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Mets among 12 teams seeking relief pitching
Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Joakim Soria throws a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Mets are among 12 teams this winter in the market for relief pitching,'s Jerry Crasnick tweeted this past weekend (Nov. 30, 2015).

According to Crasnick, the market for relievers is being held up by teams first exploring trades for closers Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon, and waiting to see where free-agent Darren O'Day inks a new deal.

Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets expect Rafael Montero's shoulder to be 100 percent next spring, and Josh Smoker, Erik Goeddel, Logan Verrett, and others will be considered for the Opening Day bullpen. However, they're going to need a veteran or two to help set up Jeurys Familia. Insiders expect free-agent relievers Tyler Clippard, Tony Sipp, Ryan Madson, Mark Lowe and Shawn Kelly to all get two-year deals. Meanwhile, Sandy Alderson reportedly also has interest in free-agent set-up men Joakim Soria and O'Day, who are expected to get three-year deals, since nearly half the league is pursuing them.

In the event the Mets miss out on Soria and O'Day, and Alderson refuses to give a two-year deal to someone else, he'll be left again offering minor-league deals to guys like Matt Belisle, Trevor Cahill, Jason Frasor, Jerry Blevins, Craig Breslow and others, which could put them in the exact position as last season. And, I'm not sure that's going to be good enough this time around...

Tags: Erik Goeddel , Jeurys Familia , Logan Verrett , Rafael Montero , Matthew Cerrone
Mets might bring back Jenrry Mejia
New York Mets' Jenrry Mejia (58) winds up to throw to the Texas Rangers in an exhibition baseball game Friday, April 3, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia is eligible for arbitration and the team plans to bring him back in 2016, team officials told ESPN beat reporter Adam Rubin (Nov. 30, 2015).

Mejia, 26, who is serving his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, can rejoin the Mets toward the end of July.

According to Rubin, he is likely to earn roughly $1 million next season. In seven appearances last year, he pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings. He recorded 28 saves with a 3.65 ERA in 63 appearances in 2014.

If Mejia is caught using performance-enhancing drugs for a third time, he would be subject to a lifetime ban. He was suspended 80 games for a first-time offense last March and 162 games last July.

Matthew Cerrone
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I guess I'm kind of surprised by this, but then I remember MLB is a business and everything makes total sense. The fact is, Mejia has talent. So, if his talent outweighs his compensation, and he has positive value, he'll always be in demand, even if he's been suspended for PED... twice. Mets players and management may have been disappointed, but if he returns to pitch well, stays healthy and helps them win games, everyone will be happy. And, for $1 million, Mejia is a good gamble, especially for a team that is wanting a dominant, strike-out bullpen...

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Mets award full playoff shares worth over $300K
Oct 30, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; in game three of the World Series at Citi Field. (Brad Penner)

The Mets awarded full playoff shares to 44 players, with a value of $300,757.78 each, it was announced on Monday.

The amount of each full share was a record for a World Series runner-up, topping the $291,667.68 the Detroit Tigers awarded their players for winning the American League in 2006.

In addition to the full playoff shares, the Mets awarded a total of 11.05 partial shares and 25 cash awards.

The Royals, who beat the Mets in the World Series, gave out full playoff shares worth $370,069.03

Juan Lagares is playing winter ball
(David Zalubowski/AP)

Mets OF Juan Lagares played two Winter League games in the Dominican Republic this past weekend.

Lagares had one hit, one RBI, a walk and a stolen base, while starting in center field.

He had a breakout season in 2014, hitting .281, winning a Gold Glove and signing a four-year contract extension. However, he struggled at the plate and in the field during 2015, while battling the same sore elbow that ended his previous season early.

Lagares had his elbow examined by doctors during the last week of October, at which point it was determined he would not have offseason surgery (Nov. 9, 2015).

"Again, there hasn't really been a change in a long time in it, so the recommendation is not to have surgery," Ricco explained. "I know Terry has said throughout the year that maybe we needed to be a little more aggressive with him in spring training in terms of a throwing program, as opposed to this year when we kind of backed off him and didn't have him throw as much. We're going to talk to the doctors and the trainers and figure it out."

Tags: Juan Lagares
Stats and Facts: Ben Zobrist 00:00:50 takes a look at free-agent second baseman and outfielder Ben Zobrist, who is a potential target for the Mets this offseason.

Free-agent Ben Zobrist is Sandy Alderson's top target, according to's Ken Rosenthal (Nov. 29, 2015).

However, ESPN beat reporter Adam Rubin doesn't believe the Mets will offer him a four-year deal, despite wanting him to be their primary second baseman (Nov. 30, 2015). Industry sources recently told the New York Post the same about the Yankees (Nov. 15, 2015).

>> Baseball Night in New York on Mets free agency targets

In the end,'s Tom Verducci believes the Mets and Nationals will be high bidders for Zobrist (Nov. 24, 2015). According to Rosenthal, the Braves and Giants are also pursuing the multi-position veteran.

The Mets had a conference call with Zobrist and his representatives in mid-November (Nov. 18. 2015).

Zobrist hit .276 with a .359 OBP, 13 home runs, 56 RBI and .450 slugging percentage last season, after which he hit .303 in the postseason.

In the event the Mets fail to land Zobrist, or upgrade their middle infield, Rubin believes the Mets could instead become more active in pursuing a lefty-hitting complement to Juan Lagares in center field.

Matthew Cerrone
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Rubin presents upgrading the middle infield and acquiring a center fielder as an either-or scenario, as if the Mets are incapable or unwilling to do both. And, I really hope that is not the case. It's not like I'm hoping they go sign Zobrist for second base, Ian Desmond to play shortstop and Jason Heyward for center field, though that would be a pretty sweet off season. Instead, we're talking about two reasonable acquisitions, both of which I expect them to be able to do at the same time...

In regards to a super-utility guy, Id' rather Murphy for three years than Zobrist for four. For starters, I know Murphy can hit in Citi Field, I know he can handle New York, he has a relationship with the fans, and I know he loves the franchise and city and he wants us to win. I think Zobrist can do these things, but -- the fact is -- I don't know. I've seen countless free agents come here and bust. Frankly, it's the more likely outcome at this point. At the same time, I don't have that concern with Murphy. Yes, he has his flaws, but he's four years younger than Zobrist, who would be 38 years old at the end of this next deal if he signs for four years.

In the end, though, I suspect Murphy will keep waiting on the sidelines until he sees the deal inked by Zobrist. So, this is far from over...

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Red Sox are trying to trade Hanley Ramirez
Boston Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez (Mark L. Baer)

The Red Sox are trying to trade Hanley Ramirez, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (Nov. 30).

According to Cafardo, the Red Sox are targeting the Mariners, Orioles, and Angels as trade partners, though Ramirez would have to serve as a DH if he were traded to any of those teams.

Last season, while transitioning from the infield to the outfield and dealing with a shoulder injury, Ramirez hit .249 with a .291 OBP and .426 SLG to go along with 19 HR and 53 RBI in 105 games.

Ramirez, who turns 32 in December, is owed just over $68 million through 2018 and has a vesting option for 2019 that's worth $22 million.

Cafardo notes that in order for the Red Sox to trade Ramirez, they'll likely have to absorb at least half of the money he's owed.


