The Yankees acquired a shortstop when they traded for Arizona's Didi Gregorius. As it happens, the Mets also need a shortstop.

General Manager Sandy Alderson's recent endorsement of Wilmer Flores as the Mets' Opening Day starter merely said that it was a "likelihood" that Flores would start. As endorsements go, that's weak. Manager Terry Collins refused to even go that far on Monday.

Flores hit .251, with a .286 OBP and .378 SLG in 78 games with the Mets in 2014, good for a 88 wRC+ (where 100 is average), in the season in which he turned 23-years-old. Partial season defensive numbers are extremely unreliable and split on Flores: while he was worth +4.0 runs by Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), he was worth -3 runs by Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). To be clear, I think Flores can hit at the big league level, although I don't know where he will play defensively, and I do not think he can play shortstop everyday.

Did the Yankees' move have any implications for the Mets?

The argument is that the Mets have players they could have traded, at similar positions, to the ones the Tigers and Diamondbacks received and exceeded either team's return. However, the Mets, have been careful to hoard their pitching. In fact, according to David Lennon of Newsday, the Mets were not very "involved" in the derby for Gregorius after the Diamondbacks made clear that they wanted prospect Noah Syndergaard for the Mets. That's a big ask, but there's plenty of wiggle room between Syndergaard's perceived value and what the Diamondbacks eventually received. Syndergaard is still regarded as one of the top RHP pitching prospects in the game and one of the best 20 or so overall prospects. And yet, he has not made the jump to the big leagues.

The Yankees used the Detroit Tigers as a pass through. The Yankees sent RHP Shane Greene, who was roughly league average in his 2014 debut season to the Tigers, who then sent Arizona two promising younger players in INF Domingo Leyba and LHP Robbie Ray.

GiveGet
YankeesRHP Shane GreeneSS Didi Gregorius
TigersLHP Robbie Ray, INF Domingo LeybaShane Greene
DiamondbacksSS Didi GregoriusLHP Robbie Ray, INF Domingo Leyba
I think each side of this deal is defensible, but like it most from the Yankees' and then Tigers perspective. The Yankees traded a 26-year-old starting pitcher for a young shortstop with five more years of team control. The Tigers traded a very nice prospect (Leyba) and a guy who wasn't getting it done (Ray), for rotation help now to support an aging team. The Diamondbacks, a team building for the future, traded from a position of depth for a reclamation project in Ray and a fine prospect in Leyba.

The question for the Mets is really is whether Gregorius, who is six months older than Flores was a significant enough upgrade over the incumbent to be worth the move. Gregorius is a strong fielder, (at ESPN Keith Law called him "excellent"), but he might never hit much. In 191 between his age 23 and 24 seasons, Gregorius has hit .243/.310/.366 in the big leagues for a 88 wRC+. That's enough to stick at shortstop if it's combined with average or better defense at the position and maybe over a full season get him potentially get him to the 2-3 WAR range as an average player. Gregorius' walk (8.1 percent) and strikeout rates (16.9 percent) were reasonable, but he has done very little damage on contact as his .280 BABIP makes plain. He's an underpowered guy with a MLB HR/FB rate at 6 percent and an infield popup rate at 13 percent. The risk for the Yankees on Gregorius is that even if his defense is really good, his bat keeps his value down in the roughly win range per year and they'll still be searching for an offensive upgrade at shortstop. Steamer, a publicly available projection system does not see much breakout potential in Gregorius, pegging him for 1.2 wins in 80 games or about 2 wins if he played 140 games.


Could the Mets have sent the Tigers a capable starter like Greene? Yup.

Who is the Mets' pitcher most similar to Greene? By ERA estimators, both Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese were very close to average in 2014.

However, in terms of right-handed late bloomers, fellow 26-year-old Jacob deGrom is a better match for Greene. Both offer six more years of team control. Drafted out of small colleges, both right-handers have had Tommy John surgery and had strikeout rates in the majors better than their results in the upper minors. Greene did not make Baseball America's Top 30 Yankee prospects from his draft date in 2009, until earning the No. 16 ranking heading into 2014. To simplify his career arc, he was ordinary statistically with Charleston in the SAL in 2011, flopped with Tampa in advanced Single-A in 2012 and then, BA suggests he was sent across the complex to extended spring training where he made mechanical adjustments to stay on line toward the plate better. He finished up 2013 with a strong half-season in Double-A.

Let's get this out of the way: The NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom had a much better 2014 than Greene and is a more valuable property. They both made a half-season (or so) worth of starts. deGrom had a 2.69 ERA and a 78 ERA- (which adjusts for park and league and where 100 is league average and lower is better) in 22 starts. Greene had a 3.78 ERA in 15 starts and a 98 ERA-.

With the Yankees in the big leagues, Greene performed better than he had at nearly any point in the minors as his ERA dropped and his strikeout rate rose. The same goes for deGrom and the Mets.

Why did Greene's strikeout rate jump once he started pitching his home games in Yankee Stadium? He was more effective against right-handed hitters than at any point in his minor league tenure. The table below captures Greene's strikeout rate against hitters of both hands since the start of the 2013 season.

.vs. LHHvs. RHHOverall
2013 - A+19.723.522.0
2013 - AA14.023.319.5
2014 - AAA13.524.519.3
2014 - MLB16.631.323.5
Greene's fastball averages 93 mph, but by Fangraphs' accounting, only his slider has an above-average value. This explains both his dominance against righties, and his struggles against left-handed hitters.

