Category Archives: Mets

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Report: New York Mets Interested In Trading For Mike Minor

There had been an unresolved rumor about the New York Mets talking to the Texas Rangers at the Winter Meetings, and it appears we have finally figured out what the teams were discussing. The subject of the trade talks is Rangers’ starting pitcher Mike Minor, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports, who the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies are showing heavy interest in. Minor, who turns 31 next week, went 12-8 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 28 starts for the Rangers last season. The complicating factor here is that the Mets are on Minor’s 10 team no trade list, while the Phillies are not, although there has been some speculation that he would be willing to waive the no trade to come to the Mets.
Sep 22, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports
Minor would be a great fit for the Mets’ needs since he also has shown the ability to work out of the bullpen. The Kansas City Royals used Minor as a lefty specialist in 2017 and he thrived in that role, working to a 2.55 ERA and 1.02 WHIP while holding lefties to a .160 batting average in 65 appearances. That versatility would work well with the Mets, who could use insurance for both the rotation and bullpen, which Minor could provide. The teams aren’t particularly close to a deal, however, as Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the Rangers are asking for a high price in prospects that the Mets don’t feel comfortable paying. Minor is under contract for another two years and will earn about $9 million a year, although it is worth noting that the Mets were interested in him last winter.
The Rangers are reportedly asking the Mets about David Peterson and Anthony Kay, the team’s top pitching prospects, and GM Brodie Van Wagenen is wise not to part with either for a 30 year old pitcher. The Mets could still look to add bullpen insurance either via free agency, where there are plenty of relievers available, or try to seek one in a deal for Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki is currently on the trade block after the addition of Wilson Ramos made him expendable.


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Let The Tears Flow

Category : Mets , Wilmer Flores

Was just told Wilmer Flores will be non-tendered by the Mets. He has been informed.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) November 30, 2018

I’m sad to see Wilmer go. I don’t know how we got from “give Wilmer a chance” to “Wilmer got his chance” without actually seeing that chance. But Flores not taking that next step despite irregular playing time at multiple positions, along with the presence of a new general manager looking to clean house did Wilmer in. I’m still of the mind that Wilmer can play a very important part of the success of a major league team … most likely an American League team … and will always wonder what might have been had the Mets not blocked him with the likes of Todd Frazier.
Let me share with you my favorite Wilmer Flores moment:

It’s not the one you’d expect. (You can see that one on “Five Days in Flushing” on SNY, and if you missed it, it’ll probably be on in ten minutes.) But I was at this Oakland game, and if it had gone to extra innings, we probably leave to tend to our cat, who was going through some minor health issues. Wilmer was the last hope to see a walk-off, and he delivered. He made the Mets fans happy, he made my wife happy, and our cat is doing fine.
In all seriousness, I feel as if Flores’ tenure in Flushing will always be incomplete. I’ll always wonder what Flores’ numbers would have been if he was set at one position so that he can just worry about improving at the dish. He could have been a really important part of Mets history. But we’ll have to settle for him being a part of Mets lore.
Thanks for that Oakland game.


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Robby Cano? Who The Hell Knows!

I remember clearly when Robinson Cano was a free agent after the 2013 season. Somebody had photoshopped Cano in a Mets hat, and we all laughed because we knew that at the age of 31 and coming off a Top-5 MVP season with an OPS of .899, that Robinson Cano wasn’t going to no Mets.
Now, five years later at the age of 36 with three more All-Star appearances and one performance enhancing drug suspension under his belt, Cano is much closer to playing his next game as a New York Met as he has ever been.
Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?

