Feb 21, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) poses for a photo on photo day at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 21, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) poses for a photo on photo day at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets announced Thursday that 15 non 40-man roster players will be invited to participate in big league spring training. Some of the players are new to the organization, such as 2011 Rays first round pick Jake Hager, and a few others with some big-league experience in RHP Pedro Payano and OF Ryan Cordell, who I believe will provide some necessary depth in Triple-A Syracuse.

The Mets also invited some prospects to spring training that I think you should keep an eye on since they have a good shot of contributing in the majors in 2020.

Five of the prospects to watch are highlighted below...

LHP David Peterson

Peterson was the Mets' first round selection out of the University of Oregon in the 2017 MLB Draft, when he was known as a control artist who also missed a lot of bats in his final season, including a 20 strikeout game.

Since turning pro, Peterson has kept his quality control but up until 2019 was struggling to consistently miss bats. 2019 is the first full professional season that Peterson struck out more than a batter per inning.

Coming out of the draft I had heard some comparisons to former White Sox left hander Mark Buehrle, but I think at this point it's fair to consider him a back-end type starter with the build and durability to eat innings. His fastball will reside in the 89-92 range, but he can reach back and hit 94 or 95 mph if he needs to. His slider is his main put-away pitch, but in 2019 he put an extreme focus on throwing his circle changeup more and got some good results out of it.

While that may not appear too exciting, it clearly holds legitimate value as you can see with how some back-end starters were paid in free agency this winter.

Peterson will begin 2020 with Triple-A Syracuse and with the Mets having limited starting pitching depth that they trust beyond Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, Peterson could be a big league injury or two away from making his Mets debut.

RHP Ryley Gilliam

When the Mets selected Gilliam in the fifth round out of Clemson in the 2018 MLB Draft, myself and a lot of draft experts were very high on him. He had been the closer for Clemson as well as collegiate Team USA. I don't know that anyone thought that Gilliam would be a big league closer necessarily, but the expectation was that he might end up being the first player selected in the 2018 MLB Draft to make his major league debut.

Gilliam was clearly on the fast track in 2019, as in his first full season of pro ball he started in High-A St Lucie and made it to Triple-A Syracuse, where he unfortunately suffered an injury that shut him down until the Arizona Fall League. In the AFL, which is littered with big time prospects, Gilliam worked 9.1 innings, allowing only one earned run, two walks and striking out 11. Most importantly, he showed he was healthy.

When healthy, Gilliam has a fastball that he will throw in the 94-96 mph range with a big time curveball that has excellent spin rate which induces a lot of swing and misses. Gilliam projects as a reliable middle reliever who misses bats and perhaps could end up as a set-up type of reliever. In 2020, Gilliam will get to start the year in Syracuse. Not unlike Peterson, I see no reason to think he won't make his big league debut this year if he stays healthy.



LHP Kevin Smith

The Mets drafted Smith in the seventh round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of the University of Georgia, where he bounced back and forth between starting and relieving to fill whatever the need was at the moment with the Bulldogs. He is another arm who progressed quickly in his first pro season, making it to Double-A Binghamton. Smith was also named the Mets minor league pitcher of the year in 2019.

Smith is not going to blow you away with any of his stuff on the mound. He will top out around 92 mph on his fastball, but he has a well above average slider that he throws from a low ¾ arm slot that left-handed hitters batted .207 against this past season. Smith also made strides on a changeup which in spring training of 2018 really was a distant third pitch for him. By the end of the season it was considered to be an average big league offering.

Smith will start in Syracuse and the development of his changeup will determine if he is a back-end starter or a bullpen arm who will use deceptiveness and spin on his pitches to get hitters out. An appearance in the big leagues by the second half of 2020 should not surprise anyone.

C Patrick Mazeika

The Mets drafted Mazeika in the eighth round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Stetson University as an offensive first catcher who also spent some time at first base. Mazeika posted OPS' of .816 and .805 in 2016 and 2017 but has hit for much less of an average the last couple of years. In 2019 he found his power stroke, hitting a career high 16 home runs and worked hard behind the plate to the point where he doesn't have to completely move off the position.

