Mets Merized Online » contract Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:03:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Officially Re-Sign Jerry Blevins Thu, 09 Feb 2017 15:37:01 +0000 jerry-blevins-mets-win

The New York Mets have now officially re-signed left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. The deal is for one year at $5.5 million dollars, but includes a a team option for 2018 at $7 million that has a $1 million buyout. He can also earn $100,000 in incentives each each year as per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

Blevins and the Mets agreed on his contract last week on the same day the Mets also re-signed right-handed reliever Fernando Salas.

Blevins, 33, went 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 3.05 FIP in 73 appearances last season for the Mets. Blevins was successful against righties (.611 OPS) as well as lefties (.636 OPS) in 2016.

The Mets traded outfielder Matt den Dekker to the Washington Nationals on March 30, 2015 to acquire Blevins.

The corresponding 40-man roster move has yet to be announced.

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Mets Agree To One-Year $6.5 Million Deal With Jerry Blevins (Updated) Sun, 05 Feb 2017 01:14:54 +0000 jerry blevins

The New York Mets have re-signed left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. The deal is for one year guaranteed at $6.5 million dollars, but includes a a team option that could bring the total value to $12.5 million over two years. He can also earn $100,000 in incentives each each year as per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

This was a huge move by Sandy Alderson, who signed right-hander Fernando Salas earlier this evening. With these two moves, the Mets have solidified their bullpen and should be okay even if Jeurys Familia is suspended. I love it…

I hope that now you can all relax and understand that everything does not have to happen at a fevered pace to make progress and improve your team in the offseason.

Believe it or not, you can actually take a methodical approach to things and still achieve the same and in most cases even more optimal results.

So here’s the bottom line. The Mets started this offseason by handing out MLB’s largest free agent contract to Yoenis Cespedes. Then they brought back Neil Walker at a cost of $17.2 million dollars, picked up the $13 million dollar option on Jay Bruce, and re-signed relievers Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins. How many f’kin teams did more? That’s a pretty huge offseason…

And by the way, I was the only one for the last four weeks saying Jerry Blevins was coming back to the Mets… (Hey beat reporters… Take that bitches!)

Original Report – Jan 31

Last Thursday, a trusted source told me that the Mets had circled back to lefty reliever Jerry Blevins and reengaged him in contract talks. This as the team’s beat writers were reporting that the Mets were going to keep right fielder Jay Bruce and that they would now look to internal options to fill their bullpen needs due to payroll concerns.

A few days later on Saturday, that same source told me that negotiations between the Mets and Blevins were advancing and that they could be reaching some common ground. This news came about an hour after someone else told me that Blevins was telling friends that he truly wanted to return to the Mets.

I reported all of that this weekend and again this morning, but here’s a similar report coming from some obscure source. :-)

Both Mike Puma and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that the Mets and Blevins are trying to find “common ground” on a two-year deal. (Note their usage of the phrase common ground.) They say the deal they are working on could be backloaded. However, I myself had no information regarding that. We’ll see.

Blevins, 33, went 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 3.05 FIP in 73 appearances last season for the Mets. I love Blevins because in addition to getting left-handed hitters out he has no problems getting righty sluggers out.

If the Mets do reach a deal with him, and I do believe they will, this will be a significant boost for them. With J.P. Howell signing a deal this evening with the Toronto Blue Jays, Jerry Blevins could be turning a lonely eye toward Flushing.

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Royals Agree To Two-Year Deal With Brandon Moss Sun, 29 Jan 2017 18:47:30 +0000 brandon moss

Jim Bowden of ESPN reports that the Kansas City Royals and have agreed to a two-year, $12 million dollar contract with free agent first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss. The deal is pending a physical.

Moss, 33, belted 28 home runs with 67 RBIs in 464 plate appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals last season, however after a dreadful second half, he ended the year with a .225/.300/.484 batting line. Still, his .784 OPS was the highest since his 2013 season.

It’s another slugger off the market, but that still leaves Mike Napoli, Chris Carter and Mark Reynolds ready, willing and able.

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Matt Harvey Signs For $5.125 Million, Avoiding Arbitration Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:45:33 +0000 matt harvey

Matt Harvey and the Mets have agreed to a one-year, $5.125 million contract to avoid arbitration, reports James Wagner of the New York Times. The deal will reportedly include $100,000 in possible performance bonuses. He settled for slightly lower than the $5.325 salary projected by Pace Law School.

