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Wilson Ramos

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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Pirates OF Starling Marte
Pirates OF Starling Marte

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made it clear he hopes to add a true center fielder this offseason via trade or free agency -- talking up the need to improve the defense -- and has spoken about using Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo primarily in the corner outfield spots.

As the Mets search for that true center fielder, they can scour the free agent market. While not completely barren, the list of free agent center fielders leaves a lot to be desired, with Brett Gardner (who could be heading back to the Yankees) and Cameron Maybin (whose 2019 might have been fool's gold) highlighting the better options.

This is where Starling Marte comes in.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

As the Mets embark on the 2020 offseason, there are lots of burning questions, including which free agents they should pursue, which 2019 performances were sustainable, and which players in the farm system (if any) should be untouchable...


Should the Mets sign Josh Donaldson, trade J.D. Davis and make Jeff McNeil a full-time LF?

McNeil, Davis and Jed Lowrie are capable of starting at third base. So, it's difficult to see Van Wagenen shelling out what is likely to be a three-year, $70-80 million deal to get Donaldson.

However, for all of the talk about adding a center fielder or corner outfielder, adding Donaldson would probably be the biggest bang for Van Wagenen's buck.

The fact is, Brandon Nimmo in most comparisons will likely end up being the better option in the field. At the same time, in addition to providing a major upgrade and credibility at the plate, Donaldson will likely be the best option in the field at third base.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Ronny Mauricio, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Yasmani Grandal
Yasmani Grandal

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

"Could we get better defensively? Sure," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Monday at Citi Field after introducing Carlos Beltran as the 22nd manager in team history.

The above answer came after Van Wagenen was asked what he might focus on this offseason as he puts the team together for 2020. He also mentioned a desire to add depth to the starting pitching and "fortify" the bullpen.

Adding starting pitching depth shouldn't be too difficult, nor should fortifying the bullpen. When it comes to improving the defense, though, it could require a multipronged attack.

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

Ok, let's be honest, any bold predictions for the Mets this offseason come with a qualifier, considering they are locked in already at so many positions and likely won't make the kind of big-splash moves that would raise the payroll significantly.

So while I'd love to predict that the Mets will sign free agents Anthony Rendon and Aroldis Chapman, in addition to re-signing Zack Wheeler, I don't think they'll actually make any of those moves.

Furthermore, Brodie Van Wagenen has gone public saying he won't trade either Noah Syndergaard or Edwin Diaz, and while someone could make an offer that would change his mind, I think he'll stick to that declaration. Also, with the farm system depleted at the upper levels, the Mets don't have top prospects who are close to the majors to trade, either.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, John Harper
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the World Series over, the hot stove season -- free agency, trades, and all the intrigue -- is officially here.

For the Mets, they have eight players potentially set to hit free agency. And there's a strong chance that all of them will be playing for new teams in 2020.

The biggest name among the Mets' potential free agents is Zack Wheeler, who is also the only player the Mets will consider extending a qualifying offer to.

Tags: Juan Lagares, Rene Rivera, Todd Frazier, Wilson Ramos, 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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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets enter the 2019-20 offseason with a very strong core in place, but there are numerous deficiencies they'll need to address if they hope to go from an 86-win near-miss in 2019 to a playoff team in 2020.

Among the areas where the Mets should be looking to add: Starting pitching (with Zack Wheeler potentially departing via free agency), the bullpen (which was their undoing this past season), and center field.

The Mets already have a substantial amount committed to payroll for 2020, but those commitments drop significantly starting in 2021. What could that mean as they build their team for next season and beyond? Here's a deep dive...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Anthony Swarzak, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Aug 4, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) hits an RBI double against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Aug 4, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) hits an RBI double against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

These three Mets didn't have strong seasons in 2019, but there's reason to believe that the trio could turn things around in 2020 and beyond ... 

Robinson Cano

It was a tale of two seasons for Cano, who is 36 years old, under contract the next four years and due just under $80 million. The problem is, given his 2018 suspension for PEDs, his age and his up-and-down 2019, it's almost impossible to know what to expect of him in 2020. 

He started well, hitting .270 with three home runs through the end of April, and then everything fell apart. He looked out of sync at the plate and totally out of gas during May and June. Then came random injuries, issues with Mickey Callaway about running out ground balls and what seemed like a a trip to the injured list caused partially by spite.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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As Jorge Alfaro stepped into the batter's box with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the sixth inning, Steven Matz knew he had to be careful with his pitches.

