In Part I of this breakdown of Mets pitching depth, we found that at the upper levels of the minors, and for the duration of the 2014 season, it's Noah Syndergaard, and not much else. Again, with Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom already getting a taste of the big leagues, and Syndergaard on the way if his elbow holds up, this is neither cause for concern nor a surprise. The best and most advanced of this group of pitchers can reasonably be expected to reach the big leagues in 2015 with the rest trickling in in the subsequent years.


Advanced Single-AAt this level, we're now talking about guys who can help the Mets not in 2014, but in years down the road, possibly as early as late 2015 for the arms in advanced-A already and 2016 for those in Savannah if they move quickly.

LHP Steven MatzFollowing 6 2/3 shutout innings on Sunday, Matz now has a 1.73 ERA to go along with a 23.9 percent strikeout rate and an 8.5 percent walk rate in advanced Single-A. He's fourth in the Florida State League in ERA, and eighth in strikeout rate. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in any start and after a weird hiccup in late April/early May, when he walked four batters in consecutive starts, he's been lights out and has not walked more than two in any of his last four starts. In those four starts, he's fanned 21 and walked six in 23 2/3 innings while allowing six runs, three earned (1.14 ERA).

Matz has a plus fastball, and the potential for an above-average changeup and an average curveball. He's pretty clearly the Mets' best pitching prospect in A-ball at the moment and given that he turned 23 last Thursday, should earn a promotion to Double-A Binghamton this summer (likely after the first half ends, and he gets to enjoy the FSL All-Star Game on June 14). With a good second half in Binghamton in 2014, he could start 2015 in Triple-A, and make himself an option later in the 2015 season.

RHP Gabriel YnoaThe top-line numbers for Ynoa: 3.88 ERA, 15.9 strikeout percentage and a 5.3 walk percentage in a league where the average ERA is 3.44, with an 18.2 percent strikeout rate and a 8.1 percent walk rate doesn't look like much. However, Ynoa, who turned 21 the day after Memorial Day, has been much, much better over the last few weeks.

IPERAAVGOBPSLGKBBTBFK%BB%
1st 6 Starts30.676.16.331.375.538171114511.77.6
Last 4 Starts251.08.250.265.29222210022.02.0
That's just ridiculous. Ynoa has an average-ish fastball (92-94), a slider and a changeup and he can throw all three for strikes out of a nice, easy delivery. He has a pretty advanced feel for pitching and demonstrated an impressive feel for setting up hitters and locating his stuff in the zone. He's a fly-ball pitcher, when guys just make weak contact against him and when he's on, he does not walk anyone. Given his age, the Mets can afford to let him take his time, but if his next six starts are anything like his last four, my preseason No. 13 prospect should head to north to Double-A this summer as well.

RHP Michael Fulmer A little bit like Ynoa, the top line numbers don't look great, but they appear to camouflage some nice progress. Fulmer is trying to bounce back from a lost 2013 and he's run a 4.70 ERA with 38 K against 14 BB in 46 innings.

In April, he ran an 8.00 ERA while the FSL hit .361/.384/.482 against him in 18 innings. In May, that was down to a 2.57 ERA and a .245/.336/.355 opponents' batting line in 28 innings. Overall, the good news is that he's cut his walk rate from 12.3 percent last year to 6.6 percent this year. The bad news is that in return he's giving up more hits, and more homeruns as the FSL has hit .295/.355/.409 against him this year. He still throws in the low to mid-90s, and get to 95 mph late in his starts. He's a big young guy, who looks like he should have a durable frame, who turned 21 in March. If everything comes together for Fulmer, who has been working on adding a two-seamer to get more ground balls and his changeup, there's still a rotation piece in here. A reliever pumping 95 is a nice downside option too.

Fulmer, my preseason No. 14 prospect, feels like he's on a slower course than Matz or Ynoa. If he figures it out in the second half, he might earn a shot at Binghamton, or the Mets could leave him in St. Lucie to lead a potential FSL playoff chase. Even so, if he starts in Double-A in 2015, he's more of a big league consideration in 2016.

RHP Domingo TapiaThe 22-year-old might have the best fastball in the system this side of Syndergaard, at 96-98 mph with sink and run when it's right. He struggled mightily to throw strikes last year (14 percent walk rate) and has been a little better this year (11.6 percent). Still, it's come with a surprising cost: he's stopped missing bats completely, as he's struck out just 10.5 percent of opponents this year. When he gets rolling, it feels like he's unstoppable, generating grounder after grounder (he has a 12 and two 14 groundball out performances in his last six starts). However, some nights he never finds that rhythm. The story this week was that his good start was helped by his slider. He's been working on the pitch for years (like at least four).