Harvey, 27, had a disappointing season with the Mets this year, two years removed from Tommy John Surgery. He went from one of the best starting pitchers in the league to one of the worst, finishing the season with a 4.86 ERA over 92.2 innings. He showed only occasional flashes of brilliance, struggling with command of his pitches all year. His walk, strikeout, and hit rates all worsened.

In July, Harvey underwent season-ending surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, which compresses nerves in the shoulder and neck. So far, the prognosis is good for Harvey, who is on track to return to full health in time for spring training.

In three previous seasons with the Mets, Harvey owned a 2.53 ERA, striking out 449 batters and walking 94 over 427 major league innings.

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Mets Set 1 PM Deadline Today To Avoid Arbitration Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:35:00 +0000 Mets Cubs

The New York Mets have set a 1 p.m. ET deadline today for the team to come to terms with arbitration eligible players.

The Mets have already agreed on terms for one-year deals with Rene Rivera ($1.75MM), Zack Wheeler ($800,000K), Jenrry Mejia ($1.9MM) and Lucas Duda ($7.25MM).

Projected salaries for players the Mets still need to agree with:

Travis d’Arnaud – $1.9 million

Jacob deGrom – $4.225 million

Josh Edgin – $800,000 thousand

Jeurys Familia – $8.7 million

Wilmer Flores – $2.9 million

Matt Harvey – $5.325 million

Addison Reed – $7.9 million

Original Report – Jan 12

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN, Sandy Alderson is setting a hard deadline of Friday at 1 P.M. as the deadline to agree to terms with players who have filed for salary arbitration.

So far this offseason, the Mets have come to terms with Rene Rivera, Zack Wheeler, and Jenrry Mejia. This means the Mets have a lot of work to do over the next 24 hours, as Travis d’ArnaudJacob deGrom, Lucas DudaJosh EdginJeurys Familia, Wilmer FloresMatt Harvey and Addison Reed have yet to come to terms with the Mets.

It should be noted that last year, deGrom was unwilling to sign his $607,000 contract when the Mets renewed his contract. It was a symbolic gesture as deGrom had no negotiating rights due to his being a pre-arbitration eligible player. With deGrom not signing the contract, the $607,000 salary was assigned to him.

The last time the Mets went to arbitration with a player was with Oliver Perez in 2008. Perez won his arbitration case with the Mets, and he made $6.5 million during the 2008 season.

Thoughts from Joe D.

It will be interesting to see how this hard line plays out with arbitration hearings being what they are. A player’s reps will be presenting all the reasons why the arbiter should decide in their favor.

Meanwhile on the flip side, the Mets legal team will be presenting all the reasons why the player is undeserving of the salary figure they submitted. Sometimes it can get real ugly.

It’s funny because just on Tuesday, I was praising the Mets for being among the top teams in staying clear of arbitration hearings with their players.

This new tact is quite a dynamic shift in philosophy. I would imagine this comes directly from the top and straight from Jeff Wilpon. Hopefully this has no effect on morale. I don’t know why, but I always get a real creepy feeling whenever Jeff sticks his nose in Mets decisions like this.

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Alderson: Trading Bruce Isn’t Prerequisite For Signing Reliever Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:37:58 +0000 jay bruce

Sandy Alderson said that the New York Mets current payroll is tolerable according to Adam Rubin of ESPN. During the same conversation the Mets GM said that Jay Bruce and his $13 million salary still being on the roster doesn’t necessarily stop the Mets from adding a free agent reliever.

The free agent reliever market still includes Jerry Blevins, Fernando Salas, Sergio Romo, Joe Blanton, Greg Holland, Neftali Feliz and many others that could presumably help the Mets bullpen in the upcoming season.

Previous Report – Jan 6

In a new report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, one ”rival GM” says the New York Mets should have declined the $13 million option on Jay Bruce. He also asserts that not only is Bruce in low demand now, but he was also in low demand when the Mets acquired him for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell at the trade deadline.

Based upon the statements from this rival GM, Rosenthal speculates the Mets will likely have to include cash in any potential Bruce trade. Moreover, Rosenthal states that even with the Mets including money in a deal, the return for Bruce is still likely to be minimal.

It should be noted that earlier this offseason Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the Mets were not interested in eating any of Bruce’s or Curtis Granderson‘s contract as part of any trade. At the time of this report, the Mets were rumored to have been involved in trade discussions with the Orioles. Earlier today the Orioles traded for left-handed hitting outfielder Seth Smith.

