Mets C Travis D'Arnaud had Tommy John surgery this past April, which means the starting catcher job for 2019 is wide open.

D'Arnaud, who will be 30 years old in February, is expected to be out through the first few months of next season. He's also eligible for arbitration this winter and could end up earning as much as $4 million next season, after which he can be a free agent for the first time in his career.

My hunch is the Mets will cut d'Arnaud loose and use the saved money to hopefully help acquire a more productive, proven, everyday starting catcher. Even if cut, I expect d'Arnaud will sign a lesser deal to remain with the Mets, with whom he can continue his rehab with trainers he knows in St. Lucie.

In either case, after spending each of the last few winters writing endlessly about whether d'Arnaud would be the answer at catcher for the Mets, we officially know he is not.

Following d'Arnaud's surgery, the Mets explored the trade market to bring in someone new, specifically circling back with the Marlins about J.T. Realmuto, who Sandy Alderson was interested in acquiring the previous winter.



Instead, with back-up catcher Kevin Plawecki also on the DL, Alderson pushed his luck with rookie Tomas Nido and veteran Jose Lobaton, both of whom would have otherwise never been promoted.

The decision may have cost the team their season, frankly. In addition to hitting a combined .157, Nido and Lobaton also seemingly had a major impact on the pitching staff's poor performance in April, during which the they went 7-8 with a 4.80 ERA to end the month after starting 10-1 with a 2.91 ERA under d'Arnaud and Plawecki.

"I don't think there's any connection at all," former Mets 1B Keith Hernandez said at the time.

However, the trend continued, as the staff went 8-16 with a 4.58 ERA through most of May. And, once Plawecki returned from the DL, the staff returned to form by lowering their ERA by a full run.

Plawecki is an interesting case because nearly every successful catcher in history didn't blossom until their late 20s and having at least one or two seasons under their belt as a team's starting catcher.

In 2016, talking specifically about d'Arnaud, Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza told me that to be a successful hitter as a catcher you must first establish a routine and consistent relationship with the pitching staff.

"It can be difficult for a young catcher to know how to manage everything on his plate," Piazza explained. "He has so many new and different things being thrown at him each spring, he doesn't have a lot of time to focus on his own game."


Feb. 2016: Mike Piazza at Mets camp in St. Lucie. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY


By comparison, Piazza said, other position players typically spend all of spring training focusing on their own needs, such as their batting stance, their fielding and their health and conditioning. On the other hand, the catcher has to re-learn everyone on his pitching staff, work on game-calling, do oppositional research with the pitching coach, and perform countless other unique tasks.

This is why, based on Piazza's point of view, it often takes a young catcher several spring trainings before the above becomes routine and automatic and a point of confidence, only after which can he put the needed time and energy in to improving his own game.

"I had a staff that would kick my butt if I went out there after I grounded into a double play and I wasn't focused on calling the game," Piazza said when talking about game preparation.

The point is, at 27 years old, having spent most of this past season as the team's starting catcher with a group of starting pitchers that he's known for years, maybe 2019 is the season Plawecki will blossom into the catcher the Mets always hoped he could be...

Remember, labeled by scouts as an "offensive catcher," Plawecki was considered the second-best catching prospect in baseball as recently as four years ago, according to more or less every every published top prospect list at the time. In fact, he was gaining so much hype in Triple-A that Sandy Alderson and his front office were reportedly considering dealing d'Arnaud the following winter.



In the 72 games played in 2018 after he returned from the DL, Plawecki produced at a rate likely to net him 1.0 WAR over the course of a full season, which this past year would had him middle of the pack among starting catchers in the National League. If he is primed for a breakout season, his next stop will be to become a Buster Posey, Salvador Perez-like, roughly 2.0 WAR-level backstop, but that feels very unlikely for him even if he can elevate his game.

The point is, coupled with having average skills behind the plate, I'm more than fine having him be a 1.0 WAR catcher that the staff likes to throw to so long as the rest of the lineup is improved. Otherwise, if the Mets make no other significant additions to the roster, catcher will continue to be an issue.

Along those lines and as noted above, the Mets (among other teams) have talked multiple times with the Marlins during the past year about the potential of trading for Realmuto, who is is arbitration-eligible the next two years and able to be a free agent after the 2020 season.



