This is the final position look at the Mets system and likely the last substantive post before we get started on my annual Top 41 prospects in the system.

The sheer number of right-handed pitchers in a system means that ordering this group helps give structure to an overall system’s ranking. However, this year, for the Mets, this is much less true than in years past, at least at the top. I have only three right-handed pitchers in the team’s overall Top 10 and five in the Top 20. The right-handers flex their muscle in the back half of my Top 41, taking over 50% of the spots between 21 and 41 at last count.

The relative weakness of the right-handed pitchers in the organization is balanced by a strong big league rotation and upper level options (Hi, Thor). Likely lurking at triple-A to start 2015 will be Noah Syndergaard, who is an elite prospect and Rafael Montero, who could probably be a back-end starter now if the team needed big league innings.

The overarching theme: starters are much more valuable than relievers. The best relievers in the big leagues were minor league starters.

Here are the other positions: lefties, centerfielders, corner outfielders, catcherfirst basesecondshortstop and third base.


RHP

Potential Starters

  1. Noah Syndergaard
The consensus top Mets prospect, Despite middling surface-level numbers in Las Vegas, Syndergaard still has front of the rotation potential. MLB.com recently ranked him as the second-best right handed pitching prospect in the game trailing only the Nationals’ Lucas Giolito. Even if it doesn’t all come together for Thor, he should be a competent member of a rotation. If it all comes together, he could be an ace. There is a BIG gap between Syndergaard and anyone else on this list.

  1. Rafael Montero
It feels like Montero is getting forgotten this winter. Given a brief big league look in 2014, he pitched at a below replacement level in 44.1 innings. The twin culprits were walks and home runs: he allowed a walk rate of 11.9% and eight dingers.

In his minor league career, before 2014, he’d been something of a command specialist. However, his walk rate jumped in triple-A in 2014 to 10.1% from 6.9% in 2013, and then again in the big leagues.

He still has the attributes that helped him to the big leagues: an averagish fastball, a short slider, and a firm fly-ball inducing changeup. The problem for Montero is that while he could keep minor league hitters at bay pitching heavily off his fastball, big leaguers put the pitch over the all five times.

There’s no star-level potential here, but Montero could fit into the back-end of a rotation, Dillon Gee style if the Mets need innings. Frankly, the perfect role for Montero might be as a long-reliever/swingman type as it’s hard to see him regularly getting through a big league lineup three times with his current stuff and teams often prize a little more velocity out of their short relievers. MLB teams don’t really carry this guy anymore though.

  1. Marcos Molina
I had read multiple glowing reports about Molina before I saw him with my own eyes in Brooklyn on August 24. The look left me a little flat. He is a good athlete with a nice 6’3” lean frame, with an unusual delivery, but I was expecting more stuff. If I was grading purely on repertoire in the New York-Penn League, for a Mets comparison, I’d put him behind Jenrry Mejia v. 2008.

I saw a guy easily slinging the his fastball up to the plate at 91-93 mph and touching 94. He showed an amusing variety of offspeed pitches from a slider that was 81-85 and a mid-80s changeup that didn’t move much, considering its firmness and a slower curveball at 79. He was clearly trying to use all of his pitches, particularly the changeup. If he was interested only in getting hitters out, he would have thrown nothing but fastballs and sliders. At times his location on his fastball was unfair, low and away on the black, for example.

His delivery deserves note. He releases the ball out of a low arm slot. Guys can make this work in the big leagues, think of say, Tyson Ross. However, extreme platoon splits could be a problem for Molina as he moves up the ladder. He also does not appear to use his legs very much at all. In theory, this will put more stress on his shoulder.

Molina was absolutely dominant in the New York-Penn League and will pitch on a full-season staff in 2015. Barring a poor spring training, I would be very tempted to start him out in St. Lucie rather than Savannah, where he will cruise to excellent numbers.

  1. Gabriel Ynoa
I view Ynoa at this point as a little bit like Montero-lite. The difference is that Ynoa is a little taller at 6’2”, with a more classic pitcher’s body and easier delivery. Both guys relied on feel, fastball command and a changeup to sail through the low minors. I have been told that Ynoa’s slider has improved, but did not see it in person in 2014. At 21 years old in double-A in 2014, he was on the low end of the league’s age spectrum.

The major concern here statistically is that his strikeout rate cratered from 26% in the Florida State League to 17% in 66.1 innings in the Eastern League. The bet is that Ynoa will pitch in the big leagues, but he must continue to improve his breaking ball to profile as a viable big league starter.

  1. Robert Gsellman
A 13th round pick in 2011, Gsellman put up solid numbers in Savannah without the strikeouts one usually associates with predicting success in the big leagues. What’s to like here? He’s a big guy at 6’4”, and 200+ pounds who lives 91 mph with his fastball. He can reach back for more. He has nice feel on a changeup. His curveball will flash plus, while other nights not be a useful part of his arsenal.

