:10 p.m.

Coverage begins on SNY at 12:30 p.m. with Mets pregame.

LHP Sean Gilmartin will get the start for the Mets, with LHP Jerry Blevins also scheduled to pitch.

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Sean Gilmartin
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Conforto fighting for spot 00:03:17
Michael Conforto went 2-3 with a home run in the Mets' first spring game, and could make roster decisions difficult for Terry Collins.

The Mets beat the Red Sox, 3-2, on Friday afternoon in Fort Myers.


  • Mets pitchers took a combined no-hitter into the seventh inning.
  • OF Michael Conforto went 2-for-3 with a home run.
  • C Travis d'Arnaud went 2-for-2.
  • RHP Seth Lugo, who is competing with Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler for the fifth spot in the rotation, walked two and struck out three while allowing no hits in two scoreless innings...
Tags: Hansel Robles, Jerry Blevins, Josh Edgin, Michael Conforto, Rafael Montero, Robert Gsellman, Sean Gilmartin, Seth Lugo, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler
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'Hello Jerry' with David Wright 00:06:10
Season two of #HelloJerry begins with a special guest, Mets third baseman and captain David Wright.

Season two of #HelloJerry begins with a special guest, Mets third baseman and captain David Wright

Tags: David Wright, Jerry Blevins
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Mets Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola wants to be on a big-league staff, despite playing a major role in the development of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler.

"After being in Vegas for four years, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't love to have an opportunity to make a difference in the big leagues," Viola recently told the NY Post. "If it happens, it happens.

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Mar 20, 2016; Red Sox DH David Murphy (18) is tagged out at home plate by Mets during a spring training game at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2016; Red Sox DH David Murphy (18) is tagged out at home plate by Mets during a spring training game at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets open their 2017 Grapefruit League schedule today at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Red Sox at JetBlue Field in Fort Myers, Fla.

The game will not be on SNY, but can be heard on radio at 710 AM WOR in New York.

Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Amed Rosario, and Travis d'Arnaud will headline the trip, while Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright, Jose Reyes and the rest of the roster remain back in St. Lucie to work out in camp.

Seth Lugo will start for the Mets, after which RHP prospect Marcos Molina is expected to pitch.

Tags: Seth Lugo
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Live from Duffy's: Jose Reyes 00:04:23
Jose Reyes talks with Steve Gelbs on Mets Hot Stove about his relationships with David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera and Amed Rosario.

Jose Reyes, spending his first Spring Training back with the Mets since signing a minor league deal last summer, discussed his evolving relationship with David Wright during an appearance on Hot Stove on Thursday night.

"I've known him since 2001," Reyes said. "We're like brothers. We get along very good. ...We just enjoy the game and enjoy the fact that we're here and enjoy playing together one more time."

Reyes described coming back to Port St. Lucie like going home to the Dominican Republic. "This is home for me," he said.

On shortstop prospect Amed Rosario, Reyes said -- as someone who's been in the same position -- he's given Rosario advice on how to handle the expectations...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes
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Live from Duffy's: Terry Collins 00:06:20
Mets manager Terry Collins chats with Steve Gelbs on David Wright's return and how the Mets plan on using Jose Reyes this season.

Mets manager Terry Collins is excited for the upcoming season, although he does face some unique challenges, he told Mets Hot Stove on Thursday night.

Entering his sixth season as the Mets' skipper, Collins is amazed that he's just 43 games shy of becoming the longest-tenured manager in club history. Collins called New York a "tremendous place to manage" and added that being in baseball, "you want to manage on the biggest stage, and that's where I'm at."

Collins also discussed the difficulty of getting everyone enough playing time, saying that the players "have to buy into it. We're going to be very, very good and very fun to watch. But we've got to keep our good players healthy."

 

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Live from Duffy's: Granderson 00:04:09
Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson stops by Mets Hot Stove to chat with Steve Gelbs on the upcoming season.

Mets OF Curtis Granderson doesn't have much of a preference where he hits in the lineup and believes that being aggressive within the strike zone is a key to his success, he told Mets Hot Stove on Thursday night.

The 34-year-old hit leadoff for a majority of the first half last season until Jose Reyes joined the Mets in early July. Granderson said that he doesn't really care where he bats and that "wherever TC puts me, I'll find a way to make myself comfortable one way or the other because the first at-bat is really the only at-bat where you're in that first position."

