In November, 2008, following a media tour, I left Citi Field thinking it was very sterile, cold, ‘cookie cutter,’ and much too similar to PNC and Citizen’s Bank Park.

This is no longer the case. 

Citi Field will have its own unique feel, and Mets fans are going to love it.

The organization continues to trumpet the words cozy and intimate.

However, I felt the opposite; and in a good way.

There will be a strong feeling of community in Citi Field, mark my words – more than was ever the case in Shea Stadium.

There are endless spots to hang out with friends, fans and family, grab a hot dog, grab a beer, watch the game, and walk around experiencing different angles and elements, with ease, and lots of freedom to move about, yet always feeling connected to the game and the team, which is unlike any ballpark I have been to.  In fact, there are large, flat-panel monitors that can be easily be seen throughout the Promenades, so at any given moment you can look up, and catch a highlight or score from the ‘850 screens,’ and keep moving.

I always got lost in Shea Stadium.  I attended 163 games in that building, yet even on the last day, I got lost trying to get from the Upper Deck to Field Level, because I kept using the wrong ramp.

In Citi Field, it is a breeze to get from right field to left field, or to get from the Promenade to the Field Level – all the while, should you need to, you can suddenly stop off, regardless of your ticket level, lean on any railing, and watch the on-field action.

That said, when you do stop and settle in your seat, the team is correct, Citi Field suddenly takes on a more intimate, cozy feeling.

Speaking of seats and angles, a) the seats are all slightly angled to face the field, which, until you actually sit and experience it, is hard to convey just how awesome and comfortable this is, and b), despite it feeling rhetorical, the team is correct, even when sitting in the worst seat in the house, I felt closer to the action than had been the case in a comparable seat in Shea. 

The only concern I have will be for fans sitting behind home plate, up in Promenade Reserve, towards the back, because it appears, though you can see home plate, if there is a pass ball or a pop up behind home, the landing and railing may obstruct your view… I think.

There are plenty of bathrooms.  However, what I think will limit long lines is not the actual number, but that each level, with their respective clubs, like the Delta Club, Cesars Club, etc., all have designated facilities, and so I believe there will be less of a mad rush with everyone scrambling for the restroom at one time and waiting.  However, if you must wait, know there are big, flat-screen televisions above the door, so you can keep an eye on the game.

Speaking of the different, exclusive clubs, they are amazing, as are the suites and the press box, and the media room.

Fans who sit in a Promenade Club seat will have access to the Promenade Club, which has bistro dining, high top tables, restrooms, and a full bar and kitchen, and huge glass windows, that open, to see the field.  This area is super nice.

Yes, we can still bring in sandwiches and food from home, to eat in our seats while watching the game.  However, the ballpark will offer all sorts of food, including Taste of the City from Danny Meyer, which will include a Shake Shack and Blue Smoke, in addition to a Taqueria.  There will also be Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, Crinkle Cut French Fries, Corn Dogs, Premio Sausage and Peppers, a Subway, Dunkin' Donuts with hot and iced coffee, your standard peanuts, pretzels, popcorn and Cracker Jacks, Carvel ice cream, Mama's of Corona, and Cascarino's Pizza, among other things.

The old Home Run Apple from Shea Stadium is on display beyond right field, behind the bullpens, in what is called the Bullpen Plaza, which is accessible to fans who enter the ballpark through the Right Bullpen gate from 126th Street.  I think it’s interesting too that, after so many years of going to this area for baseball games, 126th Street is about to be more relevant and will become a big part of the fan’s lexicon.

Also, the bullpens are protected by black chain-link fencing, and fans can see through it to watch – or heckle, I would think, since the visitor’s pen is closest to the entrance, while the home pen is below the stands and closer to the field, where fans in their seats can look down on who is warming up.

Next to the bullpens, on the ground level, behind the right field wall, is the Mo Zone Party Suite, sponsored by Modells.  It’s tremendous, and I cannot wait to try and organize a MetsBlog.com Get-Together for this space.  There are high-tables, a bar and food service, all in one spot.  I believe this will essentially replace what was the picnic area at Shea, though it services only 150 people.

Gigantic, black-and-white, Mets murals are hanging outside, also viewable from the inside, over the left-field entrance.

