MLB Trade Rumors » » New York Mets 2017-10-21T12:05:27Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom Steve Adams <![CDATA[Kevin Long, Manny Acta Reportedly The Favorites In Mets’ Managerial Search]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=105121 2017-10-20T18:12:22Z 2017-10-20T18:12:22Z The Mets are aiming to wrap up their managerial search this weekend with the hope of announcing a new hire before the World Series begins next Tuesday, and they’ve identified current Mets hitting coach Kevin Long and Mariners third base coach Manny Acta as the top two candidates, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Long has been perceived to be the favorite for much of the search, per Sherman, but Acta made a strong impression and is now viewed as a “legitimate possibility” as well.

New York has also interviewed the likes of Astros bench coach Alex Cora, White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing and Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as part of the team’s ongoing search, though multiple reports have indicated that Cora is the heavy favorite to become the next manager of the Red Sox. Both McEwing and Callaway are still “under consideration,” per Sherman, but he characterizes both Long and Acta as more likely options.

Acta is the only party involved in this search with prior managerial experience at the Major League level. The 48-year-old spent two and a half seasons as the Nationals’ manager from 2007-09 before the team rose to prominence in the National League East and was named manager of the Indians the following offseason. Acta has never guided a club to the playoffs, although in fairness to him, the teams he’s managed were never exactly viewed as strong postseason contenders entering the season.

In addition to his six seasons as a big league manager, Acta has managed in the Dominican Winter League and managed the Dominican Republic’s team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Acta carries nearly a decade of Major League coaching experience as well — two years of which came as the Mets’ third base coach under Willie Randolph. A native of the Dominican Republic, Acta’s fluency in Spanish would be beneficial in communicating with Latin American players on the Mets’ roster.

Long, 50, has never managed in the Majors but has experience doing so at the minor league level. He also brings to the table 11 seasons as a Major League hitting coach (2007-14 with the Yankees, 2015-17 with the Mets). The New York Post’s Mike Puma has previously reported that Long “has earned the confidence of team officials for his communication skills and grasp of analytics,” though by all accounts that report came prior to Acta’s interview. Long’s contract expires on Oct. 31, though Sherman notes that he has been promised a job for the 2018 season, as has assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler.

Notably, Sherman adds that Dusty Baker, who will not return as the Nationals’ manager in 2018, “almost certainly will not become” part of the Mets’ search for a new manager after the Nats announced their decision to move on earlier this morning.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Complete Five First-Round Managerial Interviews]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104687 2017-10-20T00:05:35Z 2017-10-19T23:45:23Z The Mets formally removed Terry Collins from his post as manager earlier this month, shifting him to a front office role and embarking on a search to replace the longest-tenured manager in franchise history. Since that time, they’ve been connected to a flurry of names, some speculatively and others more definitively. Reportedly, the Mets began interviewing candidates earlier this week.

As we’ve done with the Tigers, Phillies, and Red Sox, we’ll house all of the managerial chatter for the Mets in one place and update accordingly as candidates either further their case or are removed from consideration. Here’s where the Mets’ search stands, at present:

Latest Updates

  • The Mets appear to have wrapped up their first round of interviews, per Marc Carig of Newsday (via Twitter). New York doesn’t have plans to meet with Indians coach Sandy Alomar Jr., though Mike Puma of the New York Post hears Alomar or even other candidates could conceivably still enter the picture.
  • What is clear at this point is that there’s a slate of five candidates to have completed first-round interviews: Joe McEwing, Kevin Long, Alex Cora, Mickey Callaway, and Manny Acta. As Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald writes, though, the expectation remains that Cora will end up getting the Red Sox’ job, which would potentially knock the field back to four. There’s no indication as of yet as to which of these candidates will be brought back for a second meeting, though Puma says that process will begin next week.

Will Interview/Have Interviewed

  • White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing has had his interview, as Mike Puma of the New York Post recently reported (via Twitter).  The former big league utilityman has been in the Chicago organization since 2008, working as a minor league coach and manager before being promoted to the big league coaching staff; McEwing served as the bench coach last season after five years as the Sos third base coach.
  • Mets hitting coach Kevin Long has interviewed for the position, as Mike Puma of the New York Post first reported. Long has minor league managerial experience in addition to 11 seasons as a Major League hitting coach (2007-14 with the Yankees, 2015-17 with the Mets). Long, Puma writes, has earned the trust of the Mets’ front office with his communication skills and grasp of analytics. He’s not currently signed beyond the 2017 season. [Update: Long has had his interview, Newsday’s Marc Carig tweets.]
  • ESPN’s Marly Rivera reports that Astros bench coach Alex Cora is part of the Mets’ first wave of managerial interviews (Twitter link). Cora has experience managing in winter ball in addition to his current role as Houston’s bench coach and is a coveted managerial candidate; he’s also reportedly set for an interview with the Tigers and has been connected to the Red Sox as well.
  • The Mets sat down with Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway on Wednesday, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). Previously, we had learned that the team was “expected to show interest” in Callaway, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweeted. Callaway is regarded as one of the game’s best in his current role, but he’s beginning to garner managerial interest around the game as well.
  • New York is also interviewing Manny Acta, per ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter). Acta is currently the Mariners’ third base coach — a position he once held with the Mets — and has previously skippered the Nationals and Indians.

Not in the Mix/No Longer in Consideration

  • While the Mets had “serious interest” in recently dismissed Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, according to Peter Gammons (Twitter link), that was evidently not reciprocal. Ausmus has decided not to pursue the position. Former White Sox skipper Robin Ventura, too, is said not to have much interest in the opportunity. (Ventura tells Puma that he was not specifically rejecting interest from the Mets. Rather, he is “not pursuing any of the [current managerial] openings,” he says.) Likewise, Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren and A’s third base coach Chip Hale aren’t under consideration, per Marc Carig of Newsday. Those potential candidates were among the preliminary names under consideration, as listed by Carig (with FanRag’s Jon Heyman, the New York Post’s Mike Puma, and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News also reporting).
  • One other previously cited possibility, Indians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr., is not presently scheduled to meet with the team as it moves to second-round interviews, Carig tweets. But it’s at least theoretically possible still that he or others could yet be considered, Puma writes.
  • Carig reports that the Mets don’t have interest in pursuing recently fired Red Sox skipper John Farrell (Twitter link).
  • Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo, who had previously been rumored to be in the mix for the job, is not a consideration according to Puma (on Twitter).
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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Could Frazier Be A Fit For Mets?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104978 2017-10-18T04:44:48Z 2017-10-18T04:44:48Z
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post makes a case for the Mets to bring Todd Frazier on board as a free agent this offseason. Frazier’s penchant for drawing walks and slugging homers are appealing to GM Sandy Alderson, Sherman writes, and he could help the team in the likely event that David Wright again misses significant time due to injury or should Dominic Smith prove to need further minor league refinement. Frazier’s clubhouse persona would also be a boost for a team that is trying to alter its clubhouse culture for the better. It’s possible that clubs in more dire need of a third baseman would offer more than the Mets, though Sherman also points out that the New Jersey native could be particularly intrigued by playing close to his home.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brad Ausmus Interviews With Red Sox, Is Not Interested In Mets]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104880 2017-10-16T22:12:50Z 2017-10-16T21:51:04Z Since losing his job as the Tigers skipper  a few weeks back, Brad Ausmus has drawn quite a lot of interest from other organizations looking to replace outgoing managers. Ausmus interviewed today with the Red Sox, per Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald (via Twitter), but has pulled out of the running for the Mets’ job, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag.

    Boston recently announced that it would move on from manager John Farrell, opening one of the game’s premium posts. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski hired Ausmus to his former job in Detroit, leading to immediate speculation about a possible match.

    While some believe that others are more likely to earn the position — Alex Cora, in particular, has drawn plenty of attention — there’s obvious reason to suspect that Ausmus will be strongly considered. We have been tracking the early-stage developments in Boston’s search right here.

    As for the Mets’ job, it’s interesting to hear that Ausmus has pulled out of the hunt before meeting with the organization or landing elsewhere. New York was said to have real interest in Ausmus, and certainly has a talent-laden roster in spite of an undeniably rough 2017 campaign. Of course, we don’t know just what considerations Ausmus is bringing to bear on the situation; as Heyman notes, he does have particular ties to the broader area surrounding Boston, though New York is the next closest MLB city to that particular region (and is even closer to Ausmus’s hometown of New Haven, Connecticut).

    In any event, that leaves New York considering a variety of alternatives. One other notable former MLB skipper that won’t be under consideration, it seems, is former White Sox manager Robin Ventura. He “does not appear to have a strong interest” in the Mets’ job, per Heyman’s report, despite being mentioned as a possible candidate previously. The team’s other candidates (including Cora) are covered in this omnibus post on the search for a Terry Collins replacement.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Offseason Outlook: New York Mets]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104451 2017-10-15T03:19:40Z 2017-10-15T01:50:00Z MLBTR is publishing Offseason Outlooks for all 30 teams.  Click here for the other entries in this series.

    After preventing left fielder Yoenis Cespedes from departing in free agency last offseason, the Mets entered 2017 on the shortlist of potential contenders in the National League. But injuries and down years beset nearly all of the Mets’ top players this season, leading to a 70-win campaign and the end of Terry Collins’ run as their manager. GM Sandy Alderson & Co. are currently searching for Collins’ replacement, but regardless of who’s atop the dugout next season, roster improvements are clearly in order.