A hamstring injury kept him out of action for almost a month between the middle of April and the middle of May in 2014. The Mets also shut him down for almost two weeks in August to manage his innings and keep him fresh for the playoffs. Before his shutdown, in his previous four starts from July 18 through August 9 he put together this line: 26.2 IP, 21 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 25 K with a 0.67 ERA, a 24% strikeout rate and a 4% walk rate.

He had similar results to Gant and Whalen in the Savannah rotation, but he moves in front of them based on potential and physique. He’s a good few inches taller than Whalen and built more powerfully than Gant. This helps him maintain ease in his motion and should give him better command. Also, the potential of his curve is tantalizing.

He might well be a back-end starter with a fastball a tick below average, and an average changeup and curve.


Likely Relievers with Set up Potential

  1. Cory Mazzoni
Nothing has changed since the end of August when I wrote about Mazzoni in the Arizona Fall League preview. However, the Mets decided not to send the injury prone right-hander to the desert to let him rest up and heal for the 2015 season.

Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola told the Mostly Mets Podcast that he views Mazzoni’s future as most likely in the bullpen and we agree. He throws strikes with a fastball at 90-92, although he can reach back for more, with a splitter and a slider. He’s never made it through a season healthy as a starter.

  1. Michael Fulmer
The Mets’ supplemental first round pick in 2011, Fulmer has a plus fastball (93-95) and a slider that might get to plus as well. That, but a big frame is the good. The negative is that he’s never showed the command or the changeup to be a starter.

His 2013 was marred by a knee injury, and his first half of 2014 was not particularly impressive. However, he was better in the second half for St. Lucie (2.75 ERA, 24% K-rate, 7.5% walk rate) and earned a start at the end of the year in double-A.

Even if he starts 2015 in the double-A rotation, the bet here with this ranking is that his eventual home is in a big league bullpen where he can let it fly for a few batters a time in the seventh and eighth innings.

  1. Domingo Tapia
Repeating advanced A, Tapia ran a 56-51 K-BB ratio in 109 innings in 21 starts on his way to a 3.96 ERA. He’s just not a starter. However, at 96-98 with sink and run from a low arm slot and a diving changeup will play just fine out of any bullpen. It’s time to put him in the bullpen in 2015.

  1. Hansel Robles
After 17 undistinguished starts with a 4.97 ERA in double-A in 2014, the Mets slipped Robles off to the bullpen for Binghamton after his July 13th start. The results were a revelation. Out of the bullpen in shorter stretches, his velocity jumped, to the point where he was touching 96. Compare the numbers.

IPERAH/9BB%SO%
Starter90.674.869.59.120.7
Reliever201.805.08.629.6
And in the bullpen he shall stay. He should begin 2015 in the Las Vegas 51s pen for Wally and friends.


Back-end starters, maybe (Draft pedigree)

Things start to get really murky at his point in the rankings. With just a little squinting, it’s possible to see any of the next four guys in in the back of a big league rotation.

  1. Casey Meisner
Why ranked here: Meisner got better as 2014 went on for Brooklyn. Early in the year, he was 87-91, but later, reportedly he was 90-94. I’m disappointed I didn’t see him in person. There’s a chance that he will settle in with average velocity from a 6’7” frame and an average secondary offering in his curve.

His last five starts for the Cyclones: 30.2 IP, 28 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 32 K. That’s a 1.47 ERA, a 3% walk rate and 27% strikeout rate.

Why no higher: no full season experience or plus pitch

Why no lower: Draft position. Projectability.

The Mets’ third round pick in 2011 will get his first shot at a full-season league in 2015.

  1. John Michael Gant
Why ranked here: He was very effective in a-ball with a below average fastball, funk in his delivery and a relatively easy release. He complements his mostly high-80s heat with a changeup and curveball.

Why no higher: see fastball

Why no lower: has command and will work at double-A.

  1. Andrew Church
Why ranked here: The Mets saw something in their 2013 second round pick. I saw his Appalachian League debut and I saw a very generic guy without a big league pitch. His fastball was mostly 90-91 mph. He worked with a changeup at 81-83 and a slurve at 77 mph. He struggled to locate and had plenty of effort in his delivery.

At 6’2” and a little soft, I did not see much projection left in his body to add velocity.

Why no higher: I didn’t see the stuff to justify it.

Why no lower: Still a second round pick. Lets see if he’s better in full-season ball.

  1. Josh Prevost
Why ranked here: The height of Meisner (actually Prevost might be a little taller at 6’8”) but a few years older. Prevost was mostly 89-90 in his brief time out of the Brooklyn bullpen. He showed a slider, and a very seldom used changeup.

The Mets’ 5th round pick in 2014 out of Seton Hall earned 3rd team All-America honors from Baseball America.

Why no higher: stuff doesn’t warrant it

Why no lower: He should get a shot on the rotation in Savannah and then St. Lucie at which point his projection will be much clearer.


More Potential Relievers – Replacement level variety

Here we return to an important point: starters are much more valuable than relievers.