While the Mets can keep Tapia as a starter to facilitate his development, the bet here is that eventually he finds a home in a bullpen and could be helping the big league team by 2016.

RHP Matt KochKoch, the Mets third-round pick in 2012, throws lots and lots of fastballs. Last year, he rode them to a 19.4 percent strikeout rate and a 1.1 percent walk rate (!!!) in Savannah. This year, in the FSL, without another pitch to keep batters honest, he's down to a 11.1 percent strikeout rate and a 4.2 percent walk rate and a 2.70 ERA. He's coming back from a scary injury at the end of last year when he took a line drive off his head, and has recovered nicely. Maybe there's a hard-throwing reliever in here, but it's tough to project an MLB starter in here with a strikeout rate around 10 percent and no average secondary pitch.

Luis CessaThe 22-year-old Cessa has struck out 10 percent of opposing batters through his first eight starts in the FSL on his way to a 3.98 ERA. There's some feel here, but after a nice 2013 in the comfy confines of Historic Grayson Stadium, my preseason No. 24 prospect, looks more like an organizational soldier than a big league starter through the first third of the 2014 season.


Single-A

This year's Savannah Sand Gnats rotation does not have the big fastballs of Fulmer or Tapia, or the potential of Matz or Ynoa, but there are a few potential big league caliber arms lurking a few years away in this rotation.

RHP Miller DiazDiaz is 2 2/3 innings shy of qualifying for the SAL league leaders. If the 22-year had those two innings, he and his 1.93 ERA would be ninth in the league.

Since allowing three runs in four inning in his first start of the year, he's given up just 10 runs, six earned, in his last 38 innings -- a 1.42 ERA. Overall, he's struck out 29.9 percent of opposing htitters and walked 10.2 percent. Including his four hit-by-pitches takes his "free bases" rate of walks+HBP to a heavy 12.4 percent. He's really almost done with the SAL. He works off a fastball that's mostly 92-94, and will touch 95 to go along with a slider and changeup. However, he loses velocity over the course of his outings.

He's listed at a sturdy 6'1", 210, and appears to be in better shape than last year when he was in Brooklyn. Scouts who have seen him recently do not see either the command or changeup to stick as a starter in the big leagues, but there might well be a big league middle reliever in here in a role where he can really cut loose on the velocity in short outings.

RHP Robert GsellmanGsellman, my preseason No. 25 prospect, rolled through April, but had to sit for three weeks at the beginning of May with a hamstring injury.

He has not looked quite as sharp since his return, but he's sitting on a 2.27 ERA with a 19.9 percent strikeout rate and a 5.4 percent walk rate. He won't turn 21 until July and has made nice progress in the last year. Over the weekend, he spotted his fastball well down to both sides of the plate to batters of both hands. His second pitch is a nice changeup that he throws with good armspeed. However, his curveball, which looked better earlier in the year, remains very much a work in progress. he had real trouble throwing it for a strike in this last start. He needed to slow the pitch down into the low-mid 70s, and soften its break to keep it in the strikezone. He sits around 91-94 with his fastball. With a big body at 6'4", 200lbs, Gsellman has a build that looks like it should hold up to a full year in a rotation.

It's a very small leap of imagination - like a better curveball - to see him slotting into the back of a big league rotation, otherwise he's a bullpen candidate.

RHP Kevin McGowanAfter his first three starts this year, the 22-year-old McGowan had a 5.27 ERA and a 11/6 K/BB ratio in 13 2/3 innings. Since then he's allowed almost nothing. In his five starts since April 29, he's given up one run (it was unearned) on 17 hits in 32 1/3 innings. The SAL has hit .152/.228/.161, against him in that time with a 19.5 percent strikeout rate and a 8.9 percent walk rate. At 6'6", McGowan throws his fastball 91-94 to go along with his slider and changeup. Some nights in the SAL, he barely needs his secondary offerings. His strikeout and walk rates are ordinary, but there's a potential big league arm in McGowan's big body. He could be a back of the rotation type or middle reliever if he makes it, although he'll need plenty of work on his secondary stuff. McGowan looks like a potentially nice find out of D-II Franklin Pierce College, in the 13th round last year.

RHP John Michael GantGant, who grew up in Savannah, but moved to Florida before high school, has the enviable task of pitching at home. The 21-year-old has done well, working to a 2.67 ERA with a 20.9 percent strikeout rate and 8.9 percent walk rate. That strikeout rate is down from his 27.6 percent rate in the New York-Penn League last year. Gant is 6'3" and lean with a loose, easy delivery. He has good feel with his changeup and can throw his curveball for strikes.