Even with this latest bit of bad news on the Bruce trade front, the Mets picking up his $13 million option has served a purpose. According to one Mets official, picking up his option did give them insurance in the event they lost Yoenis Cespedes and also gave the Mets some leverage in contract negotiations. “When you buy insurance, it doesn’t come for free,” said the Mets official.

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MMO Mailbag: Is David Wright’s Contract The Worst In Mets History? Mon, 09 Jan 2017 17:00:53 +0000 david wright

Jose asks…. 

Is it safe to say that David Wright‘s contract will go down as the worst in franchise history? The Mets paid him $60 million over the last three years and still owe him $67 million over the next four years.

Logan replies….

Hello, Jose. I don’t think his contract will go down as the worst in Mets history. Bad, yes, of course, but not the worst. While he has severely underperformed, mostly due to his spinal stenosis and more recently the herniated disc in his neck, he is still the Mets captain. He supplies superb leadership that, while not worth $20 million a year, helps improve the team.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post writes that the Mets would undo the contract extension if they could go back and do so. Ryan Davis of CheatSheet ranks Wright as #5 on a list of contracts that teams will regret in the 2017 season. As you can see, Mets fans aren’t the only ones concerned about his contract.

In 2013, the first year of the extension, Wright made the All-Star team, hitting .307/.390/.514 with 18 home runs, 58 RBI, and 17 stolen bases in 112 games with a 5.9 WAR. The following season, he stayed mostly healthy, playing in 134 games, but hit only .269/.324/.374 with eight home runs and 63 RBI, still managing a 2.7 WAR.

The next two seasons, 2015 and 2016 can be grouped together, as he only played in 75 games during that span. When healthy he hit .260/.365/.436 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI, but wasn’t a difference maker at all, posting a 0.3 WAR during that span. The time missed in 2016 was due to a herniated disc in his neck that required surgery. David Wright has started swinging a bat and is on track to be as healthy as can be going into 2017.

Another reason this won’t be the worst contract is that it’s not backloaded. Wright is owed $20 million in 2017 and 2018, $15 million in 2019, and $12 million in 2020 when he will be 37 years old.

It is also important to remember that just because the last three years have been subpar for Wright, he is still a very talented and hardworking player. If anyone can overcome spinal stenosis, it’s him. Furthermore, the Mets haven’t exactly been hindered with this contract. They got to the World Series in 2015 and the Wild Card game in 2016, reaching the playoffs in two consecutive seasons.

So, if not Wright, whose contract is the worst in Mets history?

Current National Oliver Perez got a very lucrative albeit ill-conceived contract from Omar Minaya. Lasting only two years of a three-year, $36 million deal, Perez went 3-9 with a 6.81 ERA and 1.985 WHIP.

Frank Francisco certainly did not earn the $12 million paid to him during his two years in Flushing. In only 56 games, he went 2-3 with a 5.36 ERA. He had some redeeming peripherals, such as a 3.79 FIP and 9.8 K/9, however.

jason bay

I think you knew this one was coming. After an All-Star season with the Red Sox, in which he hit 36 home runs while posting a 5.2 WAR, the Mets signed Jason Bay to a four year $66 million deal. He only made it through three years, slashing .234/.318/.369 with 26 home runs, even posting a -1.1 WAR in 2012.

I don’t think Wright will ever earn all of what he is paid, but he will definitely earn some. We have seen this offseason that teams wanted 35 year-old Curtis Granderson more than 29 year-old Jay Bruce. A big reason for that is the leadership Grandy provides even though he might not be putting up numbers worthy of the $15 million he is owed.

While it is possible Wright’s contract could be worse than Bay’s eventually, I don’t see that happening. If Wright continues to produce even moderately offensively, while being a great leader in the clubhouse, his contract won’t be a total waste.

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Featured Post: White Sox Still Have Pieces That Could Help The Mets Mon, 26 Dec 2016 14:00:53 +0000 todd frazier

If there was any doubt the White Sox were selling after the Chris Sale trade, those doubts were alleviated once the White Sox obtained yet another impressive haul of prospects in exchange for Adam Eaton. With those deals, the White Sox have unofficially announced they are willing to trade away anyone if they can get back a significant haul in return.

What is surprising is that a White Sox team that was under .500 last season still has a number of good pieces remaining even after trading Sale and Eaton. In fact, they have a number of pieces that would be quite enticing for the New York Mets.

For starters, the White Sox have David Robertson. Robertson is enticing not just because he is a good closer, and the Mets face the possibility of losing Jeurys Familia to a lengthy suspension in 2017. He is also enticing because he pitched very well for Yankees, and has pitched well for the Yankees in the postseason too. A pitcher who can pitch well in pressure situations in New York should always be of interest to the Mets.