Tags: Boston Red Sox
Stats and Facts: Cabrera 00:00:55 takes a look at free-agent shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera as part of its Stats and Facts series.

The Mets, White Sox, Royals and Angels are purusing free-agent 2B-SS Asdrubal Cabrera, according to a Venezuelaa radio host (Nov. 27, 2015).

SBNation's Chris Cotillo recently reported four teams were interested in signing Cabrera, who is expected to sign a two-year deal at some point this winter (Nov. 20, 2015).

Matthew Cerrone
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Cabrera is not perfect, but he fits the Mets well enough that they should be at least talking with him. He eventually took a one-year deal last winter, when the Mets had a bit of interest. In the end, they passed and determined Wilmer Flores was a better bet, but they kept tabs on him deep in to the offseason...

Cabrera struggled during the first half of last season, but got himself together after the All-Star break. In the second half, he struck out less, hit with more power and played better than expected in the field. Basically, after a rough 18 months, he looked like the player he was in 2011 and 2012, which is a guy that plays slightly below-average defense, but makes up for it by driving the ball hard and for occasional power.

He's on par with Wilmer, who, if the Mets wanted to do it, could remain at shortstop, while Cabrera takes over at second. In either case, they'd be an offense-first, defense-challenged middle infield, but it could actually work well for this team depending on the rest of the lineup and if the starting pitchers keep striking people out (Nov. 20, 2015).

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Tigers, Zimmermann agree on deal

The Tigers have reached an agreement with former Washington righthander Jordan Zimmermann, according to multiple media reports.

The deal, reported to be for five years and more than $100 million, is pending a physical. first reported the Tigers were in serious talks with Zimmermann late Saturday night. Zimmermann, 29, was 13-10 with a 3.66 ERA last season with the Nationals and has a career 3.32 ERA. He had Tommy John surgery several years ago.

The Tigers, who lost Max Scherzer to the Nats last year, were last in the AL Central. Detroit recently acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez. The Nationals will receive a draft choice since they made Zimmermann a qualifying offer.

Others in the free agent starting pitching market include Zack Greinke, David Price and Johnny Cueto along with Jeff Samardzija, Wei-Yin Chen and Ian Kennedy.

Tags: Washington Nationals
Anthony Recker signs minor league deal with the Indians
New York Mets catcher Anthony Recker (20) hits an RBI double during the third inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Mets won 5-1. (Chris Humphreys)

Former New York Mets catcher Anthony Recker has signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians with an invitation to Major League camp during spring training (Rubin, Nov. 27).

Recker, 32, had cleared waivers and was removed from the Mets 40-man roster on Nov. 6, which made him a free agent.

He had been with the Mets since the 2013 season. Last year he hit .125 with two home runs in 32 games played.

The Mets currently have catchers Travis d'Arnaud, Kevin Plawecki and Johnny Monell on their 40-man roster. 

Tags: Anthony Recker , Tim Reilly
Lawrie, Valencia are drawing trade interest
Oakland Athletics second baseman Brett Lawrie (15) catches a ground ball during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Coliseum. The Rays defeated the Athletics 2-1. (Kyle Terada)

Oakland Athletics infielder Brett Lawrie and infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia are drawing trade interest, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Nov. 27).

The Athletics recently acquired infielder Jed Lowrie, making either Valencia or Lawrie expendable.

Valencia, 31, hit .290 with a .345 OBP and 18 home runs while driving in 66 runs last season. He split time between the corner infield and corner outfield positions last season with Toronto and Oakland.

Lawrie, who will turn 26 in January, hit .260 last season with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs. While he is primarily a third baseman, he did play 42 games at second base last season.

While the Mets are not linked to either player, yet, both could be attractive pieces, especially if they lose out on free agent Ben Zobrist. Valencia and Lawrie are each a right-handed bat with the capability of playing multiple positions and could provide some security for David Wright at third base.  

Tags: Tim Reilly
The Mets should pursue Cuban RHP Yaisel Sierra

Matthew Cerrone
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I'd like to see the Mets make a run at 24-year-old Cuban RHP Yaisel Sierra, who is currently considered the top unrestricted free agent from Cuba.

According to's Jesse Sanchez, Sierra's fastball is consistently in the 94-97-mph range, "and he hit 98 mph in a showcase in front of 100 scouts in August in the Dominican Republic."

Sierra has been throwing for teams each week for the past two months in the Dominican Republic, according to Sanchez.

Sierra is not subject to the international signing guidelines, because of his age and experience. It's possible Sierra could help a Major League team next season, scouts recently told Sanchez, who feels he could eventually be a top of the rotation starting pitcher. In the meantime, scouts say he could easily adjust to being a reliever and possible closer.

The word from scouts is that he has a hard fastball, a nice slider, easy, traditional motion, the occasional three-quarter arm slot and typical command issues. However, they say with a little refinement in the minor leagues, and adding a change up, he could become a legit bullpen arm for a team late next season. He's going to see a lot of interest when his market opens because he's outside the bonus pool.

The sense I get is that Sierra will cost a five- to seven-year deal, somewhere around $4-5 million a season. He is not yet cleared to sign with an MLB team. However, when he is, the Mets should make a move to acquire him. They never take these sort of chances. In this case, Sierra may be worth the risk, because of his age, position, velocity and reasonable contract.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Gary Carter Trade: 30 years on 00:09:26 looks back at the pivotal trade that brought catcher Gary Carter to the Mets from the Expos.

Matthew Cerrone
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This month, 31 years ago, the Mets and Expos were likely knee deep in talks about a deal that would eventually send Gary Carter to Queens, where he would help them win a World Series Championship less than two years later.

''This is a banner day for the Mets,'' the team's GM Frank Cashen said after the deal was complete.

''Everyone is aware of our need for a right-handed power hitter, and they don't come any better than Gary Carter.''

In the deal, the Mets sent two every-day players and two highly regarded prospects.

''We have parted with some outstanding talent,'' Cashen said. ''But, to obtain someone of the caliber of Gary Carter, the price isn't going to come cheaply.''

It was a huge deal, to say the least. And, it's reminiscent of where the Mets are today. Their young pitching is clearly the reason the Mets will sustain success for the next few years. But, they still lack a consistent, reliable heavyweight in the middle of their lineup, someone they can count on to clear the bases and carry them in times of struggle. They had it for a couple of months in Yoenis Cespedes, but he's likely to leave as a free agent this winter. They had it for two brilliant weeks in October, when Daniel Murphy developed super-human strength to help them reach the World Series. But, he too is likely to leave as a free agent. So, here we are again, looking for that elusive 'big bat,' just like a year ago, just like four months ago.

In this interview, I talk with Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record, who was covering the Mets as a beat writer in 1984, to learn about where the Mets were 31 years ago and how it compares to today...

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Tom from Ocean City: I think the Mets should trade nothing to the Rockies for SS Jose Reyes and his remaining contract. Then, trade Lucas Duda and Zack Wheeler for Todd Frazier, and resign Daniel Murphy to play first base (and other positions when needed). What do you think?

Matthew Cerrone
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There is no way the Mets are reacquiring Reyes, because he just isn't the same baseball player he was a few years ago. This is exactly why Sandy Alderson didn't want to sign Reyes after the 2011 season. Yes, it was the money, but it wasn't the initial money. It was the money at the end of the deal.

