The MLB 2014 First Year Player Draft begins Thursday at 7 p.m and the Mets hold the No. 10 pick. As Thursday's early mock drafts illustrate, there is so much uncertainly in picks Nos. 4-9 that pinning down a likely target for the Mets at No. 10 is extremely difficult.

Even given their own well-defined preferences (which are not public), the Mets are subject to the whims of teams in front of them.


Baseball America - Forrest Wall 2B (Orangewood Christian HS, Winter Park, FL)

First, John Manuel's comment:

In this scenario, the Mets have their pick of a college hitter they like (Turner), a college pitcher they like (Newcomb) and their wild-card favorite, Florida prep second baseman Forrest Wall. While they have strong conviction in Wall’s bat, he’d be the first high school second baseman ever drafted this high.
Wall is one of the players rising rapidly. Wednesday, Peter Gammons tweeted, "In very good HS hitter draft, love Forrest Wall (10th, Mets?), OF Braxton Davidson and 3B Michael Chavis in 1st round." Remember, just a week ago, Gammons tweeted that Vanderbilt's Tyler Beede would not fall past the Mets at No. 10, so don't take his projection too seriously, other than that he's been around the business forever, and is extremely connected.

Manuel, by the way, was a guest on this week's Mostly Mets podcast to discuss this draft. In discussing the high school hitters beyond Alex Jackson and Nick Gordon, who are both likely to go off the board in the top seven picks, he said of the Mets at No. 10: "I just think there's too much risk there.... The high school bats fit better at 25-40."

On Wall specifically, he's "had shoulder problems - on both shoulders - I think they've both been dislocated. His most common comparison is Dustin Ackley. Does that make you excited or does that scare you?" Manuel said. Despite a productive 2011 in his debut season, Ackley, the second overall pick in 2009, is a career .245/.313/.357 hitter with Seattle and has moved out to left field for the Mariners.

There's a two-fold reason teams do not usually take high school second baseman in the top half of the first round: signalling and profile. In terms of signal, high schools and college teams usually put their best overall athletes at shortstop and center field. Thus the signal in a HS second baseman is that he's not even the best athlete on his own infield. Even excellent defensive third baseman were shortstops as amateurs (see: David Wright and Evan Longoria). In terms of profile, if he's truly a second baseman, then he has to hit enough to play everyday to be a valuable MLB piece. Let's say the bat is not quite good enough to be an everyday starter at second. Then he's a nothing. Backup MLB middle infielders have to be able to hold their own at shortstop (Justin Turner and his ilk). So, there's a very good reason high schoolers are not usually Top 10 draft picks.

The previous high for a HS 2B was the Red Sox selecting Gosuke Katoh in the second round at No. 66 overall, and paying him to avoid a UCLA commitment. Katoh is hitting a very modest .174/.295/.315 with 24 walks and 64 strikeouts in 47 games with Greenville as a 19-year-old in the SAL.

Manuel's scenario has the Cubs drafting Oregon State OF Michael Conforto at No. 4, although Manuel says emphatically that if Conforto does not go at No. 4, he will not go 5, 6 or 7, and the next highest he can go is No. 8 to the Rockies. Manuel also goes slightly off the board immediately in front of the Mets in choosing guys with late helium who have risen rapidly late in the spring, tying the Rockies at No. 8 to C/OF Kyle Schwarber and the Jays at No. 9 to C Max Pentecost.

Neither Newcomb nor Turner fall far, as Manuel has the Brewers hopping on Newcomb, the LHP from Hartford at No. 12 and the Padres going after Turner, the NC State SS at No. 13. Jeff Paternostro of Amazin Avenue has seen Newcomb a bunch this spring and updated his writeup on him here.


ESPN.com - Trea Turner SS (NC State)

Keith Law's comment:

I think Sean Newcomb stops here, but the Mets would take Trea Turner, Max Pentecost or Casey Gillaspie if Newcomb is off the board.
In Law's draft, the Cubs select Conforto at No. 4, and with Aaron Nola off the board at No. 3, the Phillies select their next favorite college arm with Newcomb at No. 7. The Jay pop Kennesaw State C Max Pentecost at No. 9.