    Guaranteed Contracts

    Contract Options

    Arbitration-Eligible Players (service time in parentheses; projections via Matt Swartz)

    Free Agents

    [Mets Depth Chart; Mets Payroll Information]

    The Mets were never able to get off the mat after a 10-14 April, and as the season wore on, it became obvious Alderson was going to sell the team’s free agents-to-be in the summer. Ultimately, with the exception of Jose Reyes, Alderson dealt every notable Met on an expiring contract either before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline or prior to the Aug. 31 waiver deadline. During those two months, the Mets said goodbye to outfielders Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce, first baseman Lucas Duda, second baseman Neil Walker and reliever Addison Reed, among a couple others. All five of those players weighed heavily into the Mets’ franchise-record $155MM Opening Day payroll, a figure that will reportedly decrease by around $20MM in 2018. When factoring in the Mets’ arbitration projections and a couple club options they’re likely to exercise, roughly $100MM of their payroll for next season already looks settled. As such, New York probably won’t be a major player for the premier members of this offseason’s free agent class. That means Alderson is going to have to strike gold on some bargain pickups in order to help the team return to contention.

    There’s a litany of question marks on the Mets’ roster heading into the offseason, but the most suspect area may be their infield. Aside from 21-year-old starting shortstop Amed Rosario – who, despite his elite prospect pedigree, struggled in his first 170 big league plate appearances – it’s anyone’s guess how the four-man unit will look in 2018. Third baseman and franchise icon David Wright will continue to loom over the Mets’ payroll through the next three years, but upper body injuries have prevented him from playing in the bigs since May 1, 2016, and he just underwent yet another surgery. The Mets can’t count on Wright to bounce back, something Alderson realizes, so they’re going to have to figure out what to do at the hot corner.

    With Wright sidelined for all of 2017, Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera combined to fare decently, but that doesn’t mean any are locks to start at third next season. Reyes is probably done as a Met, while they’ll have to make a decision on Cabrera’s $8.5MM option. The Mets will have to pay Cabrera a $2MM buyout if they decline to bring him back, which looks unlikely. After all, the 31-year-old has offered solid offensive production during his two-season tenure as a Met, and he’s capable of playing multiple infield positions. Flores and Rivera also bring respectable bats and defensive versatility to the table, making them strong bets to continue factoring in across the infield.

    Should Cabrera, Flores and Rivera stays in their plans (and if Rivera’s recovery from Tommy John surgery goes smoothly), the Mets might not feel obligated to make any significant changes at either third or second, but if they do, there will be some reasonably priced options available in the coming weeks. Mike Moustakas figures to be out of the Mets’ price range at third, though fellow impending free agents Todd Frazier (a New Jersey native), Eduardo Nunez and, if he’s willing to move off shortstop, Zack Cozart might be fits. Nunez or Cozart could be solutions at second, too, which also holds true for Walker – who enjoyed his stint with the MetsHowie Kendrick and trade candidates such as Ian Kinsler (Tigers), Yangervis Solarte (Padres) and Logan Forsythe (Dodgers). The speedy Nunez stands out as an especially intriguing possibility for a team that stole the majors’ fourth-fewest bases in 2017 (58) and finished fifth from the bottom in FanGraphs’ BsR metric. Notably, no Met acquitted himself better in either of those departments this season than Reyes, so losing him and adding Nunez would essentially be a lateral move from a baserunning standpoint.

    As right-handed hitters, Flores and Rivera could be platoon mates at first for the lefty-swinging Dominic Smith, but the Mets might want to find an upgrade there. Smith, who debuted with the Mets in August as a top 100 prospect, was woeful during his 183-PA introduction in 2017. While the Mets don’t necessarily have to abandon hope on the 22-year-old, they also shouldn’t hand him the job at first next season if their goal is to contend. With three minor league options remaining, Smith could go back to Triple-A while the Mets turn to a more established player at first. That’s not to suggest they’ll splurge on Eric Hosmer or Carlos Santana, but Bruce, Duda, Yonder Alonso, Logan Morrison and Mitch Moreland may be on their radar as more payroll-friendly types (admittedly, giving Smith another shot might make more sense than turning to the mediocre Moreland).

    As Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted last month, Bruce could also act as a right field fill-in if breakout star Michael Conforto’s late-season shoulder surgery keeps him out of action in early 2018. Conforto’s injury somewhat clouds the outfield picture, but it still seems fair to surmise that the Mets’ alignment in the grass next season will mostly consist of him and Cespedes flanking a Juan Lagares/Brandon Nimmo tandem in center. With those players on hand, the Mets could cut ties with expensive reserve Nori Aoki. Although Aoki performed well after signing with the Mets late in the season, his low-ceiling skillset may not be worth $6MM-plus to a team with many holes and limited spending room.

    While the Mets’ group of position players has plenty of issues – including behind the plate, arguably, though it appears they’ll stay the course with Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki –  their pitching was the weaker area in 2017, surprisingly enough. The Mets’ staff looked elite coming into the year, but their starters and relievers wound up recording the majors’ third-highest ERA (5.01) and 10th-worst fWAR (10.0). Injuries were at fault to a degree, especially considering fireballer and all-world ace Noah Syndergaard was barely available on account of a torn right lat. Syndergaard sat out all of May, June, July and August, limiting him to 30 1/3 innings on the year, but he returned late in campaign and figures to take the ball on Opening Day in 2018.

    If healthy, Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are about as good as it gets atop a rotation, but certainty is difficult to find anywhere else among the Mets’ cadre of starters. Former ace Matt Harvey will be back in his last year of arbitration eligibility, and while it does make sense to tender him a contract, his leash may be short next season. In his first action since undergoing July 2016 thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, Harvey pitched to a 6.70 ERA/6.37 FIP across 92 2/3 innings. More of that next year could send him to the bullpen or out of New York entirely. Harvey certainly wasn’t the only Mets starter who disappointed this season, though, as Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler were also ineffective before seeing their years end early thanks to arm problems. The fact that they opened the season with durability concerns makes their truncated, below-average 2017s all the more troubling. Meanwhile, the other Mets who amassed double-digit starts – Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo and Rafael Montero – also failed to distinguish themselves as rotation locks this year. The only member of the trio without any options left is Montero, which means he could find himself out of the organization if he doesn’t at least crack the Mets’ bullpen next spring.

    The Mets clearly have enough arms to fill in a rotation behind Syndergaard and deGrom, but as evidenced above, there’s substantial risk with each of those hurlers. As such, it would behoove the Mets to search for a competent innings eater – something they had in Bartolo Colon from 2014-16. If they’re not in big-spending mode, expecting to find the type of production Colon offered during that three-year stretch may be unrealistic, but there will still be affordable free agents who could help their cause. Doug Fister was on the Mets’ radar early in 2017 and is due to reach the market again after an encouraging showing in Boston. Other potential targets in free agency may include CC Sabathia (it’s hard to imagine the Yankees not re-signing him, though), Jaime Garcia, Jhoulys Chacin, Jeremy Hellickson, John Lackey, Jason Vargas, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman, to name several.

    Moving to the bullpen, there will be an array of quality relievers available in free agency, which is good news for a Mets club on the lookout for late-game stability. Jeurys Familia, like many other Mets, was both injured and unspectacular in 2017, pitching to a 4.38 ERA and walking nearly 5.5 batters per nine innings over 24 2/3 frames. His struggles played a part in the Mets’ bullpen posting the majors’ second-worst ERA (4.82) and fifth-lowest fWAR (1.2). Only one bullpen – the Brewers’ – recorded a higher walk rate than the Mets’ 4.25 per nine, while just eight induced fewer groundballs. The Mets’ woes in the walk department came despite having Reed for the majority of the season. Reed put up an extremely impressive 1.1 BB/9 in 49 innings with the Mets this year, and he’s one of several control artists headed for the open market. As shown in the previous link, no free agent-to-be combines appealing walk and grounder rates like Brandon Kintzler, who was top seven this year among impending FA relievers in each category. If signed, he’d join Familia, Jerry Blevins and AJ Ramos as the Mets’ go-to arms in high-leverage spots. However, the Mets may opt for a far more strikeout-minded reliever(s) than Kintzler, who barely punched out four batters per nine innings this season.

    Evidenced in part by their pitching staff, a lot has changed in the past year for the Mets, who went into last offseason bent on keeping a playoff-caliber roster intact. Twelve months later, they’re an NL also-ran that closed this season with a dreadful record and the league’s third-worst run differential (minus-128). Better health alone will prevent such a poor finish from happening again in 2018, but management will have to make a variety of shrewd moves this winter in order to restore the club to the winning ways it displayed from 2015-16.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Begin Managerial Interviews]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104580 2017-10-11T19:48:48Z 2017-10-11T18:21:54Z
  • The Mets are beginning to conduct interviews as they search for a successor to outgoing manager Terry Collins, Marc Carig of Newsday tweets. At this point, it’s just preliminary chats with potential candidates. The first round will likely carry over into next week, though perhaps it’s also fair to wonder if the club will wait for other possible options that are currently unavailable due to postseason involvement.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets To Land Syracuse As Triple-A Affiliate]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104499 2017-10-10T13:19:40Z 2017-10-10T04:57:18Z Currently in the last year of his contract, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been noncommittal about his future in recent weeks. On the heels of a rough few days for Girardi, ESPN’s Buster Olney says he expects Girardi’s time as the Yankees’ skipper to conclude at season’s end (podcast link). Of course, things are beginning to look quite a bit different than they did after a baffling Girardi decision that likely cost them Game 2. Now, the ALDS is tied and the Yankees could well find themselves among the last four teams standing, depending upon the outcome of the decisive game in Cleveland. Regardless of how things play out from this point forward, the long-experienced skipper will surely land on his feet, though Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that some believe Girardi may be interested in some time away from the grind. Interestingly, the Mets have actually talked about Girardi as a possible successor to the ousted Terry Collins, but they “fully expect” him to stay in the Bronx, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets.