Beyond center field is a wide-open space, behind the massive scoreboard, where you will find Beer Island, Shake Shack, and other restaurants, including a kiddie field, with the same dimensions as the main field, but about 90 percent smaller, where ‘kids of all ages’ can rent the space and play wiffle ball with their face on a mini scoreboard.  The concession stand here, which will be the Shack Shake, features the electronic skyline from the top of Shea Stadium’s scoreboard.  This made me nostalgic.

The team takes a ton of pride in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda; but, honestly, while I can tell it will be impressive, there is still construction being done and it is difficult to get a sense of its power.  That said, it’s fairly obvious this will be an easy meet-up spot before the game. 

The fan-purchased bricks are set in to the ground in front of the Rotunda, and I can kick myself for not buying one. 

What was I thinking?

Speaking of the Rotunda, it is the only element in the ballpark that references the Dodgers, and it is a more of an homage to the player and his accomplishments than anything to do with the team he played for.  I say this because, on this site, I criticized Fred Wilpon for designing Citi Field in honor of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who he grew up cheering for.  The thing is, once you move two feet beyond the Rotunda, you are clearly in the home of the Mets – there is nothing that will make you think otherwise.  I jumped the gun, as did others.  This Ebbets-Dodgers thing is no longer a concern for me.

Above the Rotunda, behind home plate, behind the Promenade seats, is a second wide-open, uncovered, gathering spot, again, where fans can collect, eat, drink and watch the games on TV, while walking from right to left field.  This is a common theme, and, as someone who is too antsy to sit, it’s something I’m very excited about.

The view and experience from the Pepsi Porch will be unique.  Technically, some of these seats are in play, because when sitting in the seat against the railing, when I stood up and looked down, I could see the warning track.  The home run wall, technically, is beneath you, behind you, and out of view.  There will be a bleacher-crowd mentality in this space, I believe.  There is an outdoor, uncovered concession area behind the Porch seats, essentially cut off from the rest of the ballpark.  This is a cool spot.  I will be watching a lot of games from the Porch.

In short, what struck me most about the ballpark is the variety of experiences, elements and places to watch the game from.  There is something for everyone, whether you’re looking to dress nicely and go to dinner; whether you’re a family of four looking for a day in the sun; whether you are a rabid fan, looking to be with other fans, or just sit and keep score; or whether you’re like me, anxious and jumpy and looking to wander around; you could go to Citi Field 10 times and have 10 different experiences, all with the Mets and a baseball game as the common theme.

To watch MLB.com’s Tour of Citi Field, go here.

To watch my video from Citi Field, go here.

To access the 50 hi-res photos from my tour, go here.

Tags: MetsBlog

Dec 14, 2017; Sandy Alderson during the MLB winter meetings. Credit: Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 14, 2017; Sandy Alderson during the MLB winter meetings. Credit: Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have roughly one month and -- I assume -- less than $30 million to spend on adding either a second or third baseman, a center fielder or right fielder that can also play first base, another reliever, and -- hopefully -- another starting pitcher as they prepare for the 2018 season.

I have no idea how they're going to accomplish the above with other teams making moves, the clock ticking, and not nearly enough prospects for trades or cash to fill every hole.

It appears Sandy Alderson intends to play this patiently, hoping prices drop to a point that he can spread money around to solve multiple problems with multiple players.

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Apr 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Matt Kemp (27) is thrown out at first base as Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) gets the throw in time during the ninth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Apr 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Matt Kemp (27) is thrown out at first base as Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) gets the throw in time during the ninth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

The Braves and Dodgers have swapped unwanted contracts with one another as Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson head to Atlanta while Matt Kemp returns to Los Angeles, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Gonzalez has been designated for assignment by the Braves. 

For the Braves, the impetus behind making the deal is to get out of two years of Kemp's contract, improve defensively as well as open a spot for Ronald Acuna, according to Rosenthal.

As for the Dodgers, Joel Sherman of NY Post says they now project to get under the luxury tax for next season, which would reset their tax penalties ahead of the 2018 free agent class, headlined by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

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New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Juan Lagares is working this winter with Craig Wallenbrock, who is the hitting instructor credited with changing J.D. Martinez's swing, according to NY Times reporter James Wagner. 

Lagares is looking to follow the greater trend of Major League Baseball: hit more fly balls and, in turn, more home runs. 