  1. Akeel Morris
Morris had a great 2014 with the Savannah Sand Gnats in relief, pitching to a 0.63 ERA with a 42% strikeout rate and a 10.4% walk rate. He’s a little dude at roughly 6’0” who puts a lot of effort into pumping 94 mph on his fastball. He can get up to 96. His second offering is a changeup that when it’s right, dives out of the zone. His over the top release left him struggling for a consistent breaking ball.

The Mets rewarded Morris with a spot on the team’s 40-man roster in November.

Why no higher: he’s an a-ball reliever. His breaking ball is rudimentary. He walked over 10% of opposing a-ball hitters. Most big league relievers continue to start through a-ball and at higher levels.

Why no lower: he does throw hard.

  1. Erik Goeddel
Why ranked here: hey, he pitched in the big leagues in 2014. He actually was a replacement level reliever. He also worked to a 5.37 ERA at triple-A Las Vegas with 64 strikeouts against 30 walks in 63.2 innings out of the bullpen. His fastball might be a tick or two above average at 94 mph, but it’s straight. His second weapon is a curveball. His hard change doesn’t create enough contrast.

Why no higher: Results

Why no lower: Hey, he’s offered the Mets a few big league innings. He’s there. He’s basically what Akeel Morris might be unless he continues to improve.

  1. Matt Bowman
Why ranked here: Bowman just had a really solid 2014 as a starter in both double-A and triple-A. By the standards of professional baseball, he’s a little guy at 6’0”, listed below 170 lbs but he generates some leverage and deception with a mini-Tim Lincecum delivery with a rock and lean. For all of that effort, he mostly sits 89-91 as a starter. He has a curve, slider and splitter that he uses as a changeup.

Why no higher: Below average fastball as a starter, and no plus secondary big league pitch

Why no lower: He got guys out in double-A and triple-A and I’m a sucker for smart pitchers (see Princeton Economics degree).

  1. Luis Mateo
Mateo missed much of 2014 while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. When he returned, he was rather unimpressive, throwing 89-90 in July. After the Mets moved him down to Brooklyn, he was essentially sent home early because he was not putting in the work. He had the stuff, pre-surgery, to work in a big league bullpen, but did not show it in 2014.

Why no higher: injury, reduced diminished repetoire post-rehab, makeup concerns

Why no lower: a memory of what he showed in 2012 and 2013


Who knows, TJ/2014 Draftee Edition

  1. Chris Flexen
Flexen was not effective for Savannah, and just when he seemed to be putting it together, he went under the knife for Tommy John surgery and to remove loose bodies in his elbow. On the plus side, he has a lean body and can get to 94 mph.

On the negative side: everything else.

  1. Gabriel Llanes
  2. Erik Manoah
The Mets’ 11th and 13th round picks in 2014, both signed for $300,000 and then reported to the GCL. Llanes is an inch taller and a little leaner, while Manoah’s results were a little better in 2014. They’re both in the 88-92 range with their fastballs and are interesting long-term bets for the teams. Long time readers know the success rates with these types of pitchers is not great.


Longshot Starters

  1. Robert Whalen
Whalen has earned plenty of ink this off-season for a strong 2014 with Savannah in which he worked to a 2.01 ERA in 62.2 innings while allowing just 44 hits. He generally worked off an 88-91 mph fastball and threw lots and lots of sliders. That’s a fine recipe in the SAL, but upper level hitters will not be fooled as regularly by his slider-heavy pattern. His changeup did not have great separation off his heat.

A hand infection kept him out of action for the better part of two months with the Gnats and limited to 10 starts total and 62.2 innings.

Plopped in the Arizona Fall League, he walked 10 and fanned 15 in 18.1 innings on his way to a 6.87 ERA against some of the minors’ best hitters.

He will head to St. Lucie rotation to begin the 2015 season.

  1. Corey Oswalt
Oswalt was 88-90 in Bklyn, with a slider 10 mph off that, giving it below average velocity and an flat changeup around 82 mph. He should be a fine a-ball starter.

  1. Luis Cessa
A converted infielder, Cessa worked to an ERA of 4.00 in the Florida State League in 20 starts. Armed with a low-90s fastball, Cessa’s strikeout rate plunged to 17.5% in the FSL in 2014. He just does not miss enough bats to go through upper level orders multiple times.


Fastball only Goofs

All of these guys throw hard – up to 94 or higher, in the cases of Bashlor and Buchmann. However none have the secondary stuff to be starters. I would bet on one or two of these guys becoming effective relievers at least at double-A.

  1. Matt Koch
  2. Kevin McGowan
  3. Miller Diaz
  4. Tyler Bashlor
  5. Connor Buchmann
Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said after swinging the blockbuster deal for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz that as he continued to build the team, he wanted to eliminate as many "ifs" as possible from the roster

"One of the things that I think this club suffered from the last couple years was putting a lot of weight into 'ifs,'" Van Wagenen said on Dec. 4. "If player X is healthy, if player X rebounds to have another year, if we have a breakout season from a young player. My goal is that we try to eliminate as many 'ifs' as possible."