The White Sox also have a very good left-handed reliever in Dan Jennings. In 2016, left-handed batters only hit .217/.316/.337 off of him. Overall, Jennings was 4-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 64 appearances. He’s even more attractive as a trade target when you consider he’s under team control until 2020.

Perhaps the most impressive reliever in the White Sox bullpen last year was Nate Jones. Jones made 71 appearances in 2016 going 5-3 with a 2.29 ERA, 0.892 WHIP, and a 10.2 K/9. He is a sinker/slider pitcher that can throw the ball over 97 MPH that would thrive in the Mets organization. He has a reasonable contract going forward with provisions in the deal that protects his team against arm injuries. Overall, he will make $3.95 million in 2017, and he is under contract until 2021.

Because everyone is interested in the Toms River, NJ native, the White Sox also have Todd Frazier. On a positive note, Frazier has proven that he is able to hit for power away from the Great American Ballpark. In fact, Frazier’s 40 home runs this season were a career high. These home run totals to mask the fact that Frazier is a career .250/.317/.464 hitter who has seen a steady decline in his batting average and OBP over the past three seasons.

Defensively, Frazier has been a good third baseman, but he did have a slight dropoff this season as per UZR and DRS. In addition to third base, Frazier has played some first making him a versatile infielder. That would be important for a Mets team that arguably has injury concerns at every position in the infield. Frazier is third year arbitration eligible, and he will be a free agent in 2018.

jose abreu

Another name that will arise in trade rumors will be Jose Abreu. The soon to be 30-year old Abreu is a classic clean-up hitter who has hit .299/.360/.515 while averaging 30 homers and 103 RBI in his brief major league career. However, there are some issues with Abreu. For a team looking to reduce payroll, Abreu is coming off a season where he made over $11 million, and he will likely earn a raise in his first year of arbitration. Second, Abreu really is best suited to DH. Finally, Abreu has seen his power and OPS+ numbers go down each season in the majors.

Finally, there is Brett Lawrie, who is a versatile infielder the Mets could add to the equation. In his major league career, Lawrie has played both second and third. While he has rated as a poor defender at both positions, he versatility would be welcome on a Mets team that has injury concerns all across the infield.  However, there should be concern that Lawrie is unnecessarily on a Mets team that already has Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes.

Additionally, Lawrie has largely been disappointing in his major league career with him hitting .261/.315/.419 while averaging just 12 homers and 42 RBI. Still, Lawrie might be worth a gamble as he will be free agent after this season, and he is entering the prime years of his career.

Understandably, Mets fans covet one if not all of these players. The issue becomes what are you going to be willing to give up for anyone of these players who not only suits a need for the Mets, but is also cost controlled? Judging from the haul the White Sox obtained in the Sale trade, the team is wisely extracting the most possible value for its players.

While nothing has been reported, it is likely the White Sox would look to obtain young controllable players like Michael Conforto, Justin Dunn, Robert Gsellman, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Dominic Smith in exchange for any combination of the aforementioned White Sox players.

And who could blame the White Sox from asking for players like that considering the impressive hauls they have received for their two biggest trade assets?

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Angels Sign Free Agent Outfielder Ben Revere Sat, 24 Dec 2016 01:16:43 +0000 ben-revere

The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a one-year, $4 million dollar contract with free-agent outfielder Ben Revere, as reported by’s Buster Olney. Incentives could increase the total value of the deal to $6.25 million.

Revere, 28, had a career worst season for the Washington Nationals in 2016, after suffering an oblique injury to begin the season. He batted just .217/.260/.300 with 44 runs scored and 14 stolen bases in 375 plate appearances.

A career .306 hitter entering last season, the speedy center fielder will look to bounceback next season with the Angels where he’ll likely serve as their fourth outfielder.

A former first rounder with the Minnesota Twins, Revere had some value as the long end of a platoon with his left-handed bat. Given his .234 BABIP and excellent contact rate, a return to his previous form is not out of the question.

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NL East News: Marlins Sign Reliever Junichi Tazawa Fri, 16 Dec 2016 01:24:18 +0000 junichi tazawa

The Miami Marlins have signed right-hander reliever Junichi Tazawa to a two-year, $12 million contract according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Tazawa, 30, is coming off the possibly worst full season of his career. He had a 4.17 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and allowed nine home runs in only 49.2 innings for the Boston Red Sox. The good news is that Tazawa did strike out 9.8 per nine innings, but posted only a 0.4 bWAR, his lowest in a full season.