"This was my idea," Lagares told Wagner. "I'm trying to find the help that may benefit me."

Of course, Lagares isn't about to turn into Aaron Judge, but any excess home runs would be a good thing for both player and club...

Tags: Juan Lagares
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Jul 31, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) (Troy Taormina)
Jul 31, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) (Troy Taormina)

The Mets are one of four teams reported to be interested in trading for Evan Longoria, according to Marc Topkin of Tampa Bay Times. Topkin also reports that the Rays are 'expected' to trade Longoria by April.

In April, a no-trade-clause kicks in for Longoria, which would lessen the team's control of any potential trade.

Longoria, 32, is coming off his worst season in the league, where he hit .256, slugged .424 and had an OBP of .313. Longoria added 20 HR and 86 RBI. In 2016, Longoria hit .276, slugged .521 and had an OBP of .318. He hit a career-high 36 HR and had 98 RBI. 

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New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson during the 2016 MLB general managers meeting at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson during the 2016 MLB general managers meeting at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent reliever Matt Albers is expected to sign with a team next week, though the identity of that team is unknown, according to Jerry Crasnic of ESPN.

The Mets have been open about their infatuation with relievers and could still be in the Albers market despite having just signed RH reliever Anthony Swarzak to a two-year deal worth $14 million.

Albers, 34, enjoyed a fantastic 2017 after a disastrous 2016. In 2017, Albers had a 1.62 ERA and .852 WHIP in 61 IP with 63 K. But in 2016 he endured a dreadful 6.31 ERA and 5.26 K/9 rate. It may be a gamble to bank on his 2017 production as the RHP has career marks of 4.13 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.

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Jul 4, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton (59) looks on in the second inning against the New York Mets at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick McDermott)
Jul 4, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton (59) looks on in the second inning against the New York Mets at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick McDermott)

The Mets have signed C Jose Lobaton to a minor league deal with an invite to major league Spring Training, the team announced Friday.

Lobaton, 33, hit .170/.248/.277 with four HR in 51 games last season for the Nationals

He has hit .218/.295/.324 with 21 HR in eight seasons, while playing for the Padres, Rays, and Nationals.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud
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Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana hits a double against the Los Angeles Angels in the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana hits a double against the Los Angeles Angels in the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

The Phillies have agreed to a three-year deal worth $60 million with free agent 1B Carlos Santana, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The deal includes a fourth-year team option, reports Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

The Mets, who have been seeking a first baseman who can also play corner outfield, were among roughly 10 teams expressing interest in Santana, Heyman reported in November.

Tags: Dominic Smith
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Aug 24, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart (2) looks up after being tagged out at home by Chicago Cubs catcher Rene Rivera (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Aug 24, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart (2) looks up after being tagged out at home by Chicago Cubs catcher Rene Rivera (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

Free agent INF Zack Cozart has agreed to a three-year deal with the Angels, the team announced on Friday.

Cozart, who is expected to play third base for the Angels, will earn $38 million during his three-year deal, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Mets were considering making a run at Cozart to play second base, though that possibility was a "long shot", Marc Carig of Newsday reported on Thursday.

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Sep 10, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli (5) in action during the game against the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Yankees defeat the Rangers 16-7. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Sep 10, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli (5) in action during the game against the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Yankees defeat the Rangers 16-7. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway has reached out to free agent Mike Napoli about the potential of joining the Mets, Joel Sherman of the NY Post reported earlier this week.

Along with the Mets, the Twins also have interest in Napoli, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.

Napoli played for the Indians in 2016 while Callaway was the pitching coach.

Tags: Dominic Smith
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Jul 21, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) (Brad Penner)
Jul 21, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) (Brad Penner)

Mets LH reliever Jerry Blevins recently discussed his increased curveball usage, new manager Mickey Callaway, and the idea of "bullpening."

Blevins, whose curveball usage in 2017 was a career-high 50.2 percent (up from 31.2 percent in 2016) said he'll speak to Callaway about his curve, but will also seek out the advice of his teammates about that and other things.

"I'll definitely talk to him," Blevins told SNY, "but even talking to Seth Lugo about his curveball or Paul Sewald about his slider. You're constantly tweaking, I always use the adage, 'you're either getting better or you're getting worse,' there's no staying the same. So I'm constantly trying to make myself better."