    • The Mets and Nationals will both undergo some changes at the highest level of their farm systems, as Mark Weiner of Syracuse.com writes. The New York organization has agreed to buy the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, which previously had an affiliate agreement with the Nats. It’s not clear at this point where the Washington organization will end up parking its Triple-A club in the future, though the change evidently will not take place until after the 2018 season.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brad Ausmus A Candidate To Become Mets' Manager]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104448 2017-10-09T03:07:31Z 2017-10-09T02:58:40Z
  • Brad Ausmus is on the Mets’ radar as they search for a successor to Terry Collins, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag, who adds that the two sides have had one conversation to date. Ausmus managed the Tigers to a 314-332 record over the past four seasons, including a major league-worst 64-98 mark this year, and one playoff appearance (in 2014). With the Tigers in the beginning of a full rebuild, they decided before the season ended that they wouldn’t re-sign the 48-year-old Ausmus.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Boras On Matt Harvey's Offseason Plans]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104309 2017-10-07T06:38:41Z 2017-10-07T01:50:21Z
  • Agent Scott Boras discussed the offseason challenges facing his client, Mets righty Matt Harveywith Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Harvey will work through “a substantial throwing program” in which he’ll work on restoring his command and release point, says Boras. While the veteran player rep didn’t sugarcoat the situation, he did note that Harvey has at least already regained much of his velocity and will have a better opportunity to iron things out this offseason.
  • The Mets have hired a new Triple-A manager. Per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, via Twitter, the club has tapped Tony DeFrancesco to run the dugout at Las Vegas. He had held the same job at the Astros’ top affiliate for the last seven seasons, but a change was made at the end of the year. Of course, the Mets are still weighing a more significant managerial hire at the MLB level.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Bruce, Alomar]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104285 2017-10-06T18:59:45Z 2017-10-06T18:59:45Z With Jay Bruce enjoying a big night in Game One of the ALDS, the Indians’ official Twitter account couldn’t resist a pretty pointed tweet at the Yankees, who came up short in their bid to acquire Bruce from the Mets last summer.  Ken Davidoff of the New York Post recaps how negotiations between the Mets and Yankees broke down, not only because Cleveland was willing to absorb all of Bruce’s remaining salary, but also because “the Mets didn’t like one bit the idea of Bruce helping the Yankees’ pennant drive” given the inter-Big Apple rivalry.  Bruce was a big contributor down the stretch for the Tribe (hitting .248/.331/.477 with seven homers over 169 PA) then went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI in last night’s victory.

    • In more Mets/Indians news, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (Twitter link) that Tribe first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. “has received strong consideration” for an interview about the Mets’ managerial opening.  Alomar has been a member of Cleveland’s coaching staff for eight years, serving at first base except for a two-year stint as bench coach in 2012-13 that also included a six-game stint as interim manager at the end of the 2012 season.  Alomar has been linked to several managerial jobs over the years and has links to the Mets — he played his last season with the Amazins and spent his first two years as a coach in the Mets organization as a roving catching instructor.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[David Wright Undergoes Back Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104209 2017-10-05T22:26:01Z 2017-10-05T22:24:23Z The Mets announced on Thursday that third baseman David Wright underwent a back procedure known as a laminotomy (Mayo Clinic link detailing the surgery).  The 34-year-old Wright also had shoulder surgery back in September, but he made clear today that he has no plans to retire despite his considerable injury woes in recent years.

    “Through this entire rehab process, I have been driven to get back on the field as quickly as I can,” said Wright in a statement. “That’s why I had the shoulder surgery and that’s why today I underwent back surgery to reduce the risk of further issues going forward. With these two surgeries behind me, I hope to be able to put on a Mets uniform again as soon as possible. My desire to play is as strong as ever.”

    It’s now been more than 16 months since Wright last suited up for a big league game, as his career has been slowed dramatically by a diagnosis of spinal stenosis and myriad neck, shoulder and back issues over the past several years. Wright at one point looked to be carving out a path to Cooperstown, but he’s now played just 75 games since the conclusion of the 2014 season.

    For the Mets, Wright’s latest surgery changes little. General manager Sandy Alderson has already acknowledged that Wright’s “uncertain” status will have to be accounted for this winter, suggesting that the team will at the very least be on the hunt for an experienced depth option. Speculatively speaking, it certainly seems plausible that the team seeks to add a more established option — possibly one with some versatility that can play multiple spots on the diamond.

    As for Wright, he’s still owed $47MM through the 2020 season as part of his eight-year, $138MM contract. As much of 75 percent of next year’s $20MM salary is insured, so the Mets will receive some financial compensation if he misses significant time once again in the 2018 campaign.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Expected To Reach Two-Year Deal With Sandy Alderson]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104178 2017-10-05T16:00:17Z 2017-10-05T16:00:17Z We have heard already that the Mets are expected to retain GM Sandy Alderson, but the details of the arrangement have not yet been made clear. That soon figures to change, as Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the organization is expected to announce that Alderson will sign on for two more seasons at the helm of the baseball operations department.

    Alderson will face a major challenge this winter as he attempts to resurrect the core that he built. While the Mets still possess a variety of highly talented players, many face ongoing health or performance questions and there are quite a few roster needs to address. Some solutions may well come from in-house sources, though there will be quite a lot of public pressure for the club to add some new faces to a roster that managed only 70 wins this year after making the postseason in each of the prior two campaigns.

    Complicating matters, it seems likely that the organization will trim payroll after opening the 2017 season at over $150MM. The team only has $55.5MM committed in 2018 salary — not including Asdrubal Cabrera’s $8.5MM option or its $2MM buyout — but it also likely faces upwards of $40MM in arbitration obligations.

    Alderson also needs to settle on a new manager after the organization decided not to retain Terry Collins in that role. All things considered, it figures to be a rather busy offseason for the front office. Even if the club does not end up making a large volume of transactions, it’ll need to look into as many opportunities as possible to find a path to a resurgence.

    The two-year term appears to suggest that Alderson continues to enjoy the full support of ownership. He’ll soon celebrate his 70th birthday and underwent treatment for cancer last year, so it’s not altogether clear whether he’ll have interest in running things beyond that point. It will be interesting to see whether the club uses this opportunity to sketch out a broader transition plan; as Ackert notes, it still appears that assistant GM John Ricco could be in line to succeed Alderson at some point.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Likely Interested In Dave Eiland As Pitching Coach]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=104038 2017-10-04T04:17:16Z 2017-10-04T04:17:16Z
  • Outgoing Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland looks like a candidate for the Mets’ own pitching coach vacancy, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets.  Eiland has spent the last six years with the Royals and has some prior experience in the Big Apple, serving as the Yankees’ pitching coach from 2008-10.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Long Will Get Consideration As Manager; Changes Coming To Triple-A Coaching Staff]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103962 2017-10-03T21:46:38Z 2017-10-03T21:46:25Z Since the Mets shook up their staff earlier today, a flurry of other coaching changes have been announced by teams that didn’t make the playoffs. We’ve also gained some insight into the hunt to fill some of the sudden coaching vacancies. Here’s what we’ve learned so far…

    • The Rays intend to promote Triple-A pitching coach Kyle Snyder to the big league job, and also move third base coach Charlie Montoyo to bench coach, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).  Snyder spent parts of five seasons with the Royals and Red Sox from 2003-08, including tossing 54 1/3 relief innings for Boston during its World Series championship season in 2007.  Snyder has been a pitching coach in the Rays organization since 2012 and he has been at Triple-A Durham since 2015.  Montoyo has been part of Tampa’s organization since 1997, serving at a minor league manager at all levels before taking the third base coaching job in 2015.  The Tigers and Mets have both reportedly shown interest in Montoyo as a managerial candidate, so his promotion to bench coach could presumably be short-lived if he is offered a managing job.
    • In addition to the changes made earlier today, Mets GM Sandy Alderson has forecasted a “major changes” at Triple-A Las Vegas, James Wagner of the New York Times reports via Twitter. In another tweet, he quotes Alderson saying that hitting coach Kevin Long will be given “strong consideration” for the Amazins’ managerial opening.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Announce Changes To Coaching Staff]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103937 2017-10-03T14:03:25Z 2017-10-03T13:49:55Z The Mets formally announced on Tuesday what has been widely expected and reported for weeks: Terry Collins is out as the team’s manager and has accepted a role as a special assistant to general manager Sandy Alderson (as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported over the weekend). Beyond that, the Mets made formal the decision to dismiss pitching coach Dan Warthen, and they’ve also cut ties with head trainer Ray Ramirez. The rest of the team’s training and conditioning staff will return, and Warthen has been offered another role in the organization.

    The Mets will retain hitting coach Kevin Long and assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler as well as third base coach Glenn Sherlock. The team hasn’t cut bench coach Dick Scott, first base coach Tom Goodwin or bullpen coach Ricky Bones, but each will be granted permission to speak with other teams once a new manager is selected. Notably, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported earlier this morning that the Mets will begin their managerial search, in earnest, this week.

    Among the top external candidates, as previously reported by Puma and others, are Astros bench coach Alex Cora and Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren (who formerly served as the Mets’ bench coach under Terry Collins). The Mets, Puma writes, may try to get permission to interview Cora and Geren this week before their respective teams begin postseason play in the divisional series. He also suggested that Scott could be given the opportunity to interview as Collins’ replacement.