Mazeika was highlighted routinely as a prospect who would merit consideration in last month's Rule 5 Draft due to his left-handed power bat and improved actions behind the plate.

With big league rosters expanding to 26 starting in 2020, Mazeika -- who also has some flexibility to play first base and hit for power -- has potential to be a third catcher and power bat off the bench. I believe the Mets will give him a chance to start the season in Syracuse, and we will likely see him in Queens at some point in 2020 due to the lack of catching depth in the organization.

Right-Handed Pitcher Matt Blackham

I had the opportunity to sit down and interview Blackham when I made a trip to Syracuse this past August. If you want to talk about a story of perseverance and hard work, this is one you will root for. You can check out my Q+A with Blackham here.

The Mets selected Blackham in the 29th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Middle Tennessee State, where he was an inconsistent hard thrower who fluctuated between a few different roles on the staff. Blackham is a prospect who has always put up good strikeout numbers and has not given up a lot of hits at every level that he's pitched in. He has had a lot of setbacks with different elbow injuries and also an issue with his ulnar nerve.

In 2019, he had a pretty healthy year, appearing in 40 games split between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse, posting a 2.60 ERA and allowing only 31 hits in 55.1 innings while striking out 70 batters. Blackham has always walked a higher amount of batters, but that trended in the right direction in 2019 -- and he credited Mets assistant pitching coach Jeremy Accardo with working with him on his mechanics.

Blackham sports a mid-90s fastball and an above average breaking ball which leads to a lot of swings and misses. His injury history and size gives you pause, but he has the stuff to pitch in the big leagues. Blackham had success in Syracuse in 2019, but he probably won't make the Mets out of spring training. But the invite suggests he is now on the radar.


RELATED: Mets arbitration tracker for 2020 season >> Read More

RELATED: 18-year-old who throws 99 mph among Mets' top prospects >> Read more

RELATED: Arenado trade 'starting to look inevitable,' and Mets need to inquire >> Read More

Tags: David Peterson, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Robinson Cano did not get off to the start he'd hoped for last season in his first year with the Mets after spending a lot of time on the IL, but it seems like he's doing all he can to make sure he stays on the field in 2020.

Speaking to the media Sunday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Cano, who played in just 107 games in 2019 in part due to a partially torn left hamstring, said he's working on keeping his lower body in shape.

"I just need to stay healthy," Cano said on how he can be the player he normally is. "I've been working on my legs back home and something I'm going to continue doing here."

"You've just got to prevent what's happened in the past, you've got to get those parts of your body stronger so that I don't go back again and get injured."

Tags: Robinson Cano
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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Marcus Stroman has always been driven to prove the doubters wrong. It's in his DNA as someone who has defied huge odds by becoming a major league starting pitcher at the height of 5-foot-7, and people who know him say it explains why he talks such a big game. 

In his first comments of spring training, for example, Stroman told reporters in Port St. Lucie, Fla. this week that he has "the best sinker in the league" and that he is "pretty much unstoppable" when he's in a good place mentally, among other things.

Strong stuff for a guy who didn't quite live up to expectations upon arriving in the midst of the Mets' wild-card push last August, via the trade from the Blue Jays, before finishing strong in September.

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Mets' Tim Tebow spoke to media for the first time at Spring Training on Sunday, and was asked if he heard anything from the XFL.

"Yeah there was some communication," Tebow said. "We had a couple conversations... I love what they're doing, and I think it has a chance to have success, and I think that's great.

"I think there needs to be a place for a lot of players that are really good, and should and could be playing in the NFL, and are better than a lot of NFL players. There's a chance they're going to be seen. So I think it's awesome, and I think it's good for a lot of guys that are going to get a spot on an NFL roster because they're going to show a team they're worth it. But for me, this is what I wanted to do and pursue it, and be all in."

