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Steven Matz

One of the most memorable moments for the Mets in 2019 came on August 9 against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

With the Mets in the midst of a 12-wins-in-13 games streak, Washington pushed out to a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. But the Mets refused to go down quietly against Nats closer Sean Doolittle, and after Todd Frazier tied the game on a three-run shot, it was Michael Conforto who later singled in Juan Lagares to give the Mets the win. 

The Mets then celebrated in style, as Pete Alonso led the charge to rip Conforto's jersey off in the middle of the field.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz
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Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training
Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Spring Training is in full swing for the Mets in Port St. Lucie, with games starting in just four days.

While every member of the team has arrived in camp, some (Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes to name two) don't appear to be on track to be ready for game action when the bell rings on Saturday.

Going by the above, listening to manager Luis Rojas talk, and reading between the lines, here's our roster prediction 3.0...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The temptation is to say things should settle down now that spring training is opening this week and actual baseball takes center stage, but over the years I've learned never to bet against calamities arising at any moment around the Mets -- now more than ever it seems. 

Still, it would have to be a doozy of a spring in Port St. Lucie to top the chaos of an offseason that saw Carlos Beltran hired and fired as manager before ever putting on the full uniform, Yoenis Cespedes stripped of millions of dollars due to a contract violation involving some type of confrontation with a wild boar, and the team being sold and then un-sold in the space of two months. 

We'll see. At least the focus turns toward the field now, with young Luis Rojas overseeing his first spring training as manager of a ballclub that has championship potential -- if all the ifs go their way, starting with the bullpen.

Tags: David Wright, Dellin Betances, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, John Harper
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Luis Rojas (Treated Image by SNY)
Luis Rojas (Treated Image by SNY)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mets manager Luis Rojas has been in Port St. Lucie since last week getting ready for his first season at the helm.

On Tuesday, Rojas will meet the media for the first time at spring training during what will be his first non-pomp and circumstance press conference as Mets manager.

Here are five questions he should be asked...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Spring Training officially starts for the Mets this week, with pitchers and catchers reporting on Monday. But it wasn't just the pitchers that made their way into the Port St. Lucie facility. 

Check out Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Nimmo joining the likes of Noah SyndergaardSteven Matz, and Marcus Stroman arriving at Mets spring training...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes
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The back end of the Mets' pitching rotation is one of the team's biggest question marks heading into 2020 Spring Training. 

Steven Matz, entering his sixth season with the Mets, will be competing with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha for the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation, with the odd man out likely heading to the bullpen.

As Matz looks to rebound from an up-and-down 2019 season in which he went 11-10 with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.341 WHIP, he'll do so under the tutelage of new pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, who comes to the Mets after one season as the Twins assistant pitching coach.

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While preparing for the 2020 season, Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz spoke to the media at training camp about his relationship with new manager Luis Rojas.

"Yeah I had a great experience with Luis Rojas," Matz said. "2013 we won a South Atlantic League championship. That's a pretty hard thing to do, go through the minor league season together, win that championship. So I have great memories with him, that was a really fun season. I learned a lot that year, it was a big step to my career as well."

As a member of the Savannah Sand Gnats, Matz went 5-6 in 2013 with a 2.62 ERA and had 121 strikeouts. While Rojas managed the Sand Gnats from 2012 to 2014.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Mets pitchers and catchers don't officially report to spring training until next week, but lots of them -- and some position players -- have already arrived at Clover Park.

Among those in attendance on Thursday were Jacob deGrom (who threw a bullpen session) and a shirtless Noah Syndergaard.

Other pitchers on hand Thursday included Steven Matz, Edwin Diaz, and Jeurys Familia.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard is three seasons removed from his peak, Cy Young-worthy season in 2016.

His 2017 season was derailed by multiple injuries.

In 2018 and 2019, Syndergaard returned to being a mostly-dominant, top-of-the-rotation pitcher producing the sixth-most WAR in the NL. However, I can't stop seeing those results from 2016.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard is reporting to spring training on Wednesday in order to "get settled in and hit the ground running," he said Monday during an appearance on Power Lunch on CNBC.

Asked about the situation that led to the Mets parting ways with Carlos Beltran before quickly hiring Luis Rojas, Syndergaard spoke on the "couple of wild months in baseball," but said he's been "trying to kind of stay away from it and keep focused on my offseason training and making sure my body is in the best possible shape for me to compete."

