MetsBlog Executive Editor

Matthew Cerrone

Matthew Cerrone started MetsBlog.com as a project in college, generated 300,000,000 page views and 30,000 posts in 10 years, partnered with SportsNet New York and turned his hobby into a career. In 2011, SNY hired Matt to be Executive Editor and Director of Digital Content for their network of team sites, video content and podcasts.

Jul 18, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Houston Astros in the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
Jul 18, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Houston Astros in the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

With the MLB season still on hiatus, let's dip into the mailbag...


Anthony C in Hoboken via text: Is there any chance the Mets bring back Matt Harvey to replace Noah Syndergaard in the rotation? Say yes.

I would love to see Harvey come home, but in no way can he be guaranteed a role. He'll need to earn his way into the rotation (or bullpen). If he could do it, and do it with hunger and focus, it would be an incredible redemption story and something that would captivate baseball and Mets fans.

I realize things did not end well between the Mets and Harvey, who had all sorts of physical and other issues before and after he left New York. Aside from thoracic outlet syndrome, his struggles likely stemmed from the pressure put on himself to be not just successful but a massive, superstar success, which he briefly had and lost.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Ronny Mauricio, Seth Lugo, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)

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

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

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

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

Hitting for average is seemingly a lost art in today's MLB.

"These guys (current players) are entirely focused on power, things like exit velocity," a minor-league hitting instructor recently told me. "They almost never talk about batting average."

And then there's Jeff McNeil...

Tags: David Wright, Jeff McNeil, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 20, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets outfielder Jake Marisnick poses for a photo during media day at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 20, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets outfielder Jake Marisnick poses for a photo during media day at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

With the rest of spring training suspended and the start of the regular season pushed back at least two weeks, there's plenty of time to answer some Mets questions ...


Martin C. from Norwalk >> With all of the talk about the outfield and who will play if Michael Conforto is out for a while, I haven't seen much about Jake Marisnick. Is he still in the Mets' plan for this season?

Marisnick was not acquired in a trade this past winter to be an everyday player. I think -- all along -- he was slated to be a fill-in, defense replacement, fourth outfielder. Unlike last season, when we saw in this role a repeated rotation from Juan Lagares to Keon Broxton to Carlos Gomez and others, it seems Brodie Van Wagenen was hoping to add a player experienced in this role whom the team could ink in and consistently turn to every time he was needed.

Tags: Bartolo Colon, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Jacob deGrom and Pete Alonso each had exceptional seasons in 2019. And yet, despite their incredible performances, the Mets at 86-76 still missed the postseason by three games.

In addition to deGrom and Alonso continuing to be awesome, I see success for the Mets in 2020 hinging on the performance of the following five players...


Amed Rosario

He struggled so much to begin 2019 that there was a question in June about whether Rosario should moved to the outfield or even be sent back to Triple-A. Then, seemingly overnight, he got himself stable and performing well in the field, he started swinging at fewer pitches out of the strike zone, and swinging at more pitches in it. He started making better contact, getting on base more, the Mets started winning, and his entire season turned around.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 18, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets outfielder Dominic Smith walks between workout stations at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 18, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets outfielder Dominic Smith walks between workout stations at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

J.D. Davis, Luis Guillorme, Robert Gsellman, and Dominic Smith are all quickly approaching a make-or-break point in their respective careers. And, though they have not yet hit the typical age considered to be a player's 'prime years,' their clocks are ticking given their ages and contract status.

If they were each a public traded company, would I be buying them, selling or holding?

1) Dominic Smith >> BUY

When first promoted to the Mets during the summer of 2017, Smith was considered their second-best prospect and the top first base prospect in baseball.

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Luis Guillorme, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes
Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes

With the rest of spring training suspended and the start of the regular season pushed back at least two weeks, there's plenty of time to answer some Mets questions ...


1) Now that the start of baseball is pushed back several weeks, will Yoenis Cespedes be given a pass on the extra innings he needs to achieve his $10 million in incentives? ~ Text from Jan in St. Lucie

I doubt it, though typically any sort of anomaly like this will no doubt involve the MLB Players Union and/or is already is addressed in the contract -- especially given the man injured himself in an incident with a boar.

