Brodie Van Wagenen
Brodie Van Wagenen

The MLB will hold it's first-year player draft on June 3, and as a result of winning just 77 games in 2018, the Mets have the overall No. 12 pick. The only NL East team with a better draft position is the Marlins at No. 4.

And even more importantly, it will GM Brodie Van Wagenen's first draft since taking over as GM for Sandy Alderson last fall.

Tommy Tanous (Director of Scouting) and Mark Tramuta (Director of Amateur Scouting) will be Van Wagenen's point persons on draft day. Tanous took hold of the draft in 2016, replacing Paul DePodesta. His most notable pick to date is Pete Alonso, who the Mets selected with their third pick (64 overall) in 2016.

"The first day of the draft is much more relaxing than day two and three," Tanous told me this week when I asked him about the stress and frenzy experienced before the draft begins. "There are only two rounds (the first day) and you've had a lot of time to plan for it. We are making our phone calls to advisors and players to double and triple check on anything and everything. The feeling is pure adrenaline. Despite the lack of sleep over the course of the last week or so, you are wide awake and excited for it to start."

According to MLB insiders, by bringing back Omar Minaya and rebuilding the organization's international presence and strategy signing international free agents, the Mets appear more willing to draft players that can help the big league roster sooner than later.

In my 15 years writing about the Mets, I'm not sure I've ever seen a Mets mock draft selection end up coming to fruition. Similarly, their reported (and speculated on) draft strategy often turns out to be inaccurate as well. In other words, take everything written before the draft with a grain of salt, including what I'm about to write here...

The tide looks to be shifting toward the Mets selecting with their top pick a strong, stable pitcher most likely out of college.

To date, multiple mock drafts run by ESPN's Keith Law, Baseball America, and other small publications have connected the Mets to a variety of arms, including Jackson Rutledge, Zack Thompson, Nick Lodolo and George Kirby.

Interestingly, the Mets, Alderson, and Tanous thought highly enough of Kirby three years ago when they drafted him out of high school in the 32nd round. As expected, Kirby passed on beginning his professional career and instead attended Elon University.

In a total reversal, he's been able to elevate himself in three years from a 32nd-round pick to a projected first-round selection. Baseball America and MLB.com both currently rank him among the 20 best players in this year's draft.

The Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees have also been scouting Kirby.

"He's very sound, smart, but I don't put him at elite-pitcher upside," a scout that has watched Kirby told me this week.

His contention is that Kirby will need to work better on concealing the ball, as well as elevating his arm slot a bit, otherwise advanced hitters will have no trouble recognizing the difference between his curveball, slider, and mid-to-upper 90 mph fastball.

Instead, this one scout predicted Rutledge, who is 6-foot-8, 250 pounds, to be the pitcher most teams will end up wishing they had selected.

"He's the best in this class, in my opinion. He looks like Syndergaard, physically, and I'm not talking the young Syndergaard, but the guy we see today," he said. "Also, he's 20, so there's room to grow, which will be appealing to teams at the top of the draft."

Also similar to Syndergaard, Rutledge is a middle-America kid, described as a "work horse," and a "gym rat" that has a snide, witty personality when talking at his locker.

Thompson, 21, is cut from a similar cloth as Kirby, but experts I know all feel he is destined to be a left-handed reliever -- not a starting pitcher.

Selected in the second round by the Pirates in 2016, Lodolo turned down a reported $1.75 million bonus, and instead attended TCU. Back again, this time the left-handed starter is expected to be someone's top pick, which will likely earn him twice what he was offered three years ago.

I list the above pitchers not so much as a prediction for the Mets, but more as examples of the type of arms the Mets are rumored to be looking to add Monday with their top selection.

The Mets clearly have plenty of infielders, relievers, and left-handed pitchers in their system, at least according to top prospect lists published by Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus. However, beyond their top prospect -- Double-A SS Andres Gimenez -- the organization is lacking in players close to the big leagues who are universally viewed as future impact talent.

"Gimenez is in Double-A where it's easy to see he has the tools - especially his bat - to be one of the better shortstops in the game," a current talent evaluator recently told me. "He's got excellent instincts in the field, he gets on base and makes contact. He can be an everyday guy, no question. If he can get the ball on a line more, turn some singles into doubles, he'll be great for them."

No. 2 prospect Anthony Kay has gotten a lot of local attention, but most any professional I know that has watched him believes - at best - he will become a middle-of-the-rotation innings eater, and less than an elite starting pitcher that can carry a staff.

