It's possible the next GM of the Mets will decide it's best to trade Jacob deGrom and/or Noah Syndergaard for inexpensive, young position players that can start Opening Day next season.

If this happens, though it will initially feel wrong, it should not be viewed as a rebuild because the new additions will be joining an established core of young position players. 

In Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Amed Rosario, the Mets have three foundational players around which two or three more hitters can create a productive and nimble lineup.

In Conforto, the Mets have an intense, competitive, classic left-handed No. 3 hitter, who I believe is capable of being the face of the franchise and a perennial contender for the batting title.



He underperformed through most of April and May. However, to be fair, after having shoulder surgery last September, the initial recovery plan did not have him returning to Citi Field until late May. Instead, Conforto was back in March and rocking full time by Opening Day. So, his lack of launch should not surprise anyone, including Conforto.

Thankfully, his last 30 games or so have been more in line with what is expected from him when healthy, though he clearly won't be going full tilt until next spring. 

In the past three weeks he's batting .306 with three home runs and roughly one strikeout per game. It's not at his first half, All-Star level from 2017, but it's encouraging to see him back doing what he does best, which is staying in on pitches inside and going away with balls outside.

In Nimmo, the Mets have a charismatic, uplifting, modern-day leadoff hitter with close to a .400 OBP and the talent to hit 20 home runs, 20 doubles and 10 triples, which would make him one of the best all-around outfielders in the National League.



This past December, after the Yankees traded for Giancarlo Stanton, Sandy Alderson joked that the Mets didn't need him because they had Nimmo. The Mets also reportedly refused to deal Nimmo in talks with the Pirates, who wanted him in exchange for Andrew McCutchen or Josh Harrison.

Nimmo, who was Alderson's first ever draft pick for the Mets, currently ranks seventh in WAR among National League outfielders this season. He had been on pace for one helluva season, but -- given this is his first full season in the big leagues -- he has understandably dipped in production during the past month. The thing is, despite hitting just .205 with only six extra base hits in July, he still had a .359 OBP, put the ball in play, drew 15 walks and scored 12 runs.

It's also worth noting that Conforto and Nimmo have both performed exceptionally well in the field, given that they're constantly bouncing around from a corner spot to center field.

In Rosario, the Mets still have a raw, inconsistent 22-year-old with the ability to be a dynamic, top-of-the-order hitter. The thing is, while he's shown flashes of realizing his potential, he's also looked overmatched and slightly confused in the field. Frankly, more and more every day he reminds me of a young Jose Reyes, who similarly struggled at the start of his career with finding his footing. 



Reyes played with a similar unbridled style as Rosario, which is part of what makes each player so intriguing and also frustrating. It wasn't until Jose's third season, or around 120 or so games, that he started to find his role and develop a consistent presence on field.

Rosario is behind schedule in that regard. He's essentially played a full season of games (152) at this point in his career, during which he's hitting just .236 with 8 HR and 0.1 WAR. By comparison, 150 or so games in to his career, Reyes was hitting .272 and had already produced close to 3.0 WAR.

That said, though he was getting picked apart on inside pitches during the first three months of this season, Rosario is now striking out less and drawing more walks, while getting less lucky on balls put in play. He's also proven to be an above-average runner. So, when hits start falling, I have a feeling we may finally see the real Rosario step up...

In the field, he's been shockingly bad compared to the praise he got from scouts and minor-league experts prior to his promotion. Meanwhile, the Mets have have had preliminary discussions about whether to try Rosario in center field. This is not the worst idea I've ever heard, especially since the team's current top prospect, Andres Gimenez, is also a shortstop. Where it is a terrible idea, however, is that it could not be a worse time to throw learning a new position at Rosario since he's seemingly on the verge of finding a rhythm in the batter's box. 



The point is, he's clearly still a work in progress, but he's also clearly capable of being the team's everyday shortstop. He's also just 22 years old and just starting to scratch the surface of what he can do at this level.