The problem in projecting a big league role for him comes back to his fastball which is still 88-91. It just might be too soft to hold a big league role. Jeff Paternostro at Amazin' Avenue has a little more, and the same basic conclusion.

RHP Chris FlexenI've been relatively high on the 19-year-old for a while, but he's been a mess in the first half of the year for Savannah: 6.37 ERA, 41 IP, 50 H, 25 BB, 23 K, 5 HR. There's still a good arm in here, but his control has been consistently erratic as he's walked three batters or more in all but one of his eight starts. Forget about locating within the zone, it doesn't matter how hard a pitcher throws if he can't throw strikes (just ask Domingo Tapia). Forget MLB roles or timetables. Nothing matters until his command improves.


I excluded Rob Whalen here, who's been on the disabled list with a hand infection and limited to four starts for the Gnats.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith hitting during Spring Training in 2016 (Credit: Matay/USA Today Sports Images)
Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith hitting during Spring Training in 2016 (Credit: Matay/USA Today Sports Images)

For the second year in a row, Mets prospect Dominic Smith is the third-best first base prospect in baseball, according to a list recently published by MLB.com.

"A potential plus hitter with 15-plus homer potential, the 21-year-old Smith is also a gifted defender at first base who earns high praise for his footwork and glove," MLB.com's Mike Rosenbaum explains.

MLB.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET.

Smith hit more home runs last season (14) than he hit during his first two and a half years with the organization (13). 

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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred at MLB's 2016 first-year player in draft (Credit: Associated Press)
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred at MLB's 2016 first-year player in draft (Credit: Associated Press)

The Mets will have the 20th, 59th and 97th overall pick during the first three rounds of June's MLB amateur draft, according to CBS Sports.

The order is officially set now that all qualifying free agents are signed and off the market.

The Mets selected all college players with their first 10 picks last season.

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Mar 13, 2015; Wright (5) goes back to first against the Atlanta Braves at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Barr)
Mar 13, 2015; Wright (5) goes back to first against the Atlanta Braves at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Barr)

David Wright has no intention of retiring. Instead, he told the NY Post's Kevin Kernan, he intends to play, play well, and help the Mets win a World Series...

"Everybody I've talked to has said the same thing to me. You know when you know," Wright said at his foundation's Vegas Night at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. "It's not just to stay healthy, it's to be productive. ... What I know for a fact is I have a passion. I still feel can help get this team to where it needs to go."

Wright's Vegas Night raised more than $1 million dollars for the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Virginia, where he was born and raised.

To read more from Wright, who talks with Kernan about his goals for 2017, reflecting on his career and life as a new dad, click here to read the article in the New York Post.

Tags: David Wright
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Brandon Nimmo (9) runs out an RBI single against the Chicago Cubs June 30. It was the the first RBI of Nimmo's MLB career. (Brad Penner)
Brandon Nimmo (9) runs out an RBI single against the Chicago Cubs June 30. It was the the first RBI of Nimmo's MLB career. (Brad Penner)

Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo will play for Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, national writer Jon Morosi reports. 

According to Morosi, outfielder Michael Conforto, who was on Italy's preliminary roster, will not participate in the tournament. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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Mets infield prospects Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets infield prospects Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini (Credit: USA Today Images)

The Mets have the seventh-best farm system in baseball, and the second-best in the NL East, according to a recent list published by ESPN.com's minor-league guru Keith Law.

"The Mets were not aggressive at the trade deadline in July, and while that may have angered some of their fans, it means we won't see someone they traded win a Rookie of the Year award in 2017," Law explains. "Several years of strong draft results have restocked the system, first with young position players with upside and now with polished starting pitchers, led by Justin Dunn and Thomas Szapucki."

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Aug 9, 2016; Harvey (33) in the dugout at Citi Field. Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 9, 2016; Harvey (33) in the dugout at Citi Field. Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey said he feels healthy and has experienced no pain in his arm when throwing this offseason, he told reporters at a team charity event earlier this month.

"The way things are feeling now, it feels great," Harvey said, according to ESPN.com. "Obviously being healthy through spring training and getting to the season and continuing to be healthy through the season is a big plus for me. It's something I look forward to doing."

Harvey, who underwent surgery in July for Thoracic outlet syndrome, recently threw off the slope of a mound at the Storm Sports Academy in West Hempstead...