Succinct summary by someone involved regarding the growing Cano/Mets speculation, at least to this point: “Smoke, not fire.”
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 27, 2018

My first thought when I heard that the Mets were in on Cano was that this has absolutely no chance of happening. If the Mets weren’t in on Cano when he was 31, why would they go anywhere near him at age 36 with the same AAV on his contract and five seasons to go? Even in the Mets’ world with the alternate sky, that doesn’t make any sense.
Cano also breaks two general rules that I have these days: No more players past their prime living off reputation, and no players that will block the progress of younger players. Cano could break both rules as he is not only old, but would prevent Jeff McNeil from having an everyday job at second base. The other downside of Cano is that his penchant for making every ground ball look like Sunday softball wouldn’t sit well with the Johnny Hustle crowd.
But then people started to speculate on other players coming back to the Mets from Seattle to make the contract worth their while, and then Jay Bruce possibly going the other way … then it started to get intriguing. But Brodie has to remember that Seattle is in a position of desperation. If the Mariners want to re-imagine their team, that comes at a cost. If the Mets are going to take on another aging player for five seasons, it has to be worth the Mets’ while to do so. And the possibilities that are swirling could work in the Mets’ favor. But …
Feb 21, 2018; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano poses for a portrait during media day at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
… only if everything in this deal breaks right for the Mets. It can’t be just about bringing in Cano … that’s not enough. Here’s what needs to happen for this to work out for the Mets, in my humble estimation:
Get Seattle To Pay For A Chunk Of The Contract
This one is a no-brainer. Cano has $120 million left in his deal over five seasons. There isn’t enough salary for the Mets to dump back to make it even. And it doesn’t make sense for the Mets to pull a Giancarlo Stanton/Yankees type trade to have a 36-year-old block second base for five more seasons. So Seattle has to pony up at least $50 million for this to work.
Jay Bruce Must Go The Other Way
Another no-brainer. Sorry, Jay. We’ve had some good times. But again, if the Mariners expect the Mets to help them out with $70 million of salary for an older player, then Seattle has to help the Mets out a wee bit. Taking Bruce back will help the Mets clear some glut from the first base/corner outfield position, and it would enable the Jordan Patterson signing to actually be part of something larger. (Go figure.) If the Mariners insist on taking, say, Juan Lagares instead of Bruce, then Bruce must be part of another deal (say, for Marc Melancon) before this Cano trade happens. Either way, shedding Jay Bruce’s paltry by comparison $28 million in salary is a good start.

But it’s not enough, hence my next condition:
Mitch Haniger Must Come Back From Seattle

Ryan Braun told us @MLBNetworkRadio in ST Haniger going to be a "star" RT @jcrasnick OF Mitch Haniger going to Arizona. Not sure on return.
— Casey Stern (@CaseyStern) July 31, 2014

Ryan Braun wasn’t lying. Haniger came into his own in 2018 with a .366 OBP and an .859 OPS while driving in 93 runs and … most importantly … playing in 157 games. While he’s primarily a right fielder, enough shuffling can be made to get Haniger’s important bat in the Mets lineup. Between Haniger and Cano, who had a .374 OBP in 80 games last year, you have the opportunity to transform a lineup that has been moribound in recent seasons. (Don’t believe me? Just ask Jacob deGrom.)
Jim Dowd of MLB Network suggested Mallex Smith coming back in a potential deal for Cano, and while he’s an emerging star, there’s no way the M’s would let go of somebody they just acquired. Dowd and everyone else also loves Edwin Diaz, who would immediately become the closer for a team that also needs a bullpen. Diaz had a fantastic season overall for the Mariners with an ERA below two and a WHIP of 0.79. Diaz is also entering his age 25 season. Nothing to sneeze at.
Sep 2, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger (17) high fives teammates after scoring a run against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
But with relief pitching being so volatile from year-to-year, it would be a shame to waste this one chance at a roster transforming move by pinning all the hopes of this trade on a reliever who, after seeing him enough times in Seattle over the past two seasons, is far from automatic. If Diaz is the main player in this trade, and let’s say Justin Dunn and/or Andres Gimenez goes the other way, and Diaz is a bust … then what? You’re stuck with five seasons of Robinson Cano and you traded Dunn/Gimenez/both to do it. That’s not a risk I want to take. I’d rather spend the money on the reliever, even if you have to swallow an extra year’s salary to do it. Because it’ll be much easier to acquire Haniger and pay for a closer than acquire Diaz, hope for the best, and pay for a bat. Unless that bat belongs to somebody named Bryce or Manny, the results are going to be much dicier.
Todd Frazier Must Be Traded
As mentioned earlyer one of the downsides of a Cano trade is blocking Jeff McNeil from playing second base. He was solid at the position last season while impressing with the bat. That bat needs to be in the lineup every day. If McNeil is going to be pushed back into a utility role, then this deal can’t happen. Seems like a strange hill to die on, but I’d rather this lineup be completely left-handed and McNeil play a position other than second base regularly than watch Todd Frazier look at a three straight fastballs down the middle to end every single game while McNeil gets turned into some bastardized version of Brandon Inge. As long as Peter Alonso, Amed Rosario, and a right handed hitting catcher not named something that rhymes with Cravis are in the lineup, McNeil, Cano, Haniger, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto should do just fine until Yoenis Cespedes … hopefully … makes his grand return.
Noah Syndergaard Can’t Go Anywhere
Sep 14, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets Noah Syndergaard (34) reacts at the final out of the fifth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
See? I can bring Noah Syndergaard into a blog post as a non-sequitur too. But I don’t think Noah has zero to do with this conversation. Because if Brodie goes into the Winter Meetings in December with the frame of mind to improve the team, and he thinks that making the team older by bringing in Cano with all of the other conditions laid bare above as part of the process, then Brodie can’t turn around and say that trading Syndergaard is the next prudent course of action. So if this wacky trade is going to happen, a wackier trade can’t.
Say one thing for a trade which would bring Robinson Cano and his contract here: It would be bold. This franchise needs bold. This franchise needs a breath of fresh air. This franchise and the players who collect paychecks from it need a signal that things are going to be serious, and not the same old same old. This trade would certainly do it, and that’s not a bad thing as long as the Mets benefit from it short term and long.