Similarly, the Royals reportedly talked to multiple teams during the past year about trading catcher Salvador Perez, whose 1.7 WAR were mostly the result of his terrific fielding and 27 home runs. Perez will soon be 29 years old and is due $40 million the next three seasons, which means he will likely cost less in trade to acquire than Realmuto, who is younger, less costly and twice as productive.

The best every day, free agent options this winter will be Wilson Ramos and Yasmani Grandal.

Ramos, who will be 31 years old next year, could be the better fit of the two if for no other reason than he has eight years of experience calling games in the NL East. Unfortunately, like d'Arnaud, Ramos is no stranger to injury. He has recently dealt with a chronic hamstring issue, as well as on-and-off knee pain.

According to the New York Post, team sources said the Mets engaged the Rays in trade talks this past summer, but instead dealt Matt Harvey to the Reds for Devin Mesoraco.

Ramos started hot and made the All-Star team with the Rays to start this past season. He was eventually dealt to the Phillies, with whom he hit .337 with a .396 OBP and .483 SLG in 33 games. Overall, he hit .306 with 15 HR in 111 games between the Rays and Phillies, while also drawing on-record compliments from his pitchers about his framing, game-calling and command behind the plate.

"Every time I am behind the plate, I try to help my guys on the mound," he said when in New York in September. "I love when we put zeroes on the scoreboard. That is my priority."



MLB insiders feel Ramos is worthy of a two-to-four year deal paying him $8-12 million per season. Of course, he's just two years removed from rejecting a seven-year deal to stay with the Nationals.

The other intriguing trade candidate will be Rangers C Robinson Chirinoswho is expendable, productive and earning just $2.3 million next season before becoming a free agent. The concern is that he'll be 34 years old, he strikes out a ton and, despite 12 years as a professional, has never played in the National League.

If the Mets don't sign Ramos or Grandal, or trade for Realmuto or possibly Perez or Chirinos, the Mets may as well go with Plawecki, because the other available options and in-house candidates are all somewhat similar. 

In the end, though, I'd like to see an upgrade at catcher more than any other position. I hate to ignore Plawecki, who I like very much, but at this point I'd prefer he remain the backup to a more commanding, more experienced catcher -- even if it means trading prospects or giving a long-term contract to make it happen.

The starting rotation in Queens is too talented and too important to the team's success for their catcher to be anything other than the same...


Six Mets Offseason Questions: Who should be the third baseman in 2019? >> READ MORE


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: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hagy)
Sep 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hagy)

It's unclear how big a contract the Giants will or have offered to free agent Bryce Harper, but there is a continued sense Wednesday that they have a shot at signing him, with the Phillies having a tough road to get it done, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Martino reported Tuesday after Manny Machado landed with the Padres that Harper to the Phillies was not a sure thing.

"Although their pursuit of him is serious, word around Harper is that he remains unsure if he wants to play in Philadelphia," Martino reported, adding that the Phillies must convince him to sign there if they want to "save face."

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Brodie Van Wagenen (Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Brodie Van Wagenen (Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

It's not that Tim Tebow is a local legend and brings with him an enormous crowd that make his autograph sensations so unique. Mike Piazza drew similar crowds, as did David Wright.

The difference between Piazza and Wright and Tebow is that, when any fan is lucky enough to be chosen by Tebow and gets their item signed, the fan immediately turns around and is visibly giddy. 

In the case of Wright or Piazza, obviously fans were pumped to get the autograph, but they'd remain focused looking to see if there was another player coming down the line. In the case of Tebow, the selected glow, become frozen and childlike, looking as if they don't know what to do next...

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Steven Matz, Tim Tebow, Matthew Cerrone
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No surprises here. 

MLB Pipeline released a new list of the Mets' top 30 prospects ahead of the 2019 season, and the first two names should come as little surprise for Mets fans. They've been hearing plenty about Peter Alonso and Andres Gimenez over the last few months, so it makes sense the duo are the first- and second-ranked prospects in the system, respectively. 