That said, overall it is an advantage for him and the Mets because it means he'll be needed for fewer games and allows more time for him to rehab, which is a good thing for everyone involved. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets RHP Michael Wacha
Mets RHP Michael Wacha

Lost in the discussion about whether Michael Wacha should be in the starting rotation or bullpen is whether or not he is capable of being successful in the bullpen.

In 2019 with the only organization he's ever known, the Cardinals, Wacha struggled as a starting pitcher and ended up being moved to the bullpen. Unfortunately, he got rocked in the bullpen as well, ending with a 5.68 ERA (6.37 FIP) and a 1.82 WHIP during a sporadic 13 innings.

The way it stands, based on reports and reading between comments often made by Luis Rojas and Brodie Van Wagenen, it seems Wacha will end up most often pitching in long-relief and be the first person called upon when the Mets urgently need a fill-in starting pitcher.

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Sep 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) follows through on a home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) follows through on a home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

How does Michael Conforto's oblique injury impact any potential contract talks with the Mets? MLB agents and execs weighed in on that topic, as well as whether or not the Mets should bring in another outfielder. Plus, a look around the NL East, and more ...


Financial impact of Conforto's oblique

Michael Conforto's recent oblique injury certainly puts the Mets in a difficult position when looking at their early-season roster. Additionally, according to one agent and a rival team executive, it also could jeopardize the chance of the Mets making a lucrative contract extension offer. 

Extrapolated across a full season's worth of games, Conforto's production through 109 games in 2017 fueled hope he was turning a corner and capable of soon producing a 6.0 WAR season (if not more). He then took a dip, down to the mid 3's, and slightly improved from 2018 to 2019, playing at least 150 games in each season. 

Tags: Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Michael Conforto was diagnosed Tuesday with a right oblique strain.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen and his staff talked with teams about trading for an outfielder, ideally a center fielder, this past offseason. However, understandable confidence in Brandon Nimmo and Conforto, as well as having J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil -- not to mention the possible return of Yoenis Cespedes -- allowed him to give up his search when a perfect deal failed to come to fruition.

Unfortunately for Conforto, while oblique strains tend to seemingly resolve quickly, they're easy to re-aggravate, which often results in a stop-and-go, longer-than-expected return to big-league action.

Regardless of when Conforto returns, third base or one of the two corner outfield spots will continue to bounce between Davis and McNeil.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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With Opening Day less than three weeks away, the Mets have some clear starpower in their lineup.

But their roster is filled with guys who are looking to make a major impact this upcoming season.

Here are three under-the-radar Mets you should keep an eye on to make a difference this year:

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets manager Luis Rojas
Mets manager Luis Rojas

In the past week I was sent many of the same questions, so I rolled them together with the following four responses.... Let's Go Mets!!


If a trade is on the table, would you trade Steven Matz for Miguel Andujar?

No. I realize the Mets have a multitude of starting pitchers, specifically Matz and Michael Wacha, both of whom believe they're worthy of the rotation instead of the bullpen.

However, as the old saying goes, you can never have enough pitching. And, this is especially true for a team that intends to rely heavily on their rotation and the hope of a significantly-better bullpen.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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In his latest mailbag, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone answers questions about Jacob deGrom, Edwin Diaz, Steven Matz, and what the Mets' bullpen could look like on Opening Day...


Why are the Mets and Jacob deGrom working to add a new pitch to his repertoire? It seems he's been doing pretty good without it. ~ Anthony M through Facebook.

I though the same thing, Anthony.

To be clear, though, deGrom is not adding a brand new pitch. He's simply working to perfect a backdoor slider (deGrom threw his slider over 31 percent of the time in 2019).

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

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


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

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

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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In his latest Mets mailbag, Matthew Cerrone weighs in on non-roster invitees, Luis Guillorme and youngsters around the NL East.


The calendar has turned from Hot Stove to sunshine and palm trees.

Not surprisingly, so have questions being sent to me for my weekly mailbag post.

Here are answers to the most common questions to come in, all of which focus on the farm system, prospects and guys that can help the big-league team.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)

MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone makes some over/under predictions for the upcoming Mets season...


86.5 - Total wins

Over.

The roster is strong on paper, which is seconded by fan polls, expert commentary and reflected in countless prediction systems. My view is the same.

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In his latest Mets mailbag, Matthew Cerrone weighs in on the outfield situation, Yoenis Cespedes, what Edwin Diaz' role should be, and more...