Law's full writeup on Turner is here, but he's a true premium speed guy. Law's summary: "The lack of projection in Turner's bat could hurt him come draft day, but at his best he's an above-average shortstop who can change games with his speed."


Baseball Prospectus/Perfect Game - Michael Conforto OF (Oregon State)

Their comment:

Turner could very well be the pick at this spot should be be available, but if not they'll gladly take Conforto, one of the safer bets in the draft to enjoy a productive professional career.
This is basically the "safe" scenario all the way through the top 10, with all of the high schoolers like LHP Brady Aiken, RHP Tyler Kolek, SS Nick Gordon and C/OF Alex Jackson mixed with collegians RHP Carlos Rodon, RHP Aaron Nola, LHP Sean Newcomb, LHP Kyle Freeland and SS Trea Turner going in the first nine picks in front of the Mets. It's plausible enough, but it almost seems too predictable this way. Some team is going to get creative in the Top 10.


MLB Draft Insider - Bradley Zimmer OF (USF)

Chris Crawford, who is shutting down MLB Draft Insider after this runthrough, (I believe to join ESPN full-time) writes:

This would sort of be the Mets “worst nightmare” as I think they would prefer Turner, Conforto or one of Freeland or Newcomb to be on the board. They get an awful nice consolation prize in Zimmer, however.
Crawford has the Cubs on Conforto at No. 4, the Phillies on Newcomb at No. 7 and the Jays on Turner at No. 9. His "big" rumor is Tyler Kolek, the massive HS RHP from Texas, dropping all the way to the Rangers at No. 11. This seems implausible, but someone has to fall.


CBSSports - Trea Turner, SS (NC State)

Jon Heyman takes a crack at a mock daft. Heyman doesn't cover any amateur baseball, but he is well-connected. At the same time, he basically confesses in his introduction, that he's borrowing the work of others. As h he writes, "Here's how we see it (a dozen executives were talked to, and thanks to the writings of Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of MLB.com and John Manuel of Baseball America for additional details):"

Turner (and Conforto and Newcomb) get to the Mets in Heyman's scenario because the Cubs select C/OF Kyle Schwarber at No. 4 and the Blue Jays go after Tommy John-rehabber Jeff Hoffman of ECU at #9. Most of the mock drafts that have the Jays selecting Hoffman have them doing so at No. 11, that is after the Mets. That makes more sense -- the Mets have not been especially tied to Hoffman, so the Jays would be better off picking their favorite healthy player at No. 9, and then Hoffman at No. 11, unless they think the Mets are heavy on Hoffman at No. 10.


Other Draft Reading- At USA Today's For The Win, Ted Berg talks to Peter Gammons with basic draft questions.

- At Fangraphs, Tony Blegino, a former professional scout takes you deep, very deep, into the process MLB teams use in creating their draft boards.

- At Baseball Prospectus, Kevin Whitaker examines the coattails effect for a top draft prospect at a smaller school pulling his teammates up draft boards. It's a cool piece of applied research. His conclusion: coattails exist, and there's little evidence that they are harmful.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

McCutchen (22) at bat at PNC Park (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
McCutchen (22) at bat at PNC Park (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Pirates turned down acquiring elite prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from the Nationals for OF Andrew McCutchen, former GM and current SiriusXM host Jim Bowden said Dec. 9.

The Nationals also offered Giolito and Lopez in a deal for Chris Sale, among other prospects, before sending them to the White Sox for OF Adam Eaton.

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Sep 6, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) reacts after delivering a final out against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 6, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) reacts after delivering a final out against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have not ruled out exploring a trade for White Sox RH reliever David Robertson, a source recently told Newsday's Marc Carig.

Robertson, 31, will earn $12 million in 2017, $13 million in 2018, and then be a free agent.