Still, Syndergaard gave his thoughts on Rojas. And they sounded similar to thoughts on Rojas that have been given by many of Syndergaard's teammates.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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General view of the field for the National Anthem prior to the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
General view of the field for the National Anthem prior to the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

We took our first crack at predicting the Mets' Opening Day 26-man roster about a month and a half ago. Since then, Dellin Betances has signed a free agent deal (he was in our initial prediction, so we'll give ourselves a pat on the back for that one).

Beyond the Betances signing, the Mets have made a bunch of minor league signings since then, with Matt Adams deal being the most notable.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Luis Rojas (Lizzy Barrett/Getty Images)
Luis Rojas (Lizzy Barrett/Getty Images)

In his latest mailbag, Matthew Cerrone answers questions about Luis Rojas, Yoenis Cespedes, Mets fans marrying Yankees fans, and more...


Questions from Instagram...

What do you think of Luis Rojas? ~ @BritMets

To be fair, I don't know enough about Rojas to know how I feel about him. Based on his background, skills, interests, ability to speak multiple languages and his popularity among the players, I think he's a good fit for what most teams view as qualifications for manager these days. He may actually have a better toolbox than Carlos Beltran.

Tags: Carlos Torres, David Wright, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie
Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

MLB rosters expanding to 26 players for the 2020 season will help every team, but the Mets -- who could be carrying some compromised players health-wise -- could be one of the teams that benefits the most from the extra slot.

Still, that doesn't mean New York is sitting in an envious position right now.

In the words of Brodie Van Wagenen, Yoenis Cespedes is ready to go offensively. As far as Jed Lowrie is concerned, Van Wagenen recently said the 35-year-old who dealt with various injuries for most of 2019 has progressed to the point where the team is "optimistic of having him participate in a meaningful way" come spring training.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Pete Alonso and Marcus Stroman (SNY)
Pete Alonso and Marcus Stroman (SNY)

Mets 1B Pete Alonso and RHP Marcus Stroman have the production, voice, age, and confidence to be on- and off-field leaders for their team in 2020.

Both players are capable of motivating teammates. Both are capable of intentionally and unintentionally antagonizing opponents and members of the media. And both have, and will continue to, fire up fans.

Respectively, for all of the above reasons, both have become appointment viewing -- not just because they might say something colorful or act in bold way, but because their talent and work ethic outweigh their words and personality.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Brandon Nimmo
Brandon Nimmo

The following are insights, ideas and notes gathered from recent conversations with team sources, rival executives, reporters, front office assistants, and talent evaluators...


Is Mookie Betts ever going to get traded?

According to a variety of reports, it seems the Dodgers and Padres are the teams involved in talks with the Sox.

My quick survey of insiders points to Betts being on the Red Sox come Opening Day.

The Dodgers are viewed as a better fit because they have more attractive big league talent to deal and Boston still wants to contend in 2020. The Padres, on the other hand, prefer to put the emphasis on prospects in exchange for moving salary and that is not necessarily Boston's goal.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Clint Frazier, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Steven Matz made a career-high 30 starts in 2019, but sandwiched in between those starts was a pair of relief appearances in early July. 

With the additions of Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, there appears to be a logjam in the rotation with six pitchers vying for five spots, but Matz is clear he'd prefer to have the ball every fifth day.

"I enjoyed being in the bullpen down there, but at the end of the day, I really love starting. I want to be a starter."

Tags: Steven Matz
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Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a season in which he threw a career-high 160 1/3 innings, Steven Matz is already excited to get back to work. He spent last week at the University of Michigan, throwing a bullpen and working with Wolverines pitching coach (and former candidate for Mets pitching coach) Chris Fetter

Using high resolution cameras and working with Michigan's kinesiology department, Matz and the man who eventually landed the Mets pitching coach job, Jeremy Hefner, were able to break down the left-hander's work in great detail.

"That was something that [Mets vice president] Allard Baird reached out to me about back in October. We thought it would be beneficial. Jeremy Hefner met me out there. That's the way the game's going. You have all this technology now and it's another thing you can use to improve."

Tags: Steven Matz
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Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado

The following are insights, ideas and notes gathered from recent conversations with team sources, rival executives, reporters, front office assistants and talent evaluators...