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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Aug 15, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Aug 15, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The Mets have had "serious" discussions with the Indians about trading for 2B Jason Kipnis, reports Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, who says there has been "traction" between the two clubs.

Of the second basemen the Mets are interested in, there has been more traction on a potential deal for Kipnis than Pirates 2B Josh Harrison, reports SNY contributor Andy Martino.

The 30-year-old Kipnis hit .232/.291/.414 wiht 12 HR in 90 games in 2017 while dealing with injuries throughout the season. He dealt with a shoulder injury before the season, and landed on the disabled list twice during the season due to a hamstring injury. 

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Sep 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) hits a home run in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Sep 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) hits a home run in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

Most Recent Update...

Former Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler, who had 10 teams on his no-trade clause, was only willing to accept a trade to the Angels -- where he was dealt on Wednesday night -- reports Anthony French of the Detroit Free Press.

The Tigers had also exchanged names with the Mets, Brewers, and Giants in discussions for Kinsler, but forced the Tigers to deal him to the Angels or wait until July, French explained.

The Mets will now turn to other options like Jason KipnisJosh Harrison, and Cesar Hernandez in their search for a second baseman, but Starlin Castro is "not in the mix," reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

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Jul 6, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Charlotte Stone Crabs pitcher Burch Smith (35) (Jasen Vinlove)
Jul 6, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Charlotte Stone Crabs pitcher Burch Smith (35) (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets selected RHP Burch Smith from the Rays with the No. 6 pick in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning at the Winter Meetings before trading him to the Royals for cash considerations..

Smith, 27, had a 1.65 ERA and 0.80 WHIP with 19 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings (12 relief appearances, one start) for Tampa's Triple-A affiliate in 2017 after missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

His lone taste of the majors came in 2013 with the Padres, where he had a 6.44 ERA and 1.65 WHIP with 46 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings for the Padres.

For his minor league career, Smith has a 3.45 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 302 strikeouts in 284 2/3 innings over five seasons.

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The MLB Winter Meetings wrap up today in Orlando, culiminating with the Rule 5 Draft. 

Here's what you need to know from yesterday's news and rumors from Orlando...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto
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In tonight's SNY's Meet the MetsCast, Matthew Cerrone, Steve Hoftstetter and Rob Brender recap Day 3 of the MLB Winter Meetings by discussing the Anthony Swarzak signing, trading Matt Harvey, signing Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain, and if the Mets can do all they need to do with what appears to be their available budget...

To listen to the show, click play below or use this link to download...

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Francona on Mickey Callaway 00:03:56
SNY's Steve Gelbs catches up with Indians manager Terry Francona to discuss what the Mets have in Mickey Callaway as their new manager.

The Mets were smart to hire Michey Callaway to be their new manager, Indians skipper Terry Francona said Wednesday during an interview with SNY's Steve Gelbs.

Prior to joining the Mets, Callaway had been Francona's pitching coach in Cleveland.

"They're getting a star," Francona said. "He interviewed off the charts. He got the job and then a couple years later you feel like you're brothers."

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 (Joe Nicholson)
(Joe Nicholson)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Michael Conforto hasn't been medically cleared to swing a bat, but he's got one in his apartment, anyway. "Just to hold," the Mets outfielder said.

"I can't swing it yet, but I just want to feel it in my hands."

That might not sound like much for a player keen on getting back to the workaday duties of his craft after left shoulder surgery. Or for the fan base that knows how desperately the Mets need Conforto next season. But it'll have to do for now, or at least until Conforto sees his surgeon, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, next week in Los Angeles...

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Mets sign Anthony Swarzak 00:04:28
The Mets Hot Stove panel breaks down the Mets' recent acquisition, Anthony Swarzak, and discuss how he drastically improves their bullpen.

Sandy Alderson speaks often about the volatility of relief pitchers, and he's right -- even for professional evaluators, it's hard to tell from one year to the next how any reliever will perform...

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia
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Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets will "probably" be looking to next fill needs elsewhere on the roster after reportedly coming to terms with RH reliever Anthony Swarzak on a two-year deal worth $14 million, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said Wednesday at the Winter Meetings.

Alderson didn't rule out acquiring another reliever later in the offseason, but said he expected the team's focus to now shift to filling the other needs -- second base and first base/outfield.