Nimmo, Conforto and Rosario are not enough, of course. I'm hopeful that either minor-leaguer Dominic Smith or prospect Peter Alonso will be able to take hold of first base or at least provide value at a different position. But, even still, the Mets need more in their lineup than the above group of talent. A lot of that, of course, hinges on Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce, both of whom are over 30, currently on the DL, under contract and making tons of money during the next two seasons.

Cespedes will not be back from his two heel surgeries until next summer, at which point his production and position will be a mystery. He has only ever played outfield, but recently suggested he might be most productive at the plate if playing every day at first base. Similarly, while Bruce could be the team's third outfielder, he could also play first base, but that is only if his current spine condition isn't something that will plague his lower back and feet the next two seasons.

In addition to the above, I'm hopeful that 26-year-old late-bloomer Jeff McNeil could be the answer to the team's need at second base.



"He's young, but he plays like a veteran, with veteran instincts. He has a real good sense of what's happening around him," an advance scout for an American League team told me this week. "He's not the most athletic or most talented guy on the field, but he may be the smartest. He's always ready, always in the right place and always knows what to do when he gets the ball." 

McNeil is a terrific low-ball hitter, but the scout cautioned against declaring him a full-time second baseman until McNeil is forced to face and succeeds against a steady diet of fastballs up in the zone.

"The kid clearly plays golf," the scout jokingly said, referring to McNeil's swing. "In time, they'll start testing his ability to get to that high strike. I think he'll be OK because he has really good eye-hand coordination, good reflexes, but it might take him a bit of time to get there."

If McNeil is the answer at second base, it will free the next GM to use deGrom or Syndergaard to reel in a younger, more athletic, more fundamentally-sound catcher, third baseman and/or center fielder. It would be great to net all three but let's not be greedy...


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: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone

Jun 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the field prior to the game between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the field prior to the game between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets have interviewed more than the five candidates known in the first round of their search for a new head of baseball operations, and plan to speak to one or two more before determining finalists, according to major league sources.

The team is being extremely secretive about this initial phase of the process, refusing to confirm or deny that they spoke with any individuals. But according to other league sources, the known list of Kim Ng, Gary Larocque, Chaim Bloom, De Jon Watson and Doug Melvin is incomplete.

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The Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs will become the Triple-A Syracuse Mets starting in 2019, it was announced Tuesday at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, New York. 

New home and road uniforms were unveiled along with the new primary logo that features the words "Syracuse Mets" emblazoned over the State of New York. The team will wear a new "S" in a nostalgic font on their hats.The Mets announced the purchase of the Syracuse affiliate last October, setting in motion the Mets' Triple-A team relocating from Las Vegas to Syracuse for the start of the 2019 season. 

In addition to the name-change, new uniforms, and improvements and upgrades being made to NBT Bank Stadium, it was announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the Mets and Onondaga County are close to finalizing a lease extension that will keep professional baseball in Syracuse for the next 25 years. Check out the new uniforms and stadiun upgrade plans below...

 

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It has become an annual tradition here to write about how the Mets must improve their bullpen during the offseason. For what it's worth, this same article is often written about most teams in baseball. It's hardly exclusive for the Mets. Nevertheless, nearly every winter and trade deadline for the past decade we all push our respective teams to add relievers...

The thing is, this cycle is in constant replay because bullpens are notorious for being inconsistent and rarely do what is expected of them when on paper the previous winter.

For instance, while it's easy to forget given how the staff performed for much of the spring and early summer, the Mets were considered to have a pretty good bullpen entering 2018. MLB.com went so far as to rank them as the fifth-best bullpen in the National League prior to the start of the season. The opposite occurred, though, with the Mets finishing this past season with the second-worst bullpen...

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The Amazin' Life: Season Finale! 00:02:47
On a new episode of The Amazin' Life presented by Coca-Cola, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling deliver a season finale, and a cliffhanger?

