Toby Hyde: This past Monday, the Mets signed?Michael Cuddyer?to a?two-year deal worth a reported $21 million.

The acquisition also means the Mets must?forfeit their 2015 first-round draft pick (No. 15 overall), because the Rockies made a Qualifying Offer to Cuddyer.

The?Mets are closer to contention than many people realize, so giving up the pick and signing Cuddyer makes sense. They needed to upgrade their corner outfield position and,?as Sandy Alderson said during a conference call Tuesday,?adding an outfielder was of the "highest priority."

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Mets rookie RHP Jacob deGrom will make his second start of the season tonight as the Mets face the Dodgers at 7:10 p.m.

DeGrom was?initially promoted last week to pitch in the bullpen for the Mets, but he immediately stepped?in to the rotation when Dillon Gee was?put on the disabled list. He responded by throwing seven innings, while surrendering one run to the Yankees.

Including his work at Triple-A Las Vegas, deGrom's debut Thursday was just the second time in eight starts this season that he?pitched a full seven innings. It was the third start?he went six or more innings and allowed one run or fewer. And, according to Bill James's game score, it was the second-best outing of his 2014. However, this time, instead of doing it against Pacific Coast League, he did?it against the?New York Yankees...?in his big league debut.

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Rafael Montero?has an ordinary arsenal, but has blazed a very rapid path to the big leagues.

Three years ago, Montero was a 20-year-old beginning his professional career in the Dominican Summer League. Now, fewer than?three years after leaving the island, he is about to make?his big league debut on Wednesday night against the Yankees.

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22-year-old Mets infielder Wilmer Flores will be in Friday's starting lineup, batting seventh and playing shortstop.

The Mets were so sure that Flores could not play shortstop in the big leagues, they moved him off the position in 2012 as he rose from Single- to Triple-A.

And tonight, he might be starting there for them at Citi Field.

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In signing Curtis Granderson to a $60 million contract over the next four seasons, the Mets made a sizable bet on improving the team in the short term. The slightly front-loaded deal covers Granderson's age 33-36 seasons, the years where players of his ilk -- outfielders who strike out regularly, but rely on power for their offensive value -- decline dramatically.

In this post, Toby Hyde will dig into the type of player Granderson has been, and the one he'll likely be going forward. Finally, he will construct an estimate of Granderson's value to the Mets...

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Bartolo Colon is no ace, but he is a very strong value signing for the Mets.

The 40-year old Colon -- the 2005 Cy Young Award winner -- is round, surprisingly effective and hit the free agent market at exactly the right time. He?has taken a unique path to this point. He earned his first All-Star game appearance with Cleveland in 1998, but won his first and only Cy Young Award seven years -- and five teams -- later.

After shoulder pain from a torn rotator cuff and damage to ligaments and tendons cut short his 2009 season, he had an experimental (and controversial) surgery?with in which?stem cells from his hip were inserted into his shoulder?in March of 2010 and followed by platelet-rich plasma therapy. He missed the entire 2010 season.

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In the first two rounds of the 2013 first-year player draft, the Mets selected 1B Dominic Smith and RHP Andrew Church - two high school players.

"In an ideal world, we would pick players closer to the major leagues," Mets Vice President of Player Development Paul DePodesta told reporters last night. "But our marching orders are pick the best player available. We're building for the long-term health of the organization, rather than immediate need."

DePodesta also said he is very encouraged by the progress of the farm system over recent seasons.

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The Mets own the 11th overall pick in this year's amateur (Rule 4) draft, which begins Thursday. The team elected?not to sign?free agent OF Michael Bourn in part to protect this draft pick and the associated allocated signing amount.

Draft Mechanics

Thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, every pick carries a suggested bonus. Teams can allocate bonuses across their draft selections however they want, but any overage greater than 5 percent will result in the loss of a first round pick in the subsequent year. The Mets' first round pick carries a bonus recommendation of $2.8 million, most of which will be used to sign the player drafted there, but any leftovers from that bonus amount will also increase the pot for players picked later. The Mets' overall draft allocation of?$6.99 million?is the 10th largest among MLB teams.

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