The Mets were linked to free agent 3B/1B Todd Frazier earlier on Wednesday. Alderson said earlier this week that he expects Asdrubal Cabrera to play primarily third base this season, but seemed open to the possibility of that changing.

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Oct 16, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier (29) hits a three run home run during the second inning aHouston Astros during game three of the 2017 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports ( Adam Hunger)
Oct 16, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier (29) hits a three run home run during the second inning aHouston Astros during game three of the 2017 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports ( Adam Hunger)

The Mets have been "curious" about free agent 3B Todd Frazier, reports The Post's Joel Sherman.

Sherman adds that the Mets may even be aggressive in trying to sign the 31-year-old who split time with the White Sox and Yankees last season, noting that Frazier could allow Asdrubal Cabrera to move around the infield, and also provide insurance to 1B Dominic Smith

"It's possible but it's not a scenario right now that I foresee," Alderson said Wednesday about acquiring a player whose presence would mean Cabrera doesn't play third base regularly. "It could change. ... we're trying to be flexible -- responding to opportunities. ... we're trying to be flexible and open-minded about it."

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera
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GEICO SportsNite: Conforto 00:00:57
Mets outfielder Michael Conforto held a Q&A with fans on Monday and stated that he still has no timeline for his injured left shoulder.

Mets OF Michael Conforto  will meet with doctors within two weeks, after which he hopes to be told he can start swinging a bat, he told reporters at the team's annual Coat Drive earlier this week.

It was reported in November that Conforto's recovery was progressing well and was expected to start swinging a bat by late January.

Conforto dislocated his shoulder toward the end of last season, after which he had surgery to repair the posterior capsule. The initial diagnoses was that it would require at least a six-month recovery.

In either case, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said Tuesday he does not expect Conforto to be ready for Opening Day, despite remaining on track during his rehab.

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Oct 1, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna (13) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Oct 1, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna (13) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Marlins have agreed to trade OF Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, who says OF Christian Yelich is also on the trading block.

Ozuna, 27, hit .312/.376/.548 with 37 HR and 124 RBI in 159 games for the Marlins in 2017.

The Marlins, who are dramatically cutting payroll under their new ownership group which is led by Derek Jeter, traded OF and 2017 MVP Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees over the weekend in exchange for Starlin Castro, minor leaguers Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers, and cash considerations.

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Sandy's Shopping List: Swarzak 00:00:37
Right-handed relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak has signed a two-year deal with the Mets.

LATEST UPDATE, 11:38 AM:

The Mets have agreed to a two-year deal worth $14 million with RH reliever Anthony Swarzak, reports Marc Carig of Newsday.

Swarzak had a 2.33 ERA (2.74 FIP) and 1.03 WHIP with 91 strikeouts (a career-high 10.59 K/9) in 77 1/3 innings (70 games) in 2017 for the White Sox and Brewers.

The 32-year-old Swarzak, who almost exclusively features a fastball and slider, saw his stuff tick up in 2017. His fastball averaged 94.7 MPH (up from 93.4 in 2016 and 92.2 in 2015) and his slider averaged 87.1 MPH -- both the fastest of his careeer.

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Winter Meetings 360 Day 3 00:15:51
Andy Martino and Steve Gelbs discuss the latest news from the last day of the Winter Meetings and share their thoughts on the Swarzak move.

Andy Martino and Steve Gelbs discuss the latest news from the last day of the Winter Meetings and share their thoughts on the Anthony Swarzak move.

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Aug 12, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Cleveland Indians right fielder Jay Bruce (32) hits a RBI single during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Aug 12, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Cleveland Indians right fielder Jay Bruce (32) hits a RBI single during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Mets met with Jay Bruce's agent and remain "very interested" in a reunion, reports Mike Puma of the NY Post, who adds that the Mets have not yet made an offer.

The Blue Jays are also showing interest in Bruce, FanRag's Jon Heyman tweeted Monday.

Bruce is seeking a five-year deal worth as much as $18 million per season, teams with interest in him recently told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.

However, according to Newsday's Marc Carig, while the Mets and Bruce are open to a possible reunion, the Mets are reportedly only interested in giving him a three-year contract.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler and RH reliever Shane Greene. Credit: USA Today
Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler and RH reliever Shane Greene. Credit: USA Today

I wonder if the Mets are trying to get reliever Shane Greene with 2B Ian Kinsler from the Tigers?

