It was five years ago tonight that Matt Harvey got the start for the National League as the All-Star Game was played at Citi Field.

The day before, then-prospect Noah Syndergaard represented the Mets and was the starting pitcher for Team USA during MLB's Futures Game. As expected, Syndergaard looked poised and aggressive on the mound, throwing one scoreless inning.

Brandon Nimmo, who started on the bench for Team USA, went hitless during two at-bats.

Later that night, a vibrant, 30-year-old David Wright stood at home plate taking part in MLB's Home Run Derby. He entered the day having already played 90 games that season, while hitting .304 with a .396 OBP, 13 HR, 44 RBI and 21 doubles, 24 hours before playing in his seventh All Star Game in eight years.

"It was awesome," Wright told reporters after the Derby. "It really, really was awesome. It's what I remember the playoff atmosphere being like in 2006. ... It was really, really special."


July, 2013: HR Derby at Citi Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone)


In attendance, I recall literally feeling a jolt from the ovation Wright received from fans when he stepped in to the box. It was an incredible moment. However, for me, the best part of the night was hearing tens of thousands of Mets fans, cheering with a purpose at Citi Field.

The only time prior had been Johan Santana's no-hitter, which was also organic. It wasn't forced. It wasn't a call to action from the public address system. It was just lots and lots of Mets fans on a hot summer night, standing arm to arm, packed in to their favorite ballpark, rooting for their team's Captain and for everything he meant to the team. It was great.

Wright ended up hitting just five home runs and did not get out of the first round. However, then-A's outfielder Yoenis Céspedes hit 32 total home runs to win the event, despite not being selected to be on that year's American League All-Star team.


July, 2013: Andrew Vazzano takes a picture with his phone of David Wright during the HR Derby at Citi Field. Credit: Matthew Cerrone


It would be roughly two years later that Cespedes ended up being traded to the Mets, with whom he hit 19 home runs in 71 games in 2015 leading the Mets to their first World Series appearance in 15 years.

Meanwhile, Wright ended 2013 as arguably the best third baseman in baseball, despite hitting just four more home runs and missing 45 games with a hamstring injury during the second half of that season.

Sadly, 2013 was likely his last great season, which he ended with 5.6 WAR. He struggled through 134 games in 2014, ending his season early to have shoulder surgery. He returned in late 2015 and helped the Mets reach the World Series, but played in just 37 games the following season before it was announced he had been battling lumbar spinal stenosis. It was the last time he took the field for the Mets.

Wright is under contract through 2020, during which he'll earn $15 million next year and just $12 million in the final year of his deal. Wright recently ramped up his level of baseball activity and told reporters he is working hard to be able to play again later this season...

"When it's all said and done, I want me to be able to say I did everything I could," he explained in March, when asked why he is still fighting to play instead of retiring. "If it works, that's obviously the goal; and if it doesn't work, then I'll rest easy knowing that I gave it my best shot."



The day after the Derby belonged to Matt Harvey, who was the starting pitcher for the National League.

It's easy when thinking of Harvey to think of a fallen star, someone with big dreams, but bigger injuries. However, go back in time five years and Harvey was the most exciting, promising young pitcher in baseball, captivating the entire league, not just New York City...

"Matt Harvey has that ability, most everyone I talked with told me," I wrote moments before his All Star Game appearance. "They say Harvey can change the Mets, not just on field, but off the field."


July, 2013: On field before All Star Game at Citi Field. Credit: Matthew Cerrone


If you recall, those days, Harvey had no fear. He carried himself with an ego and swagger and a glare in his eye. He was serious about success and winning and never backing down, all of which fans and media, myself included, felt would inspire the Mets to change their identity and style of play.

"The question is, 'How will he handle it all in New York?'" former Mets manager Davey Johnson asked me, rhetorically, when wondering about Harvey's popularity and charisma compared to Gooden's fame and downfall roughly 30 years earlier. "It looks like he may have his head on right. If he keeps it even keel, I think he can be alright."

In the hours prior to the All-Star Game, Citi Field was humming like I'd never seen during a professional sporting event -- and most of the attention surrounded Harvey.