With the above in mind, SNY's Steve Gelbs asked Van Wagenen on Tuesday why new catcher Wilson Ramos -- who has missed significant time due to injury most seasons of his career -- doesn't qualify as an "if."

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Brodie Van Wagenen, Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, and Jeff Wilpon (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Richard Drew/AP)
Brodie Van Wagenen, Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, and Jeff Wilpon (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Richard Drew/AP)

Right after saying the Mets aren't done with their offseason additions, GM Brodie Van Wagenen said something a bit more attention-grabbing.

"Internally, we can argue that we're the favorites in the division right now," Van Wagenen told SNY's Steve Gelbs.

Saying he's "not gonna stop" and that the team still has "some real money to spend," Van Wagenen elaborated on why he feels the Mets can be considered the favorites...

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Jun 15, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Matt Harvey (32) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports (Ben Queen)
Jun 15, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Matt Harvey (32) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports (Ben Queen)

Matt Harvey is headed to La La land. 

The former Mets pitcher agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. 

The contract is worth $11 million guaranteed with $3 million in incentives, per Jon Heyman of Fancred. 

Tags: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Matt Harvey
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Brodie Van Wagenen speaks during a news conference to announce the New York Mets new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
Brodie Van Wagenen speaks during a news conference to announce the New York Mets new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

It's been a busy start to Brodie Van Wagenen's tenure as Mets GM, one that continued Tuesday morning when he introduced his newest acquisiton, All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos, in a press conference.

But Van Wagenen said he isn't done adding pieces to the puzzle. 

"We still have a lot of time to play and get creative and still have some real money to spend to potentially add on to it," he told SNY's Steve Gelbs.

"I'm not gonna stop," added Van Wagenen.

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Wilson Ramos press conference 00:01:12
The New York Mets officially welcome in their new catcher Wilson Ramos to the team, and he's ready to battle for the NL East crown.

While introducing new catcher Wilson Ramos on Tuesday at Citi Field, GM Brodie Van Wagenen explained why the Mets went in this direction.

"In short, Wilson was the perfect fit for us," Van Wagenen said, adding that while the team had a variety of options on the trade and free agent markets, the Mets chose their path "rather than allowing others to choose our path for us."

Van Wagenen noted that Ramos "commanded the room" when they met with him and cited his "poise" and "confidence" as traits that stuck out...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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New York Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran scores a run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran scores a run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Carlos Beltran is reportedly joining the Yankees' big-name lineup of special advisers.

The Yankees are expected to hire the former Bomber and Met outfielder as an adviser to GM Brian Cashman, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

And Cashman has reason to put his newest employee right to work. According to Feinsand, Beltran was previously represented by Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group, who also reps free agent superstar Manny Machado

Tags: Carlos Beltran
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Apr 12, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Padres pitcher Zach Lee (57) delivers a pitch during the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Humphreys)
Apr 12, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Padres pitcher Zach Lee (57) delivers a pitch during the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Humphreys)

The Mets on Tuesday signed RHP Zach Lee to a minor league contract, according to Michael Mayer

The 27-year-old Lee last pitched in the majors for the Padres in 2017, recording a 5.63 ERA (6.28 FIP) with six strikeouts in eight innings.

Lee, the Dodgers' first-round draft pick in 2010, played in the Rays' farm system this past season.

In 145.2 innings between Tampa Bay's Double-A and Triple-A clubs, Lee went 12-6 as a starter with a 3.65 ERA, a 1.325 WHIP and 107 strikeouts.

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Aug 16, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos (40) prepares to bat during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Aug 16, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos (40) prepares to bat during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Watch live on SNY's Facebook and Twitter today at 11 a.m. as the Mets introduce new catcher Wilson Ramos. 

SNY will air the entire press conference, with Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen and Ramos.

Steve Gelbs will anchor SNY's special coverage from Citi Field, while Doug Williams and SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino will be live from the SNY studios. 

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The 2019 Queens Baseball Convention, featuring appearances by Mets legends Keith Hernandez, Edgardo Alfonzo, and Ed Kranepool, is taking place on January 19, 2019 at Katch Astoria.

Hernandez, Alfonzo, and Kranepool will take part in panel discussion that will include questions from attendees, and will be taking part in an autograph session.

Tickets to the fan-run QBC, presented by SNY, are nearly sold out. To get yours, head here...

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New York Mets' Jordany Valdespin warms up in the dugout before facing the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning of the Mets' 3-2 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Thursday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Mets' Jordany Valdespin warms up in the dugout before facing the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning of the Mets' 3-2 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Thursday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

Here comes Jordany Valdespin!

The former Mets second baseman has won the Dominican Winter League's Most Valuable Player award after hitting .352 with 14 steals in 45 games for Toros del Este.

