Andy Martino

Andy Martino is SNY's MLB insider.

Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)
Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Brian Cashman confirmed on Tuesday that the Yankees will engage with free agent starter Gerrit Cole. That pursuit is likely to take months, but early word is that another potential Yankee target might choose his next team sooner than later.

According to industry sources, agent Scott Boras has indicated to teams that Cole is unlikely to sign anywhere before January, but the markets for Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon should move faster than expected.

The Yankees will also pursue Strasburg, at least to some extent. They are almost certainly not interested in Rendon because of their belief in the futures of Gio Urshela and Miguel Andujar.

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Free agent reliever Daniel Hudson (Troy Taormina)
Free agent reliever Daniel Hudson (Troy Taormina)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When Brodie Van Wagenen suggested last week that Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman might be in the 2020 rotation, he appeared to telegraph that the Mets were more likely to play in the free agent reliever market this offseason than sign a starter.

That makes sense, when you consider that a better bullpen would likely have delivered the team to the postseason.

That bit of context helps to inform our understanding of the first li'l nugget of the team's post-managerial search offseason, that the front office met Monday morning with the agency that represents both Zack Wheeler and World Series champion reliever Daniel Hudson.

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Not long ago, it seemed assured that Didi Gregorius would remain a member of the Yankees' new core, not a homegrown player but one essential to their culture.

He had already effectively replaced an icon in Derek Jeter. Fans liked that he tweeted emojis. The front office liked his personality and production.

After a tough season returning from Tommy John surgery, Gregorius' future is far murkier. There are signs that the player and team are apart on value, and that other clubs are more likely to pursue him in free agency.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Andy Martino
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Andy Martino on Beltran hiring 00:05:32
SNY Insider Andy Martino explains why former Mets Carlos Beltran is the right guy as the Mets new manager.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Perhaps the most telling detail about Carlos Beltran's ability to relate to all factions of a major league clubhouse is that he is close friends with both Carlos Gomez … and Brian McCann.

The two players who famously jawed at home plate in 2013 over old school/new school baseball etiquette both consider Beltran a confidant and mentor.

On many occasions during Gomez's career, after he angered an opponent over some perceived violation of the game's unwritten rules, he would wake the following morning to a text from Beltran gently explaining what had happened and how to make it better.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Andy Martino
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Somewhere in the offices at Citi Field, there is a whiteboard, and on that whiteboard are the names of well over a dozen managerial candidates.

During the Mets' broad search for a new skipper, names that haven't surfaced publicly, from John Gibbons to Dusty Baker to Robin Ventura, have appeared on this board. A section of this board was used for a secondary list of sorts, intended as a backup if none of the interviews yielded a fit.

A few weeks ago, a person involved in the process warned us of a potential "bombshell" candidate whose name was not only on the board but about whom the Mets were doing extensive research.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Andy Martino
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen (Charles LeClaire)
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen (Charles LeClaire)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets will hold a third round of managerial interviews this week, with Eduardo Perez, Tim Bogar and Carlos Beltran among those getting another callback, according to multiple major league sources.

Those are not the only candidates who are coming back for the third round.

Luis Rojas is not believed to be in the mix any longer.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Andy Martino
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Jul 28, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez (right) talks with Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar (left) in the dugout during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Jul 28, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez (right) talks with Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar (left) in the dugout during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Every story about the Mets' managerial search must begin with the qualifier that Brodie Van Wagenen, along with his bosses and staff, have maintained a disciplined silence all month. The team hasn't announced or confirmed a single nugget since firing Mickey Callaway.

Because of that, all of us reporters are left to piece this together from sources outside the inner circle of decision making -- a circle that is, by the way, unusually tight: There are plenty of typically influential Mets officials who are plugged out of the manager search.

Having said all that, we have at least been able to gather that Washington Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar has interviewed well and has become a strong contender for the job.