July, 2013: Matt Harvey enters dugout before All Star Game at Citi Field. Credit: Matthew Cerrone


The World Series in 2015 didn't come close to the level media and frenzy that had been playing out on field five years ago today. Unlike the World Series, which has local media from two cities and a ton of national media, the All Star Game has the same level national media, plus local media from all 30 teams.

Put it this way... whereas I could easily walk around the infield -- dugout to dugout -- before games during the 2015 postseason, there was literally gridlock during the All-Star Game.

"It's is a huge honor," Harvey said before throwing the game's first pitch. "It's obviously very special that it's here in New York and my first All-Star game. I don't think it could be any more perfect."

I was able to shimmy my way down from the Shea Bridge to the spot just over the home team bullpen where Harvey was warming up during the team introductions. I hoped to get the perfect photo from above of him emerging to take the mound, but he jogged out early to throw pitches from center field in time for his name to be announced.

Nationals OF Bryce Harper hit ninth and, despite playing for the National League, was heavily booed by New York fans scattered around the ballpark. Those boos instantly turned to roaring cheers when the monitors switched to showing Harvey on the outfield grass, casually throwing to his catcher. I assume the announcer said, 'Pitching for the National League, Matt Harvey,' but there was no way of hearing him. The crowd was that loud and pumped up to see their golden boy represent us and the Mets standing center stage in front of all of baseball...

In the end, Harvey pitched two innings, faced eight batters and did not allow a run. His three strikeouts were the most for a Mets starting pitcher in an All-Star Game since Sid Fernandez in 1986.

Harvey was quoted in Men's Journal a few days later as saying he hoped to one day sign a $200 million contract, while owning the best apartment in New York City, appearing on everyone's best dressed list, and quietly dating famous women.


July, 2013: Matt Harvey signs autographs before All Star Game at Citi Field. Credit: Matthew Cerrone


The day the Men's Journal article was published, I wrote: "Harvey needs to know that the minute he stumbles, the week he has back-to-back bad starts, everyone is going to point to the models, the late nights, the vodka and waters, the photo shoots and the life he is talking about in these interviews. ... There's a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning, and I hope Harvey walks it well."

In less than two months, Harvey would have his season shut down after being diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. He chose to have Tommy John surgery in October, missed all of 2014. In 2015, after months of debating how many innings he should be allowed to throw, Harvey went above and beyond expectations and returned to pitching heroically as the Mets won the NL East and advanced to the World Series.

However, his 2016 again ended early when it was announced he needed to have a rib removed in an effort to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, during which he could not feel his fingers and questioned whether he'd ever again throw a baseball.

He struggled during most of 2017 and early 2018, leading to him being designated for assignment by the Mets just five months before finally becoming a free agent.


Apr 25, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) shakes hands with starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) after defeating the New York Yankees in an interleague game at Yankee Stadium. The Mets defeated the Yankees 8 - 2. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports ( Adam Hunger)


"I really like Matt," Alderson said, after announcing Harvey's fate. "He's a human being. And as I said before, he's a vulnerable human being. .. and I'm gonna miss him, in many ways."

Harvey was eventually traded to the Reds for C Devin Mesoraco.

"I love Harvey, I love him like a son, Harvey's former Mets manager, Terry Collins, told The Hartford Courant earlier this summer. "We went through a lot of wars. I saw a guy, when he got to the big leagues, within two seasons he made himself one of the top three pitchers in all of baseball. So, what happened the last few years, injury-wise and how it affected him, was really tough to see and go through for him."

"I told him last year, 'Matt, your only problem is you set the bar so high, you expect so much of yourself that anything besides that is not going to be good enough in your eyes,'" Collins continued. "I just hope he bounces back. … I wish him the best."

I also wish him the best. And I'm thankful I got to experience the buzz he created five years ago tonight.


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!


Tags: David Wright, Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone

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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The Mets have 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. 13, 1:50 PM: 

The Mets' current talks with the Marlins for only Realmuto revolve around either Brandon Nimmo or Michael Conforto as the centerpiece of a deal -- not Amed Rosario, with the Marlins also interested in Mets prospects Andres Gimenez, Ronny Mauricio, and Mark Vientos, reports Tim Healey of Newsday...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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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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Yasiel Puig (Robert Hanashiro)
Yasiel Puig (Robert Hanashiro)

After conflicting reports earlier this week, it appears Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is for sale. 