He also discussed the difference in his approach between 2015 and 2016, saying that "the big thing is being aggressive. I don't think the approach last year, affected, one way or the other, the walks or the power numbers." He added that he wants to "be aggressive in the zone" and that is "the philosophy here with the Mets."

Tags: Curtis Granderson
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Live from Duffy's: Matt Harvey 00:06:28
Matt Harvey talks with Steve Gelbs about maintaining his intimidating presence on the mound and his recovery from surgery.

Mets RHP Matt Harvey looks forward to regaining the form he displayed during his dominant 2013 season while also helping lead the club to a World Series title, he told SNY during Mets Hot Stove on Thursday night. 

Speaking about his struggles last year, which ended in July following surgery to remove a rib after he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, Harvey said "it was a tough experience and I'm glad it's over, but I'm ready to go." Asked whether he plans on altering the style of pitching he had prior to his injuries, Harvey said "the goal is to regain 2013 form and go out there and do what I did then."

The 27-year-old also talked about bringing a championship to New York, saying he can "kind of envision the parade that we're gonna have" when he looks around the Mets' locker room.

Tags: Matt Harvey
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d'Arnaud on his expectations 00:02:41
Travis d'Arnaud joins Mets Hot Stove to discuss his expectations for himself behind the plate and at bat this season.

Glenn Sherlock may have been hired this past offseason to be the entire team's catching instructor, but he was clearly tasked with planting himself in Travis d'Arnaud's back pocket.

In the week that I've been here, I've only seen d'Arnaud out of ear shot from Sherlock once or twice, and it was walking from one field to another where Sherlock eventually ended up anyway...

Tags: Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets considered trading OF Michael Conforto for Tigers OF J.D. Martinez before re-signing Yoenis CespedesJon Heyman of FanRag sports reported.

According to Heyman, the Mets decided that one year of Martinez, who will be a free agent after this season, in exchange for Conforto, wasn't enough.

MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone reported on Jan. 5 that the Mets had made calls to Detroit about the possibility of trading for Martinez before agreeing to a four-year deal with Cespedes...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Steven Matz
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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

 Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Thursday in Port St. Lucie. Here's what we learned...

  • The Mets will send outfielders Juan Lagares and Michael Conforto, infielder Wilmer Flores, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud to their Grapefruit League opener against the Red Sox on Friday. 
  • The hope is that David Wright will serve as designated hitter on Saturday.
Tags: David Wright, Josh Edgin, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores
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Syndergaard to start Opening Day 00:05:36
Noah Syndergaaard joins Mets Hot Stove from Port St. Lucie to talk about what it means to be the Opening Day starter.

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard is excited about his Opening Day start, he told SNY during Mets Hot Stove on Wednesday night.

"It's an awesome feeling," he said. "I'm extremely excited that Terry instills that kind of confidence in me, and I'll rise to the occasion." 

On skipping the upcoming World Baseball Classic, Syndergaard said his "heart and soul is with the Mets and that's who I want to compete with," adding that he threw lots of innings in 2015 and 2016 and wanted to give his arm a break...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The Mets have signed RHP Wilfredo Boscan to a minor league deal, the team announced Thursday.

He will report to minor league camp.

Boscan, 27, had a 6.46 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings (one start, five relief appearances) for the Pirates in 2016 during what was his first major league season...

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Tradition Field, the Mets' Spring Training hjome in Port St. Lucie, has been renamed First Data Field, it was announced Thursday.

The ballpark has been the Spring Training home of the Mets since it opened in 1988, and it was announced this past November that the Mets would spend at least the next 25 years playing there...

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Feb. 21, 2017: Mets RHP Matt Harvey gets set to throw during a bullpen session (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 21, 2017: Mets RHP Matt Harvey gets set to throw during a bullpen session (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

I know, and you know, the Mets have some serious pitching talent. I actually take it for granted, I think. But, when seeing them all lined up together, throwing side by side, it takes the realization to a different level...

This morning, I watched Zack Wheeler work at length for the first time this spring. He threw free and easy and - most important - he showed no signs of discomfort or awkwardness. There was no shaking out his arm or looking at his elbow, which is what I recall earlier in camp. In today's instance, it was all business. He simply tossed a bullpen session, did it well, and that was that...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 22 00:02:25
SNY.tv covers the day in Mets camp that includes bullpen sessions for Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

The Mets continued workouts at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday...


Zack Wheeler threw a bullpen session and could get his first game action on March 8 >> Read more

Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Neil Walker will be leadoff options >> Read more ...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Zack Wheeler
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It was photo day today, which is when players get in full uniform to pose for head shots, pictures and promos used across baseball...