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Call to the Majors: Syndergaard 00:01:35
In the latest installment of Call to the Majors presented by Citi, Noah Syndergaard remembers the day he was promoted to the Major Leagues.

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard is the fourth-best pitcher in the National League, MLB talent evaluators recently told ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

Syndergaard, 24, was 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA (2.29 FIP) and 1.14 WHIP in 31 appearances (30 starts) last season, during which he made the All-Star team, finished third in ERA and became the first pitcher in MLB history to start his career with 350 strikeouts and less than 80 walks.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Oct 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) is doused by third baseman Jose Reyes (7) after clinching a wild-card playoff berth after a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Derik Hamilton)
Oct 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) is doused by third baseman Jose Reyes (7) after clinching a wild-card playoff berth after a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Derik Hamilton)

In order for the Mets to win 90 games in 2017, they obviously can't get hit with the injury bug like they did last season -- especially not in the starting rotation.

So, health aside, what has to happen for them to win 90?

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Mets' offensive identity 00:02:30
Mets Hot Stove examines the Mets' offensive identity based on their current roster heading into the 2017 season.

Can Johan make the Hall of Fame? 00:02:37
Mets Hot Stove analyzes former pitcher Johan Santana's career and his odds of ever being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Johan Santana will be among players newly eligible for the baseball Hall of Fame next winter, as will rivals Chipper Jones, Jaime Moyer, Andruw Jones and Scott Rolen.

Earlier this offseason, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation said Santana, who turns 38 years old in March, will attempt a comeback this coming season.

Santana last pitched in the big leagues with the Mets in 2012, after which he had a second anterior capsule shoulder surgery in 2013 and tore his Achilles tendon in 2014.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must remain retired for five years.

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Jose Reyes on Mets Hot Stove 00:04:43
Jose Reyes calls into Mets Hot Stove to discuss his offseason training regimen and expanding his positional skill set.

Jose Reyes is up for the challenge of learning and playing multiple positions, despite entering next season at 33 years old, he told SNY's Mets Hot Stove on Thursday.

"I'm ready to do whatever they ask me to do, that's all I'm focused on right now," he said.

In addition to shortstop, second and third base, the Mets will work Reyes out in the outfield during Spring Training, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters Monday at the MLB Winter Meetings.

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Jay Bruce (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Jay Bruce (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

The Orioles and free-agent Mark Trumbo have reached agreement on a three-year, roughly $37 million deal, according to multiple reports on MLB Trade Rumors.

Despite acquiring Trumbo and OF Seth Smith, Baltimore would still like to add a left-handed-hitting outfielder, according to MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. However, instead of someone like Bruce, they prefer a player better known for his fielding, such as free-agents Michael Bourn and Angel Pagan.

Earlier this week, the Blue Jays re-signed OF Jose Bautista to one-year, $18 million deal and the Phillies and free-agent OF Michael Saunders reportedly agreed to a one-year, $9 million.

CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury said the Phillies had shown interest in trading for Bruce, but were reluctant to deal multiple prospects to get him.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Apr 7, 2010; Kreuter (23), talks with pitcher Brad Douthit (49), left, and catcher Kevin Roundtree (10) during a game at Dedeaux Field. Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Apr 7, 2010; Kreuter (23), talks with pitcher Brad Douthit (49), left, and catcher Kevin Roundtree (10) during a game at Dedeaux Field. Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Former big-league catcher Chad Kreuter will take over as manager of the Single-A St. Lucie Mets in 2017, the team announced Thursday.

Kreuter, 52, comes from outside the Mets organization and will be the 17th field manager in St. Lucie history. He played 16 years as a catcher in the major leagues from 1988-2003.

"I'm extremely excited," Kreuter said in the team-issued statement. "It is an honor to be named a manager in professional baseball. The Mets are a great organization. They have shown the ability to produce great homegrown talent. It looks like it will continue that way so to be able to manage one of their young teams is really exciting."

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Major League Baseball scout clocks the speed of pitches thrown during a game at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Major League Baseball scout clocks the speed of pitches thrown during a game at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Legendary Mets scout Harry Minor, who spent 44 years in their organization, passed away Wednesday night at his home in California. He was 89 years old.

Minor first joined the Mets as an area scout in 1968.

According to MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby, as the Mets debated whether to draft Dwight Gooden or Richard Monteleon with their first round during the 1982 MLB draft, it was Minor that helped tip the balance in Gooden's favor.