I always heard Sandy had interest in keeping Reyes, but only for three, maybe four years. Alderson always acknoledged Jose's super talent, marketability and significance to the franchise. But, anything beyond three years and an option was a non-starter in any potential negotiation with the Mets. Alderson clearly had no interest in paying $20 million a year when Jose's game started to decline, which was likely to happen given his history of injuries and how much Reyes relied on his legs and speed. Jose was quickly offered a six-year deal from Miami and, understandably, took it.

The same argument can be made for David Wright, by the way, but I think they viewed David's off-field role with the franchise slightly different, and his future game (more plate discipline, less speed) played better with their offensive strategy. Unfortunately, David's spine had other ideas...

It's sad, actually. I loved watching Jose play baseball in his prime. He was such a raw, explsoive, natural, amazing talent. But, there were points last season when he actually had negative value. He looked rigid and rocky, especially in the field, where he struggled to get to routine plays. In real terms, putting him between Wright's bad back and Wilmer Flores at second base, plus putting Murphy at first, would easily result in the worst defensive infield in baseball. l love my memories of Reyes, but his time with the Mets clearly ended the day he inked that deal with the Marlins.

That said, I am intrigued by sending Lucas Duda and Wheeler to the Reds. I need more than just Todd Frazier, if Duda's in the trade, but it's something worth looking in to, no doubt - especially if Frazier will returm to playing first base.

Tags: Lucas Duda , Matthew Cerrone
Mailbag: Should the Mets acquire Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe?

The Minnesota Twins may look to deal infielder Trevor Plouffe in an effort to acquire a relief pitcher, according to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo (Nov. 21, 2015).

Tony from Middletown: I think Plouffe would be a good fit for the Mets. He can essentially replace Daniel Murphy and be the team's super-utility guy at 80% the price. He can also fill in for David Wright when needed at third base. He's 29, arbitration eligible through 2017 and would likely cost Rafael Montero.

Maggie Wiggin,
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It's hard to know what to expect from a player like Plouffe, who has had a very up-and-down career. He has played a lot of different positions, most of them not particularly well. And, while he can hold his own at the plate, he doesn't have any specific skills that jump out. He did hit 22 home runs last year, his most since 2012. But, his power hasn't been very reliable throughout his career, so it's difficult to count on any significant production from him in that area. He walks a bit, but probably not enough to make up for his low batting average. He's a little slow, though not a major liability on the basepaths.

That said, he did get much better overall when the Twins stopped trying to play him in positions where he wasn't comfortable, namely the outfield and the middle infield, where he struggled. He's been a full-time 1B-3B-DH since 2013 and it's been a positive move for him. That said, it does lower his value to the Mets a little bit since they could use a player with more flexibility. Still, he's the right kind of player to target as a backup for Wright since he doesn't have any starting-caliber tools, but won't get badly exposed if he needs to step in for a longer stretch.

Tags: Maggie Wiggin
National League East rumor round-up
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets: They are reportedly looking to add a middle infielder, help in the bullpen and to add a center fielder to either to play full time or platoon with Juan Lagares. However, so far, they have yet to appear in any major Hot Stove rumors, aside from reaching out to agents for Darren O'Day, Denard Span and Ben Zobrist, all of whom are still unsigned.

Nationals: They may be the front-runners to land free-agent RH reliever Darren O'Day, because his wife is an on-air reporter at TV a station in Washington D.C >> Read more about the Nationals

Braves: The Cubs, Giants and Dodgers have interest in trading for Braves starting pitchers Julio Teheran and Shelby Miller ... The Braves are one of multiple teams to ask the Giants about Joe Panik and Matt Duffy, but San Francisco isn't interested in dealing either young infielder ... Last week, Atlanta traded OF Cameron Maybin to the Tigers for LH pitching prospects Ian Krol and Gabe Speier >> Read more about the Braves

Marlins: There are several teams interested in trading for 2B Dee Gordon, and Miami is at least listening to offers, though unlikely to move him ... The Mariners want to acquire OF Marcell Ozuna, but the Marlins want RHP Taijuan Walker ... Teams checking in on RHP Jose Fernandez say the Marlins not trading him >> Read more about the Marlins

Phillies: They are not likely to sign a high-priced free agent, but plan to spend the winter stabilizing their starting rotation ... In early November, they acquired pitcher Jeremy Hellickson from the D-Backs for 20-year-old RHP Sam McWilliams >> Read more about the Phillies

Reyes pleads not guilty in domestic violence case
Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes (7) fields a ground ball during the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field. The Rockies won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Humphreys)

Former Mets SS Jose Reyes pleaded not guilty to allegations of abusing his wife at a Hawaii resort, according to the Associated Press (Nov. 25, 2015).

Reyes, 32, was arrested on Oct. 31 in Maui after he allegedly choked and hit his wife in a hotel room. A hotel security guard reported that his wife had injuries to her left leg and scratches on her neck, according to a recording of the 911 call released by police.

Reyes, who was traded to the Rockies last summer, was released on $1,000 bail and ordered to avoid contact with his wife for three days. 

He did not attend his arraignment on Tuesday, and is due back in court in January for a pretrial hearing.

Reyes is subject to discipline from commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB's Joint Domestic Violence Policy.

In 116 games with the Blue Jays and Rockies, Reyes hit .271 with a .310 OBP and 37 extra-base hits. He is due $48 million over the next two seasons, after which he is eligible to be a free agent.

In case you missed it on Tuesday...

The Mets and Nationals are expected to be the high bidders for free-agent IF/OF Ben Zobrist, Tom Verducci said on the MLB Network >> Read more

The Mets signed 25-year-old RHP Stolmy Pimentel to a minor league contract that includes an invite to Major League Spring Training >> Read more

The Mets released their 2016 Spring Training schedule, which will begin on March 3 against the Nationals in Viera >> Read more

The Orioles are among the teams interested in free-agent OF Gerardo Parra, who the Mets have expressed interest in >> Read more

Mets minor league 1B Dominic Smith was named to the All-AFL team >> Read more

Mets sign ML free-agent RHP Stolmy Pimentel

The Mets have signed RHP Stolmy Pimentel to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training.

Pimentel, 25, made eight relief appearances for the Rangers in 2015, during which he was 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA before being assigned to Triple-A for the remainder of the season.

He was originally signed by the Red Sox in 2006 and made his major league debut with the Pirates in 2013. In 2014, Pimentel made 20 relief appearances for the Pirates and posted a 2-1 record with a 5.23 ERA (19 earned runs in 32 2/3 innings).

The 2015 National League Champion Mets open their 2016 Grapefruit League schedule Thursday, March 3 against the Nationals in Viera at 1:05 p.m.


The team's first home game will be Friday, March 4 against the Marlins in Port St. Lucie, Fla. at 1:10 p.m.

The Mets will play 29 exhibition games, including against the Nationals six times, the Marlins six times, the Cardinals five times, the Braves three times, and the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees and Astros twice.

Is Jurickson Profar ready to rejoin the MLB party?

Rangers SS Jurickson Profar was named to's All-AFL Team for this year's Arizona Fall League.

"Profar is finally beginning to look like the same player who ranked as baseball's unanimous top prospect in 2013 before a shoulder injury limited him to just 12 games over the past two seasons," explains's Mike Rosenbaum (Nov. 24, 2015).