Alonso is closer to the Major Leagues than Gimenez, who finished last season with Double-A Binghamton. Alonso is currently competing for a spot on the Opening Day roster, but the expectation is that he will begin the season in the Minors until the Super-2 deadline passes, which would give the Mets an extra year of control over the University of Florida product. 

Tags: Peter Alonso
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Best of Mets Hot Stove 00:02:21
Mets Hot Stove had some marquee guests with Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz and Wilson Ramos. Watch the best of their interviews.

Wilson Ramos, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard and Seth Lugo all stop by Mets Hot Stove to talk baseball and expectations for the 2019 season with SNY's Gary Apple.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos
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Mickey Callaway mic'd up 00:00:56
Mickey Callaway is mic'd up at Mets Spring Training. Hear what he has to say to Edwin Diaz after a bullpen session and about Mets fans.

The Mets are out in full force down in Port St. Lucie for another year of Spring Training. As usual, fans flocked to the team's facility down in sunny Florida to see their Mets in action -- up close and personal.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway absolutely loves it.

SNY was able to mic up Callaway during one of the team's sessions, and he confessed his appreciation for how loyal Mets fans are as he enters his second season leading the squad. He also checks out his new closer Edwin Diaz put some work in out in the bullpen...

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Last spring, Jose Reyes (at 34 years old) and Amed Rosario (at 22 years old) looked and behaved like brothers. When Reyes laughed at a joke, Rosario laughed at the joke. Where Jose stretched, Amed stretched. If Jose was at shortstop, Rosario was at shortstop. It all made sense. They had similar builds, similar energy, similar stories and similar expectations when entering the big leagues.

The two openly discussed talking and texting during off seasons with Reyes essentially playing the role of life coach, which is a major reason why advisors pushed Sandy Alderson to keep him around most of last season.

This time last year, Reyes, Rosario, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes were inseparable, with Amed looking like the young pup pushing to be in the with the big dogs. That was then, though. This is now...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Matthew Cerrone
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What Machado deal means for Mets 00:00:51
Manny Machado agreed to a 10-year, $300 Million to play for the Padres but what does this deal mean for the Mets going forward?

SNY's Andy Martino and Todd Zeile analyze the Manny Machado deal from a Mets perspective and explain why this is good news for them. 

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Sep 28, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (34) bats in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)
Sep 28, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (34) bats in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)

Now that Manny Machado has agreed to sign a megadeal with the Padres, the Phillies have lost out on their first choice as they aim to spend "stupid money." Their second choice is Bryce Harper, but landing him isn't a sure thing.

"Although their pursuit of him is serious, word around Harper is that he remains unsure if he wants to play in Philadelphia," reports SNY's Andy Martino, who says the Phillies must convince him to sign there if they want to "save face."

Martino adds that Harper's inconsistency and defensive decline has scared off many suitors, including the Yankees...

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Alonso talks with Steve Gelbs 00:01:37
New York Mets prospect Peter Alonso shares why he wanted to face reigning CY Young winner Jacob deGrom in a live BP session

Mets prospect Peter Alonso faced Jacob deGrom during live batting practice earlier this week. And while he didn't make any hard contact (Alonso told SNY's Steve Gelbs the ball still looks like a grain of rice to him), he enjoyed the challenge.

"If I want to be on time and ready to go, why not face the Cy Young winner?"

Alonso, who is spending his second year at Mets camp, said his taste of camp in 2018 was "invaluable," and just wants "to be a sponge" while learning from the veterans...

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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 first 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 first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees' Luis Severino took a bit of a jab at Mets ace Jacob deGrom on Sunday over deGrom's potential self-imposed innings restriction if he doesn't get an extension by Opening Day. On Monday, Severino claimed he "wasn't saying anything" about deGrom's situation after he clearly did just that. 

On Tuesday, deGrom responded.

"Everybody is entitled to their own opinions," deGrom told Matt Ehalt of NJ.com. "...the business side of the game is why you have agents. ... they're looking out for my best interest and advising me."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino, Danny Abriano
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First Data Field (SNY)
First Data Field (SNY)

The Mets and St. Lucie (Florida) County reached an agreement Tuesday to renovate First Data Field, where the Mets spend spring training, and keep the team there until 2042, according to the TC Palm's Keona Gardner.