Valdespin played mostly in right field for the team while hitting two home runs with 20 RBI.

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May 18, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Rajai Davis (11) talks to Oakland Athletics third base coach Chip Hale (4) in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
May 18, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Rajai Davis (11) talks to Oakland Athletics third base coach Chip Hale (4) in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Mets signed outfielder Rajai Davis to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training, the club announced on Monday. 

Davis hit .224 with an OPS of .690, 33 runs, six doubles, one triple, a home run and six RBIs across 101 games for the Indians last season. The 38-year-old stole 21 bases for Cleveland in 2018. Davis' speed and added outfield depth will serve as an advantage for the Mets, a club that is thin in both departments. 

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Robinson Cano's defensive stats 00:00:28
The Mets' new second baseman Robinson Cano's defensive numbers are impressive over his career. He should upgrade the Mets' infield.

Robinson Cano makes playing second base look easy, but the Mets know first-hand it's anything but simple. 

If we take a deep dive into Cano's defensive numbers compared to the Mets' previous second basemen, we'll find that no New York player in that position has come close to Cano's Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) in over a decade.

DRS works to quantify a player's entire defensive performance by measuring how many runs he saved or cost the team on defense. It takes into account errors, range, arm and double-play ability to value positioning and first step.

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The first responsibility of a talent agent is to establish options in the marketplace, which allows him or her to create leverage against the client's top target. Then, and only then, is it time to strike a deal. In case you forgot, Brodie Van Wagenen was a prominent player agent prior to being hired as GM of the Mets in October.

As GM, I 100 percent believe he hoped to acquire Marlins C J.T. Realmuto. However, I also believe he learned early on that Miami's ask for Realmuto would be significantly more than Van Wagenen was willing to pay. So, instead of turning his back on the Marlins, he continued to engage them, while signaling to reporters and other teams that he was laser focused on trading for what many consider to be the top catcher in baseball.

Meanwhile, according to multiple reports, he met with free agents Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos, after which rumors about the Mets and Marlins and Realmuto reached a fever pitch...

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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It was weeks ago now, long before any of us noticed, that Brian Cashman and Brodie Van Wagenen began talking. The reason seemed simple enough -- Cashman needed pitching, and Van Wagenen had it.

But, as anyone who follows New York baseball knows, this was no small thing at all, and was in fact the beginning of a major change. For years, the Yankees and Mets simply did not believe that a significant deal between them was possible. Now, somehow, they were talking about Noah Syndergaard and others.

Syndergaard did not ultimately become a Yankee, of course. But it got closer than anyone would have thought possible, and that very fact brings major, positive ramifications for years to come. We can no longer dismiss the chance of a major blockbuster transpiring between the teams.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Andy Martino
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Apr 28, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) pitches during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Apr 28, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) pitches during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

Jeurys Familia said Monday that he preferred to return to the Mets to be a setup man over going to a different team to close.

"It means a lot for me, it (is) where I grew up, it's like a home for me," Familia said during a conference call. "That's why I am here today. It doesn't matter what inning I am going to pitch. I come back here to win and get a championship."

Familia added that one of his goals was to return to the Mets, and that he told his agent that if there was any possibility, to make it happen...

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock warms up before his at-bat against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at AT&T Park. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock warms up before his at-bat against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at AT&T Park. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets remain in the market for an everyday center fielder and possibly one or two more additions to the bullpen, particularly a left-handed reliever. Here are the latest rumors from each of the above markets, followed by my take...

The everyday catcher

The Mets and free-agent C Wilson Ramos agreed to a two-year, $19 million contract on Sunday. The contract also includes a $10 million club option or a $1.5 million buyout for 2021, according to James Wagner of the NY Times.

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Before signing free agent catcher Wilson Ramos, the Mets didn't want to do a one-for-one trade with the Marlins of Noah Syndergaard for J.T. Realmuto, a source told SNY's Andy Martino.

With Ramos on board, the Mets are now out on Realmuto, according to Martino, who said the team deemed the Marlins' asking price to be too high. In other talks with the Marlins about Realmuto, Miami expressed interest in Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Amed Rosario, reportedly asking for two of the three at one point. 

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | TwitterThis is to take nothing away from the value of Realmuto, who is a special talent in his prime, but the Marlins need to get their demands in check before they lose every potential suitor for him...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | With their signing of free agent catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal with a third-year option, the Mets are now out on a potential trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

That of course also means they're out on free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal, who they were considering along with Ramos. 

The above is a good thing for the Mets. Yes, it would have been exciting to add Realmuto. But in the end, the Mets made the smarter move. And the smarter move is also the better move. Here's why...

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New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud is seen during the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud is seen during the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

After the Mets agreed to a deal with catcher Wilson Ramos and took themselves out of the J.T. Realmuto sweepstakes, the Mets plan to stick with Travis d'Arnaud and explore a trade of Kevin Plawecki, a source told SNY.tv's Andy Martino.

