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Wilson Ramos

With the MLB season paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Mets have been trying to stay ready as they wait for information regarding a potential start date.

Dominic Smith has been taking try hacks and running with J.D. Davis in a hotel parking lot.

Edwin Diaz has been staying ready while pitching in an empty ballpark.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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Mets catcher Wilson Ramos is at home with his family, but the work never stops. 

While MLB is paused amid the coronavirus outbreak, many players have shared video of themselves working out at home to stay ready for whenever it is that baseball makes its return.

Ramos tweeted out a photo and and accompanying video of his catching some pitches from the safety of his own home. 

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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Mets' Pete Alonso (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Pete Alonso (Treated Image by SNY)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets are currently brushing up against the $208 million luxury tax threshold and are perhaps unlikely to reach any extensions with players of their own until they get some salary cap relief.

But that relief should come after the 2020 season, when Yoenis Cespedes, Wilson Ramos, Marcus Stroman, and others are off the books, freeing up tens of millions of dollars in 2021 and beyond.

With the above in mind, and with the goal being to win now and in the future, the Mets would be wise to lay the groundwork for potential extensions for some of the players below, with an eye on striking deals soon after the 2020 season ends...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Wilson Ramos and his brother, Efren -- a pitcher in the Mets' organization -- had a bullpen session of sorts with one another on Tuesday. Ramos captioned the video "we keep fit and just waiting for the call."

Unlike teammate Dominic Smith, who caught a Marcus Stroman street bullpen session barefoot and without a mask, Ramos looked to have both cleats and a mask on as he caught his brother.

Click below to see...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)

Baseball isn't just about statistics, home run totals, and wins and losses. It's also about emotions, thrills, chills and personal stories that we can invest in.

Thankfully, the Mets are never short on stories and bizarre moments worth dissecting.

That said, here are five storylines I hope to see in 2020...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Major League Baseball and all other major sports remain on hold as the United States and the rest of the world practices social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

When things start to return to normal and the 2020 baseball season -- hopefully -- begins, the Mets will have a bunch of roster and lineup decisions facing them after what will very likely be an abbreviated second spring training of sorts.

Among those decisions...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Seth Lugo, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The coronavirus pandemic has led to the shuttering of all the major sports leagues, and most people in the United States and around the world are practicing social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Spring training is shuttered as players on the Mets and other teams continue to prepare for the season either at their home team's spring training complex (without group workouts) or elsewhere.

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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Mets' Michael Wacha threw 2.2 innings on Friday against the Houston Astros, allowing five hits and just one earned run. His spring training ERA is now 1.07, as the righty is battling for the Mets' fifth starting pitcher job.

After the game, Wacha talked about not putting too much on spring training results, but feels good about building his relationship with catcher Wilson Ramos.

"I don't really put too much on the results in spring training," Wacha said. "You like to pitch well, but most importantly, hopefully you're making pitches where you want them to go... and getting that relationship going with Ramos was huge tonight. Just looking forward to building off that and keep moving forward."

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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The Mets took an early 2-0 lead on the Astros, but Houston was able to come back for a 3-2 win on Friday night. >> Box Score

5 things to know about Friday's game...

1) Michael Wacha gave the Mets 2.2 innings of workHe allowed five hits, but he scattered them enough to allow just one earned run. He also struck out two and walked just one hitter, lowering his ERA to 1.07 for the spring, making a strong case for the Mets' fifth starter job.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Nolan Arenado
Nolan Arenado

A version of this article was originally published on Dec. 20, 2019


Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets had trade discussions earlier this season with the Indians about Francisco Lindor and discussions with the Astros about Carlos Correa. Both of those players are tremendous talents, with Lindor offering more certainty and Correa being a player you can dream on. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Ronny Mauricio, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

PORT ST. LUCIE -- There are signs of two potentially important developments so far for Noah Syndergaard this spring:

1) Out of the stretch he's significantly quicker to the plate than in the past, seemingly determined to finally keep base-stealers from running at will on him -- "My Achilles heel," he called it on Tuesday. 

2) He's throwing his slider at 86-88 mph with more downward break than in the past, creating more velocity separation from his fastball. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, John Harper
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The Mets were unable to dig themselves out of an early hole and ultimately fell to the Marlins, 6-1, on Tuesday. >> Box Score

6 things to know about Tuesday's game...