Amid a report last week that indicated the Mets could have "blown up" their stadium renovation deal, the two sides were to bring forth a contract to county commissioners on Tuesday that outlines the renovation project, according to Gardner.

"We're pleased with today's outcome," the Mets said in a statement. "Thanks to the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners and the county legal team that worked with our team over the holiday. We are thankful for the continued support of our fans and the local businesses."

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Mets target 2019 post-season 00:01:13
Mickey Callaway and Todd Frazier comment on Callaway's forceful spring training speech to the team and their playoff aspirations

Mets manager Mickey Callaway told players and coaches to stand up if they have ever been to the playoffs.

"It was more than none," third baseman Todd Frazier said with a smile.

Callaway, entering his second season leading the Mets, has a mission for his club to make the playoffs in 2019 after a disappointing 77-85 season. And Frazier is among those who believe in the team.

"I think that was exciting to see and I think everybody's getting that itch to get back in the playoffs," Frazier said on Monday.

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Busy day for Robinson Cano 00:00:48
Watch a sizzle of the best moments of Robinson Cano's first official day at Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie

It's the same, but different every year at Mets camp. Same uniforms. Same fields. Same drills. Same sun, fans and heat. However, protocol and the general vibe in camp often changes from year to year.

For instance, under Willie Randolph, camp was very serious, disciplined and focused on business and professionalism. The Terry Collins years were more upbeat, peppy and chatty.

Last year, which was Mickey Callaway's first spring ever running his own camp, things were a bit sporadic, with his looking more like a player getting to know people than a manager leading a team.

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Jacob deGrom (SNY)
Jacob deGrom (SNY)

Luis Severino claims he wasn't specifically discussing Jacob deGrom's situation (despite saying "$17 million" and, you know, his name).

During an interview with SNY on Monday, the Yankees ace was informed that his comments about the National League Cy Young winner were getting a lot of attention. 

"Nobody has said anything to me about it," he told SNY contributor John Harper.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino
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New York Mets Noah Syndergaard delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets Noah Syndergaard delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets' primary focus at the moment is on a potential long-term extension for Jacob deGrom, but another one of their prized starters also appears open to a long-term deal. Enter Noah Syndergaard.

"Yeah, I think so," Syndergaard told NJ.com's Matt Ehalt on Sunday when asked about signing long-term. "I love being a Met, I love New York City, the fan base is great and has been very kind to me. I see kind of the routes the game is going with (Bryce) Harper and (Manny) Machado have still yet to sign, and it's kind of scary, honestly. It's definitely something different than I'm used to. Only time will tell."

While deGrom's extension deadline and a potential self-imposed innings limit if he doesn't get the extension has sent shockwaves through Mets camp ("Go out and pay deGrom," Syndergaard told Ehalt. "Give him what he's worth"), the easier play for the Mets would almost certainly be locking up Syndergaard...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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GM Brodie Van Wagenen sets tone 00:01:10
Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto have nothing but praise for new GM Brodie Van Wagenen and the tone he set this offseason

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen's 'Come get us' declaration to the rest of the NL East a few weeks ago was a bit surprising, but it has gone over well in the clubhouse at Spring Training as the team prepares for the 2019 season.

"I love that mantra," Michael Conforto said Monday morning. "...If you're not showing up to be the best team in the league, there is no point showing up."

The comments from Conforto have been echoed by others, including Brandon Nimmo, who repeated another one of Van Wagenen's mantras -- one he uttered for the first time during his introductory press conference...

Tags: Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves 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) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Luis Severino fired off an unexpected fastball toward Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom on Sunday. 

The Yankees' ace, who recently inked a four-year, $40 million extension to buyout his arbitration years, was critical of the reigning National League Cy Young award winner for considering an innings-limit this season if he does not sign an extension with the Mets. 

"For me, I would never do something like that," Severino told Randy Miller of NJ.com. "I want to pitch. I love to pitch. I love this game. I'd never do that."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino
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Dave Eiland mic'd up with Mets 00:01:35
SNY mic'd up Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland for a day at Mets Spring Training including deGrom's and Syndergaard's first live BP sessions

SNY mic'd up Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland for a day at Mets Spring Training including Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard's first live BP sessions

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard
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New York Yankees shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria at bat at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria at bat at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets signed shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, SNY.tv's Steve Gelbs confirmed.