What's the opening day outfield? ~ @JoeBacci

Barring a blockbuster trade, which for an outfielder at this point is improbable, the outfield is set up to be J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto.

Yoenis Cespedes is the wild card. If Cespedes is jacking the ball, running well and showing strength, I think he and Davis platoon from the start of the season, with Davis also backing up Jeff McNeil at third base.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Tomas Nido, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Francisco Lindor, Mookie Betts, and Starling Marte
Francisco Lindor, Mookie Betts, and Starling Marte

It's tempting during the rumor frenzy of the Hot Stove to become desperate for a blockbuster trade. The avalanche of news that a deal is getting done, seeing it announced, realizing the rumors were true and watching an elite player put on your favorite team's uniform is inspiring.

However, as is often said, sometimes the best deal is the one you don't make. And this certainly applies to situations recently presented to Brodie Van Wagenen.

In the end, in each instance, he erred on the side of caution. And, while this may not be as exciting as a realized trade rumor, he made the right decision.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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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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In his latest mailbag, Matthew Cerrone answers questions about Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Kris Bryant, and more...


Is there any hope Brodie Van Wagenen can trade for Kris Bryant?

The only way the Mets acquire Bryant is if they're willing to exceed the luxury tax threshold. I see zero evidence that will happen. It's a shame, because in talking with people aware of Chicago's goal, there is a deal to be made with the Mets, but it would require Van Wagenen taking on all of Bryant's $16 million in 2020, as well as taking on a similarly expensive contract, such as Tyler Chatwood, who will make $13 million this season.

To read more on what a deal for Bryant could look like, read my Notebook from earlier this week.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Luis Guillorme, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard

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

His 2017 season was derailed by multiple injuries.

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

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Map of Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Treated Image by SNY)
Map of Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Treated Image by SNY)

Mets pitchers and catchers will host their first official workout of spring training on the back fields of Clover Park starting Feb. 12.

There is no charge to enter the back fields and attend workouts. Parking for just workouts is usually free, but I keep hearing that may change at some point.

The games, which start Feb. 22, are fun to watch. It's a sunny, upbeat, breezy environment as you're surrounded by true Mets fans and local old-timers that have been going to games here for over 30 years.

For me, though, if I had to choose, I prefer to attend the workouts.

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Sep 15, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Trevor Williams (not pictured) during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports  (Daniel Bartel)
Sep 15, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Trevor Williams (not pictured) during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports (Daniel Bartel)

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


Instead of Citi Field, call it Bryant Park...

Now that suitors know Kris Bryant will be under team control through 2021, as opposed to becoming a free agent after this season, the Cubs have engaged teams that once expressed interest in their third baseman.

If they move Bryant, the Cubs want a center fielder, your top pitching prospect, and at least one or two position prospects considered to be among the league's top 100. In addition taking on all of Bryant's 2020 salary, they're also pushing the acquiring team to take on another contract, such as reliever Tyler Chatwood, who is due $13 million this season before becoming a free agent.

This is a lot to give up, I think.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Ronny Mauricio, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 28, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs number 10 pick Patrick Mahomes II poses for a photo with his mother Randi and father Pat during the press conference at Stram Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Apr 28, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs number 10 pick Patrick Mahomes II poses for a photo with his mother Randi and father Pat during the press conference at Stram Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

A version of this story was originally published on Jan. 16, 2019. Here's a look back as we approach the Super Bowl with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes facing off against the Niners.


One of the most-talked about quarterbacks in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, is the son of former Mets pitcher Pat Mahomes, who you may remember from Bobby Valentine's postseason teams in 1999 and 2000.

In 2018, the young Mahomes arrived at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City wearing his father's No. 23 Mets jersey

"Pat Mahomes was honestly one of the best guys I ever managed," Valentine told me about the elder Mahomes. "He was a pitcher, but also one of the best athletes I ever had. He could hit and run the bases, so much so I considered occasionally using him in the outfield."

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Luis Rojas (Lizzy Barrett/Getty Images)
Luis Rojas (Lizzy Barrett/Getty Images)

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


Questions from Instagram...

What do you think of Luis Rojas? ~ @BritMets

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

Tags: Carlos Torres, David Wright, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Pete Alonso and Marcus Stroman (SNY)
Pete Alonso and Marcus Stroman (SNY)

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

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

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

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

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


Is Mookie Betts ever going to get traded?