1) Noah Syndergaard got the start for the Mets and had an up-and-down performance Tuesday. Despite striking out five batters in 3.0 innings on the mound, Syndergaard gave up two earned runs on two hits -- which ended up being too much for the Mets to come back from.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Wilson Ramos
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Mar 21, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a spring training game against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)
Mar 21, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a spring training game against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)

LHP Steven Matz takes the hill as the Mets face the Astros at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday from FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Mets notes

Brandon Nimmo is back in the leadoff spot after batting out of the two hole Friday. He made his return to the lineup in the 3-2 win over the Cardinals after sitting out briefly from spring training action because of cardiac tests. Nimmo singled in his first at-bat and finished 1 for 2 with a run scored. He got the start in center field Friday and stays there Saturday.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Houston Astros, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos
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Infield prospect Andres Gimenez blasted a solo homer to right field to break a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning as the Mets beat the Cardinals, 3-2, on Friday afternoon at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie. >> Box Score


5 things to know about Friday's game...

1) Brandon Nimmo returned to the lineup after missing two games to undergo cardiac tests (he's fine). Nimmo got the start in center field, singled in his first at-bat, and finished 1-for-2 with a run scored.

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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October 6, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin (55) celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals in game three of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
October 6, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin (55) celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals in game three of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The Mets are reportedly entertaining the idea of adding another veteran catcher to the roster.

According to a report from MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Mets are among the group of teams to have "checked in" on 37-year-old free agent Russell Martin.

Heyman also lists the Oakland A's among the teams interested in Martin, whom Heyman says has turned down other offers to do what's best for his family.

Tags: Rene Rivera, Wilson Ramos
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A general view at Mets spring training
A general view at Mets spring training

Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Wednesday, in case you missed it...


The Mets got good news on injured J.D. Davis after the MRI on his shoulder revealed no new structural damage >> Read more

Edwin Diaz reacted after his uneven debut, saying he was "a little bit anxious" >> Read more

After his spring training debut, Noah Syndergaard spoke about the connection he had with Wilson Ramos >> Read more

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Noah Syndergaard, Tim Tebow, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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Noah Syndergaard got his first start on the mound in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday against the Astros, and there were two main focuses heading into it: his connection with Wilson Ramos and his slider.

Both were positives after the short, two-inning outing. 

Starting with Ramos, manager Luis Rojas said that Syndergaard and the Mets' top catcher would be working to improve their chemistry after last season when Syndergaard was open with management about not trusting him behind the plate. Ramos admitted that he was working on his framing this spring as well, one of the areas Syndergaard reportedly didn't like. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Scott Thompson
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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes
Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes

A version of this story was originally published on Jan. 21, 2020


Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When the offseason began, the thought of Yoenis Cespedes contributing to the 2020 Mets was a pipe dream. Then, he started hitting bombs. Then, his contract was restructured to incentivize him making it back on the field. Then, he started running.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Mets LHP David Peterson (Jim Rassol)
Mets LHP David Peterson (Jim Rassol)

Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Monday, in case you missed it...


Wilson Ramos credited his performance against the Nats on Monday to offseason changes >> Read more

Along with Ramos, pitching prospect David Peterson was one of the standouts on Monday >> Read more

After the Mets' win over the Nats, Luis Rojas talked about his developing relationship with Terry Collins >> Read more

Tags: Andres Gimenez, David Peterson, Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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"Wilson Ramos hit ball, ball go far" was the mantra for the Mets on Monday in their spring training win over the Nationals. 

Ramos smashed a pitch just foul during his first at-bat, and the ensuing pitch matched it, but this time stayed in play and flew over the left field fence. 

But his day wasn't done there. Ramos also hit himself a double, going 2-for-2 during his team's 2-1 victory. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Wilson Ramos
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Luis Rojas
Luis Rojas

Luis Rojas said he was happy with Monday's 2-1 win over the Nationals despite the fact that spring training isn't about results. 

"We know spring training is not about results, but it's good to see the guys shaking hands and all that," Rojas said after the game. "Looked like we were playing really good baseball, once again really good defense. ...Everybody moving around, everybody backing up in position, we turned a double play again, called a good game, pitched a good game. So we played really good baseball today."

Wilson Ramos got things started with a solo home run in the second inning to put the Mets up 1-0, and Rojas took notice, saying he likes what he's seeing from Ramos early.

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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The Mets took down their NL East-rival Nationals, 2-1, for their first spring training win on Monday.  >> Box Score

5 things to know from Monday's game...

1) Top pitching prospect David Peterson got the start for the Mets, and looked pretty good in his first spring outing. He let up just one single, but no runs. MLB.com's Anthony DiComo also pointed out that the radar gun had his fastball sitting around 93-94 mph, which is up from his previous seasons. That's a good sign for the lefty.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, David Peterson, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Paul Sewald, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Scott Thompson
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

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


Based on conversations with team insiders, at this early point in the spring, it sounds to me like Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil will 100 percent be kicking off Luis Rojas' lineup in April.