Hechavarria, 29, adds dept to a Mets infield that already consists of Amed Rosario, Jed Lowrie and Robinson Cano.

Last season, Hechavarria hit .247/.279/.345 with six home runs and 31 RBIs in 94 games with three teams: the Rays, Pirates and Yankees.

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Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper

We might finally get one of the top free agents off the board by the end of tonight, as talks surrounding Bryce Harper are "intensified," per Fancred Sports' Jon Heyman

The Mets' NL East rival Phillies are the favorite here, and former Marlins president David P. Samson is hearing that their offer to the 26-year-old is worth $310 million over 10 years. The Phillies said they were going to spend "stupid money" this offseason, and that deal would certainly do it to go along with their other signees like Jean Segura, David Robertson, and Andrew McCutchen.

If that is the case, Harper and his agent Scott Boras would get their desired $300 million, long-term deal. It doesn't top Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million deal he signed with the Marlins back in 2015. 

Tags: Bryce Harper
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Cano appreciates David Wright 00:00:56
Robinson Cano was given David Wright's locker in Port St. Lucie, his response about Wright and what it means will make Mets fans happy.

When Robinson Cano got down to Port St. Lucie, he saw his new locker in the clubhouse with his new orange and blue threads. But it isn't just any locker Cano was given. 

It was David Wright's locker.

Wright won't be in the clubhouse this season, but instead, will serve as a special assistant in the Mets' front office. So the Mets thought giving Cano, one of the fresh faces in the building, his empty locker, and Cano realizes how much of an honor it is.

Tags: Robinson Cano, David Wright
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The 'Big 3' highlight the day 00:00:56
Watch highlights from a busy day at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie. DeGrom, Syndergaard and Wheeler all took the mound against live hitters.

The Mets' "Big 3" of Jacob deGromNoah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler highlighted Sunday's action in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as New York readies for its Grapefruit League opener.

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Highlights from Cano's presser 00:02:30
Robinson Cano talked to the media for the first time in Florida. Highlights include why he thinks he and the Mets can be in the playoffs.

Much like the man who brought him back to New YorkRobinson Cano has high expectations for the Mets this season. 

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen wanted to change the team's culture, and he did so almost immediately with a blockbuster deal that landed Cano and closer Edwin Diaz. Van Wagenen has since made other deals, like signing Jed Lowrie and Wilson Ramos, to add more firepower in what everyone hopes will be a playoff season for New York. 

That's exactly what Cano envisioned when he waived his no-trade clause immediately after learning a deal was in place to send him back to the concrete jungle. He knows this team has the potential to make it back to the postseason.

Tags: Robinson Cano
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deGrom, Syndergaard race 00:00:21
Competition is everywhere at Spring Training, even if it?s two dominant pitchers, deGrom and Syndergaard, casually racing on their way back.

One of the best parts of Spring Training each year is watching the in-house competition that takes place between the players. Some players, though, have it easier than others as established pieces, like Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard for the Mets. 

But who says they can't have their own competition? 

After each starter threw a live batting practice session, deGrom and Syndergaard were walking to leave the field when they hauled it into a spring to see who would reach the gate first. 

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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Ah, spring training. In some ways it's the best time for baseball writers, a time when players, managers, and executives are more relaxed and willing to talk before the pressure of the long season takes hold. 

I first went to spring training in 1982, and suffice it say we writers were a lot more relaxed as well in those days, before Internet deadlines and social media changed everything about the job. 

The quotes aren't nearly as colorful these days, when players seemingly live in fear of the Twitter reaction to even the smallest misstep, but as I head to Florida to write about both the Mets and Yankees for SNY, there's still nothing better than baseball and sunshine in February.

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Tim Tebow spoke to Kyler Murray 00:00:48
New York Mets prospect Tim Tebow has proven he's a two sport athlete and had some sound advice for NFL prospect Kyler Murray.