The Dodgers are actively trying to trade Puig and Matt Kemp, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

SNY's Andy Martino reports the Mets are not in on Puig, though. 

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Mets manager Mickey Callaway said on SNY Tuesday night that he wants as many relief pitchers as possible, so it should come as no surprise that they are also in on Adam Ottavino. 

Per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Mets and Red Sox have shown continued interest in the hard-throwing free agent right-hander.

Ottavino is also high on the Yankees' wish list, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. 

Tags: Andrew Miller, David Robertson
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Could deGrom get an extension? 00:01:30
New York Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen discusses Jeff Wilpon making initial contact with Jacob deGrom's new representation.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen touched on a bunch of topics during his talk with reporters on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. Here are the takeaways...

The Mets had meeting Tuesday afternoon about adding a right-handed hitting outfielder

Van Wagenen would not say who the meeting was with, but the Mets -- as he noted last week -- have interest in free agent center fielder A.J. Pollock. A potential outfield target came off the board earlier Tuesday when the Phillies signed Andrew McCutchen to a three-year deal. 

Tags: David Wright, Danny Abriano
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Aug 13, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) hits a solo home run against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 13, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) hits a solo home run against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Amed Rosario's name has come up as a player the Mets could potentially trade to the Marlins for J.T. Realmuto, and Rosario -- who beileves he won't be traded -- wants to stay.

"I'm very happy about the comments that have come out about me not being traded," Rosario said through an interpreter at an event on Tuesday, according to Newsday. "I definitely feel like I'm part of the Mets family and that I'm staying here.

As the Mets remain engaged with the Marlins on a potential deal for Realmuto, they are reluctant to trade Rosario, but not as reluctant as they say publicly, according to SNY's Andy Martino.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Danny Abriano
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Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets had a preliminary meeting with the representatives for Jacob deGrom on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, per SNY's Andy Martino.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen later told SNY's Steve Gelbs that the meeting with deGrom's reps on Tuesday was preliminary and that he views deGrom as a big part of the Mets "now and in the future."

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, who arrived in Las Vegas on Monday, said last week that the Mets would be offering deGrom a long-term extension -- the first definitive comments anyone with the Mets has made about the plan for deGrom's future with the team. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Mets should sign Yasmani Grandal 00:01:16
The New York Mets need a power hitting catcher and Yasmani Grandal would be a good fit via free agency instead of trading for J.T. Realmuto.

Las Vegas - The Mets remain interested in Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, but are prepared to pivot to a strong pursuit of free agent Yasmani Grandal, according to major league sources.

As trade talks continue for Realmuto -- some with a third team involved, including the Yankees, the Mets still like Grandal as an alternative.

The Mets also remain very interested in fee agent reliever Andrew Miller.

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Callaway talks infield makeup 00:00:57
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway discusses how Jeff McNeil will be utilized in 2019 and Amed Rosario?s development at the plate.

Mickey Callaway was asked Tuesday at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas if Jeff McNeil could potentially push Todd Frazier to become the starter at third base entering the season, His answer was succinct. 

"Frazier is our starter at third base right now," Callaway told reporters. "As we stand here today, Todd Frazier is going to be standing at third base."

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Callaway could be echoing the sentiments of Brodie Van Wagenen and the front office when it comes to the plan for McNeil in 2019 or he could be saying the above on his own. But if McNeil proves himself to be a better option than Frazier to start at third base, the conventional wisdom has to be that he'll supplant him....

Tags: Todd Frazier, Danny Abriano
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May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) hits an RBI single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) hits an RBI single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets are reluctant to trade Amed Rosario, but not as reluctant as they say publicly, according to SNY's Andy Martino, who says the Mets remain aggressive in their pursuit of Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto

According to FanCred's Jon Heyman, the Mets are debating whether to include Rosario or Noah Syndergaard in a potential deal for Realmuto.