    Regarding the pitching coach vacancy, Puma wrote that Bones is a top candidate to step into that role, which could open an opportunity for former Mets closer John Franco to interview as the team’s new bullpen coach. The 57-year-old Franco, who spent 14 seasons pitching for the Mets, has interest in coaching for his former team, according to Puma.

    Ramirez’s dismissal as head trainer comes on the heels of one of the most injury-plagued seasons for any team in recent memory. While it’s certainly not fair to pin the entirety of the team’s injury woes on him, it’s long seemed possible that the staggering amount of Mets injuries this year would have some type of ramifications on the training/medical staff.

    Noah Syndergaard missed most of the season with a torn lat muscle that was suffered after his now infamous decision to refuse an MRI. The Mets were also without Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler for much of the season due to various arm injuries (including a partial tear of Lugo’s UCL), while Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker, T.J. Rivera and Michael Conforto all suffered injuries on the position-player side of the equation. All of that is in addition to a season-long absence for David Wright, though his health has been an ongoing issue for the past couple of seasons as he tries to work his way back from shoulder and neck surgeries.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Alderson, Warthen, Payroll]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103838 2017-10-02T03:25:05Z 2017-10-02T03:25:05Z The latest from Citi Field…

    • Sandy Alderson said he’ll be back with the Mets next season, the general manager told Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News and other reporters.  It has been widely expected that Alderson would return to the front office in 2018 even though his contract is up at the end of this season.  (There have been no details about an extension, and one may not yet exist, other than perhaps a handshake deal between Alderson and Mets ownership.)  There is some question as to whether or not Alderson will continue as GM, as there have been rumors that assistant general manager John Rizzo could take a larger role in the baseball operations department.  “I am very happy with the [front office] personnel we have.  The question is do we have the right organization structure, do we have all the right things that a season like this would cause us to take a look at.”
    • Noah Syndergaard gave pitching coach Dan Warthen a strong vote of confidence, telling Ackert and other reporters that “in my opinion, I think he is what’s best for our pitching staff and I want him to be my pitching coach for the remainder of my career.”  With a managerial change in the offing, there has naturally been speculation about the Mets’ coaching staff, with Warthen potentially on the way out after nine and a half years as the pitching coach.
    • Better health (especially with the starting rotation) is the biggest roster concern facing the Mets, Alderson said, via James Wagner of the New York Times.  The Mets’ offseason shopping list includes one or two hitters and Alderson likes the “foundation of the bullpen,” which could imply that New York will be looking for complementary arms to build around AJ Ramos, Jeurys Familia and Jerry Blevins.
    • The Mets are likely to cut salaries for next season, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post hearing that the payroll would drop as much as $20MM from their Opening Day 2017 payroll of just under $155MM.  Sherman lists five offseason moves the Mets could make while spending modestly, including getting mid-tier relievers or innings-eatings starters, addressing second and third base (including exercising Asdrubal Cabrera’s club option) and installing Juan Lagares as the regular center fielder to upgrade the outfield defense.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Terry Collins To Step Down As Mets’ Manager, Move To Front Office]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103804 2017-10-01T20:16:31Z 2017-10-01T19:51:47Z Terry Collins will resign as the Mets’ manager after Sunday’s game and shift to the team’s front office, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (on Twitter).

    Terry Collins

    Collins’ exit from the Mets’ dugout comes as no surprise, as the expectation was that the team would part with him on the heels of a tumultuous, injury-laden season. The 68-year-old has overseen a 70-91 club this season, one that entered 2017 with championship aspirations. Along the way, Collins reportedly lost the favor of some of the Mets’ front office decision makers and players.

    While this will go down as a Murphy’s Law season for Collins and the Mets, his tenure as the team’s manager was successful overall. The Mets hired Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson after the 2010 season and have since posted a sub-.500 record (550-582), but they went to the playoffs twice in a row in 2015-16 for just the second time in franchise history. The high point of the Collins era was the Mets’ NL pennant-winning season in 2015, when the Royals upended them in five games to claim a World Series title.

    Before taking the reins in New York, Collins managed the Astros from 1994-96 and the Angels between 1997-99. He mustered a plus-.500 record in Houston (224-197), the only place he achieved that feat. All told, Collins entered Sunday with a 995-1,016 mark across 13 seasons as a big league manager.

    As is the case with Collins, Alderson is in a contract year. He’s expected to remain in his post, though, and will oversee the hiring of the Mets’ next manager. New York has already reached out to potential Collins replacements, and there have been reports linking the club to Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo and former or current Mets Robin Ventura, Alex Cora, Kevin Long, Bob Geren, and Chip Hale.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Sandy Alderson Discusses Finger-Pointing At Terry Collins]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103760 2017-09-30T23:19:22Z 2017-09-30T23:08:58Z Mets general manager Sandy Alderson isn’t pleased with the in-house finger-pointing directed at manager Terry Collins, who’s likely in his final season with the club. Alderson told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com and other reporters Saturday that he “was exceptionally disappointed” in the member(s) of the front office who said earlier this week that Collins has lost favor with the team’s management. The GM added that “were I to know who that person was, that person would be terminated immediately. I think that this story and the aftermath overshadows, to this point, seven years of outstanding service” from Collins. Asked whether Collins has contributed to the Mets’ injury woes by overworking his players – something one club official has accused him of – Alderson said, “No, I wouldn’t agree to any of the substance of that conversation.”

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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Robin Ventura, Kevin Long Top Candidates To Replace Terry Collins]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103736 2017-10-01T02:42:30Z 2017-09-30T15:45:19Z Former White Sox manager Robin Ventura and current Mets hitting coach Kevin Long are the favorites to replace Terry Collins as the Mets’ manager, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. Collins, of course, still has the job, but is widely expected not to be retained when the season ends, and the Mets have reportedly already begun the process of reaching out to replacements. Ventura, Long, and other rumored candidates (including Alex Cora, Bob Geren and Chip Hale) have ties to the Mets. Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo is another potential candidate. Here’s more from the NL.

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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Mets Have Already Reached Out To Potential Replacements For Terry Collins]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103729 2017-09-30T13:40:12Z 2017-09-30T13:40:12Z That the Mets don’t plan to retain manager Terry Collins next season is baseball’s worst-kept secret. Today, Adam Rubin tweets a new wrinkle to the story — the team has already been in touch with potential replacements, he reports.

    It’s unclear who the Mets have contacted, although there have already been reports linking them to Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo, as well as former or current Mets Robin Ventura, Alex Cora, Kevin Long, Bob Geren, and Chip Hale. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and GM Sandy Alderson have reportedly attempted to fire Collins at various points over his seven-year stint at the Mets’ manager, only to be blocked by owner Fred Wilpon. It now appears that Fred Wilpon will not intervene to save Collins’ job. Via Newsday’s Marc Carig, the Mets’ front office takes issue with Collins’ leadership style, as well as his use of relievers like Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed to pitch on consecutive days.

    Collins has managed the Mets for seven seasons, posting a 550-582 record in that period, including 69-91 this year. His contract expires at the end of this season. Despite frequent reports about the possibility the Mets will dismiss him, he has indicated he doesn’t plan to retire.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Managerial Notes: Mets, Phillies, Klentak, Bochy, Guillen]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103715 2017-09-30T02:48:14Z 2017-09-30T02:46:22Z David Wright and Jacob deGrom were two of several Mets players who criticized teammates for anonymously criticizing manager Terry Collins in a recent piece by Newsday’s Marc Carig.  “It was cowardly, in my opinion,” Wright told Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.  “I have been very fortunate in my career.  I haven’t had too many gripes, but when I did, I went and talked to Terry or whoever the manager is.  His door has always been open and he’s always listened.”  It seems a foregone conclusion that Collins won’t return to manage the Mets in 2018, and the manager himself didn’t want to comment on many of items in Carig’s piece, other than to take exception to the idea that his usage of Jeurys Familia contributed to the reliever’s surgery to address an arterial clot in his right shoulder.