Tags: Tim Tebow
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On Sunday, Mets infielder Jed Lowrie arrived at Spring Training wearing a knee brace on his left leg during workouts.

When asked about the knee brace, Lowrie didn't get into specifics.

"This is just a brace that alleviates my symptoms and makes me feel like myself," Lowrie said. "Like I said, I'm wearing this brace to alleviate my symptoms and so I can feel like myself... I don't want to get into specifics of symptoms."

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Mets prospect Matthew Allan (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets prospect Matthew Allan (Treated Image by SNY)

Here's everything you need to know about Mets prospect Matthew Allan...


The Skinny

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 225 lbs

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A general view at Mets spring training
A general view at Mets spring training

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Saturday, in case you missed it...


Noah Syndergaard took a shot at the Houston Astros with a "buzzers not included" tweet >> Read More

Pete Alonso said, "I want to be celebrating on a parade float, drunk as hell, celebrating with my boys," when talking about wanting to win a World Series >> Read More

 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso
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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Former Yankees and Mets infielder Tony Fernandez passed away on Saturday at the age of 57 after suffering a brain stroke that came with complications from polycystic kidney disease.

Fernandez is most notably known as a Blue Jays legend, winning four Gold Gloves, going to five All Star games and winning a World Series title during his time in Toronto, but he did spend two stints in New York -- in both Queens and The Bronx.

Leaving the Padres after two seasons, Fernandez joined the Mets in 1993, but the stay was short lived. After a disappointing start to the season, he was traded back up to Toronto, where he played a big role in the Blue Jays winning the World Series later that season.

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May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon recently took part in a Q&A email exchange with the New York Post.

In the exchange with Steve Serby, Wilpon touched on a wide variety of topics, from the 2020 team outlook, the Steve Cohen deal falling through, Mickey Callaway's tenure as Mets manager, Pete Alonso's potential, and much more.

Here are a few of Wilpon's answers from some of the many topics discussed:

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso
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Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) goes to the dugout after giving up two runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa made headlines on Saturday, telling The Athletic that part of the reason why Jose Altuve didn't want his jersey ripped off after hitting a walk-off home run in the ALCS against the Yankees was that "he's got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible."

In an interview with Ken Rosenthal, Correa said that Altuve's wife didn't like seeing him shirtless on national TV, but also that Altuve's "terrible" tattoo played a key role in Altuve telling his teammates to leave his jersey intact.

"The second reason - he doesn't want me to talk about this, but I'm going to say it, is because he's got an unfinished tattoo on his collarbone that honestly looked terrible," Correa said. "It was a bad tattoo, and he didn't want nobody to see it. He didn't want to show it at all."

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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

Luis Rojas spoke to reporters in Port St. Lucie Fla. on Saturday on the heels of Pete Alonso's arrival at Spring Training, and as expected the new Mets manager was all smiles when he talked about the team's slugger.

But just as Alonso mentioned that his personal goal in 2020 was not to hit even more home runs, but rather win a Gold Glove, Rojas said the 25-year-old isn't focused on offensive numbers as he enters his second big-league season.

"You can't set goals as far numbers and try to do better than he did last year," Rojas said of Alonso. "I don't think he's going to give himself a number to hit. I know that he's got himself ready."

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Mets pitchers and catchers continued to work out in Port St. Lucie, Fla. on Saturday.

Check out some of the action, as Noah Syndergaard and Edwin Diaz were among the pitchers to hit the practice fields ...

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Noah Syndergaard
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Pete Alonso, coming off one of the most prolific rookie seasons in baseball history, arrived at Mets spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla. on Saturday.

After working out on the field with his teammates, Alonso took to the podium to answer questions about his personal goals for the 2020 season, playing for Luis Rojas, and much more.

Here are five key takeaways from Alonso's first media availability of the new season:

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Pete Alonso has officially arrived at Mets camp and sure seemed happy to see his teammates.