Along the same lines, while SS Ronny Mauricio, LHP David Peterson, 3B Mark Vientos, and RHP Simeon Woods Richardson all are rated well with high ceilings, they're still too far away to peg down their true potential. This is why the Mets need to draft projectable players that can plow through their farm system, and ideally make an impact sooner than later.

"Drafting on organizational need, instead of the best player available, can be tricky since it takes a few years to draft a player and develop him," Tanous explained to me. "By the time that player gets to the big leagues, the team itself can look quite different."

According to Tanous, Alonso is a perfect example of how the best laid plans can change.

"At the time we had Dom Smith, so drafting another first basemen was certainly not a need," he continued. "Pete was the best player on the board, though. Also, each year the draft is different. Some years there is an abundance of a certain position and very little in other areas, so you have to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each draft."

In other words, based on the above quote, and looking at how he has operated the past few seasons, my hunch is when on the clock Monday, Tanous will select the most talented, advanced player available, regardless of whether he is a pitcher or position player.

The goal is impact. And, the minute the draft ends, the search for impact picks right up.

"The draft is truly a year long process," Tanous concluded. "Four days after the finish of this year's draft we will be at the first tournament for next year and carry on all through the summer and fall."



Based on their spot in the draft, MLB will allow Van Wagenen a total pool of $8.2 million to spend on signing bonuses for all drafted players. Most notable, the Mets can spend up to $4.36 million on their top pick, $1.3 million on their second pick, $667,900 on their third pick, and so on...


RELATED: Inside how Pete Alonso was drafted by the Mets >> Read More 

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Tags: Andres Gimenez, Anthony Kay, Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso, Matthew Cerrone
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Check out the view in the SNY Booth, with the camera on Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling for some big Mets moments of 2019!

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Aug 1, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers the ball in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Aug 1, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers the ball in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

The Phillies have yet to officially announce the addition of Zack Wheeler, though multiple reports have confirmed that the 29-year-old will join the Phillies on a five-year, $118 million deal.

New Phillies skipper Joe Girardi was asked about Wheeler on Thursday in Philadelphia, and while Girardi was only willing to speak in generalities, he did touch on what Wheeler brings to a pitching staff.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) reacts with center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) after hitting a home run against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) reacts with center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) after hitting a home run against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With their trade for Jake Marisnick, the Mets have added an elite defensive center fielder who might not give them much in terms of offense. But the acquisition will likely have ripple effects throughout the roster.

GM Brodie Van Wagenen made it known earlier this offseason that he was seeking to improve the Mets' defense. He also made it clear he preferred to play Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo in the corner outfield spots.

With Wilson Ramos expected to return as the catcher and the infield defense up the middle set with Amed Rosario at shortstop and Robinson Cano at second base, center field seemed like the one spot where the Mets could seriously upgrade their defense. Now that they've done it, what will it mean for Conforto, Nimmo, and J.D. Davis? And what kind of impact will it have on Jeff McNeil?

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Aug 13, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Houston Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick (6) dives to catch Chicago White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez's fly ball during the ninth inning in game one of a baseball doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Aug 13, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Houston Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick (6) dives to catch Chicago White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez's fly ball during the ninth inning in game one of a baseball doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

The Mets have acquired Astros CF Jake Marisnick in exchange for prospects Blake Taylor and Kenedy Corona.

Marisnick, who is known for his defense, hit .233/.289/.411 in 120 games for the Astros in 2019. He is a career .227/.280/.380 hitter in seven seasons with the Marlins and Astros.

The 28-year-old Marisnick is projected to make $3 million via arbitration in 2020, after which he is eligible for free agency.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto
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Mar 4, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels left fielder Jarrett Parker (16) runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Mar 4, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels left fielder Jarrett Parker (16) runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

The Mets have signed outfielder Jarrett Parker and infielder Max Moroff to minor league deals that include invitations to big league spring training, the team announced Thursday.

Parker, 30, has played in parts of four major league seasons with the Angels and Giants, hitting.249/.330/.441 with 15 homers in 140 games.

He spent the majority of the 2019 season in Triple-A, where he hit.266/.394/.535 with 24 homers in 96 games. In eight minor league seasons, Parker has hit .261/.368/.464 with 127 homers.