    Some more managerial notes from around baseball…

    • In my mind, we have reached a turning point in this rebuild,” Phillies GM Matt Klentak told reporters (including PhillyVoice.com’s Ryan Lawrence) about why Pete Mackanin was moved to a front office position rather than manage the Phils next season.  “We see our roster right now is littered with young players who look to have a very, very bright future. It’s time to look forward. That’s the message today: it’s time to look forward.”  In Lawrence’s view, Klentak’s answers were somewhat indirect, especially since Mackanin was just given a contract extension in May.  Both Lawrence and Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer believe Klentak is now taking a larger role in the Phillies’ rebuild, given that several of the team’s top young talents were brought into the organization by previous (since fired) front office personnel.  Brookover figures the new skipper will be younger and more analytically-minded, and he cites Dusty Wathan as “the smart choice” for the job since Wathan is so familiar with Philadelphia’s young players.  Wathan has managed in the Phillies’ farm system for the last decade, including managing the Triple-A affiliate in 2017.
    • Sources close to Giants manager Bruce Bochy believe he’ll certainly stay on until his contract is up after the 2019 season, CSNBayArea.com’s Alex Pavlovic writes.  Despite the Giants’ dreadful season, there is no danger of Bochy being fired, and though the manager has undergone some health issues in recent years, Bochy is intent on righting the ship next year.  “I want to leave the Giants organization better than when I came here and I want to get this team back on track. This is my passion,” Bochy said.
    • Ozzie Guillen hasn’t received an interview request since being fired by Miami four years ago, but the former Marlins and White Sox manager is still hopeful of another chance at managing a big league team, he tells Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.  Fenech believes Guillen would be an interesting candidate for the Tigers job as the club embarks on a rebuilding process, though it isn’t clear whether Guillen is one of the names under consideration for the job.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Interested In Rays' Charlie Montoyo As Managerial Candidate]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103675 2017-09-29T22:22:04Z 2017-09-29T22:22:04Z The Mets have an interest in talking to Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo about their upcoming managerial vacancy, Adam Rubin reports (Twitter link).  Montoyo has been a fixture in the Rays organization even before the franchise’s first MLB game, managing his way up the farm system ranks from 1997-2014, including eight years at Triple-A Durham.  He joined the big league staff in his current role prior to the 2015 season after receiving some consideration for the manager’s job that eventually went to Kevin Cash.  Montoyo also interviewed with the Mariners prior to Scott Servais’ hiring.  With Terry Collins widely expected to not be returning to the Mets’ dugout in 2018, Montoyo is the latest of several names already rumored to be in the running to be New York’s new manager.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets’ Owner Reportedly Halted Terry Collins’ Dismissal In Previous Years]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103609 2017-09-29T02:29:40Z 2017-09-29T02:29:44Z 9:29pm: Puma and colleague Joel Sherman add more context to the story, reporting that Collins was on the brink of being fired last season when Fred Wilpon intervened. The Mets went on to rally and make a Wild Card appearance, which helped Collins’ cause. Alderson & Co. were also debating a managerial change at multiple points this season, per the Post duo.

    Puma and Sherman add that Collins’ heavy usage of Familia early in the year flew directly in the face of advice from the front office. They also note that the absence of David Wright and the trade of Curtis Granderson removed two of the team’s most important veterans in terms of maintaining clubhouse order.

    9:00pm: In a revealing, must-read piece for Newsday, Marc Carig reports that owner Fred Wilpon protected manager Terry Collins from being dismissed by COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson at multiple times over the course of Collins’ seven-year tenure as the team’s skipper. There have been multiple reports suggesting that Collins may not be back with the team in 2018, and the New York Post’s Mike Puma recently reported that if the decision is made to move on from Collins, the elder Wilpon isn’t likely to veto the decision this time around.

    Carig cites “more than a dozen team insiders” in reporting that Collins has lost favor in the front office due to a lack of responsiveness to analytics, his overworking of multiple relievers and a clubhouse in which he’s lost control. As Carig points out, Collins rode Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed, Fernando Salas, Hansel Robles and Jeurys Familia extremely hard in the season’s first six to seven weeks; there were 21 non-Mets pitchers that had five or more appearances on zero days of rest by mid-May, while each of those five had already had five or more such outings. One club official tells Carig that Collins “abuses” relievers by overworking them and simply “doesn’t listen” when approached by the front office about extra rest for the ’pen.

    Moreover, Carig spoke to a number of unnamed Mets players that suggested that Collins made his preference to give playing time to veterans over rookies perfectly clear. When the Mets traded away most of their veterans in July and August, the clubhouse was comprised largely of younger players who “had grown to resent the manager,” Carig writes. One Mets player states that Collins has always been “difficult” to communicate with, and another more bluntly tells Carig that following the wave of summer trades: “We were all miserable.”

    Beyond Collins, the future of both pitching coach Dan Warthen and hitting coach Kevin Long is uncertain. Warthen’s potential exit has been reported on previously (most recently by Puma), and Carig writes that it’s not clear if Long would remain with the club if he’s not given consideration for a potential managerial vacancy. Carig’s column contains quotes from numerous team officials and players alike and shines plenty of new light on the disconnect between the dugout and front office.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Interested In Extending Jacob deGrom's Contract]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103565 2017-09-29T00:32:17Z 2017-09-29T00:32:17Z
  • The Mets will likely try to extend right-hander Jacob deGrom in the coming months, per Heyman. DeGrom has been the only Mets starter to survive their injury onslaught this year, turning in yet another excellent campaign with 201 1/3 innings of 3.53 ERA ball, to go with 10.68 K/9 against 2.64 BB/9. He’s already set to turn 30 next year and still has three arbitration-eligible seasons left, meaning deGrom can’t become a free agent until the age of 32. It could therefore behoove him to get some long-term security over the winter, and Heyman notes that a deal would likely span at least four years. If no agreement comes during the off months, he’ll build on this year’s $4.05MM salary in arbitration.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Rumors: Cabrera, McEwing]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103530 2017-09-28T13:00:31Z 2017-09-28T13:00:31Z
  • The Mets are “nearly certain” to pick up infielder Asdrubal Cabrera’s option for 2018, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes. Whether to bring back Cabrera amounts to a $6.5MM decision for the Mets, who must choose between exercising the $8.5MM option or buying him out for $2MM. Cabrera, 32 in November, has posted solid production during his two years as a Met, including his respectable .273/.346/.422 batting line in 530 plate appearances this season. He has also played upward of 30 games this year at second base, shortstop (a position that now belongs to Amed Rosario) and third base.
  • Former Mets utilityman Joe McEwing has emerged as a potential successor to soon-to-be-ousted manager Terry Collins, per Mike Puma of the New York Post. McEwing, who played with the Mets from 2000-04, has been a coach in the White Sox’s organization since 2008. He served as their third base coach from 2012-16 before earning a promotion to bench coach prior to this season.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Warthen, Collins, Catching]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103450 2017-09-27T12:56:38Z 2017-09-27T12:56:38Z The latest from Citi Field…

    • The Mets are expected to part ways with long-time pitching coach Dan Warthen, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports.  Warthen has been in his current role since June 2008 and had originally intended to retire after the season, though the Mets’ struggles caused Warthen to want one more year so as to go out on a higher note.  Two internal candidates (bullpen coach Ricky Bones and minor league pitching coordinator Ron Romanick) are the top picks to replace Warthen, while Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola is not under consideration and may not remain with the organization.  Puma also listed former A’s pitching coach Curt Young and Red Sox director of pitching development Brian Bannister as external candidates who could receive consideration.
    • There has been wide speculation that Terry Collins won’t return as the Mets’ manager in 2018, though Collins tells The Record’s Matt Ehalt that he has no plans to retire.  “I said it a couple years ago, I didn’t know how long I wanted to manage, what could be my last year — I never said anything that I was going to retire.  I always wanted to work until I was 70.  That’s two more years,” Collins said.  While best known as a manager, Collins has worked in a wide variety of roles over his long career in baseball and said he is open to continuing in one of many jobs at the MLB or minor league level, though his preference is to remain with the Mets.
    • Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki have both been hitting well since the two catchers began to evenly split the playing time last month, leading MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo to speculate that the Mets could benefit by continuing this timeshare in 2018.  D’Arnaud has long been plagued by injuries, so reducing his workload would help keep him healthier and theoretically more productive.  The catch could be if Plawecki is able to keep up his respectable hitting numbers over the course of a full season, as the backstop has been unable to duplicate his good minor league numbers at the MLB level.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Expect To Tender Matt Harvey, Likely To Part Ways With Terry Collins]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103408 2017-09-26T19:02:55Z 2017-09-26T18:40:51Z The Mets are indeed preparing to tender righty Matt Harvey a contract, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reports. MLBTR’s Steve Adams examined the matter just yesterday, explaining why the club likely sees the 28-year-old as a worthwhile investment despite his marked struggles. GM Sandy Alderson had already made that rather clear, but Heyman suggests it’s all but a done deal and adds some context. New York, he says, may mostly plan to rely on the team’s slate of internal rotation options while investing instead in the bullpen.

    • It seems likely the Mets will move on from Terry Collins, as we’ve also heard recently, but Mike Puma of the New York Post gives the clearest indication yet that the veteran skipper will probably depart. Per the report, ownership is not expected to override the baseball ops department, which seemingly intends to notify Collins of its decision shortly. The club’s precise plans for the potential managerial vacancy remain unknown, though Puma says it’s fairly likely that New York will look to bring in a new skipper that has previous “ties to the organization.” He lists Robin Ventura, Alex Cora, Kevin Long, Bob Geren, and Chip Hale as potential candidates.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Tendering A Contract To Matt Harvey]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103375 2017-09-25T20:49:55Z 2017-09-25T20:49:55Z As part of our ongoing MLBTR Mailbag series, we’ve decided to begin branching off frequent topics of interest and expanding upon them at greater length than we’d normally spend in one post that answers four to six separate questions. This will be the first of several such posts to follow in the new format, and you can submit questions for consideration here via email: mlbtrmailbag@gmail.com.

    Why would the Mets not non-tender Matt Harvey? Are 7.00-ERA pitchers with upside really that hard to find? Or is there an emotional/attachment thing going on? — Josh M.

    Josh isn’t the only person with this sentiment — especially based on the comments in the wake of GM Sandy Alderson’s suggestion that the Mets will indeed tender a contract to Harvey this winter.

    The frustration that Mets fans feel with the performance of the former “Dark Knight” and Harvey’s own frustration (which he’s voiced on multiple occasions) are understandable. To borrow from Harvey’s own blunt self-evaluation, he’s been “terrible all the way around” in 2017 — his first season back from surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome last summer. That operation was the second major surgery in Harvey’s career, as he also had Tommy John surgery following the 2013 campaign.