The Mets are still looking for a center fielder and a left-handed reliever, according to Fancred's Jon Heyman, and with Ramos and d'Arnaud, Plawecki is expendable.

Plawecki, 27, hit .210/.315/.370 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 79 games for the Mets last year, however Ramos is a significant upgrade to the lineup.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud
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Wilson Ramos deal explained 00:01:25
Andy Martino explains the thinking behind the Wilson Ramos deal for the Mets. Short version: it's a very good deal.

The Mets have agreed to a deal with free agent catcher Wilson Ramos, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed.

The deal is for two years and is pending a physical, adds Martino, who reports that with the signing of Ramos, the Mets are out on a potential trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto

The Mets, who also had a meeting with representatives for free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal, had been weighing both before deciding they liked Ramos more, a source told Martino...

 

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The Mets had been aggressive in their efforts to trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, who the Marlins are expected to deal. Here's the latest...


Dec. 16, 5:01 PM:

With the Mets signing free agent catcher Wilson Ramos, pending a physical, they are out on a potential trade for Realmuto, notes SNY's Andy Martino...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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Sep 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard has seen his name come up in trade rumors all offseason, recently tweeting at MLB Network that he doesn't believe them. On Saturday, Syndergaard updated his Twitter bio, adding a line that said "SNY is trying to trade me."

Early Sunday, Syndergaard took to Instagram, posting a picture of himself on the mound in his Mets uniform, using the caption 'My Team, Our Colors, New York's Future.'

Click below to see...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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April 29, 2007; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets pitcher (13) Billy Wagner pitches against the Washington Nationals in the ninth inning at RFK stadium in Washington, DC. The New York Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 1-0. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports Copyright © James Lang (James Lang-USA TODAY Sports)
April 29, 2007; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets pitcher (13) Billy Wagner pitches against the Washington Nationals in the ninth inning at RFK stadium in Washington, DC. The New York Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 1-0. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports Copyright © James Lang (James Lang-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Mets closer Billy Wagner received just 11 percent of 422 possible votes one year ago when he again missed out on being elected to the Hall of Fame, and he's not trending in the right direction during this year's voting.

Sadly, Wagner has consistently fallen short of the 75-percent threshold needed for an induction. He received just 10.5 percent during 2016 -- his first year on the ballot.

In 16 seasons, Wagner pitched for the Astros, Mets, Phillies, Red Sox, and Braves, for whom he collected 422 saves with a 2.31 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 1,196 strikeouts in 903 innings. The opposition hit just .187 against him, while striking out 33 percent of the time, both of which are the most all-time among pitchers who have thrown at least 800 innings during their careers. So why does he keep getting overlooked for the Hall?

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Aug 29, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) tips his helmet after hitting a grand slam home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Young)
Aug 29, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) tips his helmet after hitting a grand slam home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Young)

Mets captain David Wright may no longer be around, but that does not mean the team is void of leadership.

Enter Todd Frazier

The veteran third baseman, whom Mickey Callaway has already declared the starter over Jeff McNeil, plans to take rookie first baseman Peter Alonso under his wing and has requested that the 24-year-old's locker be placed next to his this spring training, he told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. 

Tags: Todd Frazier
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Aug 20, 2015; Nick Castellanos (9) hits a sacrifice fly at Comerica Park. Credit: Osentoski-USA TODAY
Aug 20, 2015; Nick Castellanos (9) hits a sacrifice fly at Comerica Park. Credit: Osentoski-USA TODAY

The Mets appear to be looking into the trade market for an outfielder, too. 

The Mets and Tigers have had talks regarding rightfielder Nick Castellanos, per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press, although the asking price is high. 

Castellanos, 26, hit .298/.354/.500 with 23 home runs and 89 RBI last season with the Tigers and can also play third base.

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Oct 15, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) hits a double against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth inning in game three of the 2018 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (Gary A. Vasquez)
Oct 15, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) hits a double against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth inning in game three of the 2018 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (Gary A. Vasquez)

Could the Mets be close to finding their coveted catcher?

According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets' catching situation is moving closer to a resolution. And that doesn't mean a deal or trade is imminent, but Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen and his team are working hard to get it done.

While the Mets were said to be "very aggressive" to trade for Marlins C J.T. Realmuto, Martino is hearing from multiple people that the team is very serious about free-agent C Yasmani Grandal.

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Brodie Van Wagenen speaks during a news conference to announce the New York Mets new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
Brodie Van Wagenen speaks during a news conference to announce the New York Mets new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Aside from a few nifty quips by Bryce Harper's agent, there was little real action on baseball's two biggest free agents at this week's Winter Meetings. Harper and Scott Boras sat down with a few clubs and Manny Machado has meet-and-greets scheduled in the coming days, but neither player seems close to a resolution. 

Instead, the best intel to come out of Las Vegas might have been about the developing bullpen market. Or further confirmation that shopping for a top-end catcher, by trade or free agency, will be pricey. 