Nolan Arenado isn't happy

Arenado was set to become a free agent after 2019, but signed a long-term contract that he can opt out of after 2021. During negotiations, he was assured the Rockies would make additions and increase payroll to push for a deeper postseason run. So far, that hasn't happened. In fact, they took a step back -- finishing 71-91 in 2019 -- and are on pace to reduce payroll from last season to this season.

The buzz from Colorado is that Arenado is frustrated because the Rockies are not following through on their promise. At this point, it seems likely he'll opt out unless dealt to another team. The thing is, the acquiring team almost certainly has questions about how the opt out will be handled.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Curtis Granderson, Edwin Diaz, Giancarlo Stanton, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Friday is the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to come to terms on a contract for the 2020 season.

For the Mets, Marcus StromanNoah SyndergaardMichael ConfortoEdwin DiazSteven MatzSeth LugoBrandon Nimmo, Robert Gsellman, and Jake Marisnick are the players eligible for arbitration. All were tendered contracts earlier this offseason.

If a player and team are unable to come to terms, their salary will be set during an arbitration hearing later this offseason.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Feb 21, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) poses for a photo on photo day at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 21, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) poses for a photo on photo day at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets announced Thursday that 15 non 40-man roster players will be invited to participate in big league spring training. Some of the players are new to the organization, such as 2011 Rays first round pick Jake Hager, and a few others with some big-league experience in RHP Pedro Payano and OF Ryan Cordell, who I believe will provide some necessary depth in Triple-A Syracuse.

The Mets also invited some prospects to spring training that I think you should keep an eye on since they have a good shot of contributing in the majors in 2020.

Five of the prospects to watch are highlighted below...

Tags: David Peterson, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets continue to discuss the possibility of trading for high-profile players, which suggests Brodie Van Wagenen may still be trying to make a "big trade," one MLB insider from each NL division told me last week.

The Mets have been connected in rumor and reports to Cubs 3B Kris Bryant, Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado, Pirates OF Starling Marte and SP Chris Archer, Red Sox OF Mookie Betts and Indians SS Franciso Lindor.

I'm intrigued by all of the above. Here's how I rank them given the cost and upside in production...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets, coming off their first winning season since 2016, have the makings of a team that should contend again in 2020, though that won't be easy to do in the fiercely competitve NL East.

To that end, they need to add more between now and the end of the offseason. And finding legitimate bullpen help is chief among the Mets' needs.

Still, it's likely that much of the 26-man Opening Day roster for 2020 is already in place. Factoring in the players already on the roster and what could happen between now and when things get going at Citi Field on March 26, here is our way too early 26-man roster prediction...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

During this MLB offseason there have been a flurry of moves in the league, but lots of questions remain for the Mets. Here's the latest...

Adding to the bullpen...

The Mets had Dellin Betances on the hook during the middle of November, but he started seeking other offers for leverage when the Yankees dropped out.

The Mets certainly still want him, but seem to have a fixed offer in place based on their budget. I assume he can take it or find something better, which is probably why we're seeing so many conflicting reports about who is and isn't interested.

The Phillies would certainly be the best team to bring in to a negotiation if wanting the Mets to up their offer. But who knows, if that never happens, maybe Philadelphia ends up being the best remaining option. Or, perhaps the Yankees jump back in...

Tags: Dellin Betances, Jeff McNeil, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So far this offseason, the Mets have added a part-time center fielder when they need a full-time one, two buy-low starting pitchers on one-year deals, and have not yet added an external pitcher to a bullpen that was their downfall in 2019.

Their one-year, $10 million deal with Rick Porcello put them right near the $208 million luxury tax threshold, but the Yoenis Cespedes situation (and his amended contract) means the Mets will save at least $9.5 million in 2020 and perhaps as much as $20 million.

For luxury tax purposes, the Mets' payroll right now is at roughly $192 million, so they have a solid amount of wiggle room and some real needs to fill. They also have one player they need to trade and another they should be very open to trading. 

Tags: Dellin Betances, Dominic Smith, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Rick Porcello said Monday that he had his "eyes set" on the Mets when free agency began, and he reportedly turned down longer and larger offers in order to make becoming a Met a reality.

MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone reported on Dec. 12 that Porcello could have signed a multi-year deal, according to people aware of his market, with Cerrone adding that the Mets guaranteed Porcello a spot in their rotation. Now, there are more details on what Porcello's market was.