    The attrition rate following TOS surgery seems to be greater than after Tommy John surgery, and Harvey is one of the only pitchers in recent memory to have both operations in such close proximity. Viewed through that lens, this season’s 6.60 ERA through 88 2/3 innings perhaps shouldn’t be all that surprising. Harvey has been working with diminished velocity (though it’s been trending up lately) and has posted career-worst K/9 (6.5) and BB/9 (4.5) marks while averaging 2.03 HR/9. It has not, to put it mildly, been a very good season.

    That said, it’s been just two years since Harvey came back from TJS to throw 189 1/3 innings in the regular season with a 2.71 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 46 percent ground-ball rate. Harvey further rose to the occasion with 26 2/3 innings of 3.04 ERA ball in the postseason (though Mets fans will forever debate Terry Collins’ decision to leave him in for the ninth inning of a Game 5 against the Royals). Simply put, from 2012-15, Harvey was one of the best young pitchers on the planet. Even his 2016 season, which ended with a disappointing 4.86 ERA and his eventual TOS procedure, featured solid K/BB numbers and a 3.47 FIP.

    To the greater point here, it is indeed possible to find passable arms at bargain one-year rates in free agency. However, Harvey is in for at best a modest raise on this season’s $5.125MM salary. Looking back over the past few offseasons, the free agent starters that have signed one-year deals worth less than $6MM include: Clayton Richard, Jhoulys Chacin, Jered Weaver, Trevor Cahill, Tommy Milone, Jesse Chavez, Mat Latos, Tim Lincecum (mid-season in 2016), Henderson Alvarez, Brandon Beachy, Bud Norris and Aaron Harang. Weaver was 34 when he signed his deal (and retired partway through the 2017 season). One could argue that Lincecum or perhaps Beachy carried significant upside, but both were returning from serious injuries, were older than Harvey and were further removed from success than Harvey is now.

    Last offseason, Derek Holland signed a one-year, $6MM contract with the White Sox after throwing a combined 203 innings from 2013-16. With all due respect to Holland, his upside isn’t on par with that of Harvey. Meanwhile, Tyson Ross also signed for one year and $6MM after undergoing his own TOS surgery. If Ross was able to find $6MM on the heels of a season he spent entirely on the DL — his lone appearance in 2016 came on Opening Day — that should be an indication that paying a younger Harvey at a roughly comparable rate isn’t exactly an overpay by market standards.

    Moreover, if the 2017 season proved anything, it’s that the Mets need to stockpile as many reasonably priced arms and rotation depth options as possible. With injuries to Harvey, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman impacting the staff at various points throughout the season, it doesn’t seem prudent to be cutting ties with a fairly inexpensive young arm. If anything, the Mets will probably aim to bring in some low-cost veterans on minor league deals that could be stashed at Triple-A and emerge as big league options in 2018 should their injury issues persist.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Michael Conforto Not A Lock To Return By Opening Day 2018]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103304 2017-09-24T01:02:53Z 2017-09-24T01:02:53Z
  • Mets outfielder Michael Conforto suggested Saturday that he’s unsure if he’ll be able to slot into the team’s lineup on Opening Day next year, according to James Wagner of the New York Times (Twitter link). Conforto suffered a torn capsule in his left shoulder in late August, ending his season, and then underwent surgery earlier this month. The 24-year-old noted that the procedure should help stave off future shoulder dislocations, which would certainly be optimal for him and the Mets. Conforto emerged as a breakout performer and one of the few bright spots for the woebegone Mets before the injury, hitting .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs in 440 plate appearances. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said on the heels of Conforto’s surgery that the club’s optimistic he won’t have to alter his swing upon returning. He’s roughly six months away from resuming baseball activities.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Interested In Speaking To Brad Ausmus]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103240 2017-09-23T14:11:43Z 2017-09-23T14:10:19Z
  • Brad Ausmus won’t be returning as the Tigers’ manager next year, though Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com reports that some in the Mets front office are interested in speaking with Ausmus.  New York has also been rumored to be making a managerial change, and will likely look into several different candidates if it does indeed move on from the Terry Collins era.  It’s also possible that the Mets’ interest in Ausmus may not necessarily involve managing; Ausmus also worked as a special assistant in the Padres’ baseball ops department before taking the Tigers job.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Mets’ Plans For Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103226 2017-09-22T23:13:07Z 2017-09-22T23:13:07Z The Mets will attempt to work out a new contract with general manager Sandy Alderson to keep him for 2018 and (presumably) beyond, according to a report from Kristie Ackert. The fate of manager Terry Collins, though, is less clear — with signs suggesting it’s not expected he’ll be back.

    Contracts for both organizational leaders are up at the end of the year. The pair has been in charge since the start of the 2011 campaign, overseeing a rise and then sudden collapse in the team’s competitiveness. While the hope remains that the roster will spring back to life in 2018, it seems that Alderson will be looking for a new manager to lead the troops.

    Alderson himself declined to comment on the managerial situation. But Ackert cites team sources that suggest there’s an internal expectation that Collins will retire. Per the report, the Mets have already begun thinking of alternatives to the veteran skipper — Ackert runs through a few notable names at the link — even if Collins himself may not quite be ready to hang ’em up on his own volition.

    Many have speculated that 2017 could be the last run for Collins, who is 68 years of age, though few saw the season going the way it has. The Mets went to the World Series in 2015 and overcame challenges to reach the postseason last year as well. But a series of devastating injuries robbed the 2017 team of any hopes of repeating.

    There’s no reasonable way that Collins could have reversed that course by himself, though (like all managers) he has had his share of detractors over the years. The organization may well prefer an alternative, though, regardless of Collins’s own intentions. Ackert says that the club would like to find a newcomer that is “more technologically savvy and more fluent in analytics and sabermetrics.”

    While the Mets will no doubt focus in on this important decision, it’s just one of many facing the organization. Soon after the end of the season, decisions are due on Asdrubal Cabrera and Jerry Blevins. The Mets have a lot of payroll space but also quite a few roster needs — along with a long list of medical unknowns in the rotation.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Sandy Alderson Suggests Mets Will Likely Retain Matt Harvey For 2018]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103155 2017-09-21T05:27:17Z 2017-09-21T05:27:17Z Despite the increasingly worrying health issues and pitching struggles of former Mets ace Matt Harvey, the club isn’t ready to give up on his talent. As GM Sandy Alderson tells Mike Puma of the New York Post, “it’s high unlikely that we’re not going to bring [Harvey] back next year.”

    Harvey is still just 28 years old and isn’t far removed from being one of the game’s most dominant starters. If there was concern when he limped to a 4.86 ERA in 17 starts last year, though, it’s all the more pressing now that he has surrendered 6.59 earned per nine through the same number of outings in the current season.

    The enigmatic righty has averaged less than five frames per start while managing only 6.6 K/9 against an uncharacteristic 4.5 BB/9. He has seen his velocity waver over the course of the season (with an average that’s down one mph from last year and two mph from the prior season). And his swinging-strike rate has plummeted to 7.5% and yet more arm problems have arisen during the year.

    Despite all that, New York evidently sees value in tendering Harvey a contract in his final year of arbitration eligibility. And that’s really not surprising. Harvey will get at least a marginal raise on this year’s $5.125MM arb salary, but the bill will remain well within range of the one-year guarantees that other interesting bounceback type pitchers command in free agency.

    While there’s some risk in paying Harvey, notes Puma, there’s probably even greater risk to the front office if it lets him find his form elsewhere. And it isn’t as if the team can’t use the possible innings that Harvey will be expected to provide; talent and uncertainty abound in the rest of the staff, too.

    For now, Alderson says, the club will “keep running him out there and see what happens.” It seems that’ll be the approach in 2018 as well — so long as the Mets don’t find a surprise trade and Harvey shows enough promise in camp that he isn’t cut loose to avoid fully guaranteeing his arb payout.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103068 2017-09-19T19:36:34Z 2017-09-19T13:31:04Z Mets righty Matt Harvey turned in another abysmal start last night, leaving him with a 13.19 ERA in his four outings since returning from the DL. As Marc Carig of Newsday writes, Harvey seemed rather dejected after the game, calling his work “terrible all the way around” — though, perhaps, there’s at least some cause for hope in the fact that he is working in the mid-nineties with his fastball. Of course, that’s hardly sufficient in and of itself, and the results have been sobering. “Everybody’s watching,” said Harvey. “I don’t really know what there is to say except for there is nothing to say. It’s terrible. It’s not fun. There’s really nothing to say. There’s no reason for questions. There’s no answers.”