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Jul 28, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitchers Steven Matz (32), Noah Syndergaard (34) and Zack Wheeler (45) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jul 28, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitchers Steven Matz (32), Noah Syndergaard (34) and Zack Wheeler (45) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Whether the Phillies doling out $118 million for five years of Zack Wheeler turns out to be an overpay or not, one thing that is certain is that Wheeler fleeing the Mets for a division rival that is trying to leapfrog them is bad for New York.

Shortly after Wheeler agreed to sign in Philly, Noah Syndergaard weighed in -- happy for his friend but conflicted as he posted on Twitter:

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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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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Seth Lugo
Seth Lugo

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Phillies are buying into the same obvious potential in Zack Wheeler that convinced me last winter he'd turned a corner in 2018 and blossomed into an elite starter, so I can understand why they gave him $118 million to upgrade their starting rotation. 

But here's the thing: Wheeler didn't turn that corner, as it turned out, and while brilliant at times in 2019, he was plagued by inconsistent command and mistake-pitch home runs that negated his dominant stuff too often, especially early as he pitched to a 4.96 ERA over the first 15 starts of the season.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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J.D. Davis
J.D. Davis

J.D. Davis made his major league debut with the Houston Astros on August 5, 2017.

He hit eighth in the lineup that day, going 1-for-4 while playing third base.

Three spots ahead of him in the lineup that day was Carlos Beltran, the man who is now the Mets manager.

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After ending his 2019 season strong, Brandon Nimmo is optimistic about the Mets as the calendar flips to the new year.

Nimmo, who turns 27 on March 27, returned Sept. 1 from his lengthy neck-injury rehab throughout the summer in time for the Mets' second-half surge into the playoff conversation.

He slashed .261/.430/.565 with five home runs and 15 RBI in 26 games down the stretch, and although the Mets were ultimately left out of the postseason, Nimmo drew inspiration from an NL East rival's successful run.

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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Sterling Partners and Cohen Private ventures released a statement on Wednesday regarding the future of the Mets:

"The Sterling Partners and Steve Cohen are negotiating an agreement in which Steve Cohen would increase his investment in the New York Mets, the statement reads. As part of that agreement, Fred Wilpon will remain in the role of the Control Person and CEO for five years and Jeff Wilpon will remain in his role of Chief Operating Officer for the 5 year period as well.Steve Cohen will continue as CEO and President of Point72 Asset Management and his stake in the Mets will continue to be managed by his family office, Cohen Private Ventures."

Cohen bought a four percent stake in the Mets in 2012 for $20 million. He was also part of a bid to purchase the Dodgers around the same time. 

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In a nightmare outcome for the Mets, free agent Zack Wheeler has agreed to a five-year deal with the Phillies worth $118 million, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed.

Wheeler's camp circled back with the Mets before he agreed to sign with the Phillies, but the Mets did not make an offer, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post.

While Wheeler got paid handsomely, he actually turned down more money from the White Sox due in part to his desire to remain in close proximity to New Jersey -- where his wife is from -- reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) flips his bat after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder J.D. Davis (28) flips his bat after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Before he started the second chapter of his MLB career with the Mets for the 2019 season, LF/3B J.D. Davis spent the previous two years in the Houston organization. 

With the Astros' sign-stealing scandal, which surfaced after the season and triggered an ongoing MLB investigation, questions remain about who knew what and when.

Asked about whether or not he knew of the Astros' alleged sign-stealing philosophy while with the team from 2017-18, Davis pointed directly to his numbers over those two seasons.

Tags: JD Davis
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Brodie Van Wagenen has expressed a desire to add a true center fielder this offseason, shift Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto to corner outfield spots, and use Jeff McNeil primarily at third base. All of that could impact J.D. Davis in a big way.

Davis spent 585.1 innings in left field in 2019 and 220 innings at third base. He was below average in left field and close to unplayable at third base, where he was worth -9 DRS

Speaking at Citi Field on Wednesday during the Mets' kids holiday party, Davis said his preference was to play third base -- where McNeil is expected to be most of the time -- but that he would play anywhere the team needs him.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Aug 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Aug 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

The Mets are open to a reunion with Zack Wheeler, who is an unrestricted free agent. Here's the latest...


Dec. 4, 2:21 PM:

SNY's Andy Martino has reported that Wheeler has reached an agreement with the Phillies. Many were getting the feeling that Wheeler's market was heating up to the highest degree before Winter Meetings, and that's exactly what happened as he joins the Mets' NL East rival. 