Last winter, the Mets and Rangers reportedly had trade talks involving Dillon Gee, with one scenario involving Profar, people in baseball told reporter Chris Cotillo (MLB Daily Dish, March 2). However, it was later reported that the Mets had just limited interest Profar, and even less interest in SS Elvis Andrus, while the Rangers were asking for Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom (MetsBlog, Dec. 2014).

Profar, 22, hasn't played since 2013. He missed all of 2014 after initially injuring his shoulder, then missed all of last season after having surgery.

Matthew Cerrone
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I always imagined the Mets-Profar rumor from last winter sounded something like, "Hey, Profar is going to miss another year, he hasn't played since 2013, you like Gee, what if we swap them," with the Mets gambling on a total mystery and Texas getting a fifth starter. Obviously, the Rangers had no interest, likely countered by asking for deGrom or Wheeler and that was where things ended.

That said, I do think the Mets were intrigued by the 22-year-old, former top prospect. And, if they were curious last winter, they've got to be curious again having seen him look mostly healthy during the Arizona Fall League. The kid is still just 22, he has only 94 big-league games under his belt, he's arbitration eligible and under team control through 2019. This winter, the Rangers are looking to acquire a starting catcher and, of course, pitching, and Profar's name will almost certainly come up in discussions.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Stats and Facts: Gerardo Parra 00:01:00 takes a look at free-agent outfielder Gerardo Parra as part of its Stats and Facts series.

The Orioles are interested in bringing back free-agent OF Gerardo Parra, but only if he'll accept a two-year deal, according to's Jerry Crasnick (Nov. 24, 2015).

The Mets reached out to Parra's agent in early November, industry sources told Marc Carig of Newsday (Nov. 16, 2015). Also, last summer, the Mets reportedly had talks with the Brewers about acquiring Parra before he was dealt to the Orioles in late July.

Parra, 28, who bats left-handed, hit .291 with 14 home runs and 51 RBIs last season, though he struggled after being traded. He is expected to land a new contract worth around $10 million a season for three years.

According to updates on MLB Trade Rumors, the Royals, Orioles and Mariners may also have interest in acquiring Parra this off season (Nov. 2015).

Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets are reportedly interested in Dexter Fowler and Denard Span, as well. Parra, of course, is expected to be the least expensive option. He's sort of considered the poor man's Carlos Gomez, which is probably why the Mets tried to acquire him last summer, when they also tried to acquire Gomez. I like Parra, he's a useful player, though I'm slightly concerned with how poorly he played down the stretch. He would have to be in a platoon with Juan Lagares. However, Parra is clearly more comfortable playing a corner outfield spot.

That said, I hear he's a great kid. The Brewers and Orioles both raved about his hustle and attitude. He's got a good arm, he's versatile, he shows up every day and on every play, and he hits well against right-handed pitching. I just don't see a perfect fit in Queens, for him. I get it from a Mets perspective, but I don't know why a 28-year-old seeking a three-year deal would accept being a part-time player, whether it's splitting time with Lagares or filling in for Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Minor League Ball grades Sandy Alderson's farm system

The Mets currently have eight prospects in their top 10 that have a good chance to enjoy successful MLB careers, according to a preliminary list published by veteran prospect guru John Sickels (Nov. 24, 2015).

According to Sickels, who has been researching and writing about prospects for more than a decade...

  • Dominic Smith, 20, best compares to James Loney.
  • Amed Rosario, 20, will soon need to boost his OBP or power.
  • Gavin Cecchini, 21, may be looking at a shift to second base.
  • Brandon Nimmo, 22, is looking more and more like a platoon, role player.
  • Wuilmer Becerra, 21, could be a breakout candidate in 2016.

Last season, 10 of his 10 prospects for the Mets were categorized as likely to enjoy MLB success, with six getting time in the big leagues last season.

Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets have promoted and gotten good use out of several players from their farm system the last year or so, including their top pitchers, Kevin Plawecki, Michael Conforto and others. So, I'm really eager to see these lists this winter, since these guys will not be on it - allowing a new crop of kids to bump up and get noticed.

I agree with Sickels, I think the next 12 months we're going to hear a lot about Becerra and Smith making waves in this farm system. However, outside of that, it's not a very exciting group. In either case, unlike the last few seasons, when it was easy to rank their pitching, these 2016 lists will consist mostly of position players, none of whom look to be at superstar potential.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Citi Cardholders Get Priority Access to 2016 Mets Single-Game Tickets Thanks to Citi Perks

Coming off the Mets improbable run to the World Series this year, fans are anxiously awaiting the start of the 2016 season and the chance for some redemption at Citi Field. Now thanks to Citi and the Citi Perks program, which offers special benefits to Mets fans, Citi cardholders have priority access to purchase 2016 single-game tickets before the general public starting this Wednesday, November 25th at 10:00 a.m. ET through Friday, November 27th at 10:00 a.m. ET at

Tickets are available, while supplies last, for all 81 home games during the 2016 season, including a rematch series with the World Champion Kansas City Royals as well as games against the rival Yankees, Nationals, Cubs, Dodgers and many more. General public tickets sales start on Monday, November 30 at 10:00 a.m. ET, so if you're a Citi cardholder don't wait, get your tickets now to see the Mets defend their National League Pennant in 2016 at Citi Field!

DeGrom and Harvey are New York's Dynamic Duo
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches the first inning against the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom are among the top 10 starting pitchers in baseball, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (Nov. 23, 2015).

"His reputation probably climbed in 2015 more than any other starter in the majors, because of the quality of his fastball and the rapid development of his secondary stuff," Olney said of deGrom, who ranked fifth overall on his list.

If the list was a futures bet, one scout told Olney that he would pick deGrom to accomplish the most of pitchers on the list from 2016 onward.

Harvey ranked 10th on Olney's list. However, they expect more from him next season, as he will enter the 2016 season at 27 years old, his full array of pitches intact, two years removed from elbow reconstruction surgery and no innings restrictions.

In his second season in the majors, deGrom went 14-8 with a 2.54 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 191 innings. He also went 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four playoff games for the Mets.

Harvey made 29 starts in the regular season and four starts in the playoffs after missing 2014 due to Tommy John surgery. He went 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA in the regular season. Including the postseason, he recorded 215 strikeouts in 217 innings.

Tags: Jacob deGrom , Matt Harvey
Dominic Smith named to All-AFL Team

Mets 20-year-old 1B prospect Dominic Smith has been named to's Arizona Fall League All-AFL Team.

Smith had a .362/.483/.511 batting line with one home run, six RBIs, four doubles and 12 walks in 14 games during the AFL.

He missed two weeks during mid-November with a strained oblique muscle. recently ranked him the organization's fifth-best prospect, as well as the 2015 MVP in the Florida State League, where he hit .305 with 33 doubles.

The Mets are the only player from the NL East to have a representative on the AFL's 13-man All-AFL team.

Mets Hot Stove: Michael Conforto 00:06:35
Gary Apple chats with outfielder Michael Conforto about what experiences he's taking into next season and what will change for him.
Mets should - again - look at Charlie Blackmon
Charlie Blackmon (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports) (Chris Humphreys)

Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets were among several teams in the last 12 months to ask the Rockies about OF Charlie Blackmon, who is not likely to get moved because he's under team control the next three seasons, according to MLB insiders. I understand why the Mets had interest and probably still do.

