Sandy Alderson talked about expectations for the Mets this season and his personal battle with cancer in a wide-ranging interview with New York Post columnist Steve Serby (Feb. 13).
The Mets general manager said it's "World Series or bust" for the defending National League champions, who open spring training Thursday in Port St. Lucie.
Alderson, 68, who was diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer just days after the Mets clinched the National League East title, has continued to work while underdoing chemotherapy treatment.
". . .There wasn't a lot of time to fully enjoy winning the National League East. But eventually as you get more information, you come to grips with it, and it doesn't have to be a preoccupation. It doesn't define me at the moment. "But it's something I have to deal with, which I have been doing for the last several months. I'm still very optimistic, and pleased with the way things have gone. I work every day, I'm here full days. The chemo sessions are every two weeks, Friday, Saturday, Sunday."
Alderson, the Mets GM since replacing Omar Minaya in October 2010, described the personal satisfaction he got from the Mets' 2015 success.
"I think what I get as much pleasure out of is knowing Mets fans are happy. They're enjoying the team, they feel that their loyalty had been rewarded, and that all of their patience for the last four or five years was not for naught … that it translated into something, and there was a payoff at the end."
As far as the team, Alderson said what he likes most is the starting rotation ("charismatic" with a "star quality"), that he anticipates David Wright playing about 130 games, and the new middle infield combination of second baseman Neil Walker and shorstop Asdrubal Cabrera will be a defensive upgrade "over what we've had".
Mets RHP Jenrry Mejia became the first player to receive a permanent suspension related to performance-enhancing substances after he violated his third drug test.
MLB suspended Mejia, 26, for life after he tested positive for Boldenone.
"We were deeply disappointed to hear that Jenrry has again violated Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the Mets said in a statement. "We fully support MLB's policy toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the sport. As per the Joint Drug Program, we will have no further comment on this suspension."
"The permanent suspension of Mejia, who previously received a 162-game suspension for his second performance-enhancing substance violation on July 28, 2015, is effective at the start of the 2016 regular season," MLB said in a statement. "Mejia will not participate in 2016 Spring Training."
Mejia can apply for reinstatement in one-year but his suspension must last at least two years. The commissioner has to decide on Mejia's reinstatement within 30 days of his request, according to Joel Sherman.
"It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything," Mejia told Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez in Spanish.
Tags: Jenrry Mejia
Mets LHP Steven Matz said he hopes he can stay healthy in 2016 so he can help New York get back to the World Series.
Matz, who missed two months on the disabled list with a torn lat muscle, told the New York Daily News that his health "is huge for me."
After making his debut last July, the 24-year-old went 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in six regular-season starts. He pitched once in each round of the playoffs, going 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA.
"You're not going to pitch in a bigger game than the World Series," Matz said. "Just to have that experience and taste that atmosphere, it would definitely help anybody. ... I just think not being overwhelmed in a moment on the field -- baseball's the same game on the field when you play. That doesn't change. In the playoffs, you'll be playing the hottest teams. Other than that, it's the same game."
Though Matz is still considered a rookie for 2016 because he did not meet the 50-inning threshold, he said he and the rest of the rotation are confident heading into the upcoming season.
"I don't necessarily think [there's added pressure]," he said. "I don't want to speak for the rest of [the starters], but I'm pretty excited about what the team can do, from the pitching staff to the lineup. I'm just excited for the year."
Tags: Steven Matz
Travis d'Arnaud was ranked as the tenth-best catcher in the Major Leagues by the MLB Network (MLBN, Feb. 11).
The rankings take into account both offensive and defensive metrics, along with 2016 projections.
D'Arnaud, 27, played in just 67 games last season after multiple injuries caused him to miss extended time.
When he was on the field, d'Arnaud was very productive in his limited time. He hit .268 with a .340 OBP, 12 home runs and 41 RBI in only 239 at-bats.
Buster Posey, Russell Martin, Jonathan Lucroy, Francisco Cervelli, Stephen Vogt, Brian McCann, Yadier Molina, Salvador Perez and Derek Norris filled out the top-nine spots on the list.