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Yankees will pursue Gerrit Cole 00:00:52
SNY Insider Andy Martino explains the Yankees will pursue pitcher Gerrit Cole when he hits the free agent market this offseason

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Remember last October, when we reported that the Yankees did not plan to strongly pursue Manny Machado, and weren't interested in Bryce Harper at all?

Well, we bring more hopeful news today. Slightly.

Our early feel, based on conversations with major league sources, is that the Yanks are expected to engage on Gerrit Cole, for the simple reason that he's currently the best pitcher in baseball and would look great at the top of their rotation.

Tags: Domingo German, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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WFAN New York Yankees broadcasters Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling call the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
WFAN New York Yankees broadcasters Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling call the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In her long and accomplished career, Suzyn Waldman has endured numerous forms of abuse and harassment, from MLB players, fans and members of the media.

Her crime? Broadcasting Yankees games on TV and radio while being a woman.

Waldman, the first woman to call a World Series game, blazed a trail that many followed. And now she is watching as the Houston Astros seemingly demonstrate how deep-seated misogyny remains a problem in the game.

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Brodie Van Wagenen
Brodie Van Wagenen

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Over the past several weeks, we've been working every day to bring you news of the Mets' manager search. We've reached out to everyone who might know anything, and spoken to many of them. We've smoked out many of the first-round candidates and finalists.

But we haven't been able to do the most important thing: Peek inside Brodie Van Wagenen's brain. And neither, it seems, has anyone else.

Because of that, it's impossible to label a frontrunner. There remains a high level of mystery and intrigue in this process, including a potential "bombshell candidate" yet to emerge, in the words of one plugged-in source.

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Oct 19, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during game six of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )
Oct 19, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during game six of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

HOUSTON - The sense of devastation was acute in the Yankees clubhouse on Saturday night, in the minutes after Jose Altuve shocked Aroldis Chapman with the home run that ended their season.

Teams lose in October all the time, of course, and typically take it as a normal part of the game - but the hugs, tears and downcast glances marked this one as different.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Andy Martino
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Boone holds rare team meeting 00:01:03
Andy Martino breaks down Aaron Boone's team meeting and how the team has to rebound quick ahead of Game Five to survive elimination.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Injuries finally catching up

All year, the Yankees have overcome injuries. This became a point of pride for the team, and even spawned the Aaron Boone motivational phase "next man up."

But the missed time finally appears to be catching up to the offense, in a number of ways. Edwin Encarnacion, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks -- a full third of the lineup -- missed significant time late in the season, and do not appear sharp.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Oct 7, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (14) gestures while in the dugout during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Oct 7, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (14) gestures while in the dugout during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Yankees players and coaches became angry with the Astros during Game 1 of the ALCS when they noticed a whistling sound in the Astros' dugout -- which they believed was an over-the-line example of sign stealing, and a violation of the game's unwritten rules.

According to three sources, a Yankees coach noticed a whistling sound in the opposing dugout on certain pitches on Saturday night in Houston. The Yankees started yelling across the field, and people in the dugouts argued back and forth.

"The whole dugout was pissed," said one source. "Everyone was chirping."

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone (17) during the fifth inning of game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone (17) during the fifth inning of game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sanchez's receiving
 
In the seventh, Gary Sanchez struggled to receive two consecutive pitches, costing the Yankees a run -- though it was questionable whether he should have been able to handle the second one.
 
The first, a sinker from Zack Britton with a runner on third, hit umpire Kerwin Danley, preventing the runner from scoring. The second, another sinker was ruled a wild pitch, but it was one that Sanchez might have stopped. This time, the run scored.
 
"Sanchez needs a good catching coach," tweeted former Yankees pitcher David Wells. "Wow."
 
Another former pitcher texted to disagree.
 
"I don't [think he should have caught it]," the pitcher said. "It was a nasty sinker in the dirt."
 
Perhaps Sanchez could have at least moved more quickly in an attempt to stop a tough pitch.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Zack Britton, Andy Martino
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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Eduardo Perez is a popular broadcaster with a famous baseball father, and he is now interviewing for a managerial opening in New York.

Sound like anyone else you know?