According to MLB.com's Jason Beck, the Tigers are close to trading Kinsler after reportedly holding substantive trade talks the last two weeks with at least the Mets and Angels.

Kinsler has the Mets and nine other teams on his no-trade list, but that's not seen as a deal-breaker if the Tigers agree to send Kinsler to the Mets, reports SNY contributor Andy Martino.

I wrote Tuesday night that the Mets were on the same page with the Tigers when it came to swapping players, but that the two sides were still not in agreement about how to deal with Kinsler's $11 million salary. The next day, Detroit's GM said he has exchanging names with teams interested in Kinsler, but they had yet to reach an agreement...

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Aug 29, 2017; Billy Hamilton double at Great American Ball Park. Credit: Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 29, 2017; Billy Hamilton double at Great American Ball Park. Credit: Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds are seeing enough interest in center fielder Billy Hamilton that it's possible he could be traded before the end of this week's Winter Meetings, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Zach Buchanan reported Tuesday afternoon.

The Reds have been conducting trade talks for Hamilton since last week, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, who felt the Mets, Giants, Rangers, and Mariners would be interested in him.

"The Reds don't have to move him, though," Rosenthal added. "They can see what happens in the first half and them move him at the deadline when he'll still be available for two pennant races."

In either case, be it this winter or next summer, Rosenthal believes the Reds will move Hamilton the as soon as they are presented with an acceptable deal.

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Alderson on the Mets' bullpen 00:06:23
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson discusses how the front office plans to address the team's bullpen this offseason.

The MLB Winter Meetings are underway in Orlando, where agents and team executives are meeting and discussing signings and trades.  

Here's what you need to know from yesterday's news and rumors from Orlando...

Tags: Matt Harvey, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores
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In tonight's SNY's Meet the MetsCast, Matthew Cerrone and Rob Brender recap Day 2 of the MLB Winter Meetings by discussing whether to acquire Ian Kinsler, how to improve the bullpen on a strict budget, and whether it's better to sign Mike Moustakas or Neil Walker...

To listen to the show, click play below or use this link to download...

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Aug 18, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) connects on a grand slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)
Aug 18, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) connects on a grand slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Orlando, Fla. -- It's Tuesday of the winter meetings. The Metsies are quiet. So allow me a few hundred words of speculation about an idea that is likely fictional, but shouldn't be:

The Mets should trade for Manny Machado. With one move, they could excite their fans, grab the back page back from the Yankees, and try to extend their window to win with one of the best players in baseball.

Money is not an issue here. Machado will make about $17 million next year, roughly what the Mets paid Neil Walker in 2017. Sandy Alderson has said many times that there is no such thing as a bad one-year deal...

Tags: Steven Matz
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New York Mets' Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Friday, April 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Friday, April 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Mets GM Sandy Alderson suggested on Tuesday that the team will not be trading RHP Matt Harvey, who has been the subject of rumors at the Winter Meetings.

"All I'm weighing right now are the opinions of (manager) Mickey Callaway and (pitching coach) Dave Eiland," Alderson said. "And they don't want to lose him."

Alderson's tune had been different on Monday when asked about Harvey.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Danny Abriano
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Latest on relief pitching market 00:01:55
Jim Duquette shares some updates on how the market for relief pitchers is shaping out, and discusses how the Mets plan to use their bullpen.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway suggested on Tuesday that the team might not have a designated closer in 2018 -- instead focusing on matchups and reacting when high-leverage situations arise.

"I think that we're going to pitch guys when it makes sense," Callaway said at the Winter Meetings in response to a question about Jeurys Familia. "I'm going to pitch guys to their strengths and they're going to face the batters they should be facing."

Callaway said it could work out that Familia is in place to save every game, but that they're not "locked in" to that...

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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Winter Meetings 360 Day 2 00:17:01
Steve Gelbs and Andy Martino answer various questions and discuss the trade rumors surrounding Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey.

Steve Gelbs and Andy Martino answer various questions and discuss the trade rumors surrounding Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey.