Tags: Travis d'Arnaud , Tim Reilly
David Wright understands what lies ahead for the Mets in 2016 and has warned his teammates they have gone from the hunter, to the hunted after a World Series run last season. (Kernan, Feb. 12).
"We're going to have a bull's-eye on our back, we are not going to sneak up on anybody this year. When you are the National League champions, you get everybody's 'A' game, not just the players, but the fans," Wright said. "The fans come out to root against you on the road, so it's going to be hostile environments on the road, it's going to be teams wanting to knock off the National League champs."
The 33-year-old Mets captain was only able to play in 38 games last season due to complications from his spinal stenosis condition. It will be a challenge Wright is faced with for the rest of his career, as he looks to lead New York's young core back to the Promised Land.
"Last year personally for me was a nightmare, having gone through the back thing and knowing this is going to be a challenge for the rest of my career, that sucked for me personally, but having gone through the postseason and seeing the look on all these guys' faces, guys that I knew when they were 16, 17, 18 years old in the minor leagues, it's so cool, like a big brother situation," Wright said.
Wright, who has been with the Mets since 2004, signed a seven-year contract extension in 2012 worth $138 million to remain in New York, despite the franchises struggles in the prior seasons.
"I've invested a lot of emotion and love into this organization and this fan base," Wright said. "And to see the players and the fans be rewarded for their loyalty last year, seeing the excitement looking into the stands and the fans' faces, that's something I will remember through the years.''
The Mets head into the 2016 season with high expectations. Only time will tell how they respond to the rest of the National League vying to dethrone the current champs.
Tags: David Wright , Tim Reilly
RHP Jacob deGrom said he's open to signing a long-term extension with the Mets >> Read more
Four Mets -- 1B Dominic Smith, LHP Steven Matz, SS Amed Rosario, and SS Gavin Cecchini -- were on ESPN's Top 100 prospects list >> Read more
3B David Wright said the Mets look great on paper, but that it won't simply translate into success >> Read more
C Kevin Plawecki discussed his offseason surgery, playing other positions, and more >> Read more
Tags: Jacob deGrom , Steven Matz
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confrimed Thursday night that New York has talked to free agent and former Mets first baseman Ike Davis about a minor league contract.
"We clearly have a need for an everyday first baseman at Scranton," Cashman said.
Davis, who hit 32 home runs as a Met in 2012, hit three for Oakland last season.
David Wright said the Mets look good on paper, but the team can't rest on their laurels from the 2015 season to pay off in 2016.
"Just because we had success last year, that doesn't translate into having success this year," Wright said.
Wright said the experience of playing in the World Series will help, but they won't go into 2016 simply hoping for a repeat season.
"In order for us to be successful, like we were last year, we need to forget about that," he said.
Tags: David Wright , Andrew Vazzano
Four Mets prospects -- 1B Dominic Smith (29th), LHP Steven Matz (37th), SS Amed Rosario (42nd), and SS Gavin Cecchini (89th) -- are on ESPN's Top 100 Prospects list (Feb. 11)
Keith Law, who compiled the list, says Smith is "one of the best pure hitters in the minors" but worries about his conditioning, noting that his body has gotten "far too big" recently.
Law notes that Matz (who didn't make ESPN's preseason Top 100 list last year) will likely wind up being a mid-rotation starter and says Rosario could be a Top 10 prospect in the game by next season.
Regarding Cecchini, Law says that he profiles as a regular who can play above average defense at shortstop.
Smith, 20, was named the Florida State League MVP last season and will likely open this season with Double-A Binghamton.
Rosario, 19, could return to High-A St. Lucie to open the season or receive an assignment to Binghamton.
The 22-year-old Cecchini, who ended last year with Binghamton, will likely open this season with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Matz, 24, still has prospect eligibility since he didn't accrue enough innings in the majors last season.
Tags: Steven Matz
What Mets questions are on your mind a week before Spring Training?
Leave your questions in the comments...