After arriving at Clover Park, Alonso had hugs for Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard and other Mets players and staff. 

He quickly got to work, getting loose before taking part in infield drills and getting in some batting practice. He finished up his first day of camp by signing autographs for Mets fans young and old.

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) in the dugout in the during game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) in the dugout in the during game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Noah Syndergaard reported to Mets spring training last week and has spent a lot of his time on the field without his shirt on. 

On Saturday, the rest of his team followed suit.


A general view at Mets spring training
A general view at Mets spring training

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Thursday, in case you missed it...


Brodie Van Wagenen jabs back at Zack Wheeler >> Read more

Jake Marisnick is remorseful about role in Astros' scandal >> Read more

J.D. Davis is "ashamed" of his part of Astros' sign-stealing >> Read more

Tags: Edwin Diaz, JD Davis
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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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Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So much of the Mets' 2020 season already feels as if it's dependent upon Edwin Diaz re-discovering the form that made him arguably baseball's best reliever two years ago in Seattle. 

As one scout this week told me, "They'll win 90-95 games easy if Diaz figures it out again. And they should have a championship bullpen."

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, John Harper
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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)

New Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway spoke about his former managerial job at Spring Training in Tempe, Ariz. on Friday.

When asked if he took time to reflect on what went wrong with the Mets, Callaway was quick to respond in a joking manner.

"I had PTSD," Callaway said.

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Alex Rodriguez (Mark J. Rebilas)
Alex Rodriguez (Mark J. Rebilas)

Alex Rodriguez, who grew up a Mets fan and has spoken in the past about idolizing the 1986 World Series team, has emerged as a "potential suitor" to buy the team, reports Thornton McEnery of the New York Post.

According to McEnery, Rodriguez is "kicking the tires" about the idea of buying the Mets, though sources told McEnery that any bid from Rodriguez would be "a long shot" that would require Rodriguez putting together "an ownership group of even wealthier investors."

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon released a statement last week after the potential sale to Steve Cohen fell through, saying the team is "moving forward to find a new transaction."

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A few hours after J.D. Davis said he was ashamed for his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal, former Astro and current Mets teammate Jake Marisnick also expressed remorse.

"I feel terribly about it," Marisnick said in his opening statement. "There's a line and it was definitely crossed. I want to say sorry to the fans, Major League Baseball, my peers, and anybody else who was affected by this."

Asked about his role, Marisnick expressed regret about not speaking up and putting a stop to what was going on.

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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen swung back at Zack Wheeler on Friday, a day after the former Met took a shot at the team for not trying harder to re-sign him this offseason before he went to the Phillies.

"Our health and performance department, our coaches all contributed and helped him parlay two good half seasons over the last five years into $118 million, Van Wagenen said, according to David Lennon of Newsday. "So I'm proud of what our group was able to help him accomplish. I'm happy he was rewarded for it."

Van Wagenen, who said he was "surprised" and "disappointed" by Wheeler's comments, also disputed the notion from Wheeler that there were "crickets" coming from the Mets' side this offseason, telling SNY's Steve Gelbs that the Mets had contact with Wheeler's agent up until a week before Wheeler signed with Philadelphia.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Mets OF/IF J.D. Davis, who was on the Astros in 2017 and 2018, spoke candidly on Friday about his role in the sign-stealing scandal and backtracked from comments he made on the matter earlier this offseason.

"Back in December we had that same question, and I spoke a little bit prematurely," Davis said, alluding to comments he made suggesting he wasn't aware of what was going on in Houston. "I spoke before the MLB or during the investigation. And so again, I was a rookie and I was going up and down the system and I was fighting for my life. MLB called and I cooperated with them. I made my statements. Again, back to the December comment and the interview -- I spoke prematurely."

Asked if he was "embarrassed" by his role, Davis called it a fair question.

Tags: JD Davis, Danny Abriano
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Mets outfielder Tim Tebow is spotted doing some early outfield drills before the team fully reports to Spring Training.