Martino reported Monday night that a three-team deal that would send Syndergaard to the Yankees was a "real possibility." Such a deal could include Realmuto landing with the Mets, but Martino noted that the three-way trade with the Mets and Yankees was one of many scenarios. As of Monday afternoon, the three-team trade talks involving Syndergaard and the Yankees were not progressing, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com...

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The good news is that, based on the number of hot stove rumors surrounding the Mets, it's clear GM Brodie Van Wagenen is interested in making big moves.

The bad news is that, based on the number of hot stove rumors surrounding the Mets, if he doesn't make a big move, fans, reporters, other teams and players will see him as all talk and no action...

"I'll admit, I was one of the many people who were skeptical about him going from agent to GM," a rival assistant GM told me Tuesday. However, he continued, "I've never seen anyone change perception and increase his profile so much and as so fast as Brodie has done during the past few weeks."

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It's the second day of the Winter Meetings and there's a lot of speculation out there. Doug Williams, Andy Martino and John Harper separate fact from fiction. Highlights include Mets-Yankees trade talks and the latest on Noah Syndergaard.

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Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Andrew McCutchen (26) hits a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)
Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Andrew McCutchen (26) hits a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)

Free agent OF Andrew McCutchen has agreed to a three-year deal with the Phillies, according to multiple reports.

The deal will be worth $50 million.

While the Phillies have added an outfielder, it is not expected to take them out of the running for free agent Bryce Harper, who is visiting with teams this week along with agent Scott Boras near the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Sep 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) tips his cap to the crowd after a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) tips his cap to the crowd after a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has invited David Wright to the Winter Meetings, where he is participating in things such as roster discussions, reports SNY's Andy Martino. 

Martino, who reported in September that Wright could be a prominent member of the Mets' front office in 2019, noted that Wright does not have an official front office title at this time.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said last week that the team was currently working on a potential injury settlement with Wright.

Tags: David Wright
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Will we see future NY deals? 00:01:13
New York Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen and New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman are already displaying much more chemistry than previous regimes.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

LAS VEGAS - Monday night at the winter meetings brought a frenzied rush for information, and the reader at home was left to sift through multiple reports, adrenaline pumping, trying to piece it all together.

So we thought it would be useful to gather everything we know so far in one place. The major story, as of this moment, is that the Mets and Yankees have been in serious trade talk about Noah Syndergaard and other pitchers. Late Monday we reported that the Yanks were "pushing hard" to get a deal done with the Mets.

From the Mets perspective, they considered a trade with the Yankees a real possibility, but one of several options.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Andy Martino
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Sep 25, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 25, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mets fans don't want to trade Noah Syndergaard -- I get it. 

But are you telling me you wouldn't deal him for J.T. Realmuto and Miguel Andujar, with the understanding that Brodie Van Wagenen would then sign another starting pitcher?

Come on, you can't love the long blond hair that much.

Tags: Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, John Harper
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Noah Syndergaard (34) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Noah Syndergaard (34) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Mets badly want J.T. Realmuto, so much so that they have had three-way talks with the Yankees and Marlins on a potential deal that would land Realmuto with the Mets and Noah Syndergaard with the Yankees.

SNY's Andy Martino reported late Monday from the Winter Meetings that Syndergaard to the Yankees is one of many scenarios in play for the Mets, and added that the Yankees' interest in the Mets' pitching is not limited to Syndergaard.

While adding Realmuto would be huge for the Mets, they should absolutely not do it at the expense of Syndergaard -- unless another major piece is coming back to them in return. And by major, we mean an impact piece...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Sep 7, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) throws to first base to retire Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Chris Archer (not pictured) during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Sep 7, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) throws to first base to retire Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Chris Archer (not pictured) during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The MLB Winter Meetings officially are underway through Thursday in Las Vegas.

Here are the latest headlines and rumblings from each of the above markets, followed by my own insight and anaylsis.

Van Wagenen's pursuit of J.T. Realmuto...

The Mets are considered one of only three teams still in the mix to trade for Marlins C J.T. Realmuto, according to MLB.com's veteran Miami reporter Joe Frisaro.

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Syndergaard to the Yankees? 00:01:29
SNY MLB insider Andy Martino discloses the Mets, Yankees and Marlins have been in talks to send J.T. Realmuto, Noah Syndergaard on the move.