On an all-new episode of The Amazin' Life presented by Coca-Cola, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling deliver a big season finale the only way they should, by making fun of other famous season finales!

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Tom Seaver speaks during a ceremony for Members of the 1969 New York Mets baseball team before the Mets play the Phillies Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009,  in New York.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Tom Seaver speaks during a ceremony for Members of the 1969 New York Mets baseball team before the Mets play the Phillies Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Mets beat the Orioles, 5-3, at Shea Stadium on today's date in 1969 to win their first World Series title when the final out was squeezed by Cleon Jones in left field after a drive off the bat of Davey Johnson

The Miracle Mets, with a starting rotation anchored by Tom Seaver and Jerry Kossman, had never won more than 73 games during the first seven years of their existence. Then 1969 happened, when they overtook the Cubs late in the season and won the NL East. After a 100-win regular season, the Mets swept the Braves in the best-of-five NLCS. 

The Orioles were heavily favored in the World Series, but after losing Game 1 in Baltimore, the Mets reeled off four straight wins to hoist the trophy... after some absoloute bedlam on the field. Click below to see...

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Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

A week into the Mets' process of interviewing for Sandy Alderson's replacement as the head of baseball operations, there truly seems to be no frontrunner. The Mets are considering candidates with backgrounds as disparate as Gary LaRocque and Chaim Bloom, and are still weighing which direction to go.

You can find people in the organization advocating for a more traditional approach, and those who are more enthusiastic about analytics. Others are moderates on this issue. Therefore, the only credible answer to the question of what the team is going to do is "not sure yet, because they're not, either."

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

D'Arnaud, who will be 30 years next 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 in acquiring 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 that know in St. Lucie.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets legend and current SNY announcer Keith Hernandez will headline the 2019 Queens Baseball Convention (QBC), it was announced Monday.

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

The fan-run QBC, presented by SNY, is taking place on January 19, 2019 at Katch Astoria. 

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Cleveland Indians General Manager Mike Chernoff answers a question at an Indians end of season news conference in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Phil Long) (Phil Long/AP)
Cleveland Indians General Manager Mike Chernoff answers a question at an Indians end of season news conference in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Phil Long) (Phil Long/AP)

Indians GM Mike Chernoff, who the Mets have interest in for their top baseball operations job, is now viewed as being less likely to interview, league sources told SNY's Andy Martino. 

Chernoff, 37, has worked in Cleveland with former team president and current Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro, and current Indians president Chris Antonetti. Both are close with Omar Minaya. Chernoff is the son of Mark Chernoff, VP of programming for WFAN.

This first round of "interviews" has taken many forms -- from sit-downs in New York to informal telephone conversations, notes Martino.

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Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Every Sunday, we'll be taking a look at how notable Mets prospects are faring in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL features some of the best prospects in baseball and its regular season runs through Nov. 15. The Championship Game is Nov. 17. 


Peter Alonso, 1B

The 23-year-old Alonso, the No. 58 prospect in baseball according to MLB.com, has played four games and is hitting .500 with one homer and one double -- good for a 1.306 OPS in 16 at-bats.

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Oct 17, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; A general view during the playing of the national anthem before game one of the NLCS between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 17, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; A general view during the playing of the national anthem before game one of the NLCS between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets continue to search for their new head of baseball operations or GM to replace Sandy Alderson, and though it is the early stages, the candidate list is starting to fill out. 

New York has already spoken to a few potential baseball execs, with SNY's Andy Martino saying "sit-downs in New York to informal telephone conversations" have made up the first rounds of the search. Their candidate list is wide-ranging as well. 

Here's a look at where things stand in the search so far, and which candidates are at the top of the heap...

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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)

A look at where Mets ace Jacob deGrom's dominant season ranks in the top 10 of the last 50 years.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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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)

Here are the key 2018 MLB offseason dates, and how they impact the Mets...