I realize the Rockies are sending signals that he's not getting dealt. But, in the right deal, for the right young pitcher, they'll listen. The Mets should ask about him again, especially after his 2015. He fits the Mets well...

Maggie Wiggin,
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I agree. He's a left-handed centerfielder under team control. That alone makes him a valuable commodity. He's only in his first year of arbitration, so there's little urgency for them to trade him. They will be asking for pitching, which the Mets are thin at after a summer full of trades, so Sandy Alderson would have to be ready to deal someone like Gabriel Ynoa. Colorado will also probably want a decent position player prospect, such as Wuilmer Beccera.

This feels like steep price, but it's not crazy given the demand on players under team control. It's a fair deal, though I would proceed with caution. For one, at 29 years old, Blackmon is not likely to get much better. What you see is what you get and what he is is a league-average hitter (after accounting for park effects) and a middling fielder. He has some handedness splits, but a platoon with Juan Lagares should allow both to play to their strengths.

Additionally, like all Rockies, he shows strong home-away splits, which is a reason for concern. However, as more and more ex-Rockies have some success for other teams, the true reliability of those splits is being questioned. He certainly won't put up his career .887 home OPS, but he should also be better than his .653 away OPS. In a Mets uniform, I'd expect something around .750 is a realistic outcome. And if he can manage that while being an average fielder (his below-average defensive metrics are certainly impacted by playing 81 games at Coors) that's actually not bad and probably worth a package with two top-10 prospects.

Tags: Maggie Wiggin , Matthew Cerrone
Robinson Cano would love to return to New York

Mariners 2B Robinson Cano is reportedly not happy in Seattle and would love to return to New York, John Harper of the Daily News reports (Nov. 21).

According to Harper, Cano confided in one of his friends about his displeasure in Seattle, where he signed a 10-year deal worth $240 million prior to the 2014 season.

Former Mariners hitting coach Andy Van Slyke recently called Cano the "worst everyday player" he'd ever seen, criticizing Cano's play during the first half of the 2015 season, where he hit just .251 with a .290 OBP and .370 SLG to go along with six HR and 30 RBI.

Cano, 33, played for the Yankees from 2005 to 2013, where he hit .309 with a .355 OBP and .504 SLG while hitting 204 HR before leaving via free agency.

Matthew Cerrone
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Now THIS would be worth looking in to, especially if the Mariners are willing to pick up some money on his deal. The only substantive change in his production is that he's hitting fewer balls in the air, and in a pitcher's park.

I don't know if he's pressing (because of the big contract and expectations) or if he's adjusting his game to hit in the ballpark (Safeco vs. Yankee Stadium). But, as is, it's fair to assume he'll continue to be a 15-20 HR guy the next few seasons. However, I'm confident being teamed back up with Kevin Long, who he worked so well with when on the Yankees, would help him improve his fly-ball rate and rediscover his power stroke.

Cano is demonstrating the same level of plate discipline as he had in the Bronx. And his fielding, which was never sensational to begin with, is similarly on par with where he has been during his career.

So, really, it simply comes down to his ability to drive the ball and put it in the air more. If he can do that, 2015 will likely wind up being his weakest season, with improvement expected over the next three-to-five years. The catch? He's under contract for eight seasons, and who knows what he'll be doing those last few years when making $24 million a season...

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Clayton Kershaw reportedly wants Dodgers to trade Yasiel Puig
August 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Cincinnati Reds against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports August 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (Gary A. Vasquez)

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw told his team's GM to trade OF Yasiel Puig, former MLB OF and coach Andy Van Slyke said on CBS Radio in St. Louis (Nov. 20, 2015).

Nevertheless, a team source says the Dodgers aren't likely to trade Puig, despite a rough last two seasons, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (Nov. 21, 2015).

Van Slyke's son, Scott, is an outfielder on the Dodgers and teammates with Kershaw.

Matthew Cerrone
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I'd explore a deal for Puig, who will earn an affordable $20 million during the three years. This contract is actually fair value for the disappointing year he had in 2015. It's a bargain if he can return to being even half the player he was the year before. He is clearly in need of a change of scenery. He has so much baggage in Los Angeles. He's a hold-over from the previous administration and clogging up the outfield, and doing it with chaos, for incoming rookie manager Dave Roberts. In 2014, Puig played 60 games in center field, where he was adequate enough to justify a return to the position.

I have no idea what he'd cost in a trade, or what I'm comfortable parting with to get him. Frankly, I'm not even sure it's a wise move, given his recent injuries and off-field drama. But, he has the potential to be a super star, the Dodgers may be motivated to move him, he deserves a big market, the Mets need a loud bat, and he's making reasonable money, so it's something that should be explored...

By the way, what's up with Van Slyke? Yikes. Dude, shut your mouth. The Dodgers GM asked Kershaw about the roster, Kershaw said trade Puig. Kershaw told some teammates, including Scott Van Slyke, who confided in his dad, who then blabbed about the whole thing on radio. Wow. Well played, Dad, nice work. Ugh...

Tags: Los Angeles Dodgers , Matthew Cerrone
Stats and Facts: Ben Zobrist 00:00:50 takes a look at free-agent second baseman and outfielder Ben Zobrist, who is a potential target for the Mets this offseason.

Matthew Cerrone
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Free agent infielder Ben Zobrist and reliever Darren O'Day are holding up the hot stove, according to MLB insiders.

The Mets are reportedly interested in both free agents.

Frankly, it's been really quiet around baseball since the GM Meetings.

Typically, teams meet that week, get a sense of who wants what and how much it'll cost, then they get to work. There is usually a good level of activity the week before Thanksgiving, followed by a lull through the holiday, and then a big push through the Winter Meetings, which are scheduled this year Dec. 7 to the 11th. However, in the two weeks since the GM Meetings in early November, it's been close to silent across the news and rumor mill.

Why? Zobrist, who hit .276 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs last season for the A's and Royals, is reportedly seeking a four-year deal. Ten teams have made him an offer, but as many 20 teams initially contacted his agent.

Similarly, O'Day, a middle reliever who recorded a 1.52 ERA and struck out 82 batters in 65 1/3 innings with the Orioles last season, has reportedly received multiple four-year offers, but eight teams put in a bid and up to 15 teams expressed early interest in acquiring him.

In other words, more than half the league is interested in a utility player and a relief pitcher that could combine to earn $25 million a season. I've heard both players intend to use the Thanksgiving holiday to make a final decision, which both want to wrap up before the Winter Meetings.

Once they pick a landing spot, the rest of the league can cross them off their lists and begin shifting their priorities elsewhere.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Dodgers hire Dave Roberts, not Bob Geren

The Dodgers will hire Dave Roberts to be the team's manager, a league source confirmed to's Jerry Crasnick.

The Dodgers interviewed Mets bench coach Bob Geren during their search, according to Newsday's Marc Carig (Nov. 8, 2015). They also interviewed Gabe Kapler, Darin Erstad and Bud Black.

Geren, 54, managed the Athletics from 2007 to 2011, during which current Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi was an assistant to Billy Beane. Geren joined Terry Collins's bench after the 2011 season.