Mets Hot Stove at 6PM
SNY, the official television home of the New York Mets, New York Jets and all things New York sports, today announced its comprehensive spring training coverage for the 2015 National League Champion New York Mets. SNY will provide exclusive daily coverage of the Mets in Port St. Lucie as the team prepares to defend its NL crown. Citi will be the presenting sponsor of SNY's spring training coverage.
As part of its coverage, SNY will produce 14 live telecasts during spring training led by SNY's Emmy Award-winning broadcast team of Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, and Gary Cohen. The trio will return for its eleventh season, while Steve Gelbs will begin his second year as the network's full-time on-field reporter. The broadcast team will make its 2016 debut Friday, March 4th at 1:10 p.m. as the Mets host slugger Giancarlo Stanton and division rival Miami Marlins in the network's broadcast opener. Coverage begins from Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie with SNY's Mets Preview Show at 12:30 p.m. Host Gary Apple will be joined by network analyst Nelson Figueroa and Steve Gelbs to preview the upcoming season and to set the stage for the day's spring training action.
SNY will also debut the all-new interactive daily show Mets Talk Live. The program will gather a panel of team insiders together in-studio to tackle recent club news and to recap the latest Mets performances featuring exclusive post-game sound and highlights. The program will also answer fans' burning questions submitted via social media and video message. Mets Talk Live will air daily at 6:30 p.m. beginning Monday, February 29th before moving to its regular timeslot at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 4th. Mets Talk Live joins SNY's daily entertainment programming lineup, delivering extensive coverage of the Mets in Port St. Lucie, which also includes Daily News Live at 5:00 p.m., Loud Mouths at 5:30 p.m., and GEICO SportsNite from 10:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.
The network's website - www.sny.tv - will provide the most comprehensive, exclusive online coverage of the Mets, as MetsBlog.com, the premier Mets news source on the web, temporarily relocates its operation to Port St. Lucie for wall-to-wall spring training coverage. Some of the unique web enhancements that SNY.tv and MetsBlog.com will feature throughout spring training include:
► Posts and blogs - including exclusive video - updated throughout the day.
► Exclusive one-on-one interviews with players and coaches.
► Daily, in-depth video diaries and photo-blogs recapping the day's activities.
► Live chats from the team complex discussing that day's happenings
Mets RHP Jacob deGrom said he may be more willing to sign a long-term deal to stay in New York since he is older than the other pitchers in their rotation.
"I'm a little bit older so I might be more willing to do something like that,'' deGrom, 27, told the New York Post's Kevin Kernan. "You just have to look at what is fair so both sides get a decent deal. It's something I'd have to look into and make sure I agree with it.''
While deGrom also talked about his hair -- "I don't want to mess with it." -- and the possibility of meeting Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax later this week, deGrom said he is focused and ready for the 2016 season.
"I haven't thought that much about it and I have to talk to my agents and stuff and look at the numbers and decide what was favorable,'' said deGrom, who earned $556,875 last season and may not be arbitration-eligible until 2018, according to Spotrac.
DeGrom followed his Rookie of the Year season in 2014 with an All-Star Game appearance in 2015, going 14-8 with a team-best 2.54 ERA in the regular season.
In the playoffs, he went 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA, pitching in the NLDS opener and the clinching NLDS game, but his outing in Game 2 of the World Series -- five innings, four runs and six hits in a 7-1 loss -- sticks with him.
"I wasn't really happy with how that went,'' deGrom said. "Hopefully I get a chance to get back there and kind of redeem myself. You never know how many starts you are going to have in the World Series and to not have a very good one, definitely makes you want to get back and improve on that.''
Tags: Jacob deGrom
RHP Noah Syndergaard is at risk of suffering from the "Year After Effect," according to Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated >> Read more
INF Wilmer Flores wants to remain with the Mets for the rest of his career >> Read more
The Mets' farm system ranked 16th in ESPN's annual rankings >> Read more
Former Mets OF Carlos Beltran thinks Terry Collins wanted to remove RHP Matt Harvey prior to the ninth inning during Game 5 of the World Series >> Read more
The Braves signed RHP Carlos Torres, whom the Mets recently designated for assignment, to a minor league deal >> Read more
RHP Jacob deGrom is ready for the 2016 season >> Read more
Tags: Jacob deGrom , Matt Harvey , Noah Syndergaard , Wilmer Flores
Former Mets OF Carlos Beltran, now with the Yankees, thinks Terry Collins wanted to remove RHP Matt Harvey prior to the ninth inning during Game 5 of the World Series (Feb. 10).