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Need some last-minute help with this year's Valentine's Day plans?

Well, we've got just the person to help you manage your special day this year.

Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine is here to help you with all of your Valentine's Day needs, from what to wear, dinner plans, and much more ...

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A general view at Mets spring training
A general view at Mets spring training

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Thursday, in case you missed it...


Luis Rojas talked about Seth Lugo's desire to be a starter, the MLB rules changes, and more >> Read more

Marcus Stroman talked 2020 expectations: "I think I should be dominant" >> Read more

MLB Network ranked Jacob deGrom behind Gerrit Cole on its top 100 players list for 2020 >> Read more

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

On Thursday, the MLB Network put out their list of the Top 100 players in baseball right now.

Coming in at No. 8 overall is Mets star pitcher Jacob deGrom.

In 2019, deGrom won his second-straight NL Cy Young Award, going 11-8 with a 2.43 ERA and 255 strikeouts in just 204 IP.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso
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May 22, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Rajai Davis (18) hits a three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 22, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Rajai Davis (18) hits a three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Former Met Rajai Davis announced on Thursday night that he will be playing pro ball in Mexico in 2020.

Davis, 39, tweeted out that he is joining Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League, saying "Going South of the border to play this game I love so much. Thanks to @AcererosOficial and @JoseMelendez123 for this opportunity to continue to play ball."

The veteran outfielder signed with the Mets in December 2018, and then spent the beginning portion of the season with the Triple-A Syracuse Mets. 

Tags: Rajai Davis
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Sep 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) goes to the dugout between innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) goes to the dugout between innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

On Wednesday, former Met Zack Wheeler talked about his Cy Young and World Series aspirations with the Phillies.

But on Thursday, Wheeler seemingly took a parting shot at the Mets.

According to Greg Joyce of the New York Post, Wheeler said he wasn't surprised to not hear back from the Mets before signing with the Phillies "because it's them. It's how they roll."

Wheeler, who played his first seven years in the big leauges with the Mets (though he missed two seasons due to injury), signed a lucrative five-year, $118 million deal with Philadelphia in December, joining Aaron Nola at the top of the Phillies' rotation.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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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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On Thursday, Mets manager Luis Rojas spoke to media at Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, Florida about relief pitcher Seth Lugo, getting to know Marcus Stroman, and the recent MLB rule changes.

On Seth Lugo wanting to be in the starting rotation...

"Well I had Lugo as a starter in the minor leagues," Rojas said. "I remember in the championship year in Savannah, he was one of our starters, and he actually made a key start for us to win the championship. Seth, we've had conversations, and they have been about being in our bullpen. But, he's always had the mentality of being a starter, just because that's how he developed in the organization. It wouldn't surprise me, having conversations with Seth before with somebody about being a starter or wanting to be a starter. That's the mentality that he developed with."

Tags: Amed Rosario, Seth Lugo
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Mets RHP Marcus Stroman wasn't dominant last season after being acquired from the Blue Jays in July, but he was pretty good after a bit of a shaky start, posting a 3.77 ERA in 59 innings while striking out 9.1 batters per 9.

That strikeout rate was a huge increase from what it was earlier in 2019 with the Blue Jays, and continuing to ring guys up is something Stroman is focusing on in 2020.

He'll also be trying to cut down on his walks, with too many of them late last season helping to lead to a 1.47 WHIP during his time with the Mets.

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Mets general
Mets general

SNY, the official television home of the New York Mets, today announced its 2020 spring training schedule for the Mets featuring more than 100 hours of exclusive programming, plus complete daily coverage of the team on SNY.tv and across SNY's Facebook (facebook.com/SNY), Instagram (@snytv) and Twitter (@snytv) platforms.

Mets baseball swings back into action on PIX11 Saturday, February 22 at 1:10 PM as the Mets host the Miami Marlins and on SNY Sunday, February 23rd at 1:10 PM as the Mets take on the St. Louis Cardinals. The network's Emmy Award-winning broadcast team of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and field reporter Steve Gelbs will call all the action live from Port St. Lucie. Full schedule is listed below.