He had a 3.47 ERA (3.58 FIP) and 37 saves for the White Sox last season, while striking out 75 batters in 64 innings.

In September, Robertson had arthroscopic surgery to clean up a meniscus issue in his left knee. However, the White Sox have repeatedly said he'll be 100 percent for the start of spring training.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia
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John Ricco on free agent market 00:02:23
Mets assistant GM John Ricco speaks with Steve Gelbs on the free-agent marketplace at the Winter Meetings.

The Mets have yet to talk with their current crop of starting pitchers about the possibility of signing contract extensions, Mets assistant GM John Ricco told SNY's Mets Hot Stove on Thursday.

"It's something that's certainly in mind when we talk about how we're going to keep this team in tact for the long term, and win in the long term," Ricco said, noting that such discussions usually happen in January and February not December. "But, to date we haven't really engaged at all, though like in the past, if it makes sense we'll aggressively approach them."

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Photo: Chris McShane
Photo: Chris McShane

The Mets again told teams interested in top shortstop prospect Amed Rosario that he is unavailable via trade, GM Sandy Alderson explained to reporters before leaving the Winter Meetings.

For instance, according to Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert, the Royals asked for Rosario when the Mets inquired about Wade Davis, who was eventually traded to the Cubs.

"We've made that clear before and continue to make that clear when his name is mentioned, so I think clubs have gotten the message," Alderson added.

MLB.com, Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus all consider Rosario to be the Mets' top prospect.

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Sep 25, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a single during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		  (Anthony Gruppuso)
Sep 25, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a single during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

Dec 9 | 10:00AM

The Mets initially thought the Rangers and Blue Jays were a possible landing spot for Jay Bruce, but - so far - both teams have just limited interest, according to NY Post reporter Mike Puma.


Matthew Cerrone: The market for Bruce will develop after free agents Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are off the market. The Rangers, Jays, Orioles and Indians are all reportedly interested in Encarnacion and Bautista, but they all can't sign them. Eventually, these two will sign new contracts, leaving two other teams - and the Giants and Dodgers - turning to the trade market to fill their DH and outfield vacancies. 

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Dexter Fowler (Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports Images)
Dexter Fowler (Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals and free-agent outfielder Dexter Fowler agreed to a deal Thursday night, according to multiple reports.

The team scheduled a press conference for Friday at 11 a.m. ET. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fowler, 30, hit .276 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs in 125 games for the Chicago Cubs last season, helping lead them to their first World Series title in 108 years. He earned $13 million last year.

Tags: St. Louis Cardinals
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Granderson (3) catches a fly ball in the fourth inning (Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)
Granderson (3) catches a fly ball in the fourth inning (Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

Curtis Granderson will likely begin next season in center field, Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters earlier this week at the MLB Winter Meetings.

As a result, Collins said Michael Conforto will likely spend most of his time in right field, while occasionally filling in for Granderson in center, where Juan Lagares will also get time.

In late November, general manager Sandy Alderson told WOR 710 AM radio that he wants Conforto to be an every-day player in 2017, including possibly getting time as a back-up first baseman.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Quiet Winter Meetings for Mets 00:04:19
Steve Gelbs, Andy Martino and Anthony DiComo wrap up all the latest news and action for the Mets as the Winter Meetings come to an end.

SNY's final Winter Meetings Podcast

In their last podcast of the week, hosts Matthew Cerrone and Rob Brender answered several fan voicemails, talking about trading an outfielder, acquiring a new center fielder, why and how to improve the bullpen, and what is likely to happen before Spring Training...

To listen using a pop-out player, click here, or simply use the audio player below...

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Alderson on Mets moving forward 00:03:03
Sandy Alderson chats with Steve Gelbs from the last day of the Winter Meetings and where the team stands on a number of areas.

It was a newsless Winter Meetings for the Mets, as it was for most teams, but it certainly wasn't quiet. In the end, the Mets held a lot of meetings where they talked with agents and team representatives for a variety of relief pitchers open to accepting major- and minor-league deals.