"He was looking down and I felt that in his mind he wanted to take [Harvey] out,'' Beltran said. "But at the same time, Harvey was pitching such a good game and Harvey wanted that moment. He went with what Harvey showed him and not what he was thinking."
"That's an experience for him," Beltran continued. "Later on [taking Harvey out] will happen. He will say, 'My friend, I will give you a kiss if I have to, but I have to get my closer.' It was a bad decision to leave him in, but in his heart I felt that he wanted to make a different move.''
Beltran also said he was happy for Collins, who he recalled hearing bad things about when the Mets first hired him.
"I was very happy for Terry Collins," Beltran said. "When I had him as a manager, he was a great manager. When I first heard he was going to come to the Mets, you heard a lot of bad things about Terry Collins and his previous experience when he managed the Astros and Anaheim."
"When I first got him as a manager he was the best manager I ever had in my career," Beltran continued. "He communicates, is very intense and that is what you look for in a manager. I am very happy he had the opportunity to experience the World Series.''
Tags: Matt Harvey
RH reliever Carlos Torres has agreed to a minor league deal with the Braves, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (Feb. 10).
Torres, 33, elected free agency earlier this month after being designated for assignment by the Mets and clearing waivers.
Torres posted a 4.68 ERA and 1.37 WHIP while striking out 48 batters in 57 2/3 innings (59 appearances) for the Mets in 2015. He suffered a calf injury in September, ending his season.
In six seasons with the White Sox, Rockies, and Mets, Torres has a 4.26 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.
Jacob deGrom said he's ready to go for the 2016 season.
Speaking from the team's spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, deGrom said that his experince in the playoffs last season will benefit him moving forward.
"It took a lot of years to make it there," deGrom said. "Getting that in my second year, I'll be more prepared for next time."
He went 14-8 with a 2.54 ERA and 0.979 WHIP over 191 innings in the regular season. He struck out 205 and walked 38 in 30 starts.
In the playoffs and World Series, deGrom posted a 2.88 ERA and 1.160 WHIP, with 29 strikeouts, over 25 innings.
DeGrom also praised his fellow rotation mates as a "fun group of guys to be around."
Tags: Jacob deGrom , Andrew Vazzano
Toby Hyde and Rob Brender are closing the book on the offseason by opening up the show to the fans.
Toby and Rob answer mailbag questions about the starting rotation, the farm system, the role of Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler's return, and much more as spring training approaches.
Tags: Wilmer Flores , Zack Wheeler , Robert Brender , Toby Hyde
The New York Mets farm system ranked at No. 16 in the Major Leagues, according to ESPN's Keith Law.
Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto and Kevin Plawecki each lost prospect status last season after seeing significant time with the Mets.
Last season the Mets we're ranked as having the No. 4 farm system in baseball. Law notes that New York parted ways with some of the depth within their farm system, most notably pitching prospects, at the trade deadline when they acquired Yoenis Cespedes, Tyler Clippard, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson.
Within the NL East, Atlanta ranked at No. 1, Philadelphia No. 6, Washington No. 15 and Miami came in at No. 29.
Tags: Kevin Plawecki , Michael Conforto , Noah Syndergaard , Steven Matz , Tim Reilly
According to Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, Noah Syndergaard is among a group of young Major League pitchers that are at an increased risk of suffering an injury this season from what he refers to as "the year after effect."
The theory takes into account Major League pitchers that are 25-years-old or younger and increased their previous high of innings thrown in a season by more than 30 percent.
Verducci points out that each pitchers case is unique and that it is not a definite fact an injury will occur, rather situations like Syndergaard's are worth keeping an eye on after increasing his workload by such a high rate at a young age.