Roberts, who spent 10 years in the majors, served as Padres' bench coach the past two seasons and managed one game on an interim basis after San Diego fired Black and named Pat Murphy interim manager.

The Dodgers had been searching for a new manager after parting ways with Don Mattingly, who has since joined the Marlins as their new manager.

Nats join in chase for O'Day as closer

The Nationals are now in the race to sign free agent reliever Darren O'Day as a closer, a source told Jerry Crasnick of (Nov. 22, 2015).

The Braves and Dodgers also have interest in O'Day to be their closer, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman (Nov. 21, 2015)

O'Day, 33, is asking for four-year deal worth $28-$36 million, according to's Ken Rosenthal (Nov. 18. 2015).

The side-arming reliever has a 1.92 ERA during his last 263 innings spanning four seasons.

The Mets (Nov. 8, 2015), as well as Red Sox, Tigers, Nationals, Royals, and Cubs (Nov. 9. 2015) all reportedly have early interest in O'Day, who had a 1.53 ERA in 68 appearances for the O's last season.

It's expected he will be the first big-name free-agent reliever to sign a new deal this offseason (Nov. 19).

Matthew Cerrone
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Well, this changes things. I mean, if teams are pursuing him to be a closer, while the Mets want him to be a set-up man, it's hard to imagine him choosing New York. I've also heard, while he got mostly three-year offers during the GM Meetings, he has since seen a few four-year offers come rolling in...

My hunch is he's weighing whether to be a closer on a three-year deal against being a set-up man with a four-year deal, along with where he believes he'll best thrive and have a chance to win. I'm sure that's not as easy as it seems, and it's not 100% about money. I want him on the Mets, but that's a cloudy situation and he's clearly in the driver's seat. I bet he makes an announcement sooner than later.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Ruben Tejada's salary could make him a non-tender candidate
Ruben Tejada hits a sacrifice fly to score Wilmer Flores during the 18th inning. The Mets won, 3-1. (AP)

The Mets will have 11 players eligible for salary arbitration this offseason, including Ruben Tejada.

MLB Trade Rumors projects Tejada, who earned $1.8 million this past season, will earn $2.3 million through arbitration next year, after which he can become a free agent for the first time in his career (Oct. 6, 2015).

Similarly, the award-winning team at Pace Law School determined that Tejada can expect to earn slightly less, $2.5 million, would most likely exceed his value on the open market (Nov. 21, 2015).

Matthew Cerrone
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There is a distinct chance that Tejada gets non-tendered, after which the Mets could look to bring him back. It'll be a difficult decision, largely based on whether or not Ben Zobrist's chooses to sign with them. The Mets felt most comfortable going with Tejada at shortstop during the postseason, but that was mostly because of how Wilmer Flores had been hitting down the stretch.

Next season, I think they hope to have different, more versatile options on the infield, which, when coupled with Tejada's salary, could make him expendable. Also, though they praised him a bit toward the end of the last season, Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins have been really, really hard on Ruben the last few years.

Again, knowing this is a pretty pragmatic, unemotional front office, if the Mets need the roster spot, money or have better options, Tejada is toast. If he's the better fit, they'll keep him around for a final season. It's that basic...

Tags: Ruben Tejada
Howie Rose wins an Esurance MLB Award for Best Radio Call
Although the crowds were smaller and less lively than the Mets were accustomed to, the team's offense remained hot. Yoenis Cespedes' fifth-inning double broke the game open, giving starter Bartolo Colon ample run support. (AP)

WOR's Howie Rose was awarded the Esurance MLB Award for Best Radio Call for how he relayed Bartolo Colon's go-ahead RBI double on May 31 this past season >> Watch and Listen Here

The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor baseball's greatest moments and achievements, which are determined by an industry-wide balloting process that includes media, front-office personnel, retired players and fans voting.

Matthew Cerrone
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I love Howie and Josh Lewin on radio. They're an awesome team that I hope never breaks up. I've said it before, but they're a great contrast to SNY's TV team.

Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling are terrific when looking for deep, experience and insight in to the game. Darling and Hernandez are the best at explaining the game, giving insight in to why things are happening. They frequently put on a masterclass in baseball, while also being funny and affable.

Howie and Josh, however, create a more casual, passionate experience, which is reminiscent of watching the game with really smart friends, who may have never played the game professionally, but who really know the team inside and out. Again, it's a great dynamic.

I often watch the game on MLB.TV just so I can flip between audio feeds, while watching the SNY visual broadcast. It's a nice feature. Because if something great happens, I can first get Keith and Ronnie, then rewind and flip the audio to get Howie and Josh. It's great, and highly recommended.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Outfielder Cameron Maybin traded from Braves to Tigers
Center fielder Cameron Maybin (25) throws the ball to the infield (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

The Detroit Tigers have acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for left-handers Ian Krol and Gabe Speier.

The 28-year-old Maybin returns to the organization that drafted him. The Tigers took Maybin in the first round in 2005, and he made his major league debut for Detroit in 2007 before being traded to the Marlins as a key prospect in the deal that brought Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers.

Maybin hit .267 with 10 homers, 59 RBIs and 23 steals for the Braves this year.

Krol made 33 relief appearances for the Tigers in 2015, going 2-3 with a 5.79 ERA. Speier pitched in 33 games this year for Class A West Michigan, going 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA.

Maggie Wiggin,
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Maybin is the kind of lateral move the Mets should definitely avoid this offseason. His "good" year in Atlanta amounted to a sub-.700 OPS and as a right-handed bat, he's not a candidate to platoon with righty Juan Lagares. He walks a little, but has no power and his defense has been up-and-down (mostly down).

The Mets need a better hitter in center than Lagares, but Maybin was not that guy.

Tags: Atlanta Braves , Detroit Tigers , Maggie Wiggin
Mets add Nimmo, Lugo, Walters and Gsellman to 40-man roster

The Mets have added prospects OF Brandon Nimmo, RHPs Seth Lugo, Jeff Walters and Roberts Gsellman to their 40-man roster, the team announced.

If they didn't add them to the 40-man roster by midnight, they were at risk them being selected by a new team in the Rule 5 draft, which you can learn more about here.

Left-handed reliever Josh Smoker would have been eligible, but he was added to the team's 40-man roster late last season.

Matthew Cerrone
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Obviously, the Mets added Nimmo, who will start his season in Triple-A Las Vegas and likely make his big-league debut later in the season. They talked highly of Matt Bowman last spring training and could include him in the mix for next year's bullpen. 

Gsellman is 22-years-old and viewed more like a middle reliever or back-of-the-rotation starter. He doesn't strike a lot of guys out. Instead, he's more of a sinker, ground ball guy, perfect for the team's current bullpen in contrast to its hard-throwing rotation. I'd like to see him stick and remain in the mix next spring.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
What happened to Rafael Montero?
March 7, 2015 (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)
Mike in East Hampton: What happened to Rafael Montero? He was a top prospect, hyped as much as Noah Syndergaard. Yet, we hear nothing about him any more. Can he at least be a factor in the bullpen?


Matthew Cerrone
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The official diagnosis was tendinitis in his shoulder, the team said, when explaining why Montero essentially missed an entire season last year. It was initially described as stiffness, but became tendinitis in August. There was a point when Terry Collins actually stopped in Port St. Lucie on an off-day, they said, to talk with him. Reporters said it was to essentially kick Montero in the butt, hoping to motivate him to get it together and return to the team. That, to me, was rather alarming, but nothing ever came of it, the story died, Montero remained on the sidelines and the postseason run took over. So, I really have no idea what happened...