That affects both the Yankees and Mets, who are searching for upgrades. Here's a look at the market following the week in Vegas. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Brandon Nimmo, David Robertson, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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Jul 11, 2018; Trenton, NJ, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies outfielder Tim Tebow (15) warms up for batting practice prior to the game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jul 11, 2018; Trenton, NJ, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies outfielder Tim Tebow (15) warms up for batting practice prior to the game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Tim Tebow is ready for his comeback. 

The Mets minor-league outfielder and former Heisman Trophy winner released a video via his charity, the Tim Tebow Foundation, where he expressed optimism that he will be able to bounce back from his season-ending surgery of his broken hamate bone in his right hand. 

"In every setback, there's a comeback," he said.

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Apr 28, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) pitches during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Apr 28, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) pitches during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

And just like that, RHP Jeurys Familia is back.

The Mets and Familia agreed to a three-year deal, worth $30 million to bring the former closer back to their bullpen, the team officially announced on Friday.

"We are excited to bring Jeurys back to Flushing," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said in an official statement. "Jeurys is a familiar face and an accomplished, elite reliever with experience that will fit well in our clubhouse."

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Scott Thompson
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This past Monday, I wrote that I expected Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen to do the following five things by end of the week's MLB Winter Meetings, which concluded Thursday.

So, what did he do, what didn't he do, and how will he approach the rest of the offseason?

1. Sign a high-end free-agent reliever

Tags: Amed Rosario, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Todd Frazier, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos looks to the dugout against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos looks to the dugout against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

While the Mets have showed interest in free-agent catchers Wilson Ramos and Yasmani Grandal, they appear to have competition in the Los Angeles Angels.

Ramos, with whom the Mets met earlier in the week, is the Angels' No. 1 catching target, according to Jerry Crasnick, while the Los Angeles Times' Maria Torres reports they are also pursuing Grandal.

Though Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen expressed his confidence in the catching tandem of Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, he has not shied away at upgrades at the position, including a potential trade for Marlins All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Travis d'Arnaud
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The Red Sox are most in search of help in the bullpen, that much is clear based on what reports and insiders said of their past week at the MLB Winter Meetings.

However, it has also been reported that they're looking to get younger in their rotation and have interest in a young, hard-throwing, dominant, under-team-control starting pitcher.

This reads very much like Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard, who has been the subject of countless trade rumors dating back to early November.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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Doug Williams, Andy Martino and John Harper put the podcast wrap on the Winter Meetings! They talk about the return of Jeurys Familia to the Mets, and what the next moves will be for Brodie Van Wagenen.

They also address the probably crazy notion of the Mets jumping into the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. Could it ever happen?

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

Las Vegas - The Mets, continuing to look for creative ways to acquire Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto, have discussed a three team trade this week with the San Diego Padres involving Realmuto and Noah Syndergaard, according to major league sources.

For context, this is one of many creative scenarios Mets are discussing to try to land Realmuto. A deal was not close, or even close to close, as of Thursday morning. The takeaway from this tidbit should be that Brodie Van Wagenen and his group are still pursuing Realmuto, and still listening on Syndergaard the right situation.

The loose parameters of these particular discussions would send Syndergaard to San Diego, Realmuto to New York, and Padres prospects to Miami. It's premature to say that a particular offer is on the table, but discussions are active, per sources.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Andy Martino
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Jun 24, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Jun 24, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Mets bringing back Jeurys Familia on a three-year, $30 million deal feels at first like a sidestep, as opposed to an upgrade.

The reality is that he's a known commodity coming off five-consecutive successful seasons, and he's a veteran reliever with experience pitching in high-leverage situations under the bright lights and pressure of New York City.

The thing is, the above credentials may not be where he provides the most value to the Mets.

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) throws to first for an out against Boston Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt (not pictured) in the second inning in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)
Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) throws to first for an out against Boston Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt (not pictured) in the second inning in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)

The MLB Winter Meetings conclude Thursday afternoon following the annual Rule 5 Draft.

The signing of free agent Jeurys Familia has been the only significant acquisition made by the Mets this week, despite being consistently linked in rumor to the following pursuits...

Adding an everyday catcher

 

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Familia is back, what's next? 00:01:30
New York Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen discusses Jeurys Familia, and his plans for the bullpen and the outfield following the Winter Meetings

The Mets might not be done adding high-end relievers after their reunion with Jeurys Familia, who is back on a three-year deal worth $30 million. 

And while Familia isn't a bright and shiny new toy, his signing is a damn good one. And it will remain a damn good one regardless of the moves the team makes from here.

Here are three reasons why...

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets selected RHP Kyle Dowdy from the Indians in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning at the Winter Meetings.

Dowdy, 25, had a 5.15 ERA and 1.48 WHIP with 120 strikeouts in 124.0 innings in Double-A and Triple-A in 2018.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Dowdy made "huge strides" in 2018 and has a "four-pitch repertoire that includes a 98 mph fastball," with Van Wagenen adding that Dowdy could be an option for the bullpen or as insurance for the rotation...