Syndergaard, 23, threw 29 innings in Triple-A before being promoted in May to the Majors. He then made 24 regular season starts with the Mets and registered 150 innings pitched. Syndergaard also threw another 19 innings during New York's postseason run. Making his 2015 total 198 innings pitched.
In 2014 Syndergaard threw only 133 innings with the Mets Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.
Syndergaard saw his total innings increased by 65 last season.
We all used to put a lot of stock into "The Verducci Effect," but that time has since passed.
With teams gaining a greater understanding of pitcher's arms -- especially elbows -- along with increased knowledge of what or how could cause injury, teams are more careful than every with young, and old, pitcher arms.
As Baseball Prospectus broke down in painstaking detail, The Verducci Effect is based on little more than speculation and bad math.
That's not to say that having a young pitcher overthrow from one year to another isn't a bad thing, it's just that inning counts are far from the best data point to try and identify future injuries.
Tags: Noah Syndergaard
Tom, a reader of MetsBlog: Will Jenrry Mejia be eligible to pitch in the postseason this year? I recall he wouldn't have been able to pitch last year prior because it was his second offense. So, I was curious if that would be the case in 2016?
He'll be in camp this spring, and able to return from suspension after July 26. According to a recent AP report, yes, despite the suspension, he will be eligible to pitch during the postseason in 2016. However, he can't if he's suspended again...
I'm curious to see how he is treated in St. Lucie. His teammates were pretty angry with him last summer, when he failed his second PED test. Frankly, they were so disappointed, I'm surprised the organization tendered him a contract. That said, the kid still has a ton of talent, he served his suspension and if everyone is cool with his return, I understand why he's back in the mix. The fact is, he'll only cost them around $1.5 to $2 million, because his salary is prorated. Also, because he is currently on the suspended list, the Mets can carry him without using a 40-man roster spot.
So, for now, no harm no foul. They have him under contract and can keep an eye on him during extended spring training. And, if he looks healthy and clean, they can promote him in early August. Again, assuming he's effective and clean, at that salary, he's a huge addition at a time when most contending teams are searching for help in the bullpen.
The point is, despite a rocky road, Mejia's story is still being written with the Mets and it's up to him whether it includes the postseason.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me) started MetsBlog.com as a project in college, generated 300,000,000 page views and 30,000 posts in 10 years, partnered with SNY and turned his hobby into a career. In 2011, SNY hired him to be Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for their network of team sites, video content and podcasts.
Tags: Jenrry Mejia , Matthew Cerrone
Wilmer Flores wants to be with the Mets for the rest of his career, he recently told NY Post reporter Kevin Kernan.
"The fans tell me they want me to be a Met forever," he told Kernan. "Playing baseball somewhere else would be tough. I'm very proud to be a Met. ... If I get traded, I will be sad. I will probably cry again. But hopefully not on the field."
Flores and Zack Wheeler were nearly dealt to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez last July. Flores learned of the rumored trade while in the field, at which point he began to cry over the idea of leaving the Mets. Similarly, fans at Citi Field cheered in support of Flores.
Instead, the trade fell through and both remained with the Mets. When Flores next took the field -- July 31 against the Nationals -- he received a large ovation each time he stepped to the plate and hit a walk-off home run.
"What I learned is that New York has a lot of love," Flores said. "They are real fans. The love that I feel from the fans is amazing. It makes you feel at home. It makes you feel like you belong here."
In his first full season with the Mets, Flores hit .263 with a .295 OBP, .408 SLG, 16 home runs and 59 RBIs in 137 games while playing shortstop and second base.
Terry Collins recently said Flores will be his primary option to back up Lucas Duda at first base. In other words, Flores is about to become the team's super-utility guy, playing all four infield positions, specifically spotting David Wright at third base and getting occasional starts at second base against left-handed pitching. If he can handle this job in the field and produce at the plate like he did in 2015, he'll be a huge asset for the Mets this season.
My concern is that his offense will struggle as a result of so much instability in the field, adjusting to rarely-played positions and entering every day as a mystery. There are players who handle this well, and there are players that do not. I suspect Flores will do fine, because it's not like last season was the most predictable of seasons for him. But we won't know until the bell rings.