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Wheeler's deal is five years and worth more than $100 million. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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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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Doug Williams and Andy Martino are back with an all-new episode of the Shea Anything podcast! The guys dive into the upcoming Winter Meetings and what the Mets might target to bolster their roster. They also discuss why some "January guys" are being signed so early this offseason.

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

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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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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)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Mets having multiple needs to fill this offseason and potentially not much wiggle room in the budget to do so, they are reportedly exploring creative ways to clear money from the payroll.

One thing they're considering is trading Jed Lowrie and/or Jeurys Familia and enticing potentially interested teams to take on the money owed to either player by attaching a "low-cost, zero-to-three" player to the deal, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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May 27, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports (Darren Yamashita)
May 27, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports (Darren Yamashita)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets are already banking on a big bounce-back season from Edwin Diaz, arguably baseball's best closer in 2018. Why not double down on that approach for 2020, now that Blake Treinen is a free agent?

That way they only need to go 1-for-2 on the reliever volatility theory to fix their bullpen in spectacular fashion.

Treinen, every bit as dominant for the A's in 2018 as Diaz was for the Mariners, and nearly as dreadful in 2019, was set free on Monday night when Oakland chose to non-tender him a contract rather than pay him some $8 million next season via arbitration.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano, John Harper
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In an effort to bolster their bullpen, could the answer for the Mets be lefty Josh Hader

According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets are interested in adding the Brewers reliever via trade.  

Of course, a trade come with a price.  

 

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Sep 24, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets had nine arbitration-eligible players entering the offseason and trimmed that number to eight when they DFA'd Joe Panik.

On Monday, the team announced that they had officially tendered contracts to Marcus StromanNoah Syndergaard, Michael ConfortoEdwin Diaz , Steven MatzSeth Lugo, Brandon Nimmo, and Robert Gsellman

Once a player is offered arbitration, the team and that player's agent have until a set date -- usually at some point in February -- to come to terms on a new contract. If that doesn't happen, both sides submit salary proposals and the player's salary is determined at a hearing by independent arbitrators. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Feb 24, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros staff member Tony DeFrancesco during media day for the Houston Astros at Osceola Heritage Park. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Feb 24, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros staff member Tony DeFrancesco during media day for the Houston Astros at Osceola Heritage Park. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

Tony DeFrancesco is a possibility to become the Mets' first base coach, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

The 56-year-old DeFrancesco has been the Mets' Triple-A manager since 2018 -- in Las Vegas in 2018 and in Syracuse in 2019 after the team relocated.

DeFrancesco interviewed for the Mets' managerial opening before it went to Carlos Beltran.

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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Mets interested in trading for Brewers closer Josh Hader, one question is how much the Mets would have to give up in order to land him. Another question is how much they should be willing to give up.

Arguably the best reliever in baseball, the 25-year-old Hader has immense value. He is entering his first of four arbitration years, and will likely get more expensive each season from 2020 to 2023.

It can be argued that with their farm system still in the midst of being rebuilt that the Mets should be focused on the free agent market when it comes to improving the bullpen. But if they are serious about going for Hader, it could make sense to also take back Ryan Braun (and a sizable portion of what he's owed) in order to provide the Brewers even more salary relief and make what they send to Milwaukee hurt less.

Tags: Andres Gimenez, David Peterson, Edwin Diaz, Franklyn Kilome, Jeff McNeil, Mark Vientos, Thomas Szapucki, Danny Abriano
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Jackie Bradley Jr. (Kevin Jairaj)
Jackie Bradley Jr. (Kevin Jairaj)

If the Mets want Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to be their center field fix, they're now going to have to trade for him. 

According to the Boston Globe's Alex Speier, the Red Sox have tendered a 2020 contract to Bradley. If Boston had not hit Bradley with a tender, then he would've become a free agent, where things would've have been much simpler for GM Brodie Van Wagenen & Co. 

Now Bradley and the Sox have until a set date (usually in February) to come to terms on an agreement. If that doesn't happen, then arbitration will begin with both sides submitting salary proposals that independent arbitrators will use to determine a salary for the 2020 season. 

 

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Brewers LHP Josh Hader (Jeff Curry)
Brewers LHP Josh Hader (Jeff Curry)

The Mets are one of many teams interested in trading for Brewers reliever Josh Hader, reports SNY's Andy Martino, who says it's not yet clear if the Brewers will deal him.