The individual photographers and media outlets set up stations that players go through one by one, where they stop, take direction and mostly do whatever is asked of them...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Matthew Cerrone
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 (The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)
(The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)

 Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie. Here's what we learned...

  • Wednesday was the best Collins has seen RHP Zack Wheeler throw since his Tommy John surgery. Wheeler could get in to a Grapefruit League game on March 8.
  • Collins thinks RHP Noah Syndergaard is doing the right thing by not pitching in the upcoming World Baseball Classic...
Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Steven Matz, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler
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Alderson on d'Arnaud, Conforto 00:04:32
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson dishes on some hot topics including expectations for Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Conforto.

With the return of Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce to New York's outfield this season, along with the presence of Curtis Granderson, 23-year old Michael Conforto has seemingly lost his spot in the starting lineup.

But Mets general manager Sandy Alderson does not believe it will discourage him from coming in and having a strong spring training, something that would make the decision about the outfield significantly more difficult for the GM.

"Well I think the important thing for Michael is to have a good spring, regardless of what happens at the end," Alderson told SNY's Gary Apple. "One of the things we focus on around here is process and not results. So I think Michael is committed to having a good spring, and you know, the way things are configured now, make it tough on us."

While Conforto will be attempting to prove to Alderson he belongs in the starting lineup this spring, he is not the only Met looking to show management of improvements made since last season...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Kevin Plawecki, Michael Conforto, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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Zack Wheeler joins Hot Stove 00:02:39
Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler talks injuries and rehab as he eyes a return to the Mets starting staff in 2017.

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler threw another bullpen session on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie, mixing curveballs in for the first time.

Wheeler could pitch in his first Grapefruit League game on March 8 against the Astros, manager Terry Collins said.

Wheeler threw about 20 pitches off a mound on Sunday for the first time since he felt some tenderness in his right elbow during a recent bullpen session.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen said last Wednesday that the tenderness Wheeler felt during his bullpen session early last week was likely due to scar tissue, which remains from his Tommy John surgery...

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

When Jose Reyes doesn't start, the main options for the Mets at leadoff will be Asdrubal CabreraCurtis Granderson, and Neil Walker, manager Terry Collins said recently.

Reyes hit .267 with a .326 OBP and .443 SLG with eight HR, 13 doubles, four triples, and nine stolen bases in 60 games for the Mets last season.

He's expected to hit leadoff when he starts, but the Mets' starting infield from left to right as of now is expected to be David Wright, Cabrera, Walker, and Lucas Duda.

Granderson has had lots of experience hitting leadoff, but Collins is wary about moving him from the middle of the lineup...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker
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Wright discusses health, Reyes 00:05:03
Gary Apple and Nelson Figueroa catch up with David Wright to discuss his health, the 2017 team and playing with Jose Reyes again.

David Wright is expected to only DH - and not play in the field - this weekend when Mets begin their the Grapefruit League schedule, Terry Collins told reporters Tuesday at Tradition Field.

"He is making strides," Collins said, noting that Wright may not get time at third base until the middle of March. "He probably won't play a lot until we make sure his arm is right. ... We just don't want him overexposed where if he makes a bad throw all of a sudden it's a big story."

Tags: David Wright
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 21 00:02:35
MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and SNY Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discuss the day's events at Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Mets continued workouts at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday...


The dynamic between David Wright and Jose Reyes has changed, as has their role on the Mets >> Read more

Reyes, Yoenis Cespedes, and Asdrubal Cabrera have been spending lots of time together at camp >> Read more...

Tags: Addison Reed, Asdrubal Cabrera, David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

The dynamic I see between David Wright and Jose Reyes is not what I remember from the old days. It has changed, just as I am sure they have changed as men.

In the early days of their relationship, they were the two young guys called up to Shea Stadium at roughly the same time. The team was built around them. They were always paired together in photo shoots, on magazine covers and on the same side of the field...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb. 20, 2017: Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes talk between batting practice sessions during Spring Training (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 20, 2017: Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes talk between batting practice sessions during Spring Training (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

The big-name players on the Mets are all spending way more time together on and off field than I recall seeing here in previous spring trainings. That said, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes are close to inseparable.

They stretch together, they hit in the same groups, they eat together before and after practice, and they joke around in the field and at the cage. They're clearly doubling down on the friendship they began building last summer.