To read more about Flores, his offseason, and how last year's non-trade impacted him during the year, check out Kernan's report in the New York Post.
Tags: Wilmer Flores
Mets closer Jeurys Familia sees his World Series struggles -- three blown saves -- as a learning experience that will help make him better in 2016.
"I think that affected me in a positive way," Familia said Tuesday after receiving a Thurman Munson Award in Manhattan. "Being so early on in my career, to have that experience, I feel like it's really prepared me. So I was really appreciative for it."
Familia said newly-acquired set-up man Antonio Bastardo has been a close friend since 2010, and thinks he will be a big addition to this year's bullpen.
"He was one of the first people that approached me," Familia said, according to MLB.com. "He's just a really special person for me because he was always there for me. Part of who I am now as a pitcher is because of him."
Familia believes the Mets now have the talent and experience to at least get back to the World Series.
"In the end, even though it was second place, we were proud to win the National League championship," he said. "I think all the moves that they've made for us have been really good moves. They're really setting us up to do what we did last year, but do it even better this time around."
Tags: Jeurys Familia , Matthew Cerrone
C Kevin Plawecki had sinus surgery in December >> Read more
C Travis d'Arnaud thinks the Mets are "going to be great" in 2016 >> Read more
Former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones praised the Mets' pitching and said the team should be World Series favorites >> Read more
MLB and the MLBPA are close to agreeing on a rule change regarding slides at second base >> Read more
Pedro Lopez will remain the manager for Double-A Binghamton this season >> Read more
Tags: Kevin Plawecki , Travis d'Arnaud
Former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones had tons of praise for the Mets' starting pitchers during an interview on MLB Network Radio (Feb. 9).
"The blueprint is kind of what the New York Mets are doing right now," Jones said. "Obviously it's hard to come up with three or four guns like the Mets have. Whether it's [Matt] Harvey or [Jacob] deGrom, [Zack] Wheeler coming back, [Noah] Syndergaard. They've got the lefty, [Steven] Matz. They've got a whole entire rotation that lives at 94, 95 (MPH) plus and has an idea what they're doing with their breaking stuff."
Jones went on to note that the rebuilding Braves should follow the Mets' example and said the Mets are his preseason World Series favorite.
"They're really setting the bar and I think they're my early-season pick to probably go all the way," Jones said. "Having made it to the World Series last year, just coming up short, I think they'll probably be the early-season favorite to push over the top this year. That's the way I would want to build it (with the Braves)."
Jones, who retired after the 2012 season, hit .309 with a .406 OBP and .543 SLG to go along with 49 HR and 159 RBIs for his career against the Mets.
Tags: Jacob deGrom , Matt Harvey , Noah Syndergaard , Steven Matz , Zack Wheeler
New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki hopes he solved his dizziness issues from last season after undergoing sinus surgery in December, according to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.
"It was almost like a drunk feeling without having anything to drink, that's the best description," said Plawecki. "Makes you very uneasy. It's scary, really, too, because you can't pinpoint why."
Plawecki, who will soon turn 25, battled this sinus issue for a large chunk of last season. He is expected to serve as the Mets backup catcher this year behind the oft-injured Travis d'Arnaud. Given d'Arnaud's injury history, a clean bill of health for Plawecki is good news for the Mets.
Although he is known more for his bat, Plawecki struggled at the plate last season. In 73 games played he hit just .219 with three home runs and 21 RBI.
"I was pleased with the way it turned out last year, defensively," Plawecki said. "Offensively, I want to do better. I'm not going to put it on the way I was feeling, but that didn't help. I learned a lot along the way with K-Long [Kevin Long, the Mets' hitting coach] and we worked on my swing, trying to use my legs more."
Earlier this offseason GM Sandy Alderson stated that Plawecki will see time at first base during Spring Training. This could help increase his value and playing time if he is able to become a right-handed hitting option to spell Lucas Duda against tough lefty-handed pitching.