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Report: Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges Linked to New York Mets in Noah Syndergaard Rumors

The Noah Syndergaard watch continues for the New York Mets, who have been listening to offers for the 26 year old righty this winter. The team most frequently linked to Syndergaard has been the San Diego Padres, who made a push for the righty over the summer only to get rebuffed by the Mets. The two sides have apparently been discussing names again, and baseball writer Dan Federico mentioned a few of those players on Twitter earlier this week. Check out full tweet below.

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Both Margot and Hedges are in the majors already, but neither player has distinguished themselves. Hedges, 26, batted .231 with 14 homers and 37 RBI’s in 91 games for the Padres in 2018 while drawing strong reviews for his defense and ability to call a game. There is a bit of hope that Hedges’ home/road splits (.215/5/17 with a .642 OPS in spacious Petco Park vs. .247/9/20 with a .778 OPS on the road) indicate he could breakout in a new ballpark, but that is not guaranteed. Margot, 24, batted .245 with eight homers and 51 RBI’s in 141 games for the Padres this season but has the ability to play center field well. Federico also shared that the Mets like some of the Padres’ pitching prospects and that the Padres have no interest in trading top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr for Syndergaard.
Sep 12, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges (18) hits a single against the Seattle Mariners during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
While Hedges and Margot are nice pieces to consider adding to the Mets, if they are the headliners in a Syndergaard deal that will set the franchise back years. The Mets do have needs at catcher and center field, but the Mets could find better fits in free agency while retaining Syndergaard. If you are dealing a talent like Syndergaard, the return needs to be something that can knock your socks off to the point where it makes perfect sense, like sending him to Chicago for Kris Bryant. Dealing Syndergaard to San Diego for Margot, Hedges, and two pitching prospects is the type of trade that the Oakland A’s made. For a team in the New York market, that is unacceptable.


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Report: New York Mets Have Interviewed Four Candidates For Bench Coach Opening

