If you grew up in the 90s, you probably played Backyard Baseball. Noah Syndergaard reveals his team and some of his picks may surprise you.

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As the Mets' 2020 season comes more into focus, it's only natural to start thinking about how the everyday lineup will look under new manager Luis Rojas.

And that lineup intrigue starts right at the top. 

Perhaps Jeff McNeil, who was in play for the NL batting title last season, is the perfect choice. SNY's John Harper recently spoke to scouts about whether or not McNeil will be an on-base machine again or whether he could see an uptick in power numbers.

Or maybe Brandon Nimmo is the right man for the Mets' leadoff spot. The left-handed hitting outfielder has started 106 games as the Mets' leadoff hitter over his career, by far the most time he's seen anywhere in the order. He also has a career OBP of .387, so even with a career average of just .254, he's still done a great job at getting on base over his first four years.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano
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Mets new manager Luis Rojas was emotional when he addressed his team for the first time in full Tuesday.

Appearing on Tuesday's Mets Hot Stove down in Port St. Lucie, Fla, Rojas discussed how he felt to speaking to what has now become his team, after being a part of the organization for many years.

"Being in the organization so long, 15 years, and growing up here as a coach and becoming the manager as well, I think there's a lot of emotions in the mix. I mean, there's a lot of guys in the room that share some of that history, that journey to get to here,"Rojas said on Mets Hot Stove. 

"So it was really special to be in the room talking to the guys and exchanging emotions, you know exchanging our ambitions that we have for the season and what we're going to do in spring training, preparing as we started yesterday, and then taking that into the season and being successful, which is what we want."

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Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is very excited about his club's outlook for the 2020 season. 

Appearing Tuesday's Mets Hot Stove, Van Wagenen expressed his confidence in the current roster, highlighting the team's strong second-half effort in 2019.

"We have talent, we have experience, and we have a team that's returning from last year that's carrying a great deal of momentum and confidence," said Van Wagenen. "So, we're very excited to get these guys in camp.

"The first half of the year last year, we were in a lot of close games and we couldn't figure out how to win those games. Second half of the year, that changed. The team had a better focus. The team had better chemistry and understanding of the small margin of error between winning and losing, and I think the goal is that they can carry that over into this year."

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Yoenis Cespedes
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Jeff McNeil
Jeff McNeil

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On July 6 last season, Jeff McNeil went 4-for-5 against the Phillies, lining four singles through or over the infield, into left, center, and right. At that point he was hitting .356 for the season, looking like a young Wade Boggs.

Or Tony Gwynn. Or even Pete Rose. Indeed, to scouts of a certain age who cringe at the number of strikeouts in today's game, McNeil was a throwback to an era when hitters prioritized contact over power.

"He was my new favorite hitter," one long-time scout recalled by phone on Monday. "I loved the way he choked up on that bat with the fat handle and hit the ball where it was pitched. Around the All-Star break I remember thinking he was going to hit somewhere between .340 and .350 and win the batting title."

Tags: Jeff McNeil, John Harper
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Mets reliever Seth Lugo has a small fracture in his left pinky toe that he suffered in his hotel room on Monday night, manager Luis Rojas said on Tuesday.

Rojas said there is "no concern at all" and that Lugo will refrain from throwing for roughly three days before ramping back up again.

"It's probably gonna take a little later until he starts participating in games, but we're not concerned about it. ... they're doing a padding on his spikes," Rojas added. "He was testing it walking around today and everything. It's his left foot, so landing on it the next three days we'll see how it progresses and then he'll start throwing."

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training
Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Spring Training is in full swing for the Mets in Port St. Lucie, with games starting in just four days.

While every member of the team has arrived in camp, some (Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes to name two) don't appear to be on track to be ready for game action when the bell rings on Saturday.

Going by the above, listening to manager Luis Rojas talk, and reading between the lines, here's our roster prediction 3.0...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Rene Rivera, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Jed Lowrie has been participating in all drills at spring training while wearing a large brace on his left knee, and Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen -- who said the team is encouraged by Lowrie's participation -- elaborated Tuesday on what exactly is ailing Lowrie.

"The left knee injury that he had coming into spring training last year has just continued to give him problems," Van Wagenen told SNY's Gary Apple during an interview that will air in full on Mets Hot Stove Tuesday at 6 p.m. on SNY. "A lot of the issues that he had last year were muscles on the left side of his body, on the lower half that were attributed to the knee.

"What he's doing is he had some instability and he had some laxity in the knee that we've tried to stabilize with the brace. The brace has allowed him to do his rehab, it's allowed him to do strength work, it's allowed him to do baseball activities. Now we're gonna try to see how that brace can correlate into competition."

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Mets 1B/OF Dominic Smith is heading into the 2020 season aiming to stay on the 26-man roster throughout the year, and make big contributions like his walk-off homer that ended the 2019 season on the highest note.

The journey up until this point for the former first-rounder has had its ups and downs, but in an exclusive 1-on-1 with SNY, Smith discussed that journey and explained why he's so excited to see what this Mets team can do this year. 