"Yeah, it's very similar [to me]," Yankees skipper Aaron Boone told SNY. "He grew up in the game, too."

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Bobby V stops by BNNY 00:03:11
Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine joins the gang at BNNY to talk lineups, analytics and managing in New York

As he prepared to interview for the Mets' managerial vacancy, popular former player and broadcaster Eduardo Perez has sought advice from a person who made the same transition, according to major league sources: Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

Pérez has been on Brodie Van Wagenen's radar for at least several months, according to sources. A highly respected former player, he has showcased his knowledge of the contemporary game as an analyst on ESPN's occasional Statcast broadcasts.

He is also a colleague at that network of Mets advisor Jessica Mendoza.

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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

HOUSTON -- Dellin Betances tore his Achilles in September. Domingo German is on the restricted list because of a domestic violence allegation. On this night, the Yankees missed both of those pitchers (and, of course, the baseball impact of German's situation is insignificant compared to what his alleged victim experienced).

Jonathan Loaisiaga appeared overwhelmed and unable to find the strike zone. Betances would have inspired much more confidence in that spot, or at least lengthened the bullpen by having another high-leverage guy and not ever needing Loaisiga. The left-handed and homer-prone J.A. Happ in the game as the bulk guy in extra innings, was a far less favorable matchup against the Astros' righty-heavy lineup than the righty German would have been.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Martino on Stanton 00:01:05
SNY's Andy Martino breaks down the changes in Giancarlo Stanton's approach at the plate in Gm 1 of the ALCS after his struggles in 2018

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The right call to remove Tanaka

HOUSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka threw 68 pitches through six innings, allowing just one hit and dominating the Houston offense. Because of that, the knee-jerk response when Adam Ottavino trotted out of the bullpen to begin the seventh might have been outrage.

But one simple fact made it the right call: Opponents have a .387 wOBA (weighted on-base average) against Tanaka the third time through the lineup this year, which was where the Astros found themselves after six.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Carlos Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Joe Girardi (Troy Taormina)
Joe Girardi (Troy Taormina)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The most telling aspect of Joe Girardi's candidacy for Mets manager so far has probably been the enthusiasm of his former employers. If the Yankees did not feel a deep respect for Girardi, they would not be boosting him as wholeheartedly as they are.

It's not just Brian Cashman telling SNY's John Harper that he would "highly recommend" Girardi to anyone seeking a manager. It's the many other Yankees officials who, while focusing on their own team's postseason game planning, have taken time to compliment Girardi to reporters and wish him well in the Mets search.

Cashman and others have offered very strong references in private conversations with the Mets, according to people briefed on those conversations.

Tags: Pete Alonso, Andy Martino
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Aaron Boone has always had an elite human touch, but he famously struggled with pitching moves in his playoff managing debut last year against Boston. It's worth noting then, that he remained calm and followed the game plans in this series.

He took a few risks, and made a few moves that could have left his bullpen short, but it's impossible to accuse him of anything close to managing tight or choking. Quite the contrary, he assigned his pitchers to the lanes determined by pregame planning, and didn't make a single move because of passion or panic.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Carlos Torres, Didi Gregorius, Gio Urshela, Luis Severino, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Sep 25, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran (15) smiles after the benches clear during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports (Andrew Dieb)
Sep 25, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran (15) smiles after the benches clear during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports (Andrew Dieb)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Carlos Beltran-as-Mets-manager speculation has now grown legs and turned into an actual story.

Mets officials have been doing background work on Carlos Beltran in recent days, trying to determine if he is ready to be a manager, according to major league sources.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Andy Martino
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When to lift your starter?

Analytics-driven game planning calls for managers to remove starting pitchers before they start to struggle. This is a major change from the traditional approach, when you waited for the guy to labor before taking him out.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) makes a diving catch during the third inning in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner )
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) makes a diving catch during the third inning in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner )

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Bullpen decisions

Aaron Boone and pitching coach Larry Rothschild spent the past several days communicating to their relievers how they would be deployed, and that planning was evident in the explanations for moves that at first seemed surprising.