Before Kyler Murray decided he would pursue a career in the NFL as a quarterback over his baseball career with the Oakland A's, he sought advice from another fellow Heisman Trophy winner -- Tim Tebow

While the 31-year-old Mets prospect did not have to make a decision between football and baseball out of college like Murray, he understands how difficult a decision this is for the 21-year-old but had a simple message for him:

Follow your heart. 

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Tim Tebow talks Mets journey 00:01:36
New York Mets prospect Tim Tebow speaks about his goals for this season heading into camp and his journey within the Mets organization.

Mets prospect Tim Tebow is always a hot commodity in Port St. Lucie. But, while the past two seasons he didn't have a shot at breaking camp with the Mets, things feel different now for the 31-year-old. 

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said earlier this offseason that Tebow has a shot at making the Majors this season, making this Spring Training critical for him. Tebow will likely start the season in Triple-A Syracuse Van Wagenen pointed out, but this will be the first step to proving he is worth a call-up this season.

"Use this Spring Training as a time really get a lot better and improve and making strides because this will be sort of the biggest Spring Training for me," Tebow said. "Before, I didn't know what I was doing, it was my first time. Then last year, I didn't play one snap of -- one snap -- one pitch of outfield. I only took a few at-bats and most of those I probably took steps back because I was trying to do it with bad form and pain."

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Peter Alonso talks making roster 00:01:19
New York Mets prospect Peter Alonso has a lot of hype to be the Mets next first baseman. How does he feel entering camp this spring?

At this time last year, Mets top prospect Peter Alonso wasn't prepared to compete for a job in Port St. Lucie. But that certainly isn't the case following a season where he teared through the minors. 

There is a good chance the Mets break camp with Alonso as their starting first baseman on Opening Day. And that is the obvious goal for the 24-year-old slugger, who admitted this year has a "different feel" in Spring Training.

"It's definitely a different feel from last year because last year I was a non-roster invitee, same as this year but I only had couple weeks of experience in Double-A," Alonso told the media on Saturday. "Got up to Triple-A last year and I kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. So I'm just going to work hard and see what happens."

Tags: Peter Alonso, Scott Thompson
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As he left his position as prominent agent and head of baseball at CAA, Brodie Van Wagenen entered his new job as General Manager of the Mets surrounded by countless questions. However, while some people continue to wonder about his preparedness and potential conflicts of interest, one thing is clear, he isn't short on confidence. 

"I think 84 wins is light," Van Wagenen told WFAN's Mike Francesa on Monday. "If we do the things we're capable of, we're going to win. We're not afraid of the competition outside of the division, and we're certainly not afraid of the teams inside the division. We will and should be a playoff team."

The confidence emitting from Van Wagenen isn't just limited to fans, players and media, but is also being noticed by rival executives. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Todd Frazier, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves 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) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Everyone seems shocked that Jacob deGrom left the door open to the notion he'd consider limiting his innings in 2019 if he doesn't the contract extension he wants. But, sorry, I can't buy into the outrage.

This isn't Matt Harvey, suddenly springing the idea of shutting himself down in the heat of a September pennant race.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, John Harper
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New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)
New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Luis Severino got paid life-changing money and didn't have to endure the potential hurt feelings that the nitpicking of an arbitration hearing can sometimes make bloom. The Yankees grabbed cost certainty on an ace-level arm. 

And the rest of us scored some juicy topics to kick around when the Yanks and Severino came to an agreement Friday on a contract extension for the righty. Especially this: 

Does Severino's deal signal that the Yanks are ready to talk pre-free agency deals with the rest of their young studs? In other words, on deck, Aaron Judge

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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Cespedes gives an injury update 00:00:54
Cespedes was honest about his recovery admitting he's around 50% and doesn't know exactly when he'll be back.

After all the moves made this offseason, the Mets are positioned to be much better than their 77-85 record last season. And that's why OF Yoenies Cespedes can't help being frustrated. 

Cespedes has been in Port St. Lucie, but he hasn't been on the same workout plan as the rest of his teammates. The veteran continues his rehab regimen following double heel surgery, and the Mets are being very cautious with his progress as they don't want to rush him back. 