    • Meanwhile, the Mets are still waiting to see just how fellow righty Noah Syndergaard will look when he returns to the majors after a long layoff for a partial lat tear. As Mike Puma of the New York Post reports, though, it’s likely at this point that Syndergaard will only be allowed to make two appearances. It had been hoped at one point that he’d be able to make a much more significant return to end the year, but the club has understandably exercised caution. The young ace, after all, is a critically important member of a pitching staff that possesses many questions heading into the offseason.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Plawecki's Improved Play Impressing Mets]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103018 2017-09-18T17:56:38Z 2017-09-18T17:52:56Z
  • Kevin Plawecki’s improved play in Triple-A made the Mets feel comfortable letting Rene Rivera go on a waiver claim to the Cubs last month, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post, and his solid production in the Majors now leaves him feeling less concerned about losing his roster spot. The 26-year-old admitted to pressing too much in the past to “try to make some things happen” but said he’s in a different mental state this time around. “[W]hat has been different this time is just trusting what I have been doing all season [in Triple-A] and not having that thought in the back of my head, ‘How long am I going to be here and how big of a window do I have to prove myself?’” Mets GM Sandy Alderson has previously suggested that the Mets are unlikely to pursue catching upgrades this winter, meaning Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud figure to play prominent roles with the 2018 club. Since being recalled from Triple-A, Plawecki is hitting .283/.387/.482 in 17 games.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Would The Mets Do The Yoenis Cespedes Contract Again?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102981 2017-09-18T01:24:58Z 2017-09-18T01:24:58Z
  • Less than a year after the Yankees and Mets signed Aroldis Chapman and Yoenis Cespedes to multi-year free agent deals, Joel Sherman of the New York Post doubts either team would make those signings again given how both stars underachieved in 2017.  Injuries played a part in both players’ performance, of course, and there is still lots of time for Chapman and Cespedes to deliver on their contracts.  In Chapman’s case, his relative struggles also haven’t kept the Yankees from leading the AL wild card race.  With Chapman owed $60MM through the 2021 season, however, it’s still an ominous sign for the Yankees that this down year came in the first season of that deal.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Syndergaard, Vogelsong]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102965 2017-09-18T00:47:56Z 2017-09-17T21:59:21Z
  • The Mets have some reservations about using ace Noah Syndergaard again this year, Matt Ehalt of The Record reports (on Twitter). Unsurprisingly, if Syndergaard does return in 2017, the Mets will need to be convinced he’s at full strength. The flamethrowing superstar hasn’t pitched in the majors since April 30 because of a torn right lat, and while he has been working his way back recently, there’s not exactly a need for the out-of-contention Mets to deploy him again this season.
  • Newly retired right-hander Ryan Vogelsong could have continued his career after Minnesota released him in March, but he told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and other reporters that he “checked out mentally” after the Twins cut him (Twitter links here). Vogelsong received minor league offers earlier this season, including from the Mets, but he didn’t want to move his family to Las Vegas – the home of their Triple-A affiliate.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Three Needs: New York Mets]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102899 2017-09-17T01:07:36Z 2017-09-17T01:07:36Z This is the latest edition in MLBTR’s Three Needs series. Read versions on the Tigers, Reds, Pirates and Giants.

    Fresh off back-to-back playoff seasons, the Mets entered 2017 with championship aspirations but have instead endured a Murphy’s Law campaign. Injuries and subpar performances have been the norm this year for the Mets, who have limped to a 63-84 record and have allowed 84 more runs than they’ve scored (783 to 679). With the exception of right-hander Jacob deGrom, all of New York’s stars have missed significant time with injuries. Even the Mets’ brightest spot of 2017, breakout outfielder Michael Conforto, couldn’t get through the year unscathed. Conforto suffered a torn left shoulder capsule in August, though the Mets don’t expect it to negatively affect him next season. As the Mets hope Conforto fully recovers from surgery over the next several months, their general manager (be it Sandy Alderson or someone else) will use the offseason to upgrade their roster in the hopes of returning to contention in 2018. Here’s a look at a few things New York could do during the winter…

    1.) Add reliable starting pitching:

    Ace Noah Syndergaard hasn’t pitched since suffering a torn lat muscle in his right arm on April 30, thus depriving the Mets of one of the game’s elite starters for nearly the entire season. He and deGrom will front the Mets’ rotation next year, though, giving the team an enviable one-two punch and taking pressure off the remainder of the rotation. New York is in dire need of help behind that duo, however, as counting on any other in-house options entering 2018 would be a substantial risk.

    Former ace and 2016 thoracic outlet syndrome surgery recipient Matt Harvey’s career has gone off the rails since last season, meaning the Mets will have to decide whether to bring the 28-year-old back in 2018 for his final arbitration-eligible campaign. Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz each endured rough seasons that ended early on account of injuries, which is all the more trouble considering they came into the year with durability questions. And both Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo have taken sizable steps backward since serving as key starters for the Mets in 2016. Rafael Montero, the only other Met to log double-digit starts this season, has been passable (4.83 ERA, 4.09 FIP in 85 2/3 innings), but it’s unclear whether he has done enough to warrant a spot for next year. The soon-to-be 27-year-old won’t have any minor league options remaining when 2018 rolls around.

    From 2014-16, the Mets had Bartolo Colon in the fold as someone to provide 30-plus starts of roughly 4.00 ERA ball to complement their top-of-the-rotation arms. They’ve clearly missed that type of starter this season, though the year Colon has had with the Braves and Twins suggests he wouldn’t have been part of the solution anymore for New York. Any of Jhoulys Chacin, Marco Estrada, Doug Fister (whom the Mets courted as a free agent earlier this year) or John Lackey could make sense if the Mets aren’t in big-spending mode on the open market. But if New York is willing to splurge on an expensive starter, Lance Lynn would be a strong fit. Lynn missed 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but he has otherwise delivered nothing but quality seasons of 175 or more innings since 2012.

    2.) Sort out the infield:

    It’s safe to say Amed Rosario, one of the game’s premier prospects, will continue to man shortstop in 2018. Uncertainty abounds everywhere else in the Mets’ infield, including at third base, where injuries have ruined team captain and seven-time All-Star David Wright’s career. Neck, back and shoulder problems have limited the longtime superstar to 75 games since the start of the 2015 season, and he hasn’t played in a major league contest since May 1, 2016. The Mets can’t expect anything out of the 34-year-old going forward, then, especially considering he underwent right rotator cuff surgery earlier this month. Wright is due an astronomical $20MM salary in 2018, but the Mets will save 75 percent of that figure via insurance for as long as he’s on the disabled list.

    Wright replacements Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera have been reasonably effective in his stead this year, but it’s no sure thing any will be the answer at third next season. Reyes and Cabrera aren’t even locks to be on the team in 2018, in fact, as the former is a free agent-to-be and the latter has a team option. Barring trades, Flores and Rivera will be back (notably, the latter is recovering from Tommy John surgery), but they’ve never been single-position players. Those two could continue to rotate among third, second and first next year, which, combined with a Cabrera return, would mitigate the need for a major infield acquisition in the offseason. Otherwise, the Mets could conceivably add an established player at any of those spots, depending in part on whether they think rookie first baseman Dominic Smith is already a capable starter. In the aggregate, the 22-year-old hasn’t been all that productive since the Mets promoted him in the first half of August, and he wasn’t a world-class minor league producer. While Smith’s September numbers are gaudy (.300/.375/.620 in 56 plate appearances), an unsustainable batting average on balls in play (.379) and below-average strikeout and walk numbers paint a less rosy picture.

    If they’re not content with Smith and/or their other infield options, there should be some reasonably priced potential targets available for the Mets in the offseason. First base types in Yonder Alonso, old friends Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce, and Logan Morrison will be on the market as cheaper alternatives to Eric Hosmer and Carlos Santana. Eduardo Nunez and Todd Frazier lead the way at third behind Mike Moustakas, who may prove to be too expensive for the Mets’ taste. Reds shortstop Zack Cozart could also entice third base-needy teams in free agency, though his lack of durability may scare away a Mets team that has dealt with a deluge of injuries lately. Considering his baserunning prowess, Nunez would be a good fit for New York, which ranks 25th in the majors in FanGraphs’ BsR metric and 29th in steals. Nunez can also play second, where the upcoming free agent class lacks players who are obvious upgrades over what the Mets already have. The same is likely true of the trade market, as the Tigers’ Ian Kinsler and the Dodgers’ Logan Forsythe have underwhelmed this year. The Athletics’ Jed Lowrie has fared well, on the other hand, but injuries have been problematic for him during his career.

    3.) Get relief help:

    Mets relievers finished 2016 second in the majors in fWAR and sixth in ERA. One year later, they’re 19th and 29th in those categories. There’s currently little in the way of confidence-inspiring in-house options beyond AJ Ramos, Jerry Blevins and Jeurys Familia, the latter of whom has been one of many high-profile Mets to suffer through an unexpectedly terrible season, perhaps leaving room for multiple additions. Indeed, the Mets are zeroing in on the bullpen as an area they’ll need to address in the offseason. As MLBTR’s Jeff Todd wrote Wednesday, former Met Addison Reed, Brandon Kintzler, Juan Nicasio, Anthony Swarzak and Pat Neshek could land on the Mets’ radar over the winter. Those are just a handful of many soon-to-be available veteran relievers who would figure to better the team’s late-game situation.

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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Bob Geren Could Be Favorite Should Mets Managerial Job Open]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102879 2017-09-16T18:03:51Z 2017-09-16T18:03:51Z
  • Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren could be a favorite to take over the Mets managerial job in the likely event that the Mets part ways with Terry Collins. Geren was previously the Mets’ bench coach and is a favorite of Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[MLBTR Poll: Should The Mets Pick Up Asdrubal Cabrera’s Option]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102839 2017-09-15T20:36:55Z 2017-09-15T20:36:55Z Entering the year, Asdrubal Cabrera seemed rather likely to stay with New York through the 2018 season. His $8.5MM option comes with a reasonably hefty $2MM buyout, making it a $6.5MM decision. It’s hard to find a solid veteran at that sort of price tag on a one-year term, after all, and Cabrera was coming off of a 2016 campaign in which he was worth 2.7 rWAR and 3.0 fWAR as the Mets’ everyday shortstop.

    Quite a bit has changed in the meantime, of course. The Mets collapsed, with injuries and performance issues leaving the anticipated contender outpacing only the Phillies in a dreadful NL East. Cabrera lost his job at short, with the Mets taking advantage of their nosedive to give a look to much-ballyhooed shortstop prospect Amed Rosario, who is not giving the position back.