SNY's Mets Hot Stove will re-locate to the newly renovated Clover Park - Tuesday, February 18th and Wednesday, February 19th and will culminate with SNY's annual LIVE one-hour show from Duffy's Sports Grill Thursday, February 20th at 6:00 p.m. Mets players scheduled to appear at Duffy's include Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Marcus Stroman. 

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A true dual threat, J.D. Davis can hit and pitch.

While he was used strictly as an offensive player for the Mets in 2019, he has experience pitching in the bigs (albeit limited experience) with the Astros and was a pitcher and hitter throughout college.

On Thursday at Mets camp, he showed off his windup.

Tags: JD Davis, Danny Abriano
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Carlos Beltran lost his job as Mets manager partly due to concern that further details about his involvement in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal would emerge. 

On Tuesday, a new report in The Athletic painted Beltran as not only one of the ringleaders of the scheme, but someone who intimidated players who were against it.

On Thursday, Beltran's former teammate Carlos Correa called BS on those allegations.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Danny Abriano
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As Mets spring training rolled on, Marcus StromanNoah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom were among the early arrivals at camp on Thursday.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard
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Feb 15, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (right) talks with Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (left) during spring training at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 15, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (right) talks with Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (left) during spring training at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

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


Luis Rojas talked about Jacob deGrom, Dominic Smith, and lots more during Wednesday's presser >> Read more

Before Mookie Betts was traded to the Dodgers, the Mets engaged the Red Sox in trade talks and discussed several different proposals >> Read more

DeGrom talked about his desire for a third-straight Cy Young award and advice he got last season from Pedro Martinez >> Read more

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Dominic Smith, Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Spring Training is about to be in full swing for the Mets, and one metric already predicted an NL East title for New York's 2020 season.

Baseball Prospectus released its annual projections Tuesday, pegging the Mets atop the division with 88 wins -- one game ahead of the second-place Nationals and five games ahead of the third-place Braves -- leading to Wednesday's discussion on SNY's Mets Hot Stove.

After the simulations saw the Mets leading the pack at 88-74, followed by the Nationals (87-75) and Braves (83-79), Jim Duquette provided context behind the numbers.

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This past offseason, Zack Wheeler signed a big contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, and on Wednesday he explained that his goals with his new team are just as big.

Wheeler, who spent his seven big-league seasons as a Met (though he missed two full seasons due to injuries), signed a five-year, $118 million deal with the Phillies, and he wants to take his game to the next level with the Mets' NL East rivals.

"I just want to go out there and do the best I possibly can. I think I've done well over the past few years, but I think I could take that next step, and that's the ultimate goal," Wheeler said at Phillies spring training. "I want to go out there and win a Cy Young or two and make the All-Star team and carry us into the playoffs. That's my goal now. 

"What happened this offseason has sort of passed. I've reached that level of my career and now that's past and I want bigger and better things. Like I said, Cy Youngs, going to the playoffs, winning the World Series and that type of stuff. It's a good group here to do it with, and I think we have the opportunity."

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Perhaps no one was more excited to get going with the Mets' first Spring Training workout than Luis Rojas. The new Mets manager revealed as much while meeting with the media after New York's return to the field Wednesday morning in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

"Getting here today early, I joked and told the guys earlier, I've been wearing this uniform since like 5:30 in the morning," Rojas said with a laugh. "So it's been a really exciting day for me and that's probably the most fun, just getting here and getting all the guys in one room, being able to talk to them, communicate about what we're going to be doing out there and then going out there and executing it. I mean, I've got to give credit to the coaches. They did such a good job just keeping the stations that we had going on active. From the sides, from the throwing program and to the defensive stations that we had, they were all very energetic and they were all very well coordinated. Time wise, it was a great job by the coaching staff today."

