Matt Reynolds could very well be major leaguer.

Coming off a week in which he hit .533/.588/.767, the 23-year-old Reynolds was named the Pacific Coast League's Player of the Week for the period ending August 3. In 43 games in Triple-A, in the thin air of Las Vegas, he's hitting .329/.390/.470 with 15 walks and 41 strikeouts while playing eight games at second base and 33 at short.

The Mets drafted Reynolds in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Arkansas, where he was primarily a third baseman. They shifted him back to his natural shortstop position for his professional career. Reynolds isn't going to dazzle anyone with his range or his arm, but can he hit enough?

Reynolds hit a disappointing .226/.302/.337 in 117 games with St. Lucie in 2013. He did not show much power - just three home runs. He didn't walk much - just a 7.4 percent walk rate. And his overall line was torpedoed by a .263 batting average on balls in play.

Fast-forward to 2014, where he has put up big numbers at both Double-A (.355/.430/.422 in 58 games) and in Triple-A.

Reynolds, who still lives in Arkansas in the winter, credits offseason work, especially with Rick Strickland, a Mets scout based in St. Louis, for his improvement this season.

"I’d work out in Fayetteville for a week, then drive to St. Louis and stay up there for a week,” he said. “I’d hit twice a day and probably take 500 swings a day. It’s paying off. I’m glad I did it," he told the Las Vegas Review Journal last week.

Reynolds told Newsday that he just had to iron out a few "kinks" in his swing.

"[O]ne big thing we saw, right when he was ready to make contact, he wasn't releasing the bat in the proper order," Strickland said."He was pulling the bat across the ball, which was producing a lot of soft ground balls."

Now, Strickland and Reynolds believe the young shortstop is staying through the ball better, which has obviously impacted his stats at the plate.

Looking at his numbers and projecting his stats shows nothing to suggest that Reynolds is an above-average everyday shortstop.

That Reynolds might be an improvement as the Mets everyday shortstop says a lot about the Mets, and a little about Reynolds, who would most likely be a below-average everyday guy at the position. However, with his defensive versatility and on base ability, he’d look just fine on the bench as a very cheap, MLB minimum guy, who can handle short, second or third.

For the full analysis of Reynolds' numbers so far and where he projects to be, read on...

Reynolds' groundball rate in 2013 and 2014 is nearly identical. The real change in his batted ball profile is the change in composition between "line drives and fly balls." His line drive rate has skyrocketed, at the expense of fly balls and infield pop ups.

Ground BallFly BallLine DrivePop UpFB+LDAll Air
Consider these observations with a degree of caution. From a batter's perspective, more line drives are better. However, the line drive statistic, especially at the minor league level, is not very reliable. Chris Moran at Beyond the Box Score argued recently that since line drive rate at the big league level did not correlate well with any other important offensive statistic, or even itself on a year over year basis, it was just not useful. Colin Wyers, who now works for the Astros, wrote extensively about the bias in measuring line drive rate at Baseball Prospectus and Hardball Times.

The BABIP Monster

What accounts for the change in Reynolds' offensive production? Let's look at Reynolds' important secondary indicators: his strikeout, walk, and extra-base hit rates for his early professional career. All percentages are expressed in total plate appearances.

2012 SAL6.314.
2013 FSL6.616.
2014 EL3.716.912.00.4.433.06627.3
2014 PCL8.
2014 Total5.619.310.40.9.428.09924.7
There are four important changes in the data above:

  1. His batting average on balls on play at both Double-A and Triple-A in 2014 has soared compared to his rates in 2012 and 2013.
  2. His BABIP is higher because he's hit more singles, not more extra-base hits. His extra-base hit rate combined between AA and AAA is below that of a-ball.
  3. His walk rate increased in Double-A and, at 10% for the year, is up significantly over his 2012 and 2013 sub-7.5% rates.
  4. His strikeout rate is up a bit, combining Double-A and Triple-A. At 22.4% in Triple-A, it would be his highest at any minor league stop yet.