"We want to make sure that he's 100 percent healthy when he comes back," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said last week, "whenever that day is."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Thompson
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Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves 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) reacts after the top of the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With Spring Training upon us, MLB Network released it's "Top 20 Players Right Now!" and a certain Mets starter made the list. 

The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom comes in at No. 10 on the list. He is the first pitcher named on the list, making him the best pitcher in baseball among the panel's eyes.

And that isn't hard to debate given his insanely dominant season last year. DeGrom produced one of the best single seasons in baseball, pitching to the tune of a 1.70 ERA/1.99 FIP with 269 strikeouts and a 0.91 WHIP over 217 innings (32 starts). The Mets' offense didn't help him much, as he owned a 10-9 record at the end of the year. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mets Highlights from Day 3 00:01:59
Day 3 in sunny Port St. Lucie and the squad is in full swing at Spring Training.

It was another beautiful day down in Port St. Lucie, as the Mets' pitchers and catchers got another session in at the team's facility. 

Pitchers hit the mound for a quick bullpen session, as Steven Matz, Jeurys Familia, and Seth Lugo were among those working on their arsenal. Oh, and doesn't Edwin Diaz look good in his new blue and orange threads? 

The mets' first full team workout will take place on Monday...

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New York City, NY, USA; General view of Citi Field between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
New York City, NY, USA; General view of Citi Field between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The top prospect sites all release their Top 10-30 players for every organization at the start of each season. However, by mid-summer, those lists end up being shaken around by guys getting traded, falling from grace, getting injured or - hopefully - improving and shooting up the ranks.

Here are five Mets prospects I believe have the potential to move up a few slots this season, be it into the organization's elite list or - in the case of one player - MLB's Top 50...

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Doug Williams and Nelson Figueroa discuss the news coming from Jacob deGrom and Brodie Van Wagenen's press conferences. 

Should the Mets feel pressured to sign deGrom or should they wait?

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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With the new baseball season upon us, The Athletic's Jayson Stark released his annual Spring Training Preview to catch a glimpse at what some in the game think happened this offseason. 

The extensive report saw Stark poll "30 esteemed baseball managers, coaches, scouts and executives" to see what they believed about how the league shapes out this season based on certain questions. 

One of those questions asked who the most improved team was in the National League, and the Mets came out on top with 24 votes. Next, was an NL East rival in the Phillies with 22 votes, with the Reds (20), Nationals (10) and Cardinals (10) rounding out the Top 5.

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Callaway clarifies McNeil's role 00:02:06
Mickey Callaway clarified what the Mets see as Jeff McNeil's role for the 2019 season.

We know Jeff McNeil's role with the Mets in 2019 will be primarily as an outfielder. We know his former college coach thinks he can handle it. We know McNeil thinks he can handle it. And now we know another player it will impact.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Thursday that McNeil will probably be in left field most of the time, with the team wanting him to get comfortable "with all those angles."

And when asked if McNeil would play every day against right-handed starting pitchers and whether that means Brandon Nimmo in center field and Michael Conforto in right field on the days McNeil starts, Callaway answered in the affirmative...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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deGrom, Van Wagenen on extension 00:02:40
deGrom's answer on maybe limiting innings or pitches headlines the latest on a potential extension deal being reached in Spring Training.

Minutes after Jacob deGrom told reporters that he would like the feeling to be mutual from the Mets regarding an extension and wouldn't rule out limiting his innings if he didn't get one, GM Brodie Van Wagenen sat behind the same microphone for his first presser of Spring Training. 

"Yes, Jacob is 100 percent a part of our future now and hopefully for years to come," Van Wagenen said at the start of his roughly 20 minute session (with all but one question about deGrom). 

Van Wagenen was expansive while discussing the deGrom situation, and gave a forthcoming response when asked how much of a priority it is to get a deal done with deGrom before the March 28 deadline the deGrom camp has set. 

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Reacting to deGrom's comments 00:01:07
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom proved he is an elite pitcher but with a contract extension up in the air, will he limit his innings?

Jacob deGrom said Thursday that he won't call himself frustrated, but the Mets' ace seems perturbed at the lack of movement when it comes to a potential contract extension. And he isn't ruling out placing innings restrictions on himself this season if a deal isn't struck.