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Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) looks on during an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Washington. The Nationals won 7-6. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass/AP)
Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) looks on during an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Washington. The Nationals won 7-6. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass/AP)

The Orioles are shopping 3B Manny Machado, and are seeking two young, controllable starting pitchers in return, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. However, Machado -- who is set for free agency after the 2018 season -- wants to return to shortstop this season, notes Rosenthal.

The Mets, Phillies, Braves, Giants, and Angels could make up part of the market for Machado, with the Yankees potentially on the periphery, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe noted in September. But with Machado now seeking to play shortstop, it's fair to believe his list of potential suitors could be different.

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Earlier this offseason, while tossing around outside the box Mets ideas with colleagues, one I suggested was 'trade Jacob deGrom for Manny Machado and sign one of the higher-end free agent starting pitchers to replace him.'

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores
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Callaway on possible free agents 00:06:29
Mickey Callaway discusses the Mets' starting pitching as well as the team's mindset regarding potential free agents on Mets Hot Stove.

The MLB Winter Meetings are underway in Orlando, where agents and team executives are meeting and discussing signings and trades.  

Here's what happened with the Mets on Monday in Orlando...

Tags: Matt Harvey, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores
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In tonight's MLB Winter Meetings edition of SNY's Meet the MetsCast, Matthew Cerrone, Steve Hofstetter and Rob Brender discuss Sandy Alderson's comments and apparent approach to spending, roster building and getting back to the postseason in 2018...

To listen to the show, click play below or use this link to download...

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New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson) (Laurence Kesterson/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson) (Laurence Kesterson/AP)

The Mets have talked to at least two teams with interest in trading for RHP Matt Harvey, two sources recently told Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert.

Additionally, Andy Martino of SNY reported Monday night that the Cubs are also among teams with interest in Harvey, but noted that it is not clear how much interest they have.

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Mickey Callaway gestures at the podium after he was introduced to the media. (AP)
Mickey Callaway gestures at the podium after he was introduced to the media. (AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Orlando, Fla. -- It was at this very property, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, where the Mets introduced Curtis Granderson four years ago. This was a seminal moment for the Sandy Alderson era, a signal that the rebuild was winding down, and the team was ready to be relevant again.

The giddiness was so pervasive that day that Granderson even slipped out of character for a moment and offered a usable quote: "A lot of the people that I have met in New York have always said that true New Yorkers are Mets fans," he said, to considerable surprise among reporters accustomed to his bland avoidance of most questions.

Two playoff appearances, one National League pennant, and a 92-loss season later, the Mets are in a different phase of their cycle. In the same room where Granderson once donned the blue and orange, the Yankees introduced Giancarlo Stanton, baseball's most charismatic star, and the Mets … well, the Mets were trying to decide if they wanted to trade for Ian Kinsler, or maybe sign Bryan Shaw. This is a tough contrast -- or bad optics, as they say in the PR business...

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

Sandy Alderson spoke Sunday in Orlando and said the Mets are unwilling to pay top dollar for a relief pitcher; acquiring a starting pitcher is fourth on their list of three priorities; and he is not likely to acquire a first baseman who would block Dominic Smith.

Similarly, while the Mets have reportedly expressed interest in trading for second basemen Josh Harrison (Pirates) and Ian Kinsler (Tigers), two New York beat reporters said Sunday they are skeptical the Mets have enough talent or financial flexibility to match up for either player in trade.

Is Alderson serious, or is he saying these things as a negotiating tactic? 

I suppose anything is possible. I mean, like most GMs, Alderson does have a history of saying one thing to reporters then doing something entirely different...

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Winter Meetings 360 Day 1 00:15:22
Steve Gelbs and Andy Martino discuss the Yanks' trade for Giancarlo Stanton and answer questions about the Mets' ventures this offseason.

Steve Gelbs and Andy Martino discuss the Yanks' trade for Giancarlo Stanton and answer questions about the Mets' ventures this offseason.

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Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Alex Colome throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Alex Colome throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets are interested in acquiring Rays closer Alex Colome, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, who says the Cardinals, Rockies, and perhaps the Cubs are also in on Colome.

Colome, 28, had a 3.24 ERA (3.37 FIP) and 1.20 WHIP with 58 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings (65 appearances), while saving a league-leading 47 games last season for the Rays.

He earned $547,900 last season and is arbitration eligible each of the next three seasons, after which he is eligible for free agency.