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Mets left-handed hitting outfielders Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto (Credit: USA Today Sports)
Mets left-handed hitting outfielders Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto (Credit: USA Today Sports)

During his lunch with reporters at Citi Field last week, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said it's possible he begins spring training with all of his current outfielders in camp, including Jay Bruce.

"Obviously the market for certain players, certain free agents and therefore trade candidates has been slow at best, nonexistent at worst," Alderson said, according to NJ.com. "What we continue to do is reassess where we are and what our options are going forward, and those options range from doing something soon, which is possible or was possible, is possible, or doing nothing."

Alderson indicated it would be difficult to trade Curtis Granderson, instead of Bruce, because the Mets need Granderson to play center field.

In the event Bruce starts the season in a Mets uniform, he'll presumably remain a midseason trade candidate. However, for at least a couple of the month, Terry Collins may find himself with a jam-packed outfield. How might they juggle four every day players - Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Granderson and Bruce - for three spots? And, do it in a way that maximizes their production?

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Maggie Wiggin
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Apr 11, 2016; Rawlings presents Cespedes (52) with a Golden Glove award for 2015. Credit: Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2016; Rawlings presents Cespedes (52) with a Golden Glove award for 2015. Credit: Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes is the best left fielder in baseball, anonymous MLB scouts and team executives recently told ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

In late-November, Cespedes and the Mets agreed to a four-year, $110 million contract, which -- so far -- is the only nine-figure deal given to a free agent this offseason.

"They don't have a lot of lineup depth or power, which underscores the importance of Cespedes's production for them," Olney explains. "While his defense has been in clear regression, his ability to throw still makes him a weapon."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Free-agent relievers Sergio Romo, Boone Logan, Fernando Salas and Joe Smith (Credit: USA Today Images)
Free-agent relievers Sergio Romo, Boone Logan, Fernando Salas and Joe Smith (Credit: USA Today Images)

The current list of unsigned free-agent relief pitchers includes righties Sergio Romo, Greg Holland, Joe Smith, Joe Blanton, Fernando Salas and Jim Henderson, as well as lefties Jerry Blevins, Boone Logan, J.P. Howell and Travis Wood...

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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)

ESPN's Jim Bowden reported the Nationals have interest in free agents Matt Wieters and Greg Holland, but are complicating the decision because they are over budget on their spring training complex.

"Wieters/Holland > Team Store! #NatsNatsNatswoooooo," Harper wrote on Twitter, implying that his team is spending money in the wrong place.

Harper's teammate, Adam Eaton, for whom the Nationals traded several top prospects and was also the subject of another Harper tweet earlier in the offseason, seconded Harper's words with his own tweet.

Tags: Washington Nationals
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May 09, 2006; Mets closer (13) Billy Wagner talks with the media at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
May 09, 2006; Mets closer (13) Billy Wagner talks with the media at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Former Mets closer Billy Wagner received just 10.2 percent of votes and will miss out on being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, it was revealed during Wednesday's announcement.  

Wagner, who received 10.5 percent during his first year on the ballot, again fell well below the 75-percent threshold needed for an induction, but will still remain on the ballot next year, doubling the five percent needed to stay on. 

In 16 seasons, during which he pitched for the Astros, Mets, Phillies, Red Sox, and Braves, Wagner collected 422 saves with a 2.31 ERA and 1,196 strikeouts in 903 innings.

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Call to the Majors: d'Arnaud 00:01:41
In the latest installment of Call to the Majors presented by Citi, Travis d'Arnaud remembers the day he was promoted to the Major Leagues.

The Mets and C Travis d'Arnaud avoided salary arbitration last week, agreeing to terms on a one-year, $1.8 million contract for this coming season. He is eligible for arbitration in 2018 and 2019, after which he can be a free agent.

D'Arnaud played in just 75 games during 2016, while hitting .247 with four home runs and 15 RBI. He missed time early in the season with a strained rotator cufff and was idle for almost a month.

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud
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New York Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Mets closer Jeurys Familia has not allowed a run during his last seven Dominican Winter League appearances, according to stats compiled by Michael Mayer.

Over seven innings, Familia has allowed four hits, walked one batter and struck out seven.

The Mets and Familia avoided salary arbitration last week by agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth $7.425 million, reports James Wagner of the NY Times.

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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Mar 9, 2016; DeGrom (48) delivers a pitch at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2016; DeGrom (48) delivers a pitch at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom has been throwing for several weeks and expects to be on track for the start of Spring Training, he recently told Newsday's Steve Marcus.

"The plan is to be off the mound a couple of times before spring, then I think just a nice and easy introduction to a slope and then be ready to go when Spring Training is here," he added.