That said, at the GM Meetings, the Mets talked about Montero like he was healthy, ready to contribute and would again be part of the bullpen competition next spring. I still believe he's always been destined for the bullpen, even when he was being hyped as a starting pitcher. His repertoire and style lend him to a relief role so well, especially when entering a game with runners on base. He had great command in the minor leagues, he keeps the ball down and doesn't allow many hard hit balls. Frankly, he and Jenrry Mejia really messed up the team's plan for last year's bullpen. The combination of Jeurys Familia, Montero and Mejia would have been great to close out games. However, Montero's shoulder mysteriously sidelined him, and Mejia's stupidity got him suspended... twice.

Montero is capable of being a secret weapon if he's healthy and able to elevate to the kind of pitcher the Mets always hoped he could be. If he can do it, he solves a major need without anyone having to lift a finger...

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Cubs and Yankees talking Starlin Castro for Brett Gardner trade
Starlin Castro hits an RBI infield single in the 11th inning. The Cubs won, 2-0. (AP)

The Yankees and Cubs have discussed a deal that would send SS-2B Starlin Castro to the Bronx and OF Brett Gardner to Chicago, a source told Daily News reporter Mark Feinsand (Nov. 20, 2015).

Matthew Cerrone
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"The Mets are poking around for a shortstop via trade, which potentially could push Wilmer Flores to second base," according to beat reporter Adam Rubin (Nov. 19, 2015).

They Mets have been connected to Castro in trade rumors before, but I don't think he's ever been a front-burner option for them. In return for Castro, the Cubs are rumored to want an experienced, young, cost-controlled pitcher who can immediately slot in their rotation next season. For instance, last season, I hear they repeatedly asked the Padres for Tyson Ross.

For the Mets, this would be Zack Wheeler. I actually think the Mets would be overpaying in this situation. I'd want something back in the deal, either another player or money to offset the $38 million due to Castro over the next four seasons. However, if the Mets aren't offering Wheeler, or someone else from the young rotation, I don't see a deal happening.

I suppose there could be something to discuss with Jon Niese. But, I don't think the Mets are all that enamored with Castro enough, and do I think the Cubs are dying to get their hands on Niese, so that's probably not appealing even though it could be a match.

In terms of the player, Castro is athletic and has good hands, but he is known for making weird mistakes in the field. He's a free swinger, but open to suggestion. He puts balls in play and will never be a high OBP guy, but when he's locked in he can be a dynamic hitter. He got benched last season by Joe Maddon, but then played his way back in the lineup. In other words, he's a total enigma. A change of scenery could be exactly what he is needing. I'm intrigued, but I'm not overpaying to get him...

Tags: Wilmer Flores , Matthew Cerrone
Noah Syndergaard loves New York and wants to be a Met for life
Nov 2, 2015; Noah Syndergaard sits court at Madison Square Garden - Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard loves New York and wants to be with the Mets for the rest of his career, he said Thursday, according to Daily news reporter Kristie Ackert (Nov. 19. 2015).

Instead of quickly returning to his home in Mansfield, TX, Syndergaard said he wanted to remain in New York for a few weeks after the season.

"I wanted to just experience all I could of it," he explained. "I wanted to do things I couldn't do in the season and I am having a lot of fun. ... I want to be a Met for life. I love it."

In addition to trips to restaurants, Central Park and other New York landmarks, Syndergaard has been attending local sporting events, frequently photographing himself laying on the field, court and ice...

Matthew Cerrone
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It's great to see him embracing the city and all it has to offer, because I want him to be with the organization forever. He's going to be a huge star. He gets it. He has fun with the world around him, and he doesn't take himself too seriously, which is what separates him from Matt Harvey.

I'm sorry to say that if Harvey went on a tour like this, photographing himself out on the town, it would treated in a totally different way. This is unfair. It shouldn't be this way. They're just young guys, on top of the world, making good money and having fun. There is nothing wrong with that. However, though I have zero problem with Harvey's life off the field - in fact I think it's pretty awesome - I suspect other people think he's too bold or cocky, mostly because of comments he's made in interviews earlier in his career. He talked about wanting to be the best in New York, about wanting to be like Derek Jeter, he appeared in fashion spreads, had an ESPN documentary made about him, he's publicly dated models, and all of it likely rubbed his haters the wrong the way.

To be honest, those people are either jealous or angry at themselves for missing chances in life, and they take it out on his public persona. This is also not fair, but it's part of what he can expect going forward. He's that guy now, like it or not. Meanwhile, Noah just smiles with his long hair and goofy, wide-eyed grin. He doesn't show anything more than an appreciation for the city, and off he goes...

Again, the reality is that these are just two guys in their early 20's living their lives in New York, eating out, going to restaurants, taking in a sporting event, etc... But, because of how they first approached their initial fame, they're judged in two totally different ways.

Tags: Matthew Cerrone

Matthew Cerrone
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I'm not eager to see the Mets deal Zack Wheeler. But, if they're going to trade anyone to help upgrade the offense, it should be him over Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom.

In the below podcast, SNY.TV's Andrew Vazzano answer voicemails from Mets fans debating whether Wheeler should or shouldn't be traded, which, in the end, seems it all comes down to timing and value...

Tags: Zack Wheeler , Andrew Vazzano , Matthew Cerrone
Bryce Harper wins NL MVP, tips his cap to the Mets
Oct 4, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) hits a double in the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was a unanimous selection to win the National League's MVP award on Thursday, and when discussing the honor, credited the Mets for winning the NL East and the pennant (Nov. 19).

The 23-year-old Harper was tied for the National League lead with 42 home runs, ranked second with a .330 batting average, drove in 99 runs and led the league with a 9.9 WAR for the Nationals, who finished in second place in the division to the Mets.

While the Nationals led the division by three games on July 31, the Mets had two critical sweeps of the Nationals: three games at home from July 31 to Aug. 2 that tied the division and a three-game sweep on the road from Sept. 7 to Sept. 9 that pushed New York's division lead from four games to seven with 23 games to play.

"I think a lot of people saw what the National League East was about -- how much pitching we had, how much competition we had in that aspect with [Matt] Harvey and [Jacob] deGrom and [Noah] Syndergaard, those three guys were unbelievable this year," Harper said. "So I tip my cap to them and the Mets organization."

After the Nationals were eliminated from playoff contention, Harper hoped the Mets would win the World Series.

"I hope they win it all," Harper said (Sept. 26). "Good luck to them."

The Mets finished the season at 90-72, winning their first division title since 2006 by seven games, and lost the World Series to the Royals in five games.

Collins to receive Lasorda Achievement Award
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation announced Thursday that it will honor Terry Collins with its Tommy Lasorda Managerial Achievement Award during a dinner in January.

Collins, 66, won the Sporting News Manager of the Year Award and finished third for the Baseball Writers' Association of America's National League Manager of the Year.

In early November, the Mets announced a new two-year deal for Collins, who will be at the helm through 2017.

In 2016, Collins will manage the National League's All-Star team in San Diego because he took his team to the World Series last season.