Martino adds that the price for the Mets would be high -- in the J.D. Davis, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil category. 

Hader "is indeed available," according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who reported late Sunday night that the Mets are "one team to watch" when it comes to Milwaukee potentially dealing arguably the best reliever in baseball.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Danny Abriano
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Do you remember the first cell phone you've ever used? These Mets certainly do. 

From Brandon Nimmo to Noah Syndergaard, we're "Going Deep" to hear about their first cell phone experience...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard
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Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine talks with the media Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, in Cleveland. Valentine, the most experienced of the finalists for Cleveland's manager's job, got his second interview with the Indians. Valentine's managerial resume includes more than 2,000 games, six seasons in Japan and a trip to the World Series. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (Tony Dejak/AP)
Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine talks with the media Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, in Cleveland. Valentine, the most experienced of the finalists for Cleveland's manager's job, got his second interview with the Indians. Valentine's managerial resume includes more than 2,000 games, six seasons in Japan and a trip to the World Series. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (Tony Dejak/AP)

As Carlos Beltran takes on his first season as manager of the Mets, a former skipper has some advice for his squad. 

Bobby Valentine spoke to TMZ Sports at Mariano Rivera's charity event on Saturday night, and said as long as Beltran can help fix the team's bullpen struggles, the Mets will definitely find success in 2020. 

"I hope he can get the end of the bullpen together and maybe even get (Yoenis) Cespedes to play a little, and put that group together offensively, so they can be consistent to go with that pitching," Valentine explained. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Scott Thompson
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Hall of Famer and former Mets catcher Mike Piazza had his introductory press conference as the new head coach of Italy's national team early Friday morning, and discussed a number of different topics as he prepares for his new role.

Piazza, who spent 16 seasons in the MLB playing for the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and Athletics, plans to take what he used as a player and convert it into teaching his new players the game as they prepare for the 2020 European Baseball Championship and 2021 World Baseball Championship.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Pete Alonso
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When it comes to prospects, I talk to a lot of people in and around baseball. I listen to people within the Mets organization. I read every list published online, and I talk to a variety of minor-league reporters, experts and scouts. As a result, I end every season with a notebook full of names that are most mentioned when talking about the team's farm system.

Interestingly, unlike previous seasons, the combination of question marks and potential seemed to result in me being asked about the same three to four names.

Based on those questions and what wound up in my notebook, here is my list of comments about the three most asked about prospects in the Mets' farm system...

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Thomas Szapucki, Matthew Cerrone
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Asdrubal Cabrera, Cameron Maybin and Howie Kendrick. (Treated Image by SNY)
Asdrubal Cabrera, Cameron Maybin and Howie Kendrick. (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In honor of Black Friday, where the lure of bargains convinces otherwise rational people to navigate the madness of overcrowded shopping, here's a list of free agents on which you won't find Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, or Anthony Rendon.
 
No, this isn't the big-ticket aisle but more of a discount store for players who could provide the best bang for the buck. 

In some cases that means gambling on bounce-back seasons for players who were dealing with injuries, in others it means settling for an under-the-radar level of performance and certainty.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Cameron Maybin, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, John Harper
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Aug 20, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte (6) circles the bases on a three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Aug 20, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte (6) circles the bases on a three run home run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

One of the Mets' top priorities this offseason is acquiring a new starting outfielder, and Pirates All-Star Starling Marte has been rumored to be traded to New York.

On Thursday, MLB Insider Hector Gomez tweeted out a video of Marte speaking about a potential trade to the Mets.

"They (Pirates) have the power to decide," Marte said. "If I had it in me, I left now because the caliber of players we have is not to compete in a World Series. The Mets have it all, it would be a great opportunity to play with them."

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A look at some Black Friday deals for New York sports fans. (SNY)
A look at some Black Friday deals for New York sports fans. (SNY)

With Thanksgiving almost here and the holiday season around the corner, New York sports fans can capitalize on some great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Whether it be apparel or electronics, here are some considerations on what you can buy...


For the Mets fan who misses the black jerseys

Marcus Stroman took to social media to say the Mets "need to" bring back the black jerseys and hats every so often (Pete Alonso agrees). Well, fans who agree can buy this black Mike Piazza jersey with itmes up to 65% off at the Mets Official Online Shop.