He 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
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Mar 27, 2016; Wright (5) throws over to first base at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2016; Wright (5) throws over to first base at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Mets third baseman David Wright has started baseball activity in Virginia and the team hopes to see him ready for spring training, GM Sandy Alderson told reporters in early-January.

"We won't know until we get down [to Florida] and he shows up and tells us where he's at," manager Terry Collins recently said of Wright, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "David knows himself better than anybody, so if he feels he's ready to play games or, you know, when he's ready to get in the lineup, we're going to get him in there."

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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MNoah Syndergaard (34), Jacob deGrom (48) and Matt Harvey (33) walk in from the bullpen at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
MNoah Syndergaard (34), Jacob deGrom (48) and Matt Harvey (33) walk in from the bullpen at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets have the third-best starting rotation in baseball, an anonymous group of talent evaluators told ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

The Red Sox and Cubs rank higher than the Mets mostly because of the New York staff's inability to remain healthy and be on the field at the same time.

"They need to actually get out there and do it," one executive told Olney of the Mets. "It's one thing to have a great arm, but you have to show that you can give 180-200 innings."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Collins (left) with Jose Reyes in the dugout at Chase Field. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Collins (left) with Jose Reyes in the dugout at Chase Field. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In an effort to keep his team healthy and strong in 2017, Terry Collins told WLIE 540 AM that he plans to take a book out of Joe Maddon's 2016 playbook with the World Champion Cubs...

"The one thing we learned last year is that we've got to keep our guys healthy and one way to keep them healthy is to get them rest," Collins explained. "So, we're going to mix and match as best we can and give guys one, maybe two days a week off to keep them healthy."

Tags: Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores
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Front-office officials and scouting personnel consider Mets prospect Amed Rosario to be among the best defensive shortstops in the minor leagues, according to a survey conducted by MLB.com's MLBPipeline.

"He has the potential to be an all-star shortstop with Gold Glove potential," Baseball America's Matt Eddy wrote in December. "The best athlete in the Mets system, Rosario stands out most for his glove work. ... He has the easy plus range and arm strength to profile as a true impact defender."

"The Mets have Asdrubal Cabrera under contract through 2017, meaning Rosario could be the organization's full-time shortstop at some point in 2018," Eddy concludes.

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May 6, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Craig Breslow (17) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 6-4. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
May 6, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Craig Breslow (17) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 6-4. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets and Yankees are among 12-20 teams that will watch lefty reliever Craig Breslow throw a showcase on Jan. 23, reports Peter Gammons. 

According to Gammons, Breslow, who was released by the Marlins last July, has worked on lowering his arm angle and improving his breaking pitch. 

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New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores takes a curtain call after hitting a three-run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores takes a curtain call after hitting a three-run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The bullpen and starting pitching will be the key to success in 2017 for the Mets, infielder Wilmer Flores told SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio early Friday.

"When we got to the World Series in 2015, it's no secret that our pitching took us to the World Series," he told the hosts at 7:30 AM on route to his morning workout. "We're built on pitching and it's going to be healthy. ... So, it's going to be an interesting year."

Flores said he's proud of how the team fought through injuries to get to the Wild Card game in 2016. However, this season, he expects them to get back to the Fall Classic.

Tags: Wilmer Flores, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 7, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores (4) watches his three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 7, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores (4) watches his three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Wilmer Flores and the Mets did not agree to a deal before Friday's arbitration deadline and the two sides will go to a hearing to determine his 2017 salary, the team announced.

Flores has filed at $2.2 million, while the Mets have offered $1.8 million, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The Mets changed their stance this offseason in regard to arbitration-eligilble players, and GM Sandy Alderson said Thursday that he had no issue going to a hearing to determine a new contract if an agreement could not be reached by the Jan. 13 deadline.

Tags: Wilmer Flores
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 (Kathy Willen/AP)
(Kathy Willen/AP)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with RHP Matt Harvey, agreeing to a deal worth $5.125 million that contains $100,000 in performance bonuses, reports James Wagner of the NY Times.

Harvey made $4.325 million last season.

He had a 4.86 ERA (3.47 FIP) and 1.46 WHIP with 76 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings (17 starts) in 2016 before Thoracic outlet syndrome that resulted in surgery ended his season after his start on July 4.

Tags: Matt Harvey
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 (Frank Franklin II/AP)
(Frank Franklin II/AP)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with RHP Jacob deGrom, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth $4.05 million that includes performance bonuses, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN.

DeGrom, who made $607,000 last season, received a base salary that's the largest ever for a first-time abirtration-eligible starting pitcher who didn't qualify for the ERA title. 