In an effort to free up a roster spot, raise money and have fewer left-handed hitting outfielders, the Mets spent time talking with teams about Jay Bruce, though they reportedly saw more interest in Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto, which is understandable.

In the end, I expect the Mets will eventually trade Bruce and one of two things will happen, 1) They'll get back a big-league reliever making a decent salary, after which they'll use the difference to sign one or two more low-cost relievers, or 2) They'll trade Bruce for nothing, and use his entire $13 million to sign someone like Brad Ziegler, as well as one or two more low-cost relievers.

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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

Sandy Alderson conducted his final briefing with reporters at the Winter Meetings early Thursday and said he is confident the Mets laid groundwork that will continue through the winter.

"Conversations will continue," he explained.

He reiterated that his desire to trade an outfielder has more to do with playing time than it is motivated by raising money by shedding payroll. 

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The Mets did not add or lose any players during the Major-League phase of this Thursday's annual Rule 5 Draft, which is the final event each year the Winter Meetings.

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Andy Martino on Winter Meetings 00:03:57
Andy Martino discusses the latest from the Winter Meetings including the Nats-White Sox Trade, Yankees, Mets and Wade Davis to the Cubs.

MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone and Robert Brender recorded their final Winter Meetings Podcast, during which they answered questions about Andrew McCutchen, Dexter Fowler, Jose Abreu, what's going on with the Nationals, what will happen to Jay Bruce, Sandy Alderson's bullpen, and if Darrelle Revis will play in the AFL...

To listen in a seperare pop-up player, click here, or use the audio player below...

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Alderson on the Mets' outlook 00:02:51
Steve Gelbs chats with Sandy Alderson to discuss the progress the Mets have made at the Winter Meetings and their remaining offseason plans.

Sandy Alderson talked with reporters late Wednesday and said, while he doesn't know that he'll make any deals before the end of the Winter Meetings, he's made progress in talks with teams and agents that he hopes will benefit the Mets before the end of the offseason.

Alderson also had the following to say about...

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McCutchen (22) at bat at PNC Park (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
McCutchen (22) at bat at PNC Park (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nationals, who had reportedly shown interest in Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen, will acquire White Sox OF Adam Eaton for prospects Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and Reynaldo Lopezaccording to multiple reports.

In this case, I really, really hope the Mets use this opportunity to get in on McCutchen.

The Rangers, Dodgers, Mariners and a "mystery team" have all recently asked about McCutchen, according to reports on MLB Trade Rumors. The Nationals had been reportedly pursuing him since last summer.

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Aug 4, 2016; Bruce (19) celebrates a three run home run with Granderson (3) (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Aug 4, 2016; Bruce (19) celebrates a three run home run with Granderson (3) (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Dec 7 | 3:20 PM

The Mets met with the Rangers on Wednesday, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.


Matthew Cerrone: In addition to starting pitching, the Rangers have reportedly been looking to acquire a corner outfielder or Designated Hitter, such as Jay Bruce. At the same, I've heard from MLB insiders that they've been offering up RH reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who the Mets had interest in acquiring last summer before he was dealt from the Brewers to Rangers with Jonathan Lucroy. It's worth also noting that Texas still has Lucroy, who the Mets were trying to trade for last summer, as well, despite saying they were committed to Travis d'Arnaud. I see no evidence that the Rangers are looking to deal Lucroy. But, if they are, I assume the Mets would be intrigued, despite again saying they're commited to d'Arnaud.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce
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Aug 4, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Aug 4, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

In the wake of trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox, multiple reports indicate the White Sox have started shopping several of their high-priced players.

So far, I have yet to read or hear of any rumors connecting the Mets to the White Sox. However, Chicago clearly has players that should be of interest to Sandy Alderson, specifically closer David Robertson and 1B Jose Abreu. 

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Wheels in motion 00:02:52
Jon Hein and Marc Malusis discuss the Mets' plan of action for Zack Wheeler, including his possible use out of the bullpen.