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

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

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

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Clint Frazier, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts

In his latest mailbag, Matthew Cerrone answers questions about a potential Mookie Betts trade, Luis Rojas, and more...


Are we getting Mookie Betts or not? The Padres seem to want him more. ~ Anthony Rosato

Boston's goal in trading Betts has been to significantly reduce payroll and get below the luxury tax threshold. The rumored deal between the Padres and Sox would send Wil Myers to Boston, which wouldn't cut enough money. Therefore, the sticking point between the two sides is likely David Price, who Boston has been trying to package with Betts because it's the biggest cost saving possible.

For the Mets, though, sending just Jed Lowrie to Boston could work for both sides.

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Amed Rosario
Amed Rosario

During the past two weeks, I reached out to current and former players, coaches, scouts and league executives to learn who on the Mets is most likely to take a big step forward in 2020 compared to 2019.

The following three players were mentioned most...

1) Amed Rosario

Rosario hit .287 with a .323 OBP, 15 home runs, 30 doubles and 19 stolen bases, while producing 2.7 WAR in 2019, according to FanGraphs.

As soon as he started to get himself stable and performing well in the field, he also began swinging at fewer pitches out of the strike zone, while swinging at more pitches in it. Not surprisingly, he also started making more and better contact overall, while also reducing how often he struck out.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Matthew Cerrone
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Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado

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


Nolan Arenado isn't happy

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

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

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Curtis Granderson, Edwin Diaz, Giancarlo Stanton, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets are in upheaval roughly three weeks before spring training starts as they search for a new manager to replace Carlos Beltran.

In his latest mailbag, Matthew Cerrone answers questions about the Beltran situation and more...


The elephant in the room -- and the overwhelming question asked of me -- has been about who I want the Mets to hire to replace Carlos Beltran.

In the wake of the Phillies hiring Joe Girardi, who was my top choice at the start of the offseason, I advocated for Eduardo Perez -- not Beltran. I still like Perez, who I think has a unique mix of relatable player experience, knowledge of stats and feel for the game, media savvy, professionalism, in-game management skills and a commanding presence on and off the field. He signed a new deal with ESPN that can be broken if he is offered a gig to run a team or dugout.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

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

Adding a reliever...

There seems to be a decent market for less-exciting, affordable relievers Pedro Strop and Collin McHugh. Other than that, no one I know seems to think there's much urgency in the market to sign relievers at any level until later in the month.

I still think the Mets need one more arm, even if just for depth.

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 (Wendell Cruz)
(Wendell Cruz)

How do you top winning Rookie of the Year, setting the rookie record for home runs, winning the Home Run Derby, and becoming one of the most popular players in the league and doing it all in New York?

This is the question facing Pete Alonso as he prepares for his second big-league season.

In what was a historic season for him in 2019, Alonso hit .260 with a .358 OBP, 53 home runs and 120 RBI. He also exceeded expectations in the field, which was the main concern hanging over him in the minor leagues.

Tags: Pete Alonso, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

Spring Training is just around the corner, but there are still lots of questions when it comes to the 2020 Mets...


The Mets bullpen is still riddled with 'what ifs.' Any chance they sign another major league reliever to fortify it a bit? ~ Vas Drimalitis on Twitter)

It's difficult to answer this not knowing their available budget. That said, if looking to spend as little money possible for the most experience, I can see them targeting someone like Alex Wood, Pedro Strop or Brandon Kintzler, all of whom can be had for one year and less than $8 million. Strop is the definition of the up-and-down reliever.

However, through it all, he's always had a good strikeout- and ground-ball rate. He'll be 34 and there's no reason based on his numbers and history to think he can't rebound in 2020 and become one helluva bargain. The same can essentially be said about Kintzler.

Tags: Pete Alonso, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

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


It's not just hot air, it seems there really are a lot of trades being discussed across the league. In many cases, several teams are involved on many of the same players, some of which could be passed on in favor of comparable free agents, which explains the gridlock and lack of action.

"It will open up eventually, I'd guess no later than next week," one rival NL East source told me Monday. "Take third base, at some point, someone is going to overbid (either for Josh Donaldson or in trade) and that will be that, the gates will open."