Day after World Series ends (Between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1) : Free agency begins

The Mets should be making their GM hire right around the time free agency begins, meaning immediate pressure on whoever gets the gig to come up with a plan and start executing it. Outfielder Bryce Harper and shortstop/third baseman Manny Machado headline the free agent class. The Mets may look for a new catcher, and Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos will both be available. Among the top tier starting pitchers available are Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel. When it comes to relievers, Craig Kimbrel, Adam Ottavino, and old friend Jeurys Familia are among the headliners.

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On the latest episode of Shea Anything, Doug Williams and Andy Martino are joined by former New York Mets catcher Anthony Recker! They discuss the dominance of Jacob deGrom, what deGrom is like behind the scenes, and what it's like to catch all the hard-throwing starting pitchers in the Mets rotation. The guys also chat about David Wright, and the potential role he could have in a future Mets front office.  

Don't forget - we want hear from you! Go to SNY.tv/SheaAnything and upload a video or audio clip of your take on the Mets. Keep it to 30 seconds or less, make it good, and you may be on the show!

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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The way I've heard it, the Mets hiring a new GM and front office personnel is not being done in preparation of the team ripping down the roster and going through another rebuild. Instead, the goal is to install people with experience winning so they can build on what exists and and get the Mets back to the World Series sooner than later.

If that's the case, the answer to the question in the headline is simple...

To best way for the team to gain trust and show full-force commitment to winning is to sign free-agent-to-be Manny Machado...

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Top Mets prospects Peter Alonso and Andres Gimenez both homered in the Arizona Fall Leauge on Wednesday night while playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Alonso, the No. 58 prospect in baseball according to MLB.com, finished a triple shy of the cycle. He had an infield single in the first inning, doubled to left in the third, homered to left in the sixth, and walked in the eighth. The 23-year-old went 2-for-4 on Tuesday in what was his first game with Scottsdale. 

After doing work on Wednesday, Alonso took time out to meet some of his smallest fans... 

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Dominic Smith (22) Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Dominic Smith (22) Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Players in a local softball league game at DeWitt Clinton Park in Manhattan were greeted by a surprise guest on Tuesday night:  Dom Smith.

The 23-year-old Smith met the players, signed autographs, took photos, and even had pinch-hit in the softball game, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. 

Click below to see...

Tags: Dominic Smith
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Cleveland Indians General Manager Mike Chernoff answers a question at an Indians end of season news conference in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Phil Long) (Phil Long/AP)
Cleveland Indians General Manager Mike Chernoff answers a question at an Indians end of season news conference in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Phil Long) (Phil Long/AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | As the Mets continue to speak with people about replacing Sandy Alderson as head of baseball operations -- some in person this week in New York, and some less formally -- multiple major league sources said that Cleveland GM Mike Chernoff is among the candidates.

Chernoff, 37, has worked in Cleveland with former team president, and current Toronto Blue Jays president, Mark Shapiro, and current Indians president Chris Antonetti. Both are close with Omar Minaya. Chernoff is the son of Mark Chernoff, VP of programming for WFAN.

This first round of "interviews" has taken many forms, from sit-downs in New York to informal telephone conversations. Mets brass has been very active in pursuing conversations with many people in the game, soliciting thoughts about their direction.

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BNNY interviews for Mets GM 00:06:49
Doug Williams and Jim Duquette interview Sal Licata and Jon Hein for Mets GM, to see if their visions are the right ones for the Mets

The Mets have been actively seeking a new GM to take over for next season and beyond, and the "Baseball Night in New York" crew wanted to take their shot at winning the job. 

Sal Licata and Jon Hein met with Doug Williams and former Mets GM Jim Duquette to discuss what they believe is the path the Mets must take to return to a championship contender....