Before signing a one-year deal with the Mets for $10 million, Porcello turned down "multiple multi-year offers," including one that was for three years, reports Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated. Verducci added that Porcello also turned down a one-year deal with the Blue Jays for $12 million that had the potential of becoming a two-year deal, and turned down a one-year offer for $14 million from another team.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Sep 15, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Brodie Van Wagenen said multiple times this offseason that the Mets would maintain dialogue with free agent Zack Wheeler. But when Wheeler's camp came back to the Mets before agreeing to a deal with the Phillies, New York did not make an official offer.

Wheeler then signed a five-year deal with Philadelphia worth $118 million, with Van Wagenen saying that it exceeded what the Mets' internal projections for Wheeler were. 

"I think the value for what we thought the investment [was] didn't line up," Van Wagenen explained on Dec. 9. "The projections that we had for Zack, both short-term and long-term, didn't quite match up to the market that he was able to enjoy. ... We maintained dialogue with Zack's agent up until the last week. I think that both sides had expressed interest in potentially finding a way to have a reunion, but I think over the course of the last six weeks it started to become more clear that the price point was going to go beyond how we valued him."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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The Mets' one-year deal with Rick Porcello became official on Monday, with the team designating reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster.

"Rick has been one of the most dependable, durable starters of the last decade," GM Brodie Van Wagenen said in press release. "He is a proven winner who has reached the pinnacle of the sport on both a team level and as an individual with a World Series championship and a Cy Young Award."

Porcello -- who said he grew up a Mets fan and cited team advisor Al Leiter as one of those who was an instrumental part of the process to sign him -- said the Mets were the first team that checked in with him when the offseason started.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Brodie Van Wagenen said Thursday at the Winter Meetings that the Mets have "probably the deepest starting pitching rotation in baseball," noting that the added depth after signing Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha gives the team lots of "flexibility" when it comes to how they prepare for 2020.

As things currently stand, the Mets have Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Porcello, and Wacha as rotation options.

They also have the ability to use Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman in the rotation, with Van Wagenen saying the Mets are "staring at eight potential starting pitchers."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)
Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In an unexpected move, the Mets have reportedly inked Rick Porcello to a one-year deal worth $10 million. While the signing itself was surprising, the potential ramifications are even more intriguing.

Since the Mets now have an excess of starting pitchers and 42 players for 40 spots (and are brushing up against the luxury tax), more moves have to be coming. So what happens now?

Are the Mets going to trade a starting pitcher?

With Porcello and Michael Wacha on board, the Mets seemingly have six starting pitchers for five slots. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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The Mets have agreed to a one-year deal with free agent RHP Rick Porcello, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical, according to Rosenthal.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal will be worth $10 million.

When the Mets signed Michael Wacha on Wednesday, the thought was that it would end their pursuit of Porcello. Clearly, that thought was wrong.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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As the Mets build their roster at the 2019 MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego, the pieces of the puzzle for the 2020 season have started to come together.

While the Mets weigh their options with moves such as last Thursday's Jake Marisnick trade and Wednesday's Michael Wacha agreement, RHP Noah Syndergaard is among the cornerstone pieces GM Brodie Van Wagenen believes to be pivotal for the team's success next year.

Discussing the Mets' rotation and bullpen in Wednesday's 1-on-1 interview with SNY's Steve Gelbs, Van Wagenen pointed to Syndergaard as one of the most important arms on the roster.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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 (Joe Camporeale)
(Joe Camporeale)

Building pitching depth was priority number one for the Mets during the Winter Meetings, as stated repeatedly by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

On Wednesday, the team helped build that depth by agreeing on a deal with veteran Michael Wacha, who Van Wagenen has hinted will figure to be the team's fifth starter behind Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Steven Matz.

Wacha is a 28-year-old right-hander, originally from Iowa City, Iowa, though he played his high school ball in Texarkana, Texas. He was selected by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Texas A&M.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Michael Wacha (Jeff Curry)
Michael Wacha (Jeff Curry)

The Mets are 'working hard' to finalize a one-year deal with free agent Michael Wacha, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed.

Wacha's deal will be worth $3 million guaranteed, with an additional $7 million in potential incentives, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Wacha, 28, had a 4.76 ERA (5.61 FIP) and 1.56 WHIP in 126.2 IP in 2019 for the Cardinals as he struggled with injuries and inconsistency.

.. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Aug 5, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello (22) pitches during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Aug 5, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello (22) pitches during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

With Zack Wheeler heading to the Phillies on a five-year deal, the Mets find themselves with a spot open in their starting rotation.

Could Rick Porcello be the answer?

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Mets are talking to Porcello, who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2016.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Jul 16, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Jul 16, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sure, you're hyped for some Mets free agent or trade action at the upcoming Winter Meetings. But unless the club pulls off a surprise blockbuster move, the most newsworthy Mets stuff coming out of San Diego might be the first public appearance by a club bigwig since the announcement of sale negotiations with billionaire Steve Cohen.

When Brodie Van Wagenen steps in front of cameras and reporters, there will be lots to discuss, far beyond how to fix that horrid bullpen.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Anthony McCarron
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Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Mets need and are looking to add more starting pitching. However, the team's path to the postseason in 2020 may rest more on what they get from Steven Matz and Marcus Stroman than what the Mets get from the hot stove market this winter.

Zack Wheeler is officially gone, having signed a five-year deal to join the Phillies. The pitcher replacing him will either be Seth Lugo or someone specifically acquired to be their fifth starter. In all likelihood, whomever it is will almost certainly not translate into 15-16 team wins like Wheeler did the past two seasons.

Sure, the Mets could score more and/or not allow as many runs late in games so they're more successful when Jacob deGrom is regularly brilliant. For instance, despite winning his second straight Cy Young Award with a 2.53 ERA, the Mets were 14-18 in games that he started in 2019. That stat is painful every time I see it.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)
Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)

There is mutual interest between the Mets and free-agent Rick Porcello, according to insiders aware of his offseason goals. This is good news because he's a perfect fit for the Mets.

As I wrote two weeks ago, the Phillies and Braves are among several teams that have been more aggressive than the Mets when it comes to signing Zack Wheeler. Insiders predicted to me weeks ago that Wheeler will get five years and $100 million, which at this point appears to be a foregone conclusion.

The same people also keep saying the Mets are more likely to let Wheeler walk in favor of a less expensive, more reliable, consistent, veteran starting pitcher to join the back of their rotation.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 24, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets had nine arbitration-eligible players entering the offseason and trimmed that number to eight when they DFA'd Joe Panik.

On Monday, the team announced that they had officially tendered contracts to Marcus StromanNoah Syndergaard, Michael ConfortoEdwin Diaz , Steven MatzSeth Lugo, Brandon Nimmo, and Robert Gsellman

Once a player is offered arbitration, the team and that player's agent have until a set date -- usually at some point in February -- to come to terms on a new contract. If that doesn't happen, both sides submit salary proposals and the player's salary is determined at a hearing by independent arbitrators. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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When it comes to prospects, I talk to a lot of people in and around baseball. I listen to people within the Mets organization. I read every list published online, and I talk to a variety of minor-league reporters, experts and scouts. As a result, I end every season with a notebook full of names that are most mentioned when talking about the team's farm system.

Interestingly, unlike previous seasons, the combination of question marks and potential seemed to result in me being asked about the same three to four names.

Based on those questions and what wound up in my notebook, here is my list of comments about the three most asked about prospects in the Mets' farm system...

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Thomas Szapucki, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 25, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets shortstop Andres Gimenez (72) plays the field during a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 25, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets shortstop Andres Gimenez (72) plays the field during a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

In order to protect them from being selected during December's Rule 5 draft, the Mets recently added prospects Andres Gimenez, Jordan Humphreys, Ali Sanchez and Thomas Szapucki to their 40-man roster. The Rule 5 Draft takes place every year on the final day of the Winter Meetings.

The above four prospects were eligible for selection based on age and number of years since being drafted. There is no guarantee any of the above four players will become big-league players, let alone become All-Stars. Of course, there's always a chance.

Here is how I see each player's potential level of and chance for success based on prospect lists and my talks with prospect reporters, scouts and people in player development.

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Steven Matz, Thomas Szapucki
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Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (Jake Roth)
Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (Jake Roth)

To date, sources aware of the situation say the Braves have so far been more aggressive than the Mets when it comes to signing free-agent RHP Zack Wheeler. 

It's their contention the Mets are more likely to let Wheeler walk and instead sign a reliable, consistent, veteran starting pitcher to join their rotation.