DirectionIs he pulling the ball less?

Heat maps from

Sort of. The angry red mark around shortstop has gotten a little smaller, while Reynolds is using more of centerfield.

This is clearer in chart form. Here's the location of his batted balls in 2013 and 2014, again using data from

Left fieldCenter fieldRight fieldSS+3B2B+1B
As it happens, shortstops fielded 17.7 percent of Reynolds' batted balls in 2013 and 17.6 percent in 2014. What's happening mostly is that balls that were fielded by the corner infielders and the second baseman are going into centerfield.

Line Drive Rate, Singles and BABIP

So, again, we know that much of Reynolds' offensive improvement is driven by more singles and a higher BABIP. But how much of Reynolds' BABIP improvement this year is real - the result of better contact and more line drives - and how much is stuff beyond his control, like randomness and playing in better run environments?

To answer this question, here's Reynolds' batted ball profile again - his ground balls, fly balls, infield popups. Combine that with his line drive rate, use stolen bases as a proxy for the players' speed and plug all of into wonderful, "simple" expected BABIP calculator at the Hardball Times.

2012 SAL.292.303
2013 FSL.263.297
2014 EL.433.317
2014 PCL.421.340
A few notes:

- This calculator was created for MLB, but here it's applied to minor league performance. Among other things, MLB fielders are far superior to their minor league counterparts.

- All batted ball data in this section comes from Reynolds' page at

- BABIP and xBABIP are a function the run environment. Per Baseball America, games in Savannah feature, on average, 7 runs per game, while those in Las Vegas feature 12.81 runs per game. To correct for this, I used the stadium with the closest run environment to the given minor league facility: Coors Field for Las Vegas, Busch for Binghamton and St. Lucie and Safeco for Savannah.

Now, the expected BABIP can be plugged back into Reynolds' performances for all of his minor league stops to get his expected performance based on his actual batted ball profile. Basically, this means adding a single to his line in Savannah, adding 13 in St. Lucie, subtracting 20 from his line in Binghamton, and 10 from his performance in Las Vegas.

His on base percentage plus isolated slugging (OBP+ISO) can be used to track Reynolds' production by level. This is OPS minus batting average. One of the problems with OPS is that it counts batting average (and singles) twice: in the on-base term and slugging. OBP + ISO, avoids this issue, and measures the two important things for hitters: how often they get on base, and how much power they provide.

Looking only at the blue bars and blue trend line, Reynolds' raw statistics, there's a player who has improved wildly between this year and the last two.

Looking at the red, which is normalized for his expected BABIP, he's a player who has improved, but much less so.

So, What?

BABIP is a funny beast. The players who hit more balls hard will have a higher BABIP. I'd expect potential Major League hitters to run a higher BABIP in the minors than their peers who are destined to top out in AA and move on.

Basically, I think Reynolds' massive uptick in BABIP in 2014 is the result of: 1. a hitter who was unlucky in 2013, 2. a hitter who has been a lucky in 2014 and 3. a hitter who has improved between seasons.

Plugging in Reynolds' expected BABIP in Double-A (a league that plays more like the MLB than the offense-friendly PCL) and his a strikeout rate of 20 percent(which is less than his Triple-A rate of 22 percent) yields a .251/.339/.318 hitter in the big leagues. That feels about right on the optimistic end for Reynolds, who makes contact, and can work a walk. It's suggesting that he will get on base at an above average rate and hit for below average power. This is Ruben Tejada's game. This is Cliff Pennington's game.

If we plug a .350 BABIP and a 20 percent strikeout rate into Reynolds' power production in Double-A, we get something like .275/.350/.341 that's playable at short, but nothing more.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

Aug 4, 2016; Bruce (19) celebrates a three run home run with Granderson (3) (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Aug 4, 2016; Bruce (19) celebrates a three run home run with Granderson (3) (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

According to's Buster Olney, Alderson hopes to trade OF Jay Bruce for a reliever during this week's MLB Winter Meetings in Washington, DC.