After that, expect Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto and some flip-flopping between Wilson Ramos and Robinson Cano. Amed Rosario seems destine to hit eighth or maybe even ninth on certain occasions, while the J.D. Davis/Yoenis Cespedes situation will impact left field and the heart of the lineup in a way that can't be known yet.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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As the Mets kicked off their 2020 spring training slate with a split-squad game against the Miami Marlins in Port St. Lucie on Saturday, Luis Rojas saw the game through a new perspective.

For the first time, Rojas watched the game from the dugout as a major-league manager.

Rojas' Mets fell to the Marlins 5-3 on Saturday, but as is the case with all spring training efforts, the game was more about getting things right for Opening Day rather than immediate results.

Still, Rojas was pleased with what he saw in his first game as a manager.

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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The Mets fell to the Miami Marlins 5-3 in a split-squad outing in Port St. Lucie on Saturday, but the offense looked strong to get things started.

In the top of the first inning, Jeff McNeil slapped a single to left field to get things going, setting the table out of the leadoff spot. After loading the bases, Wilson Ramos drove in a pair with a wind-blown ground-rule double down the right-field line.

Check out the full highlights from Saturday's game with the Marlins...

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Wilson Ramos
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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

The Mets' split squad in Port St. Lucie got this year's spring training schedule started with a 5-3 loss to the Miami Marlins. >> Box Score

5 things to know from Saturday's game...

1) Rick Porcello got the first spring training start for the Mets in Port St. Lucie. The right-hander pitched only the first inning, with some mixed results. Porcello allowed a single to Monte Harrison with one out, and after stealing second, Harrison came around to score on a Garrett Cooper single. He did strikeout Isan Diaz on three pitches in the inning as well.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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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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It's another day at Mets spring training, and the players are all out getting their work in as games begin at the end of the week. 

Wilson Ramos took some hacks in the batting cage, and infielders like Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil corralled some grounders as fans looked on. Check it out above.

Below is some batting practice action from Tuesday:

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard's vaunted slider abandoned him for most of the 2019 season, with him unable to generate the movement and velocity that made the pitch one of the best weapons in baseball from 2016 to 2018.

Whether it was due to the new ball (with lower seams and a slicker feel that hampered certain pitchers), something mental, or a combination of things, Syndergaard's slider in 2019 was mostly bad -- averaging 89.1 mph after averaging 92.0 mph the year prior.

Speaking Tuesday at Mets camp, Syndergaard said his nasty slider seems to be back.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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New Mets manager Luis Rojas sat down for his first spring training press conference on Tuesday, and touched on a multitude of topics as he begins to lead this squad into the new season. 

Here are a few answers from Rojas that stood out...

On the Syndergaard-Ramos connection

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Thompson
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Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Monday, in case you missed it...


Jeff McNeil, who was recently ranked the No. 5 third baseman in baseball, arrived in camp and talked (among other things) about what it's like to prepare this season knowing he'll likely be playing third base most of the time >> Read more

Edwin Diaz talked about his improved slider and how Pedro Martinez helped him this offseason >> Read more

Wilson Ramos says things will be better in Year 2 with the Mets pitching staff: "It's going to be a good rotation. Those guys know how to fight and I will be ready behind the plate to help those guys to win and that's what we need" >> Read more

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Pitchers and catchers reported to Mets spring training on Monday, and Wilson Ramos was there bright and early to gear up for another year behind the plate as the team's starting catcher. 

While Ramos will continue to build chemistry with the pitchers he worked with last season, he mentioned how excited he is to work with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha as well. The Mets acquired the two starters that will be battling it out for the fifth rotation spot in camp, and Ramos knows from facing them what they bring to the table.

"Very happy for who we acquired," he said. "Those two veteran pitchers in the rotation, they're really good. I've been facing them before and they throw the ball really good, so I'm very excited to meet with them."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Scott Thompson
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For the most part, Brodie Van Wagenen's roster is set. However, within it, he'll need to make some decisions.

Third Base and Left Field

Jeff McNeil recently told the Daily News that he expects to play third base this season. I suspect this in large part is depended on what is happening this spring training in left field and if Jed Lowrie is healthy and productive.