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Aug 18, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores (4) puts the ball in New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) glove after the last out in the ninth inning of the game at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Aug 18, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores (4) puts the ball in New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) glove after the last out in the ninth inning of the game at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets have nine arbitration-eligible players this offseason. Six of them are locks to be offered arbitration, and three of them have a more uncertain Mets future.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, here's what they're projected to make if offered arbitration, and what the rest of their contract situation is. We'll first tackle the locks to be offered arbitration, followed by the question marks...

Locks

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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)

Before their season-ending 4-3 loss to the Red Sox Tuesday night in Game 4 of the ALDS, the Yankees put out a call for the 'Avengers' on Twitter, saying it was 'all on the line.'

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (AKA Thor), who has been voyaging around Europe -- where he became a Viking -- had a response to the Yankees on Wednesday morning.

Click below to see...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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Feb 15, 2018; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals director player development Gary LaRocque uses his cell phone during workout drill at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 15, 2018; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals director player development Gary LaRocque uses his cell phone during workout drill at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Hall of Fame manager and current Red Sox executive Tony La Russa recently called the Mets to give a strong endorsement for Gary LaRocque, who the team is considering to fill their GM or president of baseball operations role.

"I don't want to disrespect anyone who is being considered, but there isn't going to be anyone who is better than [LaRocque]," La Russa told Mike Puma of the New York Post. "Whoever the best candidates are, he is right there at least tied with them."

Along with LaRocque, MLB executive Kim Ng, Nationals special assistant De Jon Watson, and Doug Melvin are being interviewed during Round 1 of the process. According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets are still open to agents Brodie Van Wagenen and Casey Close for one of the roles, along with at least one other unidentified candidate whose name has not been reported. 

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The Mets would be wise to sign at least one elite power hitter to play corner outfielder or third base, while also adding a top-tier relief pitcher to their bullpen. I talked with three insiders (currently working for teams that aren't the Mets) to better understand how this winter's top free agents at the above positions will be valued on the open market...

Manny Machado (Third base, shortstop)

As a third baseman and shortstop, Machado can expect to see offers worth as much $35 million per season, as opposed to $5 million less had be been marketing himself at only the hot corner. This is why he and his agent were so adamant about his playing shortstop this past season...

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Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | As the Mets interview candidates to lead their baseball operations department, they remain secretive about the early stages of their process. The view from here is that the situation will yet contain surprises, and what the team has called "outside the box" candidates -- and that a top agent like Brodie Van Wagenen or Casey Close is uniquely positioned to provide what the organization needs.

When Sandy Alderson stepped aside in June, the team lost a leader who brought together different departments, and served as a credible, articulate face of the team. That's why it would be wise to replace him with a person who has gravitas, a strong reputation in the game, and the ability to balance analytics with traditional scouting, rather than acting as a partisan to either side.

Both Van Wagenen and Close bring those qualities. The former is not only respected within the industry, but also enjoys a strong relationship with Mets hierarchy. A leading CAA agent, he represents Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard, Tim Tebow and Todd Frazier, and knows the organization well. He has been able to navigate negotiations without conflict or grudge, and communicate with the public smoothly, when appropriate...

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Ron Darling (AP)
Ron Darling (AP)

John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter | 

A day later, despite denials from all involved on the Yankees' side, Ron Darling is standing by his comments that Luis Severino appeared to be late for his warm-up before Monday night's ALDS Game 3 loss to the Red Sox. 

"It seemed unusual to me," Darling told SNY by phone on Tuesday. "That's why I brought it up. A lot of people can disagree, but, really, I don't know how they could."

Darling, the former Met who does analysis on Mets' games for SNY, told a national audience during TBS' broadcast that he saw Severino begin throwing off the bullpen mound at 7:32 p.m., eight minutes before the game was scheduled to start. 

Tags: Luis Severino
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SNY, the home of all things New York sports and the cable home of the New York Mets, will be expanding their sponsorship of The Queens Baseball Convention (QBC), the fan-run event taking place on January 19, 2019 at Katch Astoria.