While all position players set to join the pitchers, catchers and others already on the ground at Clover Park, the Mets are already off and running. Rojas recapped the opening day's slate and looked forward to the rest of the week, with the following takeaways from Wednesday's press conference setting the scene.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Drew Smith, Jacob deGrom, Luis Guillorme
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Jacob deGrom, who will be looking to secure his third straight NL Cy Young Award, arrived at the Mets' spring training facility in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday. And Amed Rosario was right behind him. 

Meanwhile, deGrom threw some pitches in a bullpen session as well. Here's a look at deGrom's work on Wednesday ...

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After spending his first four seasons with the Mets, catcher Kevin Plawecki was traded to the Cleveland Indians in January 2019.

Entering 2020, Plawecki, now 28 years old, finds himself with another new team in the Boston Red Sox.

On Wednesday, Plawecki spoke about starting a new season with a new team, and also discussed how he's handled what the Red Sox have gone through this offseason since Alex Cora was fired for his involvement in the Astros' scandal.

"I don't pay attention to background noise anymore. Fifth year now, that's all it is, background noise," said Plawecki. "You can't really worry about it, can't think about it, because there's nothing you can do about it. It's been a little bit of a different offseason, but at the same time we're here, and I'm excited. I'm ready to go."

Tags: Kevin Plawecki
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Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts

Before Mookie Betts was traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers, the Mets "made numerous calls and exchanged several various concepts" with Boston, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

According to Sherman, the Mets were unwilling to give up Jeff McNeil (who was "integral' to the Red Sox) in any deal for Betts due to the fact that Betts only had one year of team control left.

Instead, the Mets offered packages that revolved around one of Brandon Nimmo or J.D Davis plus one of prospects Andres Gimenez or Ronny Mauricio, according to Sherman.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Ronny Mauricio, Danny Abriano
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Mets ace Jacob deGrom spoke Wednesday at spring training, meeting the media for the first time since arriving in Port St. Lucie.

One of the things on deGrom's mind -- which he also touched on in late-January during the Mets' Fan Fest at Citi Field -- is winning a third-straight Cy Young award.

"Any time you're at your best personally, you're gonna help the team," deGrom said. "You set personal goals. I've said that the last couple of years. That (winning another Cy Young) is definitely another personal goal of mine, but (this is) most importantly a team game -- want to win a World Series. But any time you're at your best, you help the team."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes, who is continuing to work his way back but has no timetable for a return, worked out on the field Wednesday in Port St. Lucie.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Carlos Beltran (Treated Image by SNY)
Carlos Beltran (Treated Image by SNY)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

TAMPA -- On Wednesday morning, when one good friend of Carlos Beltran's saw the back page of the New York Post, which labeled Beltran "The Godfather," he felt physically ill.

"I almost threw up," the friend said.

Many people around the game maintain a strong affection for Beltran. Even Yankees officials, who have been annoyed about Beltran's role in the Astros' 2017 sign-stealing scheme, have felt that the demonization of their former employee has gone too far.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Andy Martino
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A general view at Mets spring training
A general view at Mets spring training

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Tuesday, in case you missed it...


Luis Rojas covered a bunch of topics during his first presser of spring training, including there not yet being a timetable for Yoenis Cespedes >> Read more

Noah Syndergaard thinks his vaunted slider, which was missing for most of the 2019 season, is back >> Read more

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Dellin Betances, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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On Tuesday evening, more details came to light about Carlos Beltran's involvement in the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

Beltran was the only player mentioned by name in the MLB report on the Astros' investigation, and a new report from The Athletic has gone into more detail regarding Beltran's role.

Here are some findings of the report, which was written by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich, with reporting from Marc Carig:

Tags: Carlos Beltran
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Pete Alonso seems more than ready to follow up his record-setting rookie season with another big year in Queens.

With Mets Spring Training officially starting this week in Port. St. Lucie, Alonso shared a photo of himself on Instagram, taking a friendly jab at Noah Syndergaard in the process.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard

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

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

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

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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