While the New York Mets continue to work on ways to improve their active roster, they are simultaneously searching for new faces for their coaching staff. The most notable opening is at bench coach, which became vacant when the Mets re-assigned Gary DiSarcina to third base coach. The Mets have already interviewed four candidates for the job, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports, with three of them having significant experience managing in the National League.
Sep 22, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Cincinnati Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman (35) uses the telephone during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The known candidates are Jim Riggleman, who most recently served as the Cincinnati Reds’ interim skipper this season; former Marlins and Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez; Bryan Price, who was fired by the Reds this season and replaced by Riggleman; and AAA manager Tony DeFrancesco. Of this group, Riggleman makes a ton of sense since he has previously managed four different National League teams and can help Mickey Callaway with the nuances of NL baseball. That component was severely missing for the Mets in 2018, when Callaway struggled with facets of the game like double switches and waiting for pinch hitters to be announced, and DiSarcina wasn’t really in a position to offer too much guidance due to the fact his coaching experience came in the American League.
The Mets are also looking for a new hitting coach and bullpen coach as part of a coaching shakeup under new General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen. Chili Davis and former Met Dave Magadan are two of the candidates in the mix for the hitting coach position. There hasn’t been any public word yet on potential candidates for the bullpen coach position.


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Mike's Mets Player Review Series: Seth Lugo

Now that the 2018 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from B (Tyler Bashlor) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at pitcher Seth Lugo.
Player Review: Seth Lugo
Jul 29, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
2018 Stats: 54 Appearances, 5 Starts, 101.1 Innings Pitched, 3-4 Won-Loss Record, 2.66 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 3 Saves, 11 Holds, 1 Blown Save, 103:28 K/BB Ratio, .217 Batting Average Against
Story: Despite the Mets’ full rotation, Seth Lugo managed to crack the starting five on the Opening Day roster thanks to an injury to Jason Vargas and late spring struggles from Zack Wheeler. A rain out in the first week of the season caused the Mets to skip Lugo, leaving him in the bullpen to work as a multi-inning reliever. Wheeler’s success in a spot start allowed him to steal Lugo’s rotation spot, but Lugo adapted well to relief work so the Mets left him alone. Lugo finally got an opportunity to pitch in the rotation in June when injuries to Noah Syndergaard and Vargas left the team short again, and he was solid as a starter, but the Mets opted to put him back in the bullpen once the others got healthy. That move turned out to be wise as Lugo was the Mets’ most dependable reliever all year long, working everywhere from long relief to closing games.
Grade: A
Lugo was an excellent contributor to the 2018 Mets, even if it wasn’t in the role that he expected to have. The fact that Lugo was able to adapt so well to working in relief was a very pleasant surprise for the Mets in a year where their bullpen was a complete disaster.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds of Returning: 100%
2019 Role: To Be Determined
Lugo can contribute as either a starter or reliever to the 2019 Mets, but how he will be deployed depends on how new GM Brodie Van Wagenen constructs the roster. Lugo is the Mets’ sixth starter at the moment, but he could crack the top five if the Mets decide to dangle a guy like Zack Wheeler to try and improve other areas of the roster. In an ideal world, Lugo would remain in the bullpen and play a very similar role as the one he had last season, giving the Mets a dependable arm who is capable of going multiple innings.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at starting pitcher Steven Matz!


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40 Minutes With Brandon Nimmo

Category : Brandon Nimmo , Mets

I won’t waste time with words. You’d rather use the time to listen to Brandon Nimmo’s interview on last night’s edition of Sports Talk NY:

Sports Talk NY is on every Sunday on WLIE 540, and I’m not just telling you that because I go on at 7:02 every week. You will find many great interviews like the one above if you tune in. But for now, just push play if you haven’t already.


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Qualifying Offers Could Shape New York Mets' Free Agency Strategy

The free agency period in baseball kicked off last night, and the New York Mets figure to be busy. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen made it clear earlier this week that they plan to be in on nearly every free agent, and that makes sense to help accomplish his goal of winning right now. One thing to keep in mind is that several top free agents received qualifying offers from their previous teams, and the Mets have been hesitant to bid on free agents with the qualifying offer in the past. Signing a player who has declined a qualifying offer costs their new team a draft pick, something the Mets have only done once, when they forfeited their 2015 first round pick to add Michael Cuddyer.
Sep 26, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock (11) hits a three run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Seven players have received a qualifying offer according to FanCred’s Jon Heyman: starting pitcher Patrick Corbin and outfielder A.J. Pollock (from the Arizona Diamondbacks), starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and catcher Yasmani Grandal (from the Los Angeles Dodgers), closer Craig Kimbrel (from the Boston Red Sox), starter Dallas Keuchel (from the Houston Astros), and outfielder Bryce Harper (from the Washington Nationals). The two notables here are Pollock and Grandal, both of whom have been linked to the Mets in rumors.
The fact that those two have received qualifying offers may dissuade the Mets from pursuing them, especially when neither of them is a slam dunk option for the team. The Mets could pursue Wilson Ramos behind the plate or try trading for J.T. Realmuto, while Adam Jones and Jon Jay could be more cost effective options in center field. It is worth noting that several players who could make sense for the Mets, including relievers like Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, did not receive the qualifying offer.