Zack Wheeler spoke about his health and a potential move to the bullpen during an appearance at the Mets' annual coat drive at Citi Field on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old said he threw about three weeks ago and will do so again around Christmas in what he called a "normal offseason," according to Joe Trezza of MLB.com. Wheeler added that he has not felt pain since April and that "this is the best he's felt."

He was also open to the idea of moving to the bullpen to start 2017, something Mets GM Sandy Alderson mentioned prior to the start of the Winter Meetings this past Sunday.

 

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Free-agent OF Dexter Fowler, Royals OF Lorenzo Cain and Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen (USA Today Images)
Free-agent OF Dexter Fowler, Royals OF Lorenzo Cain and Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen (USA Today Images)

The price on position players -- especially outfielders -- is going down by the minute, according to multiple MLB market markers.

The top-tier, free-agent market includes outfielders Dexter Fowler, Jose Bautista and Ian Desmond, while the trade market reportedly includes Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), Charlie Blackmon (Rockies), Adam Eaton (White Sox), Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson (Royals), Odubel Herrera (Phillies) and Jay Bruce (Mets), among others.

"If I'm Fowler, I give up making $18-20 million a season and quickly grab one of those four-year, $60 million offers, because it might not be there if he waits," a team executive told me.

In regards to the Mets, this doesn't bode well for wanting to trade Bruce. And, it probably explains why reports now indicate Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto are off the table. Because, if prices are dropping, it's not worth moving them.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Jay Bruce (19) has dominated the Mets news cycle during the Winter Meetings (USA TODAY Sports)
Jay Bruce (19) has dominated the Mets news cycle during the Winter Meetings (USA TODAY Sports)

Mets GM Sandy Alderson should have at least one or two reasonable trades on the table for OF Jay Bruce, according to teams that have talked with the Mets.

However, because he's comfortable with slow-playing the free-agent market for relief pitchers, Alderson appears totally fine holding off on dealing Bruce for an arm, while letting the outfield market play out and revisiting his options during December.

"Things are generally slow," Alderson explained Tuesday, talking to reporters. "Hopefully things start to loosen up a little bit. ...Clubs are still trying to figure out exactly what they think is exactly the best way to go. The contours of the market are still a little bit vague, so you don't see a lot of movement."

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Tuesday's News and Rumors...

The Mets contacted the Royals about closer Wade Davis >> Read more!

The Mets also may have interest in free-agent relievers Matt Belisle, Joe Blanton, Junichi Tazawa, Drew Storen and Boone Logan, as Jerry Blevins is seeking a three-year deal >> Read more!

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he and his staff are planning to change the workload and routine of their starting pitchers >> Read more!

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Oct 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) and center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) celebrates after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in game two of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Oct 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) and center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) celebrates after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in game two of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

Dec 7 | 6:15 AM

The Mets asked the Royals about closer Wade Davisbut were asked to part with elite SS prospect Amed Rosario, who the team considers untouchable, according to Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert.

Instead, the Cubs are close to acquiring Davis for 24-year-old OF Jorge Soleraccording to multiple reports on MLB Trade Rumors.

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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets are not yet willing to pay some of Curtis Granderson's $15 million salary or Jay Bruce's $13 million salary to help trade them during this week's Winter Meetings.

"Not at this point," Alderson said Monday, when specifically asked about the scenario.

Alderson is not usually this vague, though, which makes me think he'll eventually give in. However, right now, it's early enough in the off season that he isn't feeling desperate. Instead, I'm hearing they're more likely to give up a prospect or two in the deal, so the acquiring team is incentivized to absorb Bruce's $13 million.

Remember, the goal here is to a acquire as many relief pitchers as possible before the start of spring training, and I see Alderson eventually getting his men one of the following ways...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Nov 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler (24) talks during the World Series victory rally in Grant Park. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Nov 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler (24) talks during the World Series victory rally in Grant Park. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

The Mets are not trading both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce so they can sign free-agent OF Dexter Fowlera high-ranking team official told SNY's Steve Gelbs.