The Mets, Yankees and Marlins are discussing a potential three-team deal that could involve RHP Noah Syndergaard going to the Yankees and catcher J.T. Realmuto going to the Mets, according to multiple reports.

There is a "real possibility," SNY.tv's Andy Martino reports, that Syndergaard joins the Yankees in a blockbuster trade, however the Mets are also considering "10 other scenarios," according to Martino.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said earlier this offseason it would take "very special circumstances" to "even consider" trading Syndergaard, the dominant Mets starter who went 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 25 starts last season.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson looks back at the dugout after giving up a solo home run to Cleveland Indians’ Jay Bruce in the eighth inning of Game 2 of baseball's American League Division Series, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)
New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson looks back at the dugout after giving up a solo home run to Cleveland Indians’ Jay Bruce in the eighth inning of Game 2 of baseball's American League Division Series, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)

If Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen is serious about signing former Yankees reliever David Robertson, he may find himself in a bidding war with the World Series champs.

With closer Craig Kimbrel seeking a mega-deal and reliever Joe Kelly also a free agent, the Red Sox are strongly considering adding Robertson to their bullpen, according to the New York Post.

"They are heavy on him," a source with knowledge of Boston's free-agent plans said of Robertson, the Post reported.

Tags: David Robertson, Boston Red Sox
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Van Wagenen talks Mets' needs 00:01:08
New York Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen discusses the J.T. Realmuto market beginning to heat up but the Mets won't sell the farm to get him.

The Marlins want two major league pieces (at least) in exchange for catcher J.T. Realmuto. And while the Mets remain engaged with the Marlins on a potential trade, GM Brodie Van Wagenen doesn't seem like he's willing to budge on Amed Rosario

Asked specifically about how willing he is to deal Rosario, Van Wagenen was blunt:

"I think the way I look at any trade is that we want the trade to make us better," Van Wagenen said Monday at the Winter Meetings. "We don't want to create a hole that we didn't have by filling a hole that we did have, right? So we want to make sure that if we do make moves that we're adding to our strengths and filling the gaps where we needed the help. But we're not gonna create a hole by filling another."

Tags: Amed Rosario, Danny Abriano
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Sep 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos (40) walks to the plate to bat during the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos (40) walks to the plate to bat during the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets had a meeting with free agent C Wilson Ramos on Monday, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Ramos, 31, could be a fallback option at catcher -- along with Yasmani Grandal or Martin Maldonado -- if the Mets aren't able to trade for Marlins C J.T. Realmuto, SNY's Andy Martino reported earlier Monday

Ramos is one of the better offensive catchers in baseball, but his defense leaves a bit to be desired.

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Gelbs talks to Peter Alonso 00:02:03
Steve Gelbs catches up with Peter Alonso from the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. Catch the full interview on Hot Stove at 10:30 PM E.T.

Mets first base prospect Peter Alonso, who will be with the team during spring training and could get the nod at first base on Opening Day, says he has improved his defense "tremendously." And he's out to "prove people wrong." 

"Every time I see something online, every time someone knocks me, it's like 'oh, he's not good at defense.' I've really shown that -- since July, I don't think I've made an error since last June," Alonso told SNY's Steve Gelbs on Monday at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. "That's July, August, September, and throughout the (Arizona) Fall League. I've gotten tremendously better. I'm really proud of myself. I'm just trying to keep it snowballing so I can prove people wrong and so I can be happy and play the game I love."

Alonso agreed that when people question his defense it becomes a motivating factor.

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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 Mets are serious about trading for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to SNY's Andy Martino. If they miss out on him, though, the team has a few Plan B's.

That pivot would be to free agents such as Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos, and Martin Maldonado, Martino noted on Monday. 

With the Marlins' asking price for Realmuto being astronomical, though it has reportedly come down a bit, the Mets going after one of the free agent catchers might make more sense.

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It's the first day of the Winter Meetings and there hasn't been much noise from Las Vegas. Doug Williams, Andy Martino and John Harper break down early reports and questions from fans. Highlights include J.T. Realmuto, Brodie Van Wagenen, and Andrew Miller talk.

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN...

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