For the first time, SNY will bring Baseball Night in New York to the QBC, doing a live version of the show in front of Mets fans from across the region. Also making their debut at the QBC will be SNY's Shea Anything podcast.

In addition to SNY panels, the QBC will host player Q&A sessions, autograph signings, games, vendors, and mascot appearances.

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Oct 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer shakes hands with staff members before game three of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Oct 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer shakes hands with staff members before game three of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

In the days after Sandy Alderson stepped down as GM due to health reasons, I mentioned how the Mets should not just hire a GM, but also hire a President of Baseball Operations to set short-term goals for the GM and staff, all of which should be based on a clear, longer-term strategy.

Four of the five teams currently using this hierarchy (Red Sox, A's, Dodgers and Cubs) made the postseason this year. It's a successful structure because it separates the day-to-day networking, media updates, transaction management and paperwork from the big picture concepts, communicating with ownership and the restructuring and overseeing of all new and existing departments.

The other advantage to interviewing for a more senior-level position is that it more or less assures the Mets the opportunity to talk with current lower-level executives from with other teams...

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Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; St. Lucie Mets pitcher Justin Dunn (19) delivers a pitch. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; St. Lucie Mets pitcher Justin Dunn (19) delivers a pitch. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets right-handed pitching prospect Justin Dunn rebounded from a rough 2017 season, dominating in High-A St. Lucie before a promotion to Double-A Binghamton this past season, and is now ranked as one of the Top 100 Prospects (No. 89) in baseball, according to MLB.com

So what was the difference for the 23-year-old?

John Sickels of SB Nation points to Dunn's improved strikeout-to-walk rate and the advancement of his secondary pitches...

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Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets will interview Nationals special assistant De Jon Watson for their GM job next Wednesday, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Watson joined the Nats as part of their pro scouting department in January of 2017 as a special assistant to GM Mike Rizzo.

Prior to joining the Nats, Watson was the senior vice president of baseball operations for the Diamondbacks, where he oversaw their scouting and player development departments while working in tandem with Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart.

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SS Andres Gimenez (No. 55), 1B Peter Alonso (No. 58), OF Jarred Kelenic (No. 62), and RHP Justin Dunn (No. 89) all moved up on MLB.com's new Top 100 prospects list.

Gimenez was No. 60, Alonso No. 65. Kelenic No. 69, and Dunn No. 100 on the midseason list. 

In the middle of the season, Baseball America's new farm system rankings had the Mets as the No. 19 overall system in baseball, up from No. 27 before the season...

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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets will begin interviewing candidates to succeed Sandy Alderson as head of baseball operations early next week, according to a major league source. The team has received permission to speak to enough candidates to begin the process.

COO Jeff Wilpon and assistant GM John Ricco will conduct the first round of interviews.

As of late Thursday, the only interview scheduled was with Cardinals executive Gary LaRocque. Former Brewers GM Doug Melvin will also get an interview.

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Dan Duquette, who was dismissed Wednesday as GM of the Orioles (along with manager Buck Showalter) will not receive an interview to be the Mets' GM/president of baseball operations, according to SNY's Andy Martino.

The 60-year-old Duquette's name is one that had been floated in recent months as a potential replacement for Sandy Alderson. 

Duquette had been GM of the Orioles since 2011, after stints as GM of the Red Sox (1994-2002), Expos (1987-1994) and Brewers (1980-87).

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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)

Mets ace Jacob deGrom was unanimously named 2018's Baseball Digest Pitcher of the Year, it was announced Thursday.

"It's a great honor," deGrom said in a press release. "I had a simple philosophy this season - to take it pitch-by-pitch and inning-by-inning. It was my job to put up zeros and that's what I tried to do. I tried to control what I could control. What I'm most proud of this year was my consistency."