Hopefully, that escalation doesn't end in St. Lucie, but continues to grow and fuel the team's run production like it did during the second half in 2016...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie. Here's what we learned...

  • 3B David Wright will likely serve as a designated hitter initially during Grapefruit League games.
  • If RHP Jeurys Familia is suspended for his domestic violence incident, Collins is not worried about him keeping himself in shape during the time away from the team.
  • OF Jay Bruce will not take fly balls in center field during Spring Training.
  • The Mets have seen the potential of C Travis d'Arnaud, who is "extremely dangerous" when he's swigning well. "Everybody is allowed to have a bad year," Collins said about d'Arnaud's performance in 2016...
Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Rafael Montero, Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)
(Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent C Matt Wieters is close to signing what will likely be a two-year deal with the Nationals that contains an opt-out after the first year, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The deal will be worth $21 million, with $10 million paid in 2017, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Wieters, 30, hit .243 with a .302 OBP and .409 SLG with 17 HR and 66 RBI in 124 games last season for the Orioles.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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Reed on becoming Mets closer 00:04:28
Reliever Addison Reed joins Mets Hot Stove to discuss his outlook for the 2017 season.

In the event Jeurys Familia begins the season under suspension, Addison Reed will be the team's closer and Fernando Salas will be his set-up man, Terry Collins said Monday.

"As of today, he would be that guy, because he has done it before and he's been successful at it," Collins said of Reed, who had a 1.97 ERA and identical 1.97 FIP in 80 games last season.

He and the Mets avoided salary arbitration in December, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $7.75 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia
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Feb. 21, 2017: The sun rises over Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 21, 2017: The sun rises over Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

It was not photo day Tuesday morning. I wish I knew that, because I thought it was and got to Tradition Field at 6:55 am ET. No worries, though, since it was a great opportunity to watch the sunrise and catch the ballpark get started for the day...

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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 20 00:02:48
SNY's Steve Gelbs and Marc Carig of Newsday cover Monday at Mets camp, including Neil Walker rumors and a close look at Amed Rosario

The New York Mets seem comfortable together in spring training as they prepare for their first game on Friday. Team morale also seems high.

Contract discussions between second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets are "probably dead."

Shortstop Amed Rosario, one of the top prospects in baseball, said he has learned a great deal from Jose Reyes.

Manager Terry Collins said he sees upside in what Rosario and outfielder Michael Conforto, and also said Fernando Salas would step into the set-up role should Addison Reed become interim closer in the event Jeurys Familia is suspended under the MLB's domestic violence policy.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker
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Rosario shows off personality 00:03:56
Mets prospect Amed Rosario makes an impression and shows his personality to reporters while the Mets Talk Live crew discusses his potential.

New York Mets manager Terry Collins spoke to the media on Monday in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as the team readies for its first spring training game this Friday. 

  • He said Fernando Salas would become the Mets' eighth-inning set-up man "because he has done it before, because he has been successful at it" in the event closer Jeurys Familia is suspended under the MLB's domestic violence policy. 
  • He said he was looking forward to seeing how shortstop Amed Rosario, considered one of the top prospects in baseball, will play this spring.
Tags: Michael Conforto
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In the 10 years I've been coming to Tradition Field, I don't recall seeing so much smiling and laughing going on between the team's star players and the coaching staff.

It's nice to see. It's one of those things that - if the Mets go on to have a poor season and miss the playoffs - people will look back on and blame, saying they were too loose and not taking things seriously enough. Of course, if they steamroll the NL East and get back to the World Series, we'll look back and believe their success started in St. Lucie...

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Photo: Chris McShane
Photo: Chris McShane

Mets prospect Amed Rosario is thankful to have Jose Reyes guiding him as a mentor, the shortstop told reporters through an interpretar on Monday.

"Well I'm so thankful to God first, and then I'm so thankful that I have people like Jose," Rosario said from Tradition Field. "Jose doesn't just give me advice on the field. He really tells me how to carry myself as a person off the field. To always make the right choices, do the right thing. So that's a really great thing to have."

Rosario and Reyes spent time together in Binghamton last year as Reyes was making his way towards the majors. While Reyes appeared in only nine games for the Mets' Double-A affiliate, Rosario played in 54, hitting an impressive .341 with two home runs, 31 RBIs, and 14 doubles.