Mike Piazza Mitchell & Ness Cooperstown Collection Mesh Batting Practice Jersey$82.49 ... $27.50 off with code SINGLE

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Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner and Gerrit Cole (SNY)
Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner and Gerrit Cole (SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Chew on this while you chew on a turkey leg. 

We know you're not supposed to bring up politics or religion at Thanksgiving Dinner. But what about predictions for Major League Baseball free agency? 

Even your eccentric uncle likes those tasty morsels.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Zack Wheeler, Anthony McCarron
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Drew Pomeranz
Drew Pomeranz

Brodie Van Wagenen has prioritized relief help this offseason along with adding a true center fielder and potentially a starting pitcher to replace Zack Wheeler. Now, roughly one month into the offseason, two of the best relievers are off the board.

Left-handed reliever Drew Pomeranz has agreed to sign with the Padres, per multiple reports, with Robert Murray reporting the deal will be for four years.

One scout predicted earlier this month to SNY contributor John Harper that Pomeranz could get a three-year deal worth $8-9 million a year.

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As the Winter Meetings creep closer and closer by the day, speculation continues to swirl around about what Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has planned this offseason.

One rumor that came about via MLB Network's Jon Heyman was the Mets showing interest in a trade for Starling Marte. Though it has not been indicated that Marte is on the trade block, Van Wagenen may talk to Pirates GM Ben Cherington to propose some trade packages. 

SNY's Jim Duquette put together his own trade package of some Mets top prospects in INF Andres Gimenez, RHP Franklyn Kilome, and either INF Mark Vientos or LHP David Peterson in exchange for Marte. And, well, it caused a little stir. 

Duquette sat down with "The Thread" crew to explain why he made his package this way, and why he believes if anyone has a shot to land Marte this offseason, it would be Van Wagenen and the Mets...

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Apr 22, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins bench coach Derek Shelton (9) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Apr 22, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins bench coach Derek Shelton (9) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Pirates have hired Derek Shelton as their next manager, the team announced on Wednesday.

Shelton, 49, was a finalist for Mets manager along with Carlos Beltran and Eduardo Perez before the job went to Beltran.

During the Mets' interview process, one Mets person was "dazzled" by Shelton and called him a "future star," according to SNY's Andy Martino.

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Danny Abriano
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Blake Treinen (David Richard)
Blake Treinen (David Richard)

As they look to cut payroll for the 2020 season, the Athletics are discussing trades of reliever Blake Treinen, infielder Jurickson Profar, and catcher Josh Phegley, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, adding that all three players are non-tender candidates.

For the Mets, who already have a potentially overcrowded infield and a starting catcher, the only player of interest here should be Treinen.

The 31-year-old Treinen was one of the best relievers in baseball in 2018 and one of the worst in 2019, and is projected to earn $7.8 million via arbitration in 2020 -- a potentially steep price for any interested team to pay in addition to giving literally anything up via trade.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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When it comes to mashing a no doubter over the fence, a bat flip normally ensues. 

And the Mets had some memorable ones this season. 

From Pete Alonso to Todd Frazier, here are the best bat flips from the Mets this season...

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Jeremy Hefner took the mound for the first game of the four-game series against the Marlins. Hefner exited after 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits. (AP)
Jeremy Hefner took the mound for the first game of the four-game series against the Marlins. Hefner exited after 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits. (AP)

The Mets and Jeremy Hefner are in agreement on terms for him to become pitching coach, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported on Tuesday that Hefner was the choice. 

Hefner, who worked this past season as the assistant pitching coach for the Twins, was hired by Minnesota as a scout after the 2017 season shortly after his pitching career ended.

Martino reported on Monday night that Hefner was a "very strong candidate" to land the Mets' gig while also reporting that Gil Patterson was out of the running.

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Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)
Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets need an experienced, everyday center fielder, specifically Brett Gardner.

The Yankees, though, again have a hole in center filed now that Aaron Hicks is expected to miss a large chunk of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery.

This is why earlier this month, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that he's been in contact with Gardner's agent, despite reports late in the season that their time together had likely come to an end.

"I want to continue playing," Gardner said in October, according to the New York Post. "Physically and mentally I feel great. My family wants me to keep playing. Hopefully, that's here (with the Yankees)."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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May 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison (1) hits a double during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
May 25, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison (1) hits a double during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Two-time All-Star Josh Harrison signed with the Phillies on a minor-league deal on Tuesday, as announced by the team.