    On the other hand, there’s another interpretation of recent events under which not much has changed at all. While the dreadful season hurts the club’s outlook for 2018, every indication is that the organization will (quite reasonably) attempt to rebound back into contention. Cabrera was never likely to remain at shortstop over the life of his contract anyway; the Mets always thought Rosario would claim the position. If Rosario has answered any uncertainty about who’s playing short, then there’s also more uncertainty than ever at third, where David Wright has shown no signs of being able to make it back. Second base also lays unclaimed. Players such as Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera (both righty hitters) seemed like possible options at third and second base already, and remain so, but the switch-hitting Cabrera still brings a different element.

    While Cabrera hasn’t been as productive as he was last year, he has posted another above-average year with the bat, running a .274/.344/.425 batting line with a dozen home runs through 484 plate appearances. His baserunning has graded out terribly, though one can’t help but think that the long-time infielder, who long graded as a roughly average performer on the bases, won’t repeat quite that poor a performance. Defensively, Cabrera is a palatable performer at second and now also at third; he also would represent a fill-in and backup plan at short.

    All said, from a value standpoint, it seems the $6.5MM commitment would be justifiable. New York certainly has the capacity to add that kind of money to the payroll; while there are other needs, too, the club will surely like the idea of checking a box with a one-year commitment. In the end, the decision will likely come down to whether the Mets really want to build their roster with Cabrera. Should they? (Link for app users.)

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Expected To Pursue Veteran Relief Pitching Over Offseason]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102721 2017-09-13T16:48:51Z 2017-09-13T16:48:51Z The Mets have given every indication that they’ll try to rebound back into contention in 2018. That effort will likely include the pursuit of at least one veteran reliever, Marc Carig of Newsday reports.

    New York’s front office has had plenty of time to look ahead to the winter to come. Indeed, as Carig notes, many of the club’s summer trades not only shed salaries of short-term veterans, but installed young relief arms that could make near-term impacts at the MLB level. While those additions will bolster the depth, though, none of the new hurlers has much in the way of MLB experience.

    It’ll be interesting to see just how the Mets approach the offseason. Improving the relief corps does seem to offer some hope of boosting the club’s chances without making massive, long-term commitments. Of course, that’s also the case for quite a few other organizations. Presumably, the team won’t be looking at the top-tier closers on the market, but it’s possible to imagine pursuit of just about any other reliever. As usual, there are quite a few available, including high-performing late-inning arms like recent Met Addison Reed as well as Brandon Kintzler, Juan Nicasio, Anthony Swarzak, Pat Neshek, and a host of others.

    Notably, the Mets will also be looking to fill needs in other areas. Priorities may include buttressing the infield mix (depending upon the team’s decision on Asdrubal Cabrera, at least) and finding a place for a quality bat (especially with Michael Conforto now facing an uncertain timeline to return from a major shoulder injury). The team will mostly have to hope for the best from its injury-riddled rotation, though perhaps a veteran could be considered there. Indeed, a swingman type might help boost the starting depth while also representing an option in the pen.

    New York will likely have around $100MM already committed after it wraps up a costly bunch of arbitration deals. For an organization that had ramped up to over $150MM in salary to open the current season, though, that leaves quite a lot of room to work with — though the team’s anticipated salary levels in the coming season aren’t yet known.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Acquire Eric Hanhold To Complete Neil Walker Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102649 2017-09-12T16:47:25Z 2017-09-12T16:35:30Z The Mets announced that they’ve acquired minor league right-hander Eric Hanhold from the Brewers as the player to be named later in the August trade that sent second baseman Neil Walker to Milwaukee.

    The 23-year-old Hanhold, Milwaukee’s fifth-round selection out of the University of Florida in 2015, spent the 2017 campaign pitching for the Brewers’ Class-A Advanced affiliate. In 30 appearances (three starts, 27 out of the bullpen), he totaled 64 innings with a 3.94 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a whopping 58.6 percent ground-ball rate. Hanhold didn’t rank among the top 30 prospects in a deep Brewers farm system (per MLB.com), but Baseball America wrote at the time of the draft that he featured a 90-94 mph heater that could touch 95 with downhill plane and heavy sink (subscription required and recommended). His go-to breaking pitch is a slider, per that report, though he also broke into pro ball utilizing a changeup as a third pitch.

    Hanhold continues a trend for the Mets, who have turned a number of veteran free agent on expiring contracts to a crop of fairly hard-throwing relief prospects that are reasonably close to Major League readiness. Right-handers Jamie Callahan and Jacob Rhame, acquired in the respective Addison Reed and Curtis Granderson trades, have already been added to the big league roster. In addition to Hanhold, Callahan and Rhame, the Mets have added minor league relievers Drew Smith, Stephen Nogosek, Gerson Bautista and Ryder Ryan in trades of Walker, Granderson, Reed, Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce.

    To this point, the trade has paid dividends for the Brewers, as Walker has .268/.388/.465 with three home runs and five doubles through his first 85 plate appearances in a Milwaukee uniform.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Jeurys Familia Struggling To Regain Closer's Role]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102622 2017-09-12T07:00:08Z 2017-09-12T04:13:12Z
  • While he’s now back on the mound for the Mets after rehabbing from shoulder surgery, righty Jeurys Familia has yet to re-take the team’s closer job, as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes. In fact, he has allowed seven earned runs through eight innings since his return from the DL, with just five strikeouts and six walks. As DiComo notes, Familia’s velocity is well off its usual levels, he’s not yet comfortable working back-to-back days, and he says he’s still working to get to full health. The Mets will obviously have to hope that Familia can rediscover his form after several months of rest over the offseason. Familia, 27, will earn at least a modest raise on his $7.425MM salary in his final season of arbitration eligibility.
  • The Braves have made a pair of front office hires, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). Adam Fisher will come over from the Mets to become Atlanta’s assistant GM, while Perry Minasian is moving from the Blue Jays to take a role as director of player personnel.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Latest On Noah Syndergaard]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102493 2017-09-10T17:24:57Z 2017-09-10T17:24:57Z
  • Due to what the team described as “general soreness,” Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard won’t throw any simulated innings today, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports.  Syndergaard threw three innings in a minor league rehab start on Thursday and was supposed to toss some simulated frames today in the latest step of his recovery process.  Syndergaard has missed much of the season due to a partially torn lat muscle, and with the Mets out of contention and few games left on the schedule, any sort of notable setback could end Syndergaard’s chances of returning to the mound in 2017.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Warthen, Offseason, Injuries]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102475 2017-09-10T14:12:41Z 2017-09-10T14:12:41Z Here’s the latest from Citi Field…

    • Pitching coach Dan Warthen had intended to retire after the season but now would like to return in 2018, he tells Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.  Despite Warthen’s plans, “after this year, I want one more year. I don’t want to leave them [the pitching staff] like this.”  Warthen, who has been the Mets’ pitching coach since June 2008, is respected around the game and is popular with his pitchers and Mets owner Fred Wilpon, though he does have some critics in the organization.  Warthen and the rest of the Mets’ coaching staff (as well as manager Terry Collins) aren’t under contract for 2018, and with wide speculation about Collins’ future, it stands to reason that a coaching shakeup could take place if New York does indeed make a managerial switch.
    • The Mets face a difficult offseason, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes, as the team wants to stay competitive but may cut payroll, and planning ahead is difficult since the Mets don’t know how many of their multiple injured stars will rebound in 2018.  If the Mets “really a big-market team,” Sherman opines, they’ll bring back Asdrubal Cabrera, Juan Lagares and Matt Harvey next year at a total price tag of roughly $23MM to provide needed roster depth and flexibility.  For external help, Sherman feels that the Amazins could add some slightly less-expensive help (he lists such names as free agents Eduardo Nunez, Howie Kendrick, Logan Morrison or possible trade targets Dexter Fowler and Ian Kinsler) rather than aim for a big-ticket free agent like Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer.
    • Trades could be difficult, Sherman adds, since the Mets have a thin farm system and (even more troublingly) several of their younger players took hits to their trade value in 2017 due to injury or under-performance.  First baseman Dominic Smith, for instance, hasn’t produced much in first taste of MLB action, and despite being a top-50 prospect, still has some doubters who question his fitness and ability to hit for power at the big league level.  Given these concerns, as one executive puts it, “that is a hard sell and then (the rival GM) is going to ask, ‘why are the Mets willing to get rid of him?’
    • The Mets don’t seem to be planning any changes to their training staff or their affiliation with the Hospital for Special Surgery in the wake of the injury-ruined season, according to Newsday’s David Lennon.  In an effort to simplify and improve how the team releases medical information to media and fans, the Mets have been publishing a daily injury report listing the progress, prognosis and forthcoming steps for each injured player.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Unlikely To Re-Sign Jose Reyes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102415 2017-09-09T15:10:56Z 2017-09-09T15:08:22Z Infielder Jose Reyes told reporters on Friday that he’d like to finish his career with the Mets, but it doesn’t appear the team will re-sign the impending free agent. Mets officials are “lukewarm” about bringing back the 34-year-old, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, while Marc Carig of Newsday adds (on Twitter) that he’s unlikely to be in their plans next season. Reyes’ fate with the Mets could ultimately hinge on whether they exercise fellow veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera’s $8.5MM option (or buy him out for $2.5MM), writes Puma, who notes that Reyes is immensely popular in their clubhouse. Along with his behind-the-scenes presence, including his close relationship with Amed Rosario, Reyes has recovered from a subpar first half to provide a .288/.355/.468 batting line in 155 post-All-Star break plate appearances to make his case for another Mets contract. He signed his current deal last summer after serving a domestic violence suspension as a member of the Rockies, who released him.

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