Tags: Kevin Plawecki , Lucas Duda , Travis d'Arnaud , Tim Reilly
Mets C Travis d'Arnaud has the highest of expectations for 2016, he recently told the New York Post's Kevin Kernan.
"I think we're going to be great,'' d'Arnaud told Kernan at Tradition Field. "The goal this year is World Series again and this time win it.''
D'Arnaud believes the experience gained from last season will help make his teammates, especially the pitching staff, better than they were in 2015.
"The experience was huge for us,'' d'Arnaud told Kernan. "To not only gain a whole year of baseball, but to be able to play in those prestigious months - October and November was tremendous.''
D'Arnaud suffered multiple injuries last season, forcing him to play just 67 regular-season games, during which he hit .268 with 12 home runs and an .825 OPS.
Kevin Plawecki is important, because d'Arnaud has never played a season when he didn't at least miss some time due to injury. I mean, who knows, maybe this is the year he does it! Maybe this is the season he starts 120 games, hits .280, 20 HR and drives in 80 runs. He's capable of it, but has provided no evidence he can do it for a full season. And that's where Plawecki comes in...
The Mets have said Plawecki will get work at first base during Spring Training. However, he'll primarily serve as d'Arnaud's back-up behind the plate. Together, they should combine to hit around .265 with 20-25 HR, roughly 80 RBI and give the Mets above-average production behind the plate. Hopefully having Plawecki on the roster will allow Terry Collins to give d'Arnaud more time off, helping to reduce his aches, pains and injuries.
To read more about d'Arnaud's plan, and how he traveled by RV from California to Port St. Lucie, check out Kernan's article in the Post.
Tags: Kevin Plawecki , Travis d'Arnaud
MLB and the MLBPA are making progress on a rule change for how players can slide into second base, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
"Although the union wants to improve safety for middle infielders, it does not want to eliminate players' aggressiveness on slides or the ability to break up a double play," sources told Olney. "However, there is a desire on both sides to eliminate slides on which a baserunner goes beyond the effort to reach second to make contact with middle infielders."
In Game 2 of last year's NLDS, Dodgers 2B Chase Utley essentially tackled Ruben Tejada at second base in an effort to break up a potential double play. Utley was initially called out, but a replay review ruled him safe because Tejada never touched second base.
Tags: Ruben Tejada , Matthew Cerrone
Pedro Lopez will return for his fifth season as manager of the Double-A Binghamton Mets, the team announced.
Lopez, the winningest coach in B-Mets history, will also see the return of his pitching coach, Glenn Abbott, and hitting coach, Luis Natera.
The B-Mets won the Eastern League Championship in 2014 under Lopez.
Lopez has previously been the manager of the Kingsport, Brooklyn, Savannah and St. Lucie teams in the Mets organization.
Abbott will return for his fifth season with Binghamton, while Natera enters his second year with the Double-A team.
Binghamton opens their season on April 7.
Tags: Andrew Vazzano
The Mets have signed outfielder Roger Bernadina to a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training, the team announced.
According to Jon Heyman, Bernadina can earn $750,000 in the major leagues. If he's not on the roster by June 15, he will have to be released (Feb. 9).
Bernadina, 31, played in parts of seven major league seasons, from 2008-2014, with a majority of those years spent with the Washington Nationals.
In 2015, Bernadina played in 119 games and batted .276 with 18 doubles, 15 home runs, 62 RBI and 20 stolen bases with Triple-A Albuquerque of the Colorado Rockies organization.
He last played in the majors in 2014, with the Cincinnatti Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers, where he hit .167 with a .304 OBP and .258 SLG over 80 plate appearances.
The Mets signed OF Roger Bernadina to a minor league deal that includes an invite to major league spring training >> Read mors
RH reliever Tyler Clippard, who the Mets acquired last July, agreed to a two-year deal with the Diamondbacks >> Read more
3B Yulieski Gourriel and SS/OF Lourdes Gourriel, Jr. have defected from Cuba with the intent of signing major league deals >> Read more
The Royals will hold two separate World Series celebrations during the opening series of the season against the Mets >> Read more