"He told me exactly how I was going to be used," Zack Britton said of his manager.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mets higher-ups weren't talking publicly earlier this week about potential replacements for Mickey Callaway, but that doesn't mean we couldn't dig around with other sources. Folks in the game had anticipated this managerial opening for months, so there was no shortage of conversation around the subject.

Here's some reporting on a variety of potential candidates to replace Callaway, who the Mets announced was relieved of his duties Thursday. This list is not intended to be comprehensive. We're only presenting candidates here on whom we have a concrete nugget of information.

Joe Girardi

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Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler
Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As all teams do when their season ends, the Mets will hold organizational meetings this week to set an offseason plan.

But one area that won't require much work is their starting rotation, which is likely to look like this next year: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz and a fifth starter yet to be acquired.

The July acquisition of Stroman was made with the intention of replacing either Wheeler or Syndergaard in 2020. The Mets and Wheeler's agent discussed parameters for a contract extension in July, and did not come close to an agreement, according to sources.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Aug 31, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway walks back to the dugout after making a pitching change in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports (James Lang)
Aug 31, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway walks back to the dugout after making a pitching change in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports (James Lang)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets do not expect to make a formal announcement about the future of manager Mickey Callaway until after the season ends on Sunday.

According to people with direct knowledge of the process, team brass plans to meet early next week to discuss their decision. Those people insist that nothing is final.

Internally, the front office feels that the team was talented enough to reach the postseason, so by that definition has underachieved.

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

St. Petersburg, Fla. -- The script when you use an opener, as the Yankees did on Wednesday and will likely do at least once in the division series, is supposed to flow like this: The opener blazes through a dominant one or two innings, then a starting pitcher -- the "bulk guy"  -- enters to more favorable matchups down the lineup.

These innovations, pioneered by the brilliant Tampa Bay Rays last season and since imitated by other clubs, have helped teams maximize their pitchers' strengths and steal wins from what would have been back-of-the-rotation slogs. The opener is a fascinating hack of the game, and will only become more widespread.

But what happens when the strategy goes sideways, as it did for the Yanks and Jonathan Loaisiga on Wednesday?

Tags: CC Sabathia, Chad Green, J.A. Happ, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Sabathia a good bullpen piece 00:00:46
SNY Insider Andy Martino explains why New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia could be a force out of the bullpen after Tampa Bay outing.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

St. Petersburg, Fla. -- From the front office down to manager Aaron Boone, the Yankees have been loath in recent weeks to discuss specifics of their playoff pitching plans.

But with internal discussions intensifying and the regular season drawing to a close, the team is finally beginning to tip its thought process. There's no way to audition pitchers for new roles without showing the public, and the Yanks need to peek at CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ during this two-game series at Tropicana Field.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Chad Green, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Jul 23, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German (55) pitches in the first inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Jul 23, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German (55) pitches in the first inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

As MLB investigates Yankees pitcher Domingo German for an alleged domestic violence incident, multiple major league sources indicated that a significant suspension is a strong possibility.

Although hardly as important as the safety of the alleged victim, the Yankees fear that situation could end up costing the team one of its best players for the postseason. That fear is based on the strength of baseball's developing case against German.

MLB placed the pitcher on administrative leave on Thursday in order to investigate what was, according to sources, an alleged domestic incident that occurred late Monday or early Tuesday, following CC Sabathia's charity gala. The incident involved a girlfriend.

The leave can last up to seven days, but MLB has the right to extend it while gathering information and evaluating a possible suspension. Also, a player who appeals does not get "benefit of a stay," as a source worded it, meaning that German can't play while he's appealing.

Tags: Domingo German, Andy Martino
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Jun 8, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the dugout prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jun 8, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) in the dugout prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The most important inning of the Mets season began and ended with strategic intrigue -- hardly unusual for the Mickey Callaway era, which has been marked by curious managerial moves.

In this case, however, the primary issue -- whether Callaway should have allowed Zack Wheeler to begin the eighth -- is shaded by nuance.