He 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.

DeGrom told reporters in early December that he planned to soon begin his offseason throwing program and be 100 percent healthy for spring training.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with closer Jeurys Familia, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth $7.425 million, reports James Wagner of the NY Times.

Familia, 27, made $4.1 million last season.

He had a 2.55 ERA (2.39 FIP) and 1.21 WHIP with 84 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings (78 appearances) while saving a team-record 51 games.

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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 (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
(Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with RH reliever Addison Reed, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth $7.75 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Reed, 28, made $5.3 million last season.

He had a 1.97 ERA and identical 1.97 FIP with a 0.94 WHIP while striking out 91 in 77 2/3 innings (80 games) in 2016. 

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia
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 (Brad Barr/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Barr/USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with LH reliever Josh Edgin, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.

The terms of the deal are not yet known.

Edgin, 30, made $625,000 last season, which was his first year back from Tommy John surgery.

Tags: Josh Edgin
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Mets pitchers Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. (Jeff Curry/USATSI)
Mets pitchers Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. (Jeff Curry/USATSI)

The Mets have not yet talked with their young starting pitchers about about multiyear-contract-extensions beyond their current deals, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters during a lunch Thursday at Citi Field.

"I don't see it as a pressing issue," Alderson said, according to ESPN's Adam Rubin.

In late-December, Alderson made a similar statement, saying he had no plans to talk contract extensions prior to spring training.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Sep 18, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) steps up to single to left during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports 
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Sep 18, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) steps up to single to left during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Mets will avoid arbitration with C Travis d'Arnaud, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal, according to FanRag's MLB reporter Jon Heyman.

D'Arnaud, who earned the $524,000 league minimum in 2016, will earn $1.8 million next season.

He is eligible for arbitration in 2018 and 2019, after which he can be a free agent

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

The Mets have avoided arbitration with 1B Lucas Duda, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal, the team announced Thursday.

The deal is worth $7.25 million, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag.

Duda, 30, hit .229 with a .302 OBP and .412 SLG with seven HR last season while being limited to just 47 games due to a back injury.

He hit .244 with a .352 OBP and .486 SLG with 27 HR in 135 games in 2015.

Tags: Lucas Duda, Zack Wheeler
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Aug 28, 2016; Flores (4) singles against the Phillies at Citi Field. Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 28, 2016; Flores (4) singles against the Phillies at Citi Field. Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets infielder Wilmer Flores's favorite position to play is second base, he told SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio early Friday morning.

"I enjoyed playing first base too last season, it was a lot of fun," he added. "But, I'll do the job wherever they put me."

In 2016, Flores played 51 games at third base, 27 games at first base, 18 games at second base, and eight games at first base, while hitting .267 with 30 extra base hits and 49 RBI in just 307 at-bats.

Tags: Wilmer Flores
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Jul 27, 2016; NFamilia (27) reacts as he heads to the dugout at Citi Field. Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 27, 2016; NFamilia (27) reacts as he heads to the dugout at Citi Field. Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Update...

Jan. 13 | 8:20AM

Sandy Alderson told reporters Thursday that he does not know when MLB will make a decision about whether to suspend Jeurys Familia, who he assumed will miss at least some period of time during the 2017 season (Rubin, Jan. 12).

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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Latest on Jay Bruce 00:05:04
Mets Hot Stove analyzes the Mets decision to either trade Jay Bruce or keep him on the roster.

During his lunch with reporters at Citi Field on Thursday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said it's possible he begins spring training with all of his current outfielders, including Jay Bruce.

"Obviously the market for certain players, certain free agents and therefore trade candidates has been slow at best, nonexistent at worst," Alderson said, according to NJ.com. "What we continue to do is reassess where we are and what our options are going forward, and those options range from doing something soon, which is possible or was possible, is possible, or doing nothing."

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mets 1B Lucas Duda, RHP Matt Harvey, C Travis d'Arnaud and RHP Jacob deGrom (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets 1B Lucas Duda, RHP Matt Harvey, C Travis d'Arnaud and RHP Jacob deGrom (Credit: USA Today Images)

The deadline for teams and unsigned arbitration-eligible players to file salary figures is January 13, after which the final salary will be determined during an arbitration hearing.

The Mets intend to take a more strict position on their potential arbitration cases than they have in past, Newsday's Marc Carig reported Thursday.

According to Carig, if the two sides cannot agree by Friday's deadline, the Mets have no issue letting the situation play out in arbitration.