In case you missed it on Thursday...
New York Mets mascots Mr. Met and Mrs. Met perform in the 7th inning against the Kansas City Royals in game five of the World Series at Citi Field. (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets' 2016 season-opener in Kansas City was moved from Monday, April 4 to Sunday, April 3 >> Read more

The Mets are interested in upgrading shortstop via trade and moving Wilmer Flores to second base >>Read more

Closer Jeurys Familia can expect to earn roughly $3.8 million via arbitration next season >>Read more

RH reliever Addison Reed can expect to earn roughly $5.8 million via arbitration next season >>Read more

Free-agent RH reliever Darren O'Day, who the Mets are interested, will likely be the first big-name reliever to sign >>Read more

The Mets lost LH reliever Jack Leathersich off waivers to the Cubs. Leathersich underwent Tommy John surgery in late-July >>Read more

Cubs claim LHP Jack Leathersich from Mets

The Cubs have claimed LH reliever Jack Leathersich off waivers from the Mets, the team announced Thursday.

Leathersich, 25, underwent Tommy John surgery in late-July. In his last game prior to surgery, Leathersich threw 57 pitches for Triple-A Las Vegas.

In 17 appearances for the Mets in 2015, Leathersich had a 2.31 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in 11 2/3 innings.

In a tweet, Leathersich thanked the Mets' organization and the fans for the opportunity.

Mets will open 2016 season on Sunday, April 3
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey throws during the first inning of Game 1 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (Matt Slocum/AP)

The Mets' first game of the 2016 season in Kansas City against the Royals has been moved from Monday, April 4 to Sunday, April 3.

First pitch is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. ET on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

After playing on Sunday night, the Mets will have Monday off before playing the Royals again on Tuesday, April 5. They will then have two days off before playing their home opener against the Phillies on Friday, April 8. 

Mets are poking around the market for shortstops
(Credit: AP Photo)

"The Mets are poking around for a shortstop via trade, which potentially could push Wilmer Flores to second base," according to beat reporter Adam Rubin (Nov. 19, 2015).

Matthew Cerrone
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There are other options. However, the way I see it, their realistic options are going to be either free agents Ian Desmond and Asdrubal Cabrera, or trading for the Cubs SS Starlin Castro or the Braves SS Erick Aybar.

In the end, I'd make a move for Aybar, assuming Desmond will not take a one-year deal. Aybar is not great, but he's stable, which is what I want most at shortstop. I think this pitching staff deserves an experienced guy at the infield's most important position. And, though not great, he's quintessential, experienced and capable of a 1-2 WAR season. He and Flores (or Dilson Herrera) will do fine on the middle infield together...

However, if the Braves refuse to deal Aybar in the division, I guess I would have to sign Cabrera for two years and $20 million, knowing he could also play second base and maybe even third. I don't have the guts to deal Wheeler for Castro and Desmond is too costly for that level unknown.

Last week, I ran the following poll about the above options, which returned these results... 

poll results

Tags: Matthew Cerrone
Darren O'Day is seeking a four-year deal
Jul 19, 2015; Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

The Mets have interest in free-agent RH reliever Darren O'Day, a source told Newsday reporter Marc Carig (Nov. 8, 2015).

Latest Update

It's expected that O'Day will be the first big-name free-agent reliever to sign, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports (Nov. 19).

The Dodgers are one of the teams most interested in O'Day, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN (Nov. 19).

Previous Reports & Reaction

O'Day, 33, is asking for four-year deal worth $28-$36 million, according to's Ken Rosenthal (Nov. 18. 2015). The side-arming reliever has a 1.92 ERA during his last 263 innings spanning four seasons.

The Red Sox, Tigers, Nationals, Royals, Dodgers and Cubs also have early interest in O'Day (Nov. 9. 2015), who had a 1.53 ERA in 68 appearances for the O's last season.

The Mets selected O'Day in the Rule 5 Draft before 2008. He made their roster out of spring training, but was sent back to his original team after two weeks to make room on the roster for Nelson Figueroa.

Addison Reed can expect to earn $5.8 million in 2016

The Mets will have 11 players eligible for salary arbitration this offseason, including RH reliever Addison Reed, who the team acquired from the Diamondbacks in August.

MLB Trade Rumors projects Reed, who earned just over $4 million this past season and won't be eligible for free agency until 2018, will earn $5.7 million through arbitration next year (Oct. 6, 2015).

Similarly, the award-winning team at Pace Law School determined that Reed can expect to earn slightly more, $5.8 million, which is still less than he would've earned had he remained a closer (Nov. 19, 2015).

Reed, 26, posted a 1.17 ERA and 1.04 WHIP to go along with 17 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings (17 appearances) during the 2015 regular season after being traded to the Mets.

Reed posted a 6.43 ERA in 7.0 postseason innings, including giving up the eventual winning runs in the 12th inning of Game 5 of the World Series.

Jeurys Familia can expect to earn $3.8M in 2016
New York Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia throws during the eighth inning of Game 1 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (Matt Slocum/AP)

The Mets will have 11 players eligible for salary arbitration this offseason, including closer Jeurys Familia.

MLB Trade Rumors projects Familia, who earned $614,625 this past season and won't be eligible for free agency until 2019, will earn $3.3 million through arbitration next year (Oct. 6, 2015).

Similarly, the award-winning team at Pace Law School determined that Familia can expect to earn slightly more, $3.8 million, because of superior platform year and contributions to his team's World Series run (Nov. 19, 2015).

Familia did not blow a save through the final two months of the regular season. However, he went on to became the first player in history to blow three saves in the World Series.

Is it time to move David Wright to 1B?
Photo Credit: USA Today Images

The Reds have let teams know they are open for business," according to the NY Post's Joel Sherman (Nov. 11, 2015), and 3B Todd Frazier may be available (Nov. 16, 2015).

According to Stark, in deals for Frazier the Reds will be seeking young, Major League-ready talent.

In an effort to find a match,'s David Schoenfield suggests trading Frazier to the Mets for Zack Wheeler, at which point the Mets could move David Wright to first base and trade Lucas Duda for a center fielder or relief pitcher.

Matthew Cerrone
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I don't think the idea is totally bananas, especially dealing Wheeler for a proven, impact player, and dealing Duda for help at a different position. Interestingly, this deal would likely end in a financial wash, plus help this season and 2017, which would have to be appealing to the Mets. It's not bad. However, I have no idea where David stands on moving positions.

Wright's future on the field has to have been discussed. I mean, it was only a few months ago that the guy worried he might have to retire because of his lumbar spinal stenosis. So, in a moment like that, I bet every option was discussed, including how playing third base instead of, say, first, or outfield, might impact him physically. In this scenario, though, why can't Frazier just play first? In fact, of the two, Frazier is the only one who has actually played first base, where he started 43 games in 2014. He also has experience playing left field, by the way.

In time, I do think Wright will need to transition to another place on the diamond. But, I don't know that we are there yet, especially since Frazier isn't exactly Brooks Robinson and can play other positions. And, if now is the time to move David to first, either because of pain or another player being acquired, we have no idea how he feels about it...

In 1998, Frazier hit a memorable home run to help Toms River, NJ, win the Little League World Series. "Before I retire, it would be cool to be in New York," Frazier told last summer (June, 2015).

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