SNY: We were just talking about how we were in Las Vegas, which was 3-4 years ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago I'm assuming for you? 

Tags: Amed Rosario, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Scott Thompson
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It's another day at Mets spring training, and the players are all out getting their work in as games begin at the end of the week. 

Wilson Ramos took some hacks in the batting cage, and infielders like Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil corralled some grounders as fans looked on. Check it out above.

Below is some batting practice action from Tuesday:

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes
Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes

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


Yoenis Cespedes participated in the Mets' first full squad workout of spring training, which included taking live batting practice >> Read more

Prior to taking the field, Cespedes said he wouldn't be talking to the media at all this season >> Read more

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Yoenis Cespedes spoke to the media in Port St. Lucie on Monday, but only say that he wouldn't be speaking to them at all for the remainder of the season. 

"Not today, not tomorrow, not at all this year," he said.

On Baseball Night in New York, Doug Williams, Anthony Recker and John Harper gave their thoughts on Cespedes' comments and discuss what role he could play for the Mets in 2020.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

MLB Network has released its Top 100 Players Right Now, and four Mets make an appearance on the list.

Jacob deGrom leads the way for the Mets at No. 8, coming off of his second straight NL Cy Young Award. DeGrom led the National League in strikeouts with 255, and posted an 11-8 record with a sparkling 2.67 ERA. He's the second-highest pitcher ranked on the list, slotted just below new Yankees acquisition Gerrit Cole, who came in at No. 7.

Coming off of an historic rookie season, Pete Alonso debuts on the Top 100 Right Now list at No. 24. After winning NL Rookie of the Year and setting the single-season rookie home run record with 53 dingers, Alonso comes into his second season with sky-high expectations, but has done his best to downplay his personal goals early in spring training

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso
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Brad Brach
Brad Brach

The Mets bullpen struggled last season, but righty Brad Brach was a bit of a bright spot. 

Signed in August after the Cubs DFA'd him, Brach threw 14.2 innings with a 3.68 ERA for the Mets over the final two months of the 2019 season. He added another 15 strikeouts as well. 

After his revitalization, the 33-year-old was re-signed by the Mets in December for $850,000 in 2020, with a $1.25 million player option for 2021. 

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Mets manager Luis Rojas spoke on Monday after the team's first full squad workout of spring training. Here are the takeaways...


Jed Lowrie has "no limitations"

Lowrie has been participating in all drills at camp while wearing an enormous brace on his left knee, but he has "no limitations," according to Rojas.

"Lowrie went through the day, he did everything with the team," Rojas said. "He was out there doing the plays -- the bunt plays, first and thirds, took ground balls at second base, he did some covers there as well. He was in the live BP facing (Robert) Gsellman on field 5. He looked good, he's moving good. He's got that brace, it works for him to do all his movements."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Yoenis Cespedes was among the participants Monday morning when the Mets had their first full team workout of spring training. And his swing was looking pretty good during live batting practice. 

Facing off against Michael Wacha, Cespedes almost went yard, but the ball went foul. His first swing was also a slight mishap, as it flew over the dugout out of his hands. Overall, it was good to see the veteran outfielder back in the batter's box. 

Check out the rest of the Mets warming up with Yo...

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Approached Monday morning by reporters at his locker at Mets spring training, Yoenis Cespedes said he wouldn't be speaking to the media this season.

"Not today, not tomorrow, not at all this year," he said.

Asked why he wouldn't talk, Cespedes said "because I don't want to."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom warms-up before a workout during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom warms-up before a workout during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

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


Jed Lowrie showed up at spring training wearing an enormous brace on his knee, would not comment on what his specific ailment is, and would not commit to being ready for Opening Day >> Read more

Tags: Robinson Cano, Tim Tebow, Danny Abriano
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Tim Tebow walks back to the clubhouse before the start of workouts at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Tim Tebow walks back to the clubhouse before the start of workouts at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Tim Tebow doesn't downplay the fact that he has yet to fulfill his dream of playing Major League Baseball, but that hasn't stopped him. Entering his fourth season with the Mets, the 32-year-old left fielder is coming off a 2019 season at Triple-A Syracuse in which he struggled, slashing .164/.299/.338 with four home runs and 19 runs batted in over 77 games.

So the odds are more than stacked up against Tebow, the former college football star at the University of Florida (2006-09) and three-year NFL quarterback (2010-12) who signed a minor-league contract with the Mets in September 2016. But he's back once again for his latest Spring Training with the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where Tebow embraces another opportunity.

"When I love something or am passionate about it, I kind of go all in for it," Tebow said Sunday. "Hopefully, that's something that anyone can see about my life and I think that's the biggest thing and I think that's also for a time. I think there (are) seasons in our life that call for different things and, hopefully, this can be a part of that season of my life. But ... it's not something that I want to do forever. There's a lot of things that I want to do that I'm very passionate about."

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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, Florida, 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."

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, Florida, 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."

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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 pounds

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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. 

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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.

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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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