"The line of communication is still open," deGrom said Thursday in Port St. Lucie. "We have not received an offer. ... I really enjoy playing here and would like to be here, but that's kind of up to them."

The "kind of up to them" line from deGrom was a telling one, as he reiterated multiple times what he also said multiple times last season: He wants to be here, but the Mets have not yet made an official offer to keep him in New York beyond 2020...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Bobby V's words to Todd Zeile 00:00:33
Ever thought about an ex...player on Valentines Day? Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine has kind words for former Mets player Todd Zeile.

After sending out his own letter to his ex...player, former Mets manager Bobby Valentine has everything you need for the perfect Valentine's Day with your loved one.

Do you need some advice to make your Valentine's Day go smoothly? Valentine has a few pointers...

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

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New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

It's official: Jacob deGrom will be the Mets' Opening Day starter in 2019.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said deGrom, the reigning National League Cy Young award winner, will get the nod when New York opens the season on the road against Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals on March 28.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Washington Nationals
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deGrom, Syndergaard take field 00:01:05
It's the second official day of Spring Training and Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are ready to go in Port St. Lucie.

It's the second official day of Spring Training down in Port St. Lucie, and pitchers and catchers were all working hard in preparation for the team's first full workout on Feb. 18. 

Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, of course, were among the pitchers getting their work in on Day 2...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard
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A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))
A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))

The Mets are "on the verge of blowing up their stadium renovation deal" with St. Lucie and looking for a new Spring Training home, reports Keona Gardner of the TC Palm.

According to Gardner, the potential of the Mets looking for a new Spring Training home comes amid the ongoing renovation plans for First Data Field -- something Gardner reports has gotten contentious with St. Lucie county blowing through their original budget and demanding more money from the Mets.

Gardner notes that the Mets have already given an extra $2 million toward the renovation costs, but have so far balked at a request for more. 

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New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom sits in the dugout prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom sits in the dugout prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports)

April 7 is Jacob deGrom Cy Young bobblehead day at Citi Field. Will his award be repaired by then?

DeGrom's Cy Young award was chipped in transit and will be sent back to the manufacturer for repair, according to the New York Post's Mike Puma.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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First look at Harvey on Angels 00:00:37
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Matt Harvey dons his new threads and talks about being with his new team.

The Matt Harvey era in New York ended last year when the Mets traded the former ace to the Reds, and the right-hander is now attempting to revive his once-promising career with the Angels.

But after all of the off-field issues, the surgery to fix his thoracic outlet syndrome and his inability to regain his All-Star form in Flushing leaves lingering regret within Harvey.

Tags: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Matt Harvey
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Jun 8, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Doug Fister (38) pitches against the Houston Astros during the game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Jun 8, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Doug Fister (38) pitches against the Houston Astros during the game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Despite making multiple moves to improve their roster this season, the Mets were still in the market for starting pitching depth, according to SNY's Andy Martino. There are numerous starters still waiting to sign with a new team for the season.

But one came off the market on Wednesday, and not because he inked a new deal.

Veteran RHP Doug Fister will retire from the MLB after 10 big league seasons, his agent Page Odle told MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Fister was on the Mets' radar along with several other starters, including Gio Gonzalez and Brett Anderson

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What will Cespedes do in 2019? 00:00:41
Anthony DiComo takes a look at what type of role Yoenis Cespedes will have for the Mets in 2019. Will he be healthy?

The only certainty regarding Yoenis Cespedes for the 2019 Mets is that he won't be on the field at the start of the season as he continues to recover from surgery on both of his heels.

As Cespedes enters spring training, Anthony DiComo explores the major questions surrounding the slugger as it pertains to 2019.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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 (Gary A. Vasquez)
(Gary A. Vasquez)

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has boldly said "come get us" about the team's competitors in the NL East this season. And when it comes to the Mets' odds to win the World Series, they're on pretty equal footing.

The Mets, Nationals, and Braves all have 16/1 odds to win the World Series, while the Phillies -- strangely -- have 10/1 odds, according to BetOnline

BetOnline must be gambling that the Phillies land one of the megastar free agents still on the market -- Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. But landing one of those players might not even vault the Phillies to the top of the division.

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