Category Archives: New York 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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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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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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Dominic Smith Leaves Dominican Winter League Due to Lack of Outfield Reps

The winter league experiment has come to a quick end for New York Mets’ infielder Dominic Smith. Smith is leaving his Dominican team, Toros Del Este, after just seven games, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports. The team released Smith due to a disagreement over how to deploy the player. Smith agreed to participate with the expectation that he would get regular playing time in the outfield, a position the Mets began having him play during the course of the 2018 season. Toros Del Este preferred to use Smith at his natural position of first base, so the parties made a mutual decision to part ways.
Sep 23, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) rounds third base to score a run on a hit by Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (not pictured) during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
The new plan is for Smith to work out stateside in order to get ready for the 2019 season. Smith’s future with the Mets is uncertain after he hit just .224 with five home runs and 11 RBI’s at the big league level in 2018. The Mets have a lot of options at first base with Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores spending time there during the season and Peter Alonso nipping at Smith’s heels in the minors, so the team began playing Smith in left field once they were ravaged with outfield injuries. Smith didn’t look smooth out there at all, but with such a crowded path to the majors the Mets felt that this option was the best way to deploy Smith at the time.
It is also interesting that a Dominican Winter League team showed no interest in playing Smith in the outfield while the Mets are fine to do it at the highest level of professional baseball. Smith is known for having a good glove, and defense is something that the Mets have ignored for far too long. That glove is wasted with Smith playing a corner outfield spot, something Toros Del Este realized quickly and that the Mets have not. Time will tell what happens with Smith in 2019, but it will not come with the benefit of a full winter league season.


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Report: Brodie Van Wagenen In Strong Position to Be New York Mets' Next GM

It has been an interesting 24 hours in the New York Mets’ quest for a new General Manager. The situation surrounding the search for Sandy Alderson’s successor took a dramatic turn last night, when FanCred’s Jon Heyman reported that presumed favorite Doug Melvin was out of the running for the job, leaving only agent Brodie Van Wagenen and Tampa Bay Rays’ executive Chaim Bloom in the mix. Melvin had fit the profile of Fred Wilpon’s preferred executive, a baseball lifer with a background in scouting and player development, so his elimination came as a shock. That means two unlikely candidates are still in the mix, with SNY’s Andy Martino reporting that Van Wagenen is currently in “very strong position” to get the job according to major league sources.
Martino does note that Bloom, who reportedly interviewed well, is not out of the running yet but that the job appears to be Van Wagenen’s to lose. The Mets are not planning to hire both candidates, so the team will probably take the weekend to make a final decision. Major League Baseball highly discourages franchises from making official announcements on hires on the same day as a World Series game, so the earliest the Mets could publicly reveal their choice is either Sunday (if the Boston Red Sox sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers) or Monday (an off day, which is more likely). Word may leak out if the Mets do have a choice made, but the fact that Van Wagenen may get this job is very interesting.
Van Wagenen would be the second straight outside the box hire the Mets have made following manager Mickey Callaway last fall. The idea of hiring an agent to run a baseball team is a new one, but agents have had success running franchises in other sports. The best example would be the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, who hired agent Bob Myers to serve as an assistant GM before taking over the main position in 2012. Myers helped build the Warriors into the NBA’s latest dynasty, and the Los Angeles Lakers managed to land LeBron James over the summer thanks to the efforts of a front office led by another former agent in Rob Pelinka. While basketball and baseball are different sports, it is clear that there is precedent for the idea to work with the right person. Van Wagenen may well get his chance, and if that’s the case it will be very intriguing to see how he tackles the task of trying to build a winner in Queens.


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Report: Doug Melvin Has Emerged as Front Runner For New York Mets' GM Job

Category : Doug Melvin , Mets , New York Mets

The second round of interviews for the New York Mets’ vacant General Manager’s position are underway, but it looks like a front runner is emerging. Milwaukee Brewers’ senior advisor Doug Melvin met with the team yesterday and was part of a conference call where he expressed how the job appealed to him, his openness to working with analytics, and his belief that the Mets could win right away. That sounds like music to the Mets’ ears as multiple sources are telling Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs that Melvin has become the clear favorite to replace Sandy Alderson as the head of the Mets’ baseball operations.
May 26, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets Chairman Fred Wilpon looks on during batting practice before the Mets play the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The fact that Melvin has become the favorite isn’t surprising considering Fred Wilpon’s desire to hire an executive with an extensive background in scouting and player development. That is Melvin’s strong suit, and he has plenty of practical experience in the role, serving as GM for the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers for essentially 22 consecutive years. The fact that Melvin is open to analytics is a positive, but whether or not he is able to convince ownership to devote more resources to that area remains to be seen.
The Mets already brought back Brodie Van Wagenen for his second round interview on Monday and have Chaim Bloom interviewing again today. Bloom is slated to have a conference call with the media tomorrow, and after that the Mets are expected to begin deliberating and try to reach a final decision. The Mets have made it clear that they want to have a new GM in place prior to the November GM meetings, so they are on track to do so if they have their new hire in place next week.


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