DeGrom received all 15 first place votes while racking up 45 points. Max Scherzer was his closest competition (with 18 points), followed by Blake Snell, Justin Verlander, Aaron Nola, and Chris Sale

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Oct 10, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington watches the team during a workout at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Oct 10, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington watches the team during a workout at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Almost immediately after Sandy Alderson stepped aside as Mets GM in June, speculation began that former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington would become a leading candidate. But as the Mets begin their interview process, Cherington is not expected to be a part of it, according to major league sources.

Cherington did not respond to a request for comment, and the Mets are not confirming or denying any names. People in the game who know Cherington say that he is happy in his job in the Toronto Blue Jays front office, and not eager to leave it.

The Mets have already scheduled several interviews. Their first round of candidates could include as many as a dozen people.

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Jun 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the field prior to the game between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the field prior to the game between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As the early rounds of the baseball postseason occupy most of our attention, the Mets will quietly begin meeting with candidates for their next head of baseball operations. As we've previously reported, they are not necessarily looking for a general manager, but possibly for a president or executive vice president of baseball ops.

Here's how the process will work, according to sources: The team will soon begin interviewing candidates, but does not plan to announce names or publicize this round of interviews, which could grow to include nearly a dozen people.

A second round of interviews is expected to follow, as it did in 2010, when the Mets narrowed their search to Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes. By then, the process will be more public.

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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)

Noah Syndergaard is frolicking around Ireland, and he gave Mets fans a shock Wednesday when he posted a photo on Instagram of him in the barber's chair.

Before Syndergaard could reveal the finished result -- he got a bit taken off the sides as he prepares for a role as a Viking in a History Channel show (yes, that's really happening), fans took to Twitter to freak out over the possibility that Thor was having all of his locks chopped off.

Click below to see...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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On Episode 10 of Rain Delay Theater: The Podcast, Steve Gelbs and Wayne Randazzo are joined by Mets outfielder Michael Conforto for the season finale of the pod! The guys talk about Conforto growing up with star athlete parents, how he became an outfielder at Oregon State, what it was like playing in the World Series as a rookie, and why getting back to form after shoulder surgery took him longer than he expected.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Michael Conforto
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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)

While watching Mets fans shower David Wright with love and thunderous ovations this past Saturday night at Citi Field, Jacob deGrom wondered if something like that at Citi Field could be in store for him in the future. 

"It's rare that happens anymore that guys spend their whole career with one team, and it shows you how special it is," deGrom said Sunday, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. "Definitely you think, 'What if this could be me?' however many years down the road."

DeGrom, who is under contract through the 2020 season, said multiple times this past season that he is open to a long-term contract extension with the Mets...

Tags: David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The response to and emotions shown to David Wright Saturday after his likely final game with the Mets was a rare occurrence in sports, let alone for the Mets. 

Since they have Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, Jacob deGrom and others, the Mets will not be without leadership next season just because Wright is gone. The fact is, despite his reputation always hovering above the team, any physical leadership he provided the past few years was done mostly from afar.

That said, despite three other players having the potential to be the next homegrown player that achieves great things, makes us proud and does it only ever wearing a Mets uniform, only one guy has the necessary tools needed to be like Wright...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Todd Frazier, Matthew Cerrone
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Jacob deGrom for Cy Young 2018 00:01:02
SNY makes the case that wins don't matter, and that Jacob deGrom should get the vote for National League Cy Young in 2018.

Who needs wins, anyway?

Jacob deGrom finished the season with a 10-9 record, but SNY makes the case that the Mets ace -- who ended up with a 1.70 ERA -- should get the vote for the National League Cy Young this season.

Forget Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola... and watch our campaign video.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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With the MLB Postseason about to begin, who should Mets fans be rooting for to win the World Series? And which team winning it all would be the most awful?

On a scale from "that would be awesome" to "this makes me want to vomit," here's a guide...

1. Oakland Athletics

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Aug 17, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) tosses his bat after hitting a home run against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Buchanan)
Aug 17, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) tosses his bat after hitting a home run against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Buchanan)

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said Sunday that the team not being players for most of the top free agents in recent years was a "total recommendation" of the baseball operations department, adding that pursuing top free agents going forward would depend on the views of their next GM.