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Jeurys Familia returns to Mets 00:02:29
SNY's Steve Gelbs and Andy Martino discuss the Mets signing Jeurys Familia, and whether or not more bullpen help is on the way.

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | TwitterAfter their reunion with free agent Jeurys Familia, the Mets might not be done adding high-end relievers to their bullpen.

With Edwin Diaz and Familia now on board to create a formidable 1-2 punch at the back-end of the pen, SNY's Andy Martino said early Thursday morning that his belief is that Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen came into the offseason seeking "three bullpen pieces."

Now that Van Wagenen has two of those three pieces, the question is where he'll turn next...

Tags: David Robertson, Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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Will Mets deal any aces? 00:00:48
New York Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen weighs in on his strategy this winter meetings and the difficulty of trading Noah Syndergaard.

Though Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen is fielding calls for a handful of his top players, he admitted on Wednesday it's going to be "very difficult" to trade an ace like Noah Syndergaard

After New York acquired elite closer Edwin Diaz and eight-time All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano from Seattle, Van Wagenen made it very clear that the Mets are going all in for the World Series championship next season. As far as conversations at the Winter Meetings go, he envisions holding that trophy with help from his current, star-studded rotation. 

"We're going into this marketplace assuming that both [Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom], as well as Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler, are on our team," Van Wagenen said.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Allard Baird joins Hot Stove 00:01:20
New York Mets Asst. GM Allard Baird divulges why he believes in Brodie Van Wagenen and how he'll approach player development.

New Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has certainly drummed up plenty of buzz about his team this offseason and most recently during MLB's Winter Meetings.

After trading for Mariners' Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, Van Wagenen has made headlines by aggressively pursuing Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto and even willing to do the unprecedented -- bring the Yankees in as a third team in order to get what he wants.

Allard Baird, the Mets' new vice president and assistant GM of scouting and player development, has certainly been impressed by the agent-turned-GM and he said it should not come as much of a surprise, either.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets have made RHP Noah Syndergaard available, though they have said it would take a special package to move him.

Shortly after that, he was involved in talks about a potential three-way trade that would've had him moving to the Bronx. And while those initial talks died, they may start again. All of this is making fans' heads spin, but Syndergaard is simply choosing to not believe it all. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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May 16, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) grimaces after catching a ball in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 16, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) grimaces after catching a ball in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets are "shopping around" Juan Lagares for a potential trade, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

The 29-year-old Lagares, who is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League, had his 2018 season end in mid-May after toe surgery.

He has one year and $9 million left on his deal, along with a $9.5 million option for 2020 that can be bought out for $500,000. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto
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It's the third day of the Winter Meetings and it feels like something could happen at any minute. Doug Williams, Andy Martino and John Harper talk J.T. Realmuto and trade scenarios...

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Sep 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder Adam Jones (10) runs off the field during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Sep 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder Adam Jones (10) runs off the field during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The Mets have spoken with free agent OF Adam Jones at the Winter Meetings, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post.

The 33-year-old Jones hit .281/.313/.419 with 15 homers in 145 games for the Orioles in 2018 as his slugging percentage dropped to the lowest it has been since 2008, during what was his first full year in the majors. Meanwhile, Jones' defense in center field continued to decline in 2018, with him worth -18 DRS in 906.2 innings in center field and -6 DRS in 272.2 innings in right field.

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | TwitterWith Jones in decline on both sides of the ball, and the Mets preferring to keep Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo in corner outfield spots, it's hard to see Jones as a good fit...

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Sep 25, 2018; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Freddy Galvis (13) fields the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Sep 25, 2018; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Freddy Galvis (13) fields the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

A Mets trade involving Amed Rosario is far from certain, but names of his potential replacement at shortstop have begun to emerge during this week's Winter Meetings.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has been in touch with the representatives for free agents Alcides EscobarAdeiny Hechavarria and Freddy Galvis, with Galvis being the team's top choice among the trio, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The Yankees have also been in touch with Galvis' camp, reported Sherman.

Tags: Amed Rosario
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Noah Syndergaard and J.A. Happ (SNY Illustration)
Noah Syndergaard and J.A. Happ (SNY Illustration)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

LAS VEGAS - In their search for rotation help, the Yankees continue to pursue both J.A. Happ and Mets pitchers, according to major league sources.

The team has what they consider a strong offer out to Happ, and hope he accepts it. So far, Happ has held strong on his desire for three guaranteed years. The Yankees have been reluctant to go there for a 36-year-old pitcher. Still, there is strong mutual interest.

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Sep 18, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) singles in a run in the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Sep 18, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) singles in a run in the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The MLB Winter Meetings are underway in Las Vegas and conclude Thursday morning after the Rule 5 Draft.

The Mets are in the market for an everyday catcher and center fielder and possibly one or two more additions to the bullpen.

Here are the latest rumors from each of the above markets, followed by my own insight and analysis...

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