Alfaro's second-inning solo shot to left field gave Miami an early 1-0 lead, which doubled to 2-0 following an RBI single to center field by Migual Rojas. The Marlins threatened again when the cleanup hitter arrived at the plate after Matz began the sixth with three straight hits.

The Mets made a mound visit, but the southpaw's 1-1 pitch found too much plate, with the 89-mph slider at Alfaro's belt over the inner half and landing over the right-center field wall for a game-breaking grand slam.

Tags: Amed Rosario, JD Davis, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Rajai Davis, Steven Matz, Todd Frazier, Walker Lockett, Wilson Ramos
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May 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) shakes hands with catcher Wilson Ramos (40) after throwing a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Syndergaard allowed four hits and a walk while striking out ten. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) shakes hands with catcher Wilson Ramos (40) after throwing a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Syndergaard allowed four hits and a walk while striking out ten. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After the past two weeks featured mixed performances with Noah Syndergaard and Wilson Ramos as the Mets -- from general manager Brodie Van Wagenen to manager Mickey Callaway -- mulled the pitcher-catcher combination, Ramos has broken his silence.

Before the Mets' 8-1 win Friday against the Reds from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, he sat down with Mike Puma of the New York Post and defused any further drama that could be tied to him and Syndergaard.

Poor results from Syndergaard's starts with Ramos at catcher most recently led to the Mets' decision Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies, starting Rene Rivera but still struggling despite the team's 7-4 win.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos
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Sep 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets (79-73, 3.5 GB for second Wild Card) start their three-game series with the Reds (72-81, 14.0 GB in NL Central) at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Friday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.

Mets Notes

The Mets beat the Rockies 7-4 on Wednesday afternoon thanks to a ninth inning rally. The team scored four runs to take the lead including an RBI single from Seth Lugo. Starting on the mound was Noah Syndergaard, who lasted 5.2 innings after allowing four runs on 10 hits and two walks. Rene Rivera was the catcher for Syndergaard, and ended up going 0-for-3 from the plate. Wilson Ramos will be back in the lineup against the Reds, as the catcher is batting .293 on the season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Seth Lugo, Wilson Ramos
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Sep 18, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) celebrates with teammates after a play in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Sep 18, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) celebrates with teammates after a play in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Mets (79-73, 3.0 GB of second Wild Card) are off on Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Reds on Friday night in Cincinnati. 

Here's what happened on Wednesday, in case you missed it....


The Mets entered the top of the ninth inning on Wednesday trailing by a run. They then plated four runs to take a 7-4 lead before hanging on to beat the Rockies -- taking two of three games in Colorado >> Read more

Tags: Aaron Judge, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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From here on out, every single game remaining on the Mets' schedule is an important one.

And just as it looked like Wednesday's game against the Rockies was slipping out of their grasp, the Mets rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth inning to come away with a 7-4 win over the Rockies, winning two of three in Denver.

The inning began with a leadoff walk from pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos. JD Davis quickly singled into right, moving pinch-runner Juan Lagares to third. Brandon Nimmo then singled through the right side to tie the game 4-4 and keep the gears in motion.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Seth Lugo, Wilson Ramos
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May 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) shakes hands with catcher Wilson Ramos (40) after throwing a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Syndergaard allowed four hits and a walk while striking out ten. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) shakes hands with catcher Wilson Ramos (40) after throwing a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Syndergaard allowed four hits and a walk while striking out ten. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Instead of catering to Noah Syndergaard's request to pitch to Tomas Nido or Rene Rivera -- which they are reportedly doing on Wednesday -- they should be fixing the issue in order to make Wilson Ramos Syndergaard's top choice.

Bobby Valentine says it will take more than the just two players to resolve the issue.

"It's not just a player situation. It's a situation that involves the whole team," Valentine told me when recording the former Mets manager's new podcast, The Bobby V Experience. "I would involve the pitching coach, the catching coach, the catchers, and maybe a pitcher or two that understand where Syndergaard is coming from and figure out the true problem because sometimes it's only a make-shift problem."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) hugs shortstop Amed Rosario (1) in the dugout in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) hugs shortstop Amed Rosario (1) in the dugout in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Mets (78-73, 4.0 GB of second Wild Card) wrap up their three-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field in Colorado on Wednesday at 3:10 p.m. on SNY.

Here's what happened on Tuesday, in case you missed it....