MLB people I know all expect Wheeler to field multiple offers of five years and $100 million.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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After the Mets saw one teammate win a National League honor Monday with first baseman Pete Alonso's Rookie of the Year, another award came New York's way Wednesday when right-handed pitcher Jacob deGrom earned a second straight Cy Young.

DeGrom received 29 of the 30 first-place votes to dominate his fellow finalists in Washington Nationals righthander Max Scherzer and Los Angeles Dodgers lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu (received one first-place vote) for the award, which was announced Wednesday and makes deGrom the first Mets pitcher ever to win the award in consecutive campaigns.

From position players such as outfielder Brandon Nimmo and third baseman Todd Frazier to pitchers like righthander Noah Syndergaard and lefthander Steven Matz, the Mets reacted accordingly after the staff's ace repeated.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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After Pete Alonso was named National League Rookie of the Year on Monday, the congratulations from Mets teammates poured in.

Check out Noah Syndergaard, Dom Smith, Michael Conforto and Steven Matz all took the time to offer their congratulations to Alonso, who came just one vote shy of winning the award unanimously

Tags: Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz
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Red Sox OF Mookie Betts
Red Sox OF Mookie Betts

MLB executives believe at least one of Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor or Kris Bryant will be traded this offseason, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi.

The way I see it, of the three, Betts is most likely to find a new home. And he's a good fit for the Mets.

Bryant fits the Mets, too. I'm not convinced Chicago will end up trading him, though. Like with Lindor, while it's worth it for each team to listen to offers, the Cubs and Indians have these players under contract for more than just next season.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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On Thursday night at his Tru32 charity bowling event "Strikes with Steven", Mets pitcher Steven Matz gave his thoughts on newly hired manager Carlos Beltran.

"It's really exciting," Matz said. "He's very respected in the game. He was a great player himself. I think he brings some great leadership to the team, and he's very passionate about the game. I think we're all excited to have him as our leader."

Matz went on to talk about how Beltran's experience as a recent player should help the team a lot.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Justin Wilson, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (Jake Roth)
Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (Jake Roth)

If Zack Wheeler departs via free agency, the Mets will have a hole to fill in the starting rotation. Should they consider filling it with a former bitter rival?

Cole Hamels, who will turn 36 years old before the 2020 season, had a 3.81 ERA (4.09 FIP) and 1.39 WHIP with 143 strikeouts in 141.2 IP (27 starts) this past season for the Cubs.

At this stage, Hamels -- who spent the first nine years of his career with the Phillies -- is looking to land with a contender. And he's open to inking a one-year deal, he told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Steven Matz (Adam Hunger)
Steven Matz (Adam Hunger)

Steven Matz was part of the surge as the Mets went 46-26 in the second half of the 2019 season, scratching and clawing their way back into the playoff race.

Now, after finishing 3.0 games out of a playoff spot and watching the team hire Carlos Beltran as manager, Matz is already gearing up for the 2020 season.

"We got really excited to see what we are capable of," Matz said on Monday during an appearance on MLB Network Radio. "Now we've got a guy who is very well respected around the league coming in, and have that type of collaboration with Brodie (Van Wagenen) and him and all that type of stuff. I think that we are really excited and I think the fans are as well as to what we can do."

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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The Mets will have a gaping hole in their starting rotation if Zack Wheeler leaves via free agency, but is that hole something they could actually fill from within?

Speaking on Monday at Citi Field after introducing Carlos Beltran as the 22nd manager in franchise history, GM Brodie Van Wagenen talked up the ability of Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman as potential rotation answers.

"We've got some great players in Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman that may be considerations in the rotation," Van Wagenen told SNY's Steve Gelbs.

Tags: David Peterson, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Zack Wheeler
Zack Wheeler

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the hot stove season here, the Mets have a lot of work to do if they hope to turn their 86-win team of 2019 into a team that should be legitimately feared by the rest of the NL East entering the 2020 season. And their first big decision is getting close.

The Mets have until Monday at 5 p.m. to decide whether or not to extend a qualifying offer to free agent Zack Wheeler.

The gist:

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Jun 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) and New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) look at the scoreboard during game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) and New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) look at the scoreboard during game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The following six players (and four others) all have value to the Mets, but may also have value to other teams via trade.

I asked two rival team executives and two people in player development if the Mets should keep or push to trade each player.

Here are the results along with my reaction...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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