However, there is more belief that the Mets will get prospects in return for either Bruce or Curtis Granderson than a player who is expected to contribute in 2017, reports Mike Puma of the NY Post.

For instance, the Orioles recently rejected Alderson's efforts to trade Bruce for a high-end reliever, sources recently told ESPN's Adam Rubin.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce
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Photo: Chris McShane
Photo: Chris McShane

The Mets' top prospect for 2017 is 21-year-old SS Amed Rosario, according an organizational Top 10 list by Baseball America..

The team recently added Rosario, RHP Marcos Molina, OF Wuilmer Becerra, RHP Chris Flexen, and Nido to their 40-man roster, which will protect them from December's Rule 5 Draft.

According to TPG Mets, no other players on BA's top 10 list are eligible.

Tags: Gabriel Ynoa, Gavin Cecchini, Robert Gsellman
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Travis d'Arnaud catches at Chase Field (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Travis d'Arnaud catches at Chase Field (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

"The Mets are fully planning to go with Travis d'Arnaud as the primary catcher in 2017 and don't foresee going the external route,"'s Adam Rubin wrote late Sunday.

According to Rubin, the Mets do not intend on pursuing free-agent C Welington Castillo, who was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks this past weekend.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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Free-agent DH-1B Steve Pearce and OF Dexter Fowler (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Free-agent DH-1B Steve Pearce and OF Dexter Fowler (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

The Blue Jays and free-agent utility-man Steve Pearce have agreed to a two-year, $12.5 million contract, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

By signing Pearce, it likely means the Blue Jays are no longer pursuing the significantly more expensive Edwin Encarnacion since Pearce, Justin Smoak and Kendry Morales will act at their first baseman and DH. This also means Toronto has extra money to pursue free-agent OF Dexter Fowler or trade for Mets OF Jay Bruce.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson will be on SNY's Mets Hot Stove tonight at 6:00 PM answering YOUR questions! Tweet them to @snytv and he could answer them on the show >> Click here!

I've been hearing that the Jays and Fowler are far apart in talks, which may indicate they view him more as a fallback, short-term option if he's yet to sign a deal late in the winter. I believe he has enough suitors to get the four-year deal he's seeking, which could force Toronto back as the most likely landing spot for Bruce... stay tuned.

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While the Mets have reportedly been trying to shop one of their outfielders for a relief pitcher, here's what the rest of the NL East has been doing at MLB's Winter Meetings...

Washington Nationals

The Nationals could be looking to make two blockbuster trades -- targeting White Sox ace Chris Sale and Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchenfor whom they might be willing to part with several top prospects, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

However, Washington could end up passing on a trade and, instead, go after free-agent outfielders Dexter FowlerIan DesmondCarlos Gomez and closer Mark Melancon...

Tags: Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, Matthew Cerrone
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MLB's 2016 Winter Meetings will begin today at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. The Meetings conclude Thursday morning after the Rule 5 Draft.

The buzz around the game points to more trade talk than free-agent rumors. The Mets will be among them, since multiple reports indicate they're trying to swap Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson for an upgrade in their bullpen >> To read more about their plans, click here!

Later today on SNY's Facebook page, I will be doing a Live Q&A around 11 am, followed by a Hot Stove check-in from our guys in D.C.. We'll also be Live streaming Sandy Alderson's talk with reporters at 3:30 pm, after which Rob Brender and I will post a podcast here recapping the day's events >> To follow SNY on Facebook, click here!

In the meantime, to keep you warm until rumors, updates and news begin flowing later this morning, check out the following audio and video... Happy Hot Stove!

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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

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.

Backman left the organization back in September, citing that he felt 'disrespected' by the team. 

Rubin also reports that Frank Viola and Jack Voigt will remain in their their positions as pitching and hitting coaches. 

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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

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

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,"'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'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'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 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
April 1990: Mets LHP Frank Viola starts at Shea Stadium (Associated Press via

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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