In a world where J.D. Davis stumbles and Yoenis Cespedes isn't ready for action, McNeil may be needed back in left field, at which point Lowrie will need to take the hot corner. Ideally, Cespedes is bathing in the Fountain of Youth and Davis is crushing home runs. In that scenario, McNeil gets third and all of a sudden Luis Rojas has too may outfielders.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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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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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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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes
Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes

When the offseason began, the thought of Yoenis Cespedes contributing to the 2020 Mets was a pipe dream. Then he started hitting bombs. Then his contract was restructured to incentivize him making it back on the field. Then he started running.

Now, the idea that the 34-year-old Cespedes will trot out to left field in in the top of the first inning on March 26 against the Nationals at Citi Field before toting his lumber to the batter's box in the bottom of the first seems downright plausible.

Yes, Cespedes still needs to prove he can handle a full nine innings in left field. And yes, he still needs to get through the rest of the offseason without suffering any setbacks. But after roughly two seasons on the shelf, Yo is close. And his healthy return could have serious ripple effects on the 2020 Mets...

A very crowded situation in left field

In a world without a healthy Cespedes, the Mets would likely enter the 2020 season with J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto as their starting outfielders from left to right.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So the Josh Donaldson domino finally fell on Tuesday night, and by landing in Minnesota it didn't tilt the balance of power in the NL East, after all. Or my offseason grades, for that matter.

Either the Nationals or the Braves could have separated themselves by signing -- or re-signing -- the power-hitting third baseman. Instead, there's not much to separate the work the four contenders did this offseason, and even the Marlins at least warrant a grade this time for spending a little dough to upgrade their roster.

Last season, the division was the toughest in the majors, producing the 97-win Braves, the World Series-winning Nationals, a Mets team that went 46-26 in the second half (falling just short of a wild-card berth), and the dangerous-but-flawed Phillies who faded down the stretch but at least finished at .500.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Starlin Castro, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Brodie Van Wagenen
Brodie Van Wagenen

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets have made some notable additions this offseason and should be better off for them. But while their ceiling is high, it's hard to put them on the same level as the Braves and Nationals. It's also hard to believe that they're done making moves.

Brodie Van Wagenen made a very necessary (if still a bit risky) bullpen addition by signing Dellin Betances. Rick Porcello has also been added to the starting rotation. By also adding Michael Wacha, the Mets have six starting pitchers for five spots -- a good problem to have. The only move of note on the offensive side of things was trading for Jake Marisnick, whose addition was more about his defense in center field than anything. 

With just over a month to go until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, the Mets' payroll for luxury tax purposes is roughly $195 million. When you factor in the additional money Yoenis Cespedes will receive if he is on the Opening Day roster or on the IL for a reason other than his ankle, that number rises to about $200 million -- $8 million shy of the luxury tax threshold. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances, Dominic Smith, Luis Guillorme, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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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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Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets have had trade discussions with the Indians about Francisco Lindor and discussions with the Astros about Carlos Correa. Both of those players are tremendous talents, with Lindor offering more certainty and Correa being a player you can dream on. 

While Lindor and Correa would both be franchise-altering additions for the Mets, neither -- due to what it would take to trade for them and the limited team control they have -- is a perfect fit. Nor is Mookie Betts, who will earn close to $28 million in 2020 before being eligible for free agency. 

If the Mets want Betts, they can simply sign him after the 2020 season. And with Steve Cohen's billions potentially in play by some point in the 2020 season, it isn't that far-fetched to think the Mets could do it. For right now, though, the player it makes the most sense for the Mets to swing for the fences on is Nolan Arenado.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Ronny Mauricio, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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The offseason is about to enter its final month and the Mets still have work to do. What can they do between now and spring training to improve? And what about that Jacob deGrom vs. Gerrit Cole debate?


Dino (via Twitter): Why isn't Brodie Van Wagenen pushing harder to get Starling Marte from the Pirates? He's a perfect fit. It makes no sense.

Just a guess here, and I assume you will disagree with him, but I suspect Van Wagenen doesn't want Marte enough -- or doesn't think he's enough of an upgrade -- to meet Pittsburgh's demands. It's usually that simple...

It's clear the two sides were deeply engaged in talks about Marte. However, those rumors have become less frequent and now the Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is reporting they've made minimal progress on a deal.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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For the second straight day during the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen met with the media.

Tuesday's topics included how the team will respond to other moves being made within the division, players have specific nutrition plans, and how the team may use their 26th spot on the active roster.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday's availability:

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Jun 24, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yasnkees pitcher Dellin Betances (68) looks on against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 24, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yasnkees pitcher Dellin Betances (68) looks on against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

During the course of the day, I often text and talk with a variety of MLB insiders to better understand what is happening in the hot stove.

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

Adding to the bullpen...