Marcus Stroman fired 7.0 scoreless innings in what was his best start as a Met, and the offense came alive as New York topped the Rockies, 6-1, on Tuesday night to draw within 4.0 games of the second Wild Card spot >> Read more

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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This is exactly the Marcus Stroman the Mets thought they were getting at the trade deadline.

After a string of up-and down starts to begin his Mets career, the right-hander was dominant on Tuesday night at Coors Field, tossing seven shutout innings in the Mets' 6-1 victory.

Stroman allowed just four hits, all singles, and only allowed one runner in scoring position all night. He kept the ball down and threw 61 of his 95 pitches for strikes, as he struck out seven while walking just one.

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) pitches in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) pitches in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Mets defeated the Rockies 6-1 on Tuesday night at Coors Field.  Box score

Five Takeaways from Tuesday's game

1) Marcus Stroman pitched what was easily his best game as a Met. The right-hander breezed through seven innings, allowing just four hits and holding the Rockies scoreless in the notoriously batter-friendly Coors Field. All four hits allowed by Stroman were singles, and the Rockies only moved one runner into scoring position against Stroman all night. Stroman's previous start against Arizona, when he went 6.1 and allowed just one earned, combined with Tuesday's strong outing should give Mets fans a lot to like. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, Wilson Ramos
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The Mets defeated the Rockies 6-1 on Tuesday night at Coors Field.  Box score

Five Takeaways from Tuesday's game

1) Marcus Stroman pitched what was easily his best game as a Met. The right-hander breezed through seven innings, allowing just four hits and holding the Rockies scoreless in the notoriously batter-friendly Coors Field. All four hits allowed by Stroman were singles, and the Rockies only moved one runner into scoring position against Stroman all night. Stroman's previous start against Arizona, when he went 6.1 and allowed just one earned, combined with Tuesday's strong outing should give Mets fans a lot to like. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, Wilson Ramos
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Sep 13, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

News broke yesterday that Noah Syndergaard won't be pitching to Wilson Ramos during his Wednesday afternoon start in Colorado. Instead, Rene Rivera will make the start behind the plate, and manager Mickey Callaway explained why. 

"It sounds like he's gonna catch him," Callaway said, confirming MLB.com's report. "We feel that's probably going to be the best thing with this night game-day game in this altitude. We think that Noah is going to pitch well with him. So we'll probably go that route tomorrow."

Callaway added that there are "a lot of circumstances" that has Rivera behind the plate, with the quick turnaround from a night game to day game being one of them. Ramos is going to get the start tonight to catch Marcus Stroman.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Wilson Ramos, Scott Thompson
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Sep 12, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 12, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets (77-73, 15.5 GB in NL East, 5.0 GB for second Wild Card) continue a three-game series from Coors Field in Denver against the Colorado Rockies (66-85) Tuesday at 8:40 p.m. on SNY.

Mets Notes

On the second day of the season's final road trip, the Mets are 5-5 in their past 10 games after they fell 9-4 in Monday's series-opening loss to the Rockies. One bright spot was Brandon Nimmo, whose leadoff home run put the Mets on the board in the top of the first inning and added to his solid return -- since being activated Sept. 1, he is slashing .241/.465/.655. Along with Nimmo, Jeff McNeil gave the Mets a boost via the long ball, sending a two-run shot in the top of the third inning and putting the Mets ahead 3-1. McNeil's multihit game was his 50th of the season, becoming the 13th player in Mets history to do so. With 99 hits on the road, Amed Rosario is on the cusp of 100 hits away from home, which would make him the eighth player in Mets history to reach the century mark as a visitor. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos
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Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Ron Chenoy)
Mets 1B Pete Alonso (Ron Chenoy)

The Mets (77-73, 5.0 GB of second Wild Card) continue their three-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field in Colorado on Tuesday at 8:40 p.m.

Here's what happened Monday, in case you missed it....


Steven Matz was done in by an awful fourth inning, where he allowed six two-out runs as the Rockies turned a 4-1 deficit into a 7-4 lead in the Mets' eventual 9-4 loss on Monday night >> Read more

Tags: Dominic Smith, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Sep 2, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws to the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Sep 2, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws to the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

When pitcher Noah Syndergaard takes the mound on Wednesday for the Mets during their series against the Colorado Rockies, Rene Rivera will reportedly catch for the righty, not Wilson Ramos

According to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, the Mets will make that lineup change behind the plate.

SNY's Andy Martino confirmed a report from The Post on Sept. 9 that Syndergaard had previously voiced his frustrations with the Mets' brass in regard to him having to pitch to Ramos. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos
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