But according to a report from MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Phillies weren't the only NL East team in contention for the veteran.

Heyman reports that Harrison's second choice was the Mets, but the 32-year-old utility man elected instead to sign with the Phillies, who will invite him to spring training as part of the deal.

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

Coming on as the Mets new manager, Carlos Beltran will be sure to reach out to his players throughout the offseason to touch base before Spring Training gets underway. 

Well, his call to RHP Marcus Stroman was on Tuesday, and Stroman definitely liked what he heard. 

Stroman went to his Twitter to explain how his conversation with Beltran showed him how much "insight and knowledge" he has. 

Tags: Marcus Stroman
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Phil Regan
Phil Regan

With the Mets hiring Jeremy Hefner to be their pitching coach, the brief tenure of Phil Regan as interim pitching coach will officially come to an end. But it doesn't look like the end of Regan's time with the Mets.

The "early indication" is that Regan will remain in the organization and again have a minor league role, while also assisting in Spring Training, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post.

The 82-year-old Regan, who took over for the fired Dave Eiland during the 2019 season and held the pitching coach job through the end of the season, has been serving as a pitching coach this offseason for Toros del Este in the Dominican Republic.

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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)

Gil Patterson is no longer in the running to be the next Mets' pitching coach, according to SNY's Andy Martino. Twins assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner is a very strong candidate to get the job, but nothing has been finalized, sources tell Martino.

Patterson, 64, epitomizes the term "baseball lifer." He was drafted by the Yankees at No. 7 overall in the 1975 draft, and though his playing career was over by 1982, he's been a coach at either the minor or major league level since 1984.

He has previously served as a major league pitching coach for the Blue Jays from 2002-2004 and is in his third stint with the Athletics' organization, currently as the team's minor league pitching coordinator.

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Starling Marte (Treated Image by SNY)
Starling Marte (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Most everyone agrees that Starling Marte would be a nice get for the Mets, giving them the everyday center fielder they've been looking for since, well, since their new manager, Carlos Beltran, was playing the position a decade ago.

But what would it take for them to acquire him in a trade with the Pirates?

The consensus, based on conversations I had with scouts, executives, and minor-league evaluators on Monday, is that Pittsburgh's new GM, Ben Cherington, probably would have to like the idea of taking a major leaguer such as J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, or Dom Smith in return for Marte. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Carlos Beltran, Dominic Smith, JD Davis, John Harper
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Feb 25, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets shortstop Andres Gimenez (72) plays the field during a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 25, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets shortstop Andres Gimenez (72) plays the field during a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

In order to protect them from being selected during December's Rule 5 draft, the Mets recently added prospects Andres Gimenez, Jordan Humphreys, Ali Sanchez and Thomas Szapucki to their 40-man roster. The Rule 5 Draft takes place every year on the final day of the Winter Meetings.

The above four prospects were eligible for selection based on age and number of years since being drafted. There is no guarantee any of the above four players will become big-league players, let alone become All-Stars. Of course, there's always a chance.

Here is how I see each player's potential level of and chance for success based on prospect lists and my talks with prospect reporters, scouts and people in player development.

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Steven Matz, Thomas Szapucki
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 (David Kohl)
(David Kohl)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Jon Updike, the scout responsible for making Pete Alonso a Met, has left the organization, SNY has learned.

Updike was the area scouting supervisor in North and Central Florida. He signed both Alonso and Mathew Allan, a high-ceiling pitcher who the Mets drafted in the third round this year.

The Mets named Updike their scout of the year in 2018 -- and that was before his signature pick won Rookie of the Year and set a home run record.

Tags: Pete Alonso, Andy Martino
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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)

Voting is underway for the first-ever All-MLB team, and there are four Mets on the ballot -- Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Seth Lugo.

There will be an All-MLB first team and All-MLB second team, and the teams will not be broken up by league. Those teams will be determined by taking into account the fan vote (50 percent) and the voting of a panel of experts (50 percent).

Voting runs through Dec. 3 (there are 60 position player candidates and 30 pitching candidates) and the teams will be announced at the Winter Meetings on Dec. 10.

DeGrom is among 19 options at starting pitcher (fans will vote for five), McNeil is among 15 options in the outfield (fans will vote for three), Lugo is among 11 options at reliever (fans will vote for two), and Alonso is among eight options at first base (fans will vote for one).

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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