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New York Mets Do Some 40 Man Roster Shuffling

The New York Mets shook up their 40 man roster today. With a deadline of 5:00 pm Eastern time to add back eight players from the 60 day disabled list to their 40 man roster, the Mets needed to make at least three cuts with the roster sitting at 35 entering the day. The Mets made their choices, and some of them come as surprises. Here’s a handy infographic the Mets posted on their Twitter account to break down the moves.

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The big surprise here is the Mets finally deciding to move on from Rafael Montero, who was coming off Tommy John surgery and eligible for salary arbitration for the first time. Matt Ehalt of NJ.com notes that there was debate about whether or not to keep Montero due to fear that he could become a solid starter elsewhere, but the team decided it was time to move on. That is the correct choice because fear of how a player may perform elsewhere isn’t a worthy justification to hold a valuable 40 man roster spot.
Mar 2, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Rafael Montero (50) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Montero was the biggest move the Mets made as the team opted to keep Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores around for now. The Mets’ 40 man roster now stands at 38 players ahead of free agency, where new General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen expects to be active. If Van Wagenen is able to land more talent for the big league roster, the 40 man roster could be shaken up even more.


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Mike's Mets Player Review Series: Todd Frazier

Now that the 2018 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from B (Tyler Bashlor) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at third baseman Todd Frazier.
Player Review: Todd Frazier
Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) wears a NYPD cap to show respect for first responders on September 11 before the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
2018 Stats: 115 Games, 408 At Bats, .213 Batting Average, 87 Hits, 18 Doubles, 18 Home Runs, 59 RBI’s, 54 Runs Scored, 9 Stolen Bases, .693 OPS
Story: The Mets signed veteran third baseman Todd Frazier to a two year, $17 million deal in February to give themselves a true starting third baseman. Frazier proved to be a solid fit at first, delivering clutch hits and getting on base at a high clip for the Mets in April, and added solid leadership to the clubhouse. When the Mets got off to an 11-1 start, Frazier’s “salt and pepper” celebration routine became a unifying symbol for the roster. Things took a down turn for Frazier quickly as he played through a hamstring injury for three weeks before landing on the disabled list for the first time in his career in early May. Frazier missed about a month of action before returning on June 5th, but he was awful for another month before landing on the DL again. The latest issue sidelined Frazier until early August, but he was able to finish the season after coming back. Frazier hit well in August, batting .255 with six homers and 20 RBI’s in 102 at bats, but slumped down the stretch by hitting just .150 with two homers and seven RBI’s in September.
Grade: C-
In a season full of disappointing acquisitions for the Mets, Frazier’s poor year has gone underreported. Frazier not only made the first two DL trips of his career, but he also set career lows in doubles (18), home runs (18), RBI’s (59) and OPS (.693, down significantly from the .772 mark he posted in 2017) for a full season.
Contract Status: Signed Through 2019 (Will Earn $9,000,000)
Odds of Returning: 90%
2019 Role: Starting Third Baseman
Barring the unlikely signing of Manny Machado, Frazier will enter 2019 as the Mets’ starting third baseman. The Mets have him for another year, so they will have to hope that Frazier can bounce back and perform closer to his career norms with better health. Frazier could also end up being a trade candidate at mid-season if the Mets need to create an opening for top prospect Andres Gimenez, who is expected to start 2019 at AAA Syracuse. Gimenez is a natural shortstop, so the Mets could look to put him at shortstop and move Amed Rosario to third if they deal Frazier at the deadline.
Check back soon as our Player Review Series continues with a look at starting pitcher Drew Gagnon!


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