The Mets are replacing Sandy Alderson, who helped usher in the Moneyball Era when he was GM of the Oakland Athletics. Alderson spoke often during his Mets tenure about his aversion to handing out contracts that were enormous in terms of both years and dollars, explaining that those deals have a low probability of working out. 

When free agency begins, two of the most prized free agents in history will hit the open market -- 26 year-old infielder Manny Machado and 25-year-old outfielder Bryce Harper...

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Wright joins SNY booth 00:03:34
David Wright joins Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez to talk about his emotional final game and reflect on his career as a Met

Mets 3B David Wright joined the SNY broadcast booth after playing in Saturday's game against the Marlins.

Tags: David Wright
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This season, thanks to Citi, each time the home run apple goes up at Citi Field, another step is taken in the fight against childhood hunger.

For each Mets home run hit at Citi Field this season, Citi has pledged to donate enough for No Kid Hungry to provide 20,000 meals to kids in need in NYC and throughout the U.S. Learn more about the Citi Community Home Runs program at Mets.com/Citi.  

 

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May 29, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; President Donald Trump gestures during his rally at Municipal Auditorium. Mandatory Credit: Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK (Larry McCormack)
May 29, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; President Donald Trump gestures during his rally at Municipal Auditorium. Mandatory Credit: Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK (Larry McCormack)

Mets captain David Wright returned to third base Saturday night for the first time in over two and a half years, and President Donald Trump recorded a special message for him while at the United Nations.

"You are a spectacular man and a great baseball player," Trump said. "Tremendous hitter, tremendous fielder, a winner." 

Click below to watch Trump's full message:

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The guys talk 2019 00:02:21
Gary and Keith discuss the key decisions that lay ahead for the Mets organization heading into next season

Noah Syndergaard pitched the first shutout of his career and the Mets ended their season with a 1-0 win over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Syndergaard (13-4) allowed five hits and struck out six while tossing 101 pitches, including 78 for strikes. He finished the year by going 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA with two complete games this month. The right-hander went 11-3 over his final 17 starts and finished 2018 with a 3.03 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 155 strikeouts in 154 1/3 innings. Mets pitching held the Marlins scoreless over the final 24 innings of the series.

Tags: Miami Marlins, Noah Syndergaard
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Noah finishes strong 00:01:32
On the final day of the season, Jose Reyes bid farewell to Mets fans and Noah Syndergaard tossed a complete game shutout over the Marlins.

Noah Syndergaard shut down the Marlins' bats in a 1-0 shutout on Sunday afternoon to cap the Mets' 2018 season.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Sept. 29, 2018: David Wright looks to the sky after the National Anthem and before the final game of his career. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY
Sept. 29, 2018: David Wright looks to the sky after the National Anthem and before the final game of his career. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY

David Wright bounced up the steps in the moments after Saturday's game and with three simple words summed up the 17-year relationship between himself and his fans.

"This is love," he said, surrounded by about 44,000 friends, a lot of whom were holding back tears.

The night was supposed to be about us honoring Wright. It turned out to be just as much about our love and appreciation for him as it was about his love and appreciation for us and the countless people connected that helped him create a life he so cherishes.

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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Reyes takes a bow 00:00:26
Jose Reyes leaves the game and takes a bow to an ovation from the home crowd

One day after David Wright was given a special sendoff from the fans at Citi Field, Jose Reyes had a moment of his own in front of the home crowd.

Reyes started at shortstop and had one at-bat -- a groundout -- before he was replaced at shortstop by Amed Rosario in the top of the second inning. Reyes waved to the fans and gave one last curtain call.

Reyes, the franchise leader in stolen bases and triples, started alongside Wright on Saturday for the 878th time -- the most by any pair of teammates in Mets history. 

Tags: Jose Reyes
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