Wheeler had pitched the game of his life, grinding his way out of tense situations in both the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, he struck out MVP candidate Cody Bellinger with a runner on second and two outs. In the seventh, he stranded two runners by striking out Matt Beaty with his 97th pitch.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Justin Wilson, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

After Game 1 of last year's division series loss to Boston, Aaron Boone had some cleaning up to do with his starting pitcher.

J.A. Happ, who had been removed with no outs in the third inning, was in Boone's office, and he was angry. He felt he should have had the chance to turn his performance around and save the bullpen.

But as Happ sat in a chair in the tiny room at Fenway, Boone and pitching coach Larry Rothschild calmly explained their rationale: They had a strong relief corps, were unwilling to let the game get away from them, and preferred other matchups in that inning. Happ left the office satisfied, and appreciative of the open exchange.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Wilson Ramos, Andy Martino
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Noah Syndergaard
Noah Syndergaard

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Standing next to Noah Syndergaard on Tuesday afternoon, you noticed his downcast eyes and slow, careful tone. He was trying to parse questions about his relationship with the Mets organization and he just looked...exhausted.

Come to think of it, we're all fairly beaten down by now by the trickle of news about unpleasant moments between the team and a player who was once its most marketable star.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Wilson Ramos, Andy Martino
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Trenton Thunder pitcher Deivi Garcia throws a pitch during a game against the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin' Donuts Park. (Matt Eisenberg/SNY)
Trenton Thunder pitcher Deivi Garcia throws a pitch during a game against the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin' Donuts Park. (Matt Eisenberg/SNY)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On July 12, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told our pal Jim Duquette on Jim's Sirius/XM radio show that top prospect Deivi Garcia was "putting himself in the mix" to help the team this year.

When Cashman made that comment, Garcia had just pitched a scoreless first inning in the Futures Game and earned a promotion to Triple-A. The notion that he could emerge as a 20-year-old phenom and contribute to a World Series run tantalized both the team and its fans.

But in reality, player development is usually a slower burn. The Yankees still see a bright future for Garcia -- their refusal in July to trade him for Zack Wheeler, Marcus Stroman and others is proof of that --  but the righty's numbers for Scranton hardly screamed for an immediate callup: In 40 innings as both a starter and reliever, Garcia was 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and 45 strikeouts against 20 walks.

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Brodie Van Wagenen
Brodie Van Wagenen

Late last week, when we reported that the Mets had let go of three respected scouts in addition to pro scouting director Jim D'Aloia, much of the public reaction had to do with complaints about the team's farm system and player development.

On this week's Shea Anything podcast, former Mets and Braves executive Adam Fisher spent a moment explaining why that was a misperception. It seems to me worth further elaboration on why the Mets' firings had little to do with their farm system.

This is inside baseball stuff that the average fan can be excused for not knowing. But in this case, it's useful in understanding what the Mets' recent shakeup does and does not mean.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Andy Martino
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Justin Wilson (Adam Hunger)
Justin Wilson (Adam Hunger)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When Steven Matz noticed Mickey Callaway striding towards him with two on and one out in the seventh inning on Tuesday night, the lefty shook his head and cursed. His reaction was a reasonable one: The last time Callaway removed Matz from a tight game, Seth Lugo blew a lead against the Braves.

This time, of course, proved to be different. Lefty Justin Wilson pounded his cutter in on switch hitter Francisco Lindor, who was batting right-handed, and Oscar Mercado -- another righty. He struck out both.

Wilson has lately proven to be a strong offseason signing by new GM Brodie Van Wagenen -- and a major part of the team's surprising bullpen resurgence. While still shaky in spots, the Mets' pen has progressed from terrifying to stable. Or at least stable-ish. However one chooses to describe it, the facts show tangible improvements since June.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Andy Martino
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Jul 26, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil (6) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 26, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil (6) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

If you've been following the Mets this year, you know that they've become highly reluctant to publicize estimated timetables on when injured players will return.