This is disappointing, if true. I'm sure it is, but I also know Mets GM Sandy Alderson and his front office tend to make statements based on what's happening at that specific moment, and it does not necessarily recognize where things are headed.

Remember, Alderson and his staff repeatedly told reporters that the Mets wouldn't release Jason Bay, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, nor would they be trading Carlos Beltran and RA Dickey, and they eventually did all of the above. I'm not saying the Mets will sign Fowler, or trade both Bruce or Granderson, I'm simply suggesting that we all take what they say with a grain of salt... because things have a way of changing as the environment changes around them...

That said, this is exactly the move I want to see the Mets make.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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MNoah Syndergaard (34), Jacob deGrom (48) and Matt Harvey (33) walk in from the bullpen at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
MNoah Syndergaard (34), Jacob deGrom (48) and Matt Harvey (33) walk in from the bullpen at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

For the second time this offseason, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he and his staff are planning to change the workload and routine of their starting pitchers, he told reporters Tuesday at the Winter Meetings.

Last month, Alderson said he is open to occasionally using a six-man rotation and mixing in spot starters so guys can get extended rest between appearances.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Robert Gsellman pitches against the Braves last Tuesday in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)
Robert Gsellman pitches against the Braves last Tuesday in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)

Teams have asked about RHP Robert Gsellman, but Sandy Alderson has told them he's not available, sources told ESPN.com's Adam Rubin.

Gsellman, 23, had a 2.42 ERA (2.63 FIP) and 1.27 WHIP, while striking out 42 batters in 44 2/3 innings, during seven starts and one relief appearance for the Mets in 2016.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler
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Free-agent relievers Fernando Salas, Brad Ziegler, Joaquin Benoit and Joe Smith (Credit: USA Today Images)
Free-agent relievers Fernando Salas, Brad Ziegler, Joaquin Benoit and Joe Smith (Credit: USA Today Images)

Dec 6 | 4:00PM

Free-agent LH reliever Jerry Blevins is seeking a three-year deal worth $5-6 million a season, MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reported on Twitter.

"If Blevins is willing to do a two-year deal, maybe Sandy Alderson can reel him back," MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone wrote Nov. 22. "But, if Blevins finds himself eventually weighing three-year offers, I bet Alderson passes and, instead, signs a veteran or two on minor-league deals."

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Tebow during an Arizona Fall League game at Camelback Ranch (Credit: Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today)
Tebow during an Arizona Fall League game at Camelback Ranch (Credit: Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today)

The Mets haven't decided whether OF Tim Tebow will be invited to play in big league games during Spring Training, GM Sandy Alderson said Tuesday.

"That's a decision we'll make some time in the near future," Alderson said, adding that there's "no benefit" to having him in big league camp.

Mets manager Terry Collins said earlier Tuesday that Tebow would play for the Mets during Grapefruit League games this spring, even if he's in minor-league camp

However, late last month, Tebow would not say if he plans to attend Spring Training.

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Sale of Two Cities 00:02:22
The DNL panel discusses the ramifications of the Chris Sale trade to the Boston Red Sox in a blockbuster move at the Winter Meetings.

The Nationals will not be adding Chris Sale, who is about to be traded to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech and two other prospects, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

Earlier Tuesday, Rosenthal said the Nationals would have included RHP prospects Lucas Giolito and Victor Robles in a deal with Chicago. However, they've been reluctant to put them in a deal for Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen, who they've reportedly been pursuing since last summer.

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In honor of Mets media relation executive Shannon Forde, who lost her long, difficult battle with breast cancer last March, MLB announced Monday it will renovate a youth field in Forde's honor in her hometown of Little Ferry, N.J.

"I think a picture says a thousand words," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said at a press conference at the Winter Meetings. "This is the group that loves and misses Shannon every day."

To raise money for the project, which is part of their annual Play Ball program, MLB is auctioning off a number of unique opportunities, including a pitching lesson from Johnny Cueto, player and manager meet-and-greets, a dinner with Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez.

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