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Dellin Betances, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Matthew Cerrone
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Brodie Van Wagenen, Dellin Betances, and Jeff Wilpon
Brodie Van Wagenen, Dellin Betances, and Jeff Wilpon

The Mets report to Spring Training in just over a month. What have they accomplished with their offseason moves and could Brodie Van Wagenen have another move up his sleeve? Plus, what is the best Mets moment of the last decade?


Diane M (Twitter) >> What's one more thing you would like to see Brodie Van Wagenen add to the team before spring training starts?

I want a big move, which will likely also mean making a few more smaller moves. For instance, to pull off a trade for and afford Nolan Arenado, Brodie may first need to find a taker for Jed Lowrie and/or Jeurys Familia. If that sort of thing can happen -- something bold that excites the team, players and fans -- I'm for it.

Tags: David Wright, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

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

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

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

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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(Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets finished 86-76 in 2019 while the Braves won the NL East and the Nationals secured a Wild Card spot and went on to win the World Series. 

As the Mets have been largely silent this offseason, the Braves, Nats, and Phillies -- who finished in fourth place in 2019 -- have all made big moves to strengthen their positions for 2020.

Here's where things stand in the NL East...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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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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Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

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

Adding to the bullpen...

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

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

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

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

The Winter Meetings wrapped up on Thursday in San Diego, but lots of questions remain for the Mets. Among them...

Rounding out the rotation...

Rick Porcello could have signed a multiyear deal, according to people aware of his market.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dellin Betances, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 3, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Mets won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Aug 3, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Mets won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

he Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen hopes to check off some of the Mets' needs, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


Joyce Kanopka (via e-mail): I don't understand why the Mets aren't trading Edwin Diaz. What evidence is there that he can ever get back to pitching like he did for the Mariners?

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) celebrates his solo home run against the New York Yankees with left fielder Dominic Smith (22) during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) celebrates his solo home run against the New York Yankees with left fielder Dominic Smith (22) during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen hopes to check off some of the Mets' needs, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


Vincent Palma (via e-mail): If the Pirates have interest in Brandon Nimmo, it seems like there should be a lot of options to make a deal with them. Who do you think is Van Wagenen's target?

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, David Peterson, Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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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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 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

The Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen prepares to wheel and deal, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


1) Gorman (via Twitter): Seeing a lot of people including top prospect Andres Gimenez in trade scenarios. Is it because he's blocked by Amed Rosario? Who has more trade value, Rosario or Gimenez? Is Gimenez good enough to consider using Rosario to acquire a superstar?

If the people you are referring to are our fellow fans, I wouldn't worry about it because being an Armchair GM is what we are supposed to do this time of year. It's part of the fun.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Matthew Cerrone
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Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts

The Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Mets still have a lot they need to accomplish if they hope to be one of the top contenders for the NL East title in 2020.

As Brodie Van Wagenen prepares to wheel and deal, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dipped into his mailbag...


Nicholas Giordano (via Twitter): Is there a realistic scenario where the Mets can dump Jed Lowrie's or Jeurys Familia's contracts and still improve the team? I don't want to attach J.D. Davis/Dominic Smith to a trade just so we can dump salary.

Sadly, I think the only way Van Wagenen can move Lowrie and/or Familia and their full contracts is to either bring back an equally risky and bad contract or do what you don't want and include Davis and/or Smith.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

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

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

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

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets' Jeff McNeil
Mets' Jeff McNeil

Earlier this week, SNY's Andy Martino reported that Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis or Dominic Smith could be required in order to trade for Brewers closer Josh Hader.

This makes sense, but McNeil isn't going to be traded.

"He has significant value to the Mets, not just on field, but as it pertains to their budget," an NL East executive told me this past weekend. "I see no reason when push comes to shove that they'd deal him."

Tags: Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Matthew Cerrone
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Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)
Rick Porcello (Treated Image by SNY)

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

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

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

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Blake Treinen/Kevin Pillar
Blake Treinen/Kevin Pillar

There were dozens of players across baseball who were non tendered on Monday and instanty became free agents. The following five should all come at a reasonable price and I hope will be under consideration by Brodie Van Wagenen and the Mets...

Kevin Pillar, OF

The Mets are reportedly looking to add a center fielder. Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo can both play center field and their bats are needed in the lineup, so a defense-first option could make for a strong fit on the roster.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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