That said, we hear that Jeff McNeil, eligible to come off the injured list Aug. 24, might need to play in minor league rebab games before he returns. The team has not yet determined a schedule for those games, but it seems they could push back his return just a bit.

Still, the news on McNeil has been positive since an MRI revealed that his hamstring strain was "mild."

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Andy Martino
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Aaron Judge left the batters box Thursday night in the first, seventh and ninth innings under identical circumstances: He'd been caught looking all three times as part of an 0-for-5 night.

In the first, umpire Tom Hallion made a pitcher-friendly call, ringing up Judge on a low fastball out of the strike zone. In the seventh Judge took slider in the middle of the zone. In the ninth, it was a fastball inside -- not technically a strike, but perhaps a bit too close to take on 3-2.

Over the past month, Judge's deep slump has been the lone drag on a Yankees offense that has otherwise rolled through the summer. He's the team's best player, but he's batting .148 over his past 21 games, and slugging .370 in the second half.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Andy Martino
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May 19, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Chad Green (57) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
May 19, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Chad Green (57) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Yankees rolling along toward a division title, fans are naturally turning their thoughts to the playoff rotation. This year, it's a particularly hot topic because the general manager declined to add to it at the trade deadline.

The Yankees insist, both publicly and in private, that they haven't begun to think in earnest about the playoff roster and rotation -- though we can report, as we did in June, that the team is eyeing a Chad Green/Luis Severino game, provided the latter is healthy.

Tags: Chad Green, Domingo German, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Aug 5, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) reacts after defeating the Miami Marlins in game one of a doubleheader at CitiField. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 5, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) reacts after defeating the Miami Marlins in game one of a doubleheader at CitiField. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With speculation ramping up that the Mets could or should option beleaguered reliever Edwin Diaz to the minor leagues, the team remains committed to working with Diaz with the big club, and does not intend to send him down at this time.

Diaz, the best closer in baseball last year, has effectively lost that job with the Mets. Mickey Callaway has been using Seth Lugo in higher-leverage spots.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Andy Martino
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Jul 20, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) hits an RBI single against the New York Mets in the fifth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Jul 20, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) hits an RBI single against the New York Mets in the fifth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

There is a strong chance that the Mets will sign second baseman Joe Panik once he clears waivers at 1 p.m. Friday, according to major league sources.

The Mets are not the only team interested in Panik, a former All-Star. He is expected to choose relatively quickly.

Panik, 28, is a product of Hopewell Junction, N.Y. and St. John's University. He is batting .235 this year, with a .627 OPS.

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Jul 20, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) hits an RBI single against the New York Mets in the fifth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Jul 20, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) hits an RBI single against the New York Mets in the fifth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

Second baseman Joe Panik, recently designated for assignment by San Francisco, will become a free agent at 1 p.m. on Friday if he goes unclaimed by another team, according to a major league source.

The Mets, who have lost Robinson Cano for a significant period due to a torn hamstring, will have some interest in Panik if he becomes a free agent.

The St. John's product, 28, is batting .235 this year, with a .627 OPS.

Tags: Robinson Cano, Andy Martino
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Jul 7, 2019; Cumberland, GA, USA; Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly (8) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hagy)
Jul 7, 2019; Cumberland, GA, USA; Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly (8) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hagy)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As a kid in Rochester, N.Y., I'd beg my parents to take me to umpire Ken Kaiser's annual winter banquet. Kaiser, a local guy and longtime American League umpire, would somehow coax the biggest stars of the era to my frigid minor league city. Tickets were pricey, and attendance remained a dream for me over many years.

One time only, probably 1990 or '91 when I was 9 or 10, my dad agreed to take me as a Christmas present. We sat at a table near the back of the room, watching one marquee name after another step to the podium and give a brief speech: Dave Winfield, Roger Clemens, Roberto Alomar, Robin Ventura, Steve Sax and many more, including the main draw, Don Mattingly.