Tags: Jose Reyes
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Walker (20) watches Yoenis Cespedes in the batting cage at Tradition Field. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Walker (20) watches Yoenis Cespedes in the batting cage at Tradition Field. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Latest Update (Feb. 20)

1:25PM: The feeling from the Mets side is the Neil Walker contract extension discussions are probably dead, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Tags: Neil Walker
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Jose Reyes, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes take batting practice at Tradition Field in 2017 (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Jose Reyes, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes take batting practice at Tradition Field in 2017 (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

In his talk with the team before stretching on Sunday, Terry Collins essentially told the team that last year was an anomaly because of the injuries. He said he's proud of how they fought through adversity, but this year will be different...

In short, because I was down wind and roughly 40 feet away from where he was standing, I heard him say they will be healthy and strong and continue what they started in 2015.


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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 19 00:02:12
MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and SNY Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discuss the day's events at camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Mets and Neil Walker are close to agreeing to a contract extension that could pay him roughly $40 million over three years >> Read more

David Wright threw a baseball on Sunday for the first time since having season-ending neck surgery last June >> Read more

Zack Wheeler, who dealt with elbow tenderness last week, returned to the mound on Sunday >> Read more

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Finally on Sunday, during the team's first official full-team workout of Spring Training, David Wright and Jose Reyes were in the same place at the same time. Of course, it took a while before they stood close enough to one another to exchange words and be photographed together...

Actually, at one point, Reyes literally jobbed to a different field as Wright emerged.

"Uh oh, David's here, I need to go," he said laughing...

Reyes returned, photographers and reporters gathered, but they continued to stand apart...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Sandy Alderson: Mets are all in 00:01:28
New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson says that the team is "all in" to win a World Series in 2017, and is willing to add payroll to do so.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Sunday and credited ownership for the current payroll being as high as it is now and said the team can raise the payroll, if necessary, despite still having OF Jay Bruce on the roster.

There are currently no ongoing trade discussions at the moment, Alderson said, and that the team is preparing to enter the season with current players and make adjustments from there. He said the best possibilty is to have six outfielders hitting .400 in Spring Training

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Feb 14, 2017; Matt Harvey (33) talks with Collins (10) during workouts at Tradition Field. Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2017; Matt Harvey (33) talks with Collins (10) during workouts at Tradition Field. Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins said in his speech to the team before Sunday's first official full-team workout of the season he told the players that they better have "swagger" and need to act like they will win in 2017, adding that he is confident the Mets will be playing in October.

Collins told reporters that players are entering camp knowing what they were still able to accomplish last year by rising up when many of the starting pitchers suffered injuries.

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Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper reacts after a called third strike in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game four of the 2016 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper reacts after a called third strike in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game four of the 2016 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

In January, Nationals OF Bryce Harper posted a video of himself and his brother, Bryan, singing in excitement for Ohio State's College Football Playoff game against Clemson.

Barstool Sports shared it on their Instagram account, where Syndergaard responded in the comment section, calling Harper a "douche."

When Harper was asked about comment over the weekend at Nationals camp, the outfielder didn't exactly laugh off the incident. 

"I don't know, Syndergaard does what he does and the Mets do what they do," Harper told reporters, according to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. "So we are going to worry about what we do in our clubhouse and do everything we can do win ballgames and hopefully have a better record than any team in Major League Baseball." 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Less than a year and a half ago, MLB.com considered then 19-year-old Mets RHP Marcos Molina to be the organization's top pitching prospect. He then had Tommy John surgery, missed an entire season and dropped to fourth on MLB.com's 2016 list last summer.

Molina, now 21, tossed a bullpen session Saturday a few feet away from Dan Warthen, Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and his staff...

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Feb 17, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of the catchers gear of New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (not pictured) on the field during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 17, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of the catchers gear of New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (not pictured) on the field during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Yoenis Cespedes told reporters that the Mets have a "great chance" to win the World Series in 2017 if the team stays healthy. He also said he feels calmer knowing that he landed a four-year contract extension with the Mets. Read more here

Metsblog's Matthew Cerrone captured photos of Matt HarveyNoah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Terry Collins signing autographs at the end of Saturday's practice. Harvey seemed to draw a larger crowd than Syndergaard, but all of them drew fans. See pictures and read more here

 

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Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Terry Collins spent a good chunk of time at the end of today's practice signing autographs for Mets fans...

It was quite a frenzy, especially considering Harvey and Syndergaard were signing at the same time. And, I have to say, though people were going pretty crazy to get to Syndergaard, I actually think Harvey created a bigger buzz...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler
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