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Ryan Goins (17) (Kevin Sousa)
Ryan Goins (17) (Kevin Sousa)

The Mets have interest in signing free agent INF Ryan Goins, who was recently non-tendered by the Blue Jays, reports Joel Sherman of the NY Post.

Sherman suggests that if signed, Goins could potentially form one side of a second base platoon with either Wilmer Flores or T.J. Rivera (who is recovering from Tommy John surgery).

Goins, 29, hit .237/.286/.356 with nine HR in 143 games this past season for the Blue Jays. A left-handed hitter, Goins hit all nine of his home runs against right-handed pitchers.

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Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB Winter Meetings officially begin today in Orlando. The conference provides the opportunity for hundreds of team executives and dozens of player agents to meet and discuss potential offseason signings and trades.

The three-day event is covered by countless local and national media outlets and runs non-stop through Thursday morning, when MLB holds its annual Rule 5 Draft.

Sandy Alderson addressed New York reporters upon arriving at the Meetings on Sunday...

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Mets Hot Stove: Gelbs & Martino 00:04:08
Steve Gelbs and Andy Martino report from the Winter Meetings and discuss the Mets' options at second base and in the bullpen.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes infielder Asrubal Cabrera will likely spend most of the 2018 season at third base despite his versatility to play each infield position.

The Mets had eight different players spend time at third base, with Cabrera logging the second-most innings to Wilmer Flores. But while Cabrera has spent most of his MLB career at shortstop and has played a significant amount of time at second base, Alderson said he thinks Cabrera would likely be New York's third baseman.

"I think his versatility gives us the option [to sign a free-agent third baseman], but at the same time, we've kind of zeroed him in at third base and we don't want to move him around, so while he gives us some flexibility, I'm not sure we want to exercise it," Alderson said at the MLB Winter Meetings on Sunday.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Matt Reynolds, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores
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Mets Winter Meetings Preview 00:04:08
The Mets Hot Stove crew breaks down which players the Mets should prioritize at the Winter Meetings in Florida this week.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said starting pitching is not one of New York's major priorities heading into the MLB Winter Meetings despite the fact their rotation had the 27th-ranked ERA as a team last year.

"I'd say that, as it stands right now, [starting pitching] would probably be fourth on a list of three," Alderson told reporters on Sunday, indicating the team is instead focusing on bolstering the bullpen, adding a bat to the lineup and solidifying its situation at first base and in the outfield.

Mets starters went 49-64 last season with a 5.14 ERA, which was the second-worst among all National League teams. They combined to throw the fourth-fewest innings among all 30 teams.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Oct 1, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) stretches prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Oct 1, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) stretches prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Because of the size of Giancarlo Stanton's contract, it didn't make sense for the Mets to "feign" any interest in him, GM Sandy Alderson said Sunday at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, FL.

Alderson also made a joke, saying "with Brandon Nimmo in right field, we just didn't feel that we had a need there."

The Marlins have agreed to trade Stanton to the Yankees, with a press conference expected Monday, according to multiple reports.

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New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) at Citi Field. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) at Citi Field. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite saying he felt first baseman Dominic Smith did not play well enough in his brief MLB stint last season to already earn the starting job in 2018, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he and the franchise remain optimistic in Smith's potential moving forward.

Speaking at the MLB Winter Meetings on Sunday, Alderson said the team, which has reportedly considered making a run at several free-agent first basemen, including Eric Hosmer and Carlos Santana, likely wouldn't make a move that would take Smith out of the equation for next season

"I wouldn't expect us to do something that totally eliminates Dominic as a possibility," Alderson said. "We're still very high on Dominic, some of my comments earlier in the offseason notwithstanding."

 

Tags: Dominic Smith
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 (Gary A. Vasquez)
(Gary A. Vasquez)

Relief pitchers Brandon Morrow and Luke Gregerson, both of whom drew interest from the Mets, are reportedly off the market after agreeing to two year deals elsewhere.

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Sep 21, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) make a play on a ball hit by Minnesota Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar (not pictured) in the second inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Sep 21, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) make a play on a ball hit by Minnesota Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar (not pictured) in the second inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

There is skepticism about whether the Mets will be able to acquire 2B Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

Tags: Starlin Castro
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