It's easy to forget, because of his injury-shortened career and the unlucky timing of playing between Yankee dynasties, that for a kid growing up during a certain sliver of the '80s, there was no bigger name than Mattingly. It wasn't just his ability to hit for power and average, but the moustache and the swag. Yankee fan or otherwise, everyone had a Mattingly poster on their bedroom wall.

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Jul 28, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit (45) throws his helmet after striking out during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Jul 28, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit (45) throws his helmet after striking out during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the first half of the 2009 season, Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez was an MVP candidate, batting .312 in his first 285 plate appearances, with 22 home runs and a .968 OPS. Then he suffered a core injury that ended up being a sports hernia.

After a stint on the disabled list, Ibanez batted .232 in 285 plate appearances, with a .771 OPS and 12 home runs. He underwent offseason surgery, began swinging a bat again in January, and continued his slow recovery into the following season. Ibanez batted .243 in the first half of 2010, with a .723 OPS.

All of this is to say that the Yankees should be worried about Luke Voit (sports hernia) and to some extent Gleyber Torres (unspecified core issue). Even when players push through core injuries, as Torres did last night while going hitless in five at-bats and striking out twice, the discomfort can severely limit production.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Andy Martino
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May 31, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
May 31, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Late into Monday night, teams pursuing starting pitching said that the Houston Astros were making a strong push to acquire a starting pitcher and pursuing Zack Wheeler. One rival executive predicted that Wheeler will be traded Tuesday, with the Astros as the destination.

"I fully expect the Astros to get Wheeler," said one rival GM. "And if they don't they'll just pivot to Bauer."

Other sources noted that Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Milwaukee and the Yankees were involved to varying degrees on both Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Edwin Diaz.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Jun 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) delivers a pitch against Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Jun 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) delivers a pitch against Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Marcus Stroman-to-the-Mets trade was not at all surprising to those who have been following Brodie Van Wagenen's work since last winter. He has always been willing to simultaneously add to and subtract from the big league team, blurring the line between buying and selling.

In December, for example, he was trying to unload Noah Syndergaard as a way to acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto from Miami. Had that worked, Van Wagenen was looking into Cleveland ace Corey Kluber as a Syndergaard replacement.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Jul 12, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) pitches during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Jul 12, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) pitches during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the Mets' wide-ranging search for trades that will help them fulfill GM Brodie Van Wagenen's mandate of winning "now and in the future," the team has engaged with the Arizona Diamondbacks on starter Robbie Ray, according to major league sources.

Ray, 27, is under control until 2021. He's 9-6 this season, with a 3.96 ERA.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Andy Martino
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Jul 12, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) pitches during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Jul 12, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) pitches during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the Mets' wide-ranging search for trades that will help them fulfill GM Brodie Van Wagenen's mandate of winning "now and in the future," the team has engaged with the Arizona Diamondbacks on starter Robbie Ray, according to major league sources.

Ray, 27, is under control until 2021. He's 9-6 this season, with a 3.96 ERA.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Andy Martino
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Jun 4, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 4, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Despite all the talk about a Noah Syndergaard trade, the Mets remain more likely to move Zack Wheeler before the deadline, according to major league sources.



But Syndergaard is certainly available, in case a team wants to step up and blow the Mets away.



What would that look like?

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Andy Martino
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Jun 4, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 4, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Despite all the talk about a Noah Syndergaard trade, the Mets remain more likely to move Zack Wheeler before the deadline, according to major league sources.



But Syndergaard is certainly available, in case a team wants to step up and blow the Mets away.



What would that look like?

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Andy Martino
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New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz throws to the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz throws to the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets have fielded calls on many pitchers, including Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo and Jason Vargas. But perhaps the biggest trade deadline development is the heavy interest in Edwin Diaz, which has increased the likelihood that he will be moved.

First, a mea culpa. A few days ago I tweeted that Diaz wasn't going anywhere -- which was the sense at the time through sources, but worded too definitively. The widespread interest, which reflects a belief in Diaz's talent over his mixed results this year, has increased the chances that Diaz will, in fact, go somewhere.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Gleyber Torres, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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