DeGrom went through a similar, though not identical, pattern in the sense that his strikeout rate increased from the high teens in the upper minors to the mid-20s when he reached the big leagues. However, the source of the improvement is quite different.

This is deGrom's strikeout rate versus lefthanded and right-handed hitters.

vs. LHHvs. RHHOverall
2013 - A+10.036.726.0
2013 - AA12.419.216.7
2013 - AAA17.420.519.0
2014 - AAA20.316.118.0
2014 - MLB23.526.925.5
Don't pay too much attention to deGrom's 2013 in advanced Single-A, as his time at the level lasted only two starts. However, note that deGrom's stirkeout rate against lefties has steadily climbed at each of his stops in the last two seasons. Like Greene, his strikeout rate against righties spiked in the big leagues. Unlike Greene, he's more than capable against batters from both sides of the plate.

Like Greene, deGrom's average fastball is above 93, actually 93.5. Unlike Greene, deGrom's fastball (we're mixing sinkers with four-seamers here for both pitchers) carries a huge positive run value in Fangraph's accounting at +15. Notably, his curveball and his changeup, his third and fourth-most used pitches also were valued positively. It's the development of this changeup which he throws 20 percent of the time to lefties and 6 percent to righties, that's helped so much against left-handed hitters.

Is Niese a better comparison for Greene? The problem here is partly financial. Niese is owed $16 million over his next two seasons, with team options for $10 and $11 million for 2017 and 2018. Greene will be making close to MLB minimum for two more years, and will only be hitting arbitration by the time the guaranteed portion of Niese's contract runs out. If the Tigers were trying to get cheap innings, Niese does not quite fit the bill in the same way as Greene.

Wheeler, as a former first-round pick, who was already swapped for an elite player in Carlos Beltran, comes with a level of hype that is still somewhere above his aggregate level of production. He has an extra year of MLB service time over Greene, and has pitched as roughly a league average guy in his age 23 and 24 seasons. Given that longer track record and more heralded pedigree, he's still, absent contract considerations, a more valuable property. Wheeler, by dint of that MLB time, has one fewer years of team control remaining than does Greene. Still, the 24-year-old's ERA- sits at a perfectly league average 100 for his career.

Again, I'd argue based on age, and years of control, Jacob deGrom is the Mets hurler most similar to Shane Greene. He's also better than Greene. However, one could make the case that either Zack Wheeler or Jon Niese are more similar. In any case, the Mets had no fewer than three options if Detroit was looking for a pitcher in their 20s with a modest big league track record to provide innings for a team in win-now mode.


What if the Mets had dealt directly with Arizona? The Diamondbacks received Ray and Leyba from Detroit.

Robbie Ray is a project at this point who does not look like he will return value as a big league starter. His strikeout rate has declined as he's gone through the minors and in 2014, he ran a strikeout rate of 17% in AAA on his way to a 4.22 ERA and then was blasted for a 8.16 ERA in 28.2 innings over nine appearances in the big leagues in which he produced a 14% strikeout rate. Last winter, Ray was the centerpiece of the Doug Fister trade. The Tigers would like a mulligan. Ray seems likely to go the bullpen to provide big league value.

Leyba, who turned 19 in September split his year between the New York-Penn League and low-A Michigan in the Midwest League. He hit an unassuming .264/.303/.375 in 37 games in the NYP, and then torched the MWL for a .397/.431/.483 mark in 30 games to finish the year. He played second base and shortstop this year, but Jim Callis at MLB.com thinks he's destined for second base when he reaches the big leagues, writing that he "fits better at second because his speed and arm are average at best. But he should produce enough at the plate to become a big league regular." The Mets prospect who seems most like Leyba to me is Dilson Herrera as second-baseman who an average second baseman with the bat to be dangerous. However, Herrera is much closer to providing big league value than Leyba. The Mets don't have a true second baseman south of Herrera who matches up with Leyba. If we're going to expand the value comparison game to infielders who were in a-ball or short-season A in 2014, Jhoan Ureana, Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario are all middle infielders with very roughly similar values.  

I don't really know what the Diamondbacks think they are getting in Ray. The Mets could certainly have sent them an infield prospect and an upper level arm. Perhaps a comparable or even superior package would have been something like Jhoan Urena or Gavin Cecchini and Gabriel Ynoa that would have rivaled what the Diamondbacks received from the Tigers.


In the end though, the Mets did not make a play for Gregorious. Given his age, and lackluster offensive production in his first two big league seasons, that's understandable. Still, the team could use a shortstop, which has been true since Jose Reyes left. If the team is really serious about contending in 2015, the Mets will use organizational assets, including money, a prospect or two and a pitcher to fill in the hole on the left side of their infield this winter.    

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The everyday catcher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


Dec. 16, 5:01 PM:

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

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

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

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

Click below to see...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enter Todd Frazier

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could the Mets be close to finding their coveted catcher?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Tebow is ready for his comeback. 

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

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

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

And just like that, RHP Jeurys Familia is back.

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

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

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

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

1. Sign a high-end free-agent reliever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adding an everyday catcher

 

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

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

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

Here are three reasons why...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK BELOW TO SEE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN...

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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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