My hunch is the Mets will sign at least one relief pitcher before the end of the Winter Meetings.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen speaks with reporters at the GM Meetings. (SNY)
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen speaks with reporters at the GM Meetings. (SNY)

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen heads down to San Diego on Sunday for his second stint at the Winter Meetings, and SNY's Andy Martino knows what he'll be looking to come back to Flushing with. 

Martino has the Mets looking to add a back end starter as well as bullpen help. Van Wagenen is looking to fill the void left by Jason Vargas, who was traded to the Phillies before the deadline last season. Zack Wheeler is also a Phillie now after signing his multi-year deal this past week. 

Rick Porcello is a man on their list, according to Martino. But if Van Wagenen can't add someone, there is the possibility that Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman could be starting for the Mets instead of coming out of the bullpen. 

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler
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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Nationals may have won the World Series but the Braves were the best team in the NL East over 162 games last season, totaling 97 wins, and they could be better in 2020 considering: 

They have the best core of age 25-and-under players in the division, as well as a Top Five farm system, and they've moved quickly this off-season to load up in the bullpen, signing Will Smith, the top reliever on the free agent market, and re-signing Chris Martin.  

All of which sets an awfully high bar for the Mets next season if they're going to deliver on the win-now expectations that have defined Brodie Van Wagenen's actions as GM.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It seemed to make for an awkward clubhouse dynamic at the time, but maybe Noah Syndergaard's preference for a catcher other than Wilson Ramos will prove beneficial to the Mets in 2020.

As it is, there is belief around the team that Ramos was motivated to work harder at his defense in the second half of last season -- after a horrendous first half -- in part by his awareness that neither Syndergaard nor Jacob deGrom wanted to pitch to him. 

At an appearance in New York on Thursday, Ramos essentially admitted as much, telling reporters, "I heard a lot of bad things about me behind the plate but I'm going to focus on getting better."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, John Harper
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Mets catcher Wilson Ramos joined Gary Apple as a guest on Mets Hot Stove on Thursday evening.

The 32-year-old catcher discussed his first season in Queens, a year in which he batted .288 with 14 home runs, and also spoke to how much of an adjustment it was for him to learn things on the fly during spring training about an entirely new pitching staff.

"It was really hard in the beginning. During spring training, I tried to (get to) know those guys better, and better, but it's a little bit hard because it's spring training and it's not enough time to get to know everybody," Ramos told Apple. "I'm not catching a complete game. During spring training, I just got like two innings, two innings, and at least seven innings like two times during spring training, but it's hard to know everybody in that short time.

"If you see the numbers after the All-Star break, it was a lot better. It was better communication. We stayed more on the same page, so I think next year will be a lot better because I know those guys more and we've got better communication."  

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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May 7, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) reacts after striking out in the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
May 7, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) reacts after striking out in the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

Despite a rocky start in 2019, Mets C Wilson Ramos hit .350 with 15 extra-base hits during the team's final 45 games and legit push for the final Wild Card spot.

That said, GM Brodie Van Wagenen last winter clearly preferred Yasmani Grandal, who just signed a four-year deal with the White Sox. Instead, he ended up with Ramos, who will be paid $10 million this season, after which he can be a free agent.

There was reported friction between Ramos and Noah Syndergaard. Ramos also struggled to begin the season, he'll turn 33 years old next season and -- between repeated injuries -- his production has been very inconsistent the past five seasons. 

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Oct 1, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal (10) hits a two run home run during the first inning against the Washington Nationals in the 2019 National League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Oct 1, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal (10) hits a two run home run during the first inning against the Washington Nationals in the 2019 National League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal agreed to terms with the White Sox on Thursday on a four-year deal worth $73 million. And while the Mets pursued Grandal last offseason, they did not engage on him this time around, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Grandal would have been a huge defensive upgrade over Wilson Ramos, who is under contract through the 2020 season. But it could have been tough for the Mets to pull off the switch, especially with Grandal signing this early. 

While the Mets heavily pursued Grandal last offseason with rumors swirling that he turned down a deal worth $60 million over four seasons, Martino said that while the two sides were deep in talks and could've reached that point, the $60 million offer was never on the table.

Tags: Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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Oct 26, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos (28) hits a two run home run during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals in game four of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 26, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos (28) hits a two run home run during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals in game four of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

As the MLB hot stove begins to heat up, it looks as if the Mets could be in the market for another catcher. 

The team has expressed interest in veteran Robinson Chirinos, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.

Wilson Ramos is still under contract for one more season with the Mets, and the club has an option to bring him back for the 2021 season if they so choose. Meanwhile, Tomas Nido, who served as the backup catcher for most of 2019, is under team control through the 2021 season.

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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