This year's remaining, unsigned arbitration-eligible players for the Mets are...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Mets have signed LH reliever Adam Wilk to a minor league deal that includes an invite to major league Spring Training, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Wilk, 29, last pitched in the majors in 2015, allowing one run in 2.0 innings for the Angels.

He has also pitched for the Tigers, appearing in five games in 2011 and three games in 2012.

Tags: Jerry Blevins
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Wally Backman speaks out 00:06:32
Baseball Night in New York looks into Wally Backman's recent negative comments about Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he hasn't been contacted by other teams about former Mets minor league manager Wally Backman, who recently told the Bergen Record's Bob Klapisch that he's being blackballed across Major League Baseball by Alderson.

Alderson, who said Backman is a "good baseball man," added that "Wally did a good job for us at Las Vegas. ...Nobody has called about Wally," according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Backman, 57, had been coaching within the Mets minor league system since 2009, most recently serving as manager for their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas from 2013-16. However, resigned from his role after last season in order to pursue other opportunities.

"It's not Sandy's nature" to be this vindictive, a non-Mets baseball executive told Klapisch...

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Yanks and Mets share Series odds 00:03:31
Baseball Night in New York wonders whether Las Vegas made the right call by giving the Yankees and Mets the exact same World Series odds.

The Mets currently sit at 13-to-1 odds to win the World Series in 2017, the same odds as the Yankees, according to information provided by the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas...

The Yankees finished 84-78 during 2016, but missed the playoffs by five games. The Mets, on the other hand, went 87-75 last season to win the top Wild Card spot.

Tags: Michael Conforto, Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

The Mets will conclude their Spring Training game schedule on March 31 against Army at West Point, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Mets pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, FL on Feb. 12, with position players required to report by Feb. 17.

Their Grapefruit League schedule begins Friday, February 24 against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, FL.

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Sep 24, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo (54) pitches during the tenth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Sep 24, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo (54) pitches during the tenth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

The Oakland A's and free-agent reliever Santiago Casilla have agreed on a two-year, $11 million deal that contains $3 million in incentives, according to multiple reports.

This is a lot of money for a 36-year-old right-handed reliever. So, if reports are accurate and the Mets are pinching pennies, then it makes sense to pass on him. That said, Casilla is the type of experienced pitcher the Mets say they have been looking for, and given their window to win and the need for bullpen help, it's disappointing to see them hold back.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters in December he would prefer to acquire a pitcher that can handle "high-leverage situations" and has experience closing games, even though the pitcher might not be considered a closer.

Tags: Oakland Athletics, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws in the spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Tradition Field. (Brad Barr)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws in the spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Tradition Field. (Brad Barr)

Zack Wheeler and the Mets avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $800,000 deal on Wednesday, the team announced. 

Wheeler underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2015 and missed each of the past two years. The 26-year-old last pitched in 2014 when he had a 3.54 ERA and 1.32 WHIP while striking out 187 batters in 185 1/3 innings.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith hitting during Spring Training in 2016 (Credit: Matay/USA Today Sports Images)
Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith hitting during Spring Training in 2016 (Credit: Matay/USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets have invited 13 minor leaguers to big league Spring Training, the team announced Wednesday.

Top 1B prospect Dominic Smith highlights the list.

The other invites are RHPs Chase BradfordKevin McGowanPaul SewaldCorey Taylor, and Logan Taylor, LHPs P.J. Conlon and David Roseboom, C Xorge Carrilllo, infielders Phillip Evans and Luis Guillorme, and outfielders Champ Stuart and Travis Taijeron.

Absent from the list is OF Tim Tebow, who signed with the Mets over the summer and played in the Arizona Fall League.

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Nov 3, 2016; Tebow with the Mets against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2016; Tebow with the Mets against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Mets minor leaguer Tim Tebow considered sticking with football, but instead chose baseball to take on a new challenge, he told ESPN's 'First Take" on Tuesday.

"I wanted to do something I wanted to do, that would be fun for me, a challenge for me," Tebow told host Max Kellerman. "That's why I chose to pick up a baseball bat."

Tebow, who signed a $100,000 contract to join the Mets this past summer, hit .194 with a .296 OBP, no home runs, three doubles and 20 strikeouts in 19 games during October's Arizona Fall League.

"At a certain point, it's not about what other people want you to do it's about what you want to do," he reitterated to Kellerman, parroting a line he frequently used during his book tour last November. "It's your life, not everybody else's life. I could go play football at another position, but why settle. Life isn't about settling, life is about striving."

Tags: Tim Tebow
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