In seven seasons with the Red Sox he had a 3.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.31 FIP and struck out 308 batters in 312 innings.

The Marlins still seem determined to improve their bullpen after missing out on big time closers Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman.

They’ve also shown interest in Brad Ziegler and Fernando Salas, both of whom the Mets could have interest in signing as well.

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Rockies Sign Mike Dunn, Lefty Reliever Market Dwindling Thu, 15 Dec 2016 18:47:14 +0000 MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets

Left-handed reliever Mike Dunn and the Colorado Rockies have agreed to a three-year, $19 million deal and an option for a fourth year at $6 million. The Dunn deal has continued a trend this season in which relievers across the board have been getting larger than expected free agent deals.

The first domino in the lefty reliever market to fall was Brett Cecil, who got four years, $30.5 million for the St. Louis Cardinals in November.

Earlier in the offseason, Mets reliever Jerry Blevins was said to have wanted a three-year deal worth $5 – $6 million annually. Based upon the free agent contracts already given out, Blevins stands a fairly good chance of getting a contract worth that much.

With the Mets already stating they are not interested in a multi-year deal for relievers, their chances of re-signing Blevins took another hit with the Dunn deal.

If the Mets are still interested in a left-handed reliever, there are other options available with Chris Capuano, Charlie Furbush, J.P. Howell, Boone Logan, Javier Lopez, Clayton Richard, and Travis Wood still unsigned.

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Cardinals Agree To Deal With Dexter Fowler Fri, 09 Dec 2016 01:35:11 +0000 dexter-fowler

Update, 9:15 p.m.

The deal has been agreed to, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The exact details are yet to come, but Heyman’s sources say it’s at least five years at $16 million per season ($80 million total).

Original Post, 8:35 p.m.

Free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler will be in St. Louis for a physical with the Cardinals tomorrow, indicating a deal is close, reports Frank Cusumano of KFNS 560 The Fan.  While no details of a contract are public, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Cardinals made an “over the top” offer to Fowler.

Fowler had one of his finest seasons of his nine-year career, slashing .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, and 85 runs scored in 125 games played. Fowler set career highs in OBP, BB% (14.3), wRC+ (129), and fWAR (4.7). In terms of National League outfielders, Fowler ranked second on FanGraphs in fWAR behind only teammate Kris Bryant (ranked as both third baseman and outfielder).

Fowler also posted positive numbers in center field this season, the first time he’s done so over a full season, according to FanGraphs. Fowler posted a 1.0 UZR/150 while manning center, with one defensive run saved, and also posted a 2.7 defensive rating on FanGraphs as well, which was a career high.

Fowler was once thought to be the backup plan for the Mets before they re-signed Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal, which remains the biggest contract signed by a free agent this offseason.

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Winter Meetings Day 1: Bruce Has Been A Tough Sell, Things Are Heating Up Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:24:07 +0000 brad-brach

Here is a complete wrap-up of Day 1 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland.

What We’re Hearing

As I reported on Sunday afternoon, Sandy Alderson confirmed that he was in talks with the Baltimore Orioles and that it was a continuation of a discussion that began before they left for the Winter Meetings. Alderson didn’t say much more than that during an interview, but there’s enough buzz and rumors to confirm that the Mets have targeted Orioles right-handed reliever Brad Brach.

Brach, 30, is an ideal candidate to fill that 7th inning role for the Mets bullpen, one of Sandy Alderson’s stated goals for the offseason. Brach also comes with two years of team control which makes him even more attractive to the Mets, but expensive as well. In fact, we’ve learned that neither Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce alone is enough to get a deal done and that the Mets would have to kick back a mid to high level prospect.

Additionally, it sounded like the O’s also wanted the Mets to eat some salary and that they had much more interest in Granderson than Bruce. Alderson has told teams that the Mets will not eat any salary on either of the outfielders he’s dangling.

Brach has produced a 2.39 ERA over the last two seasons with the O’s, with a 1.112 WHIP and 181 strikeouts in 158.1 innings pitched.

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

On Monday I reported that Jay Bruce has become like persona non grata here at the Winter Meetings, which is surprising because he is still a 30 homer bat if nothing else and power is a valued commodity. You have some MLB execs making faces or rolling their eyes when his name comes up.

After some digging around and speaking to a couple of people, that two month stretch Bruce had with the Mets has some teams backing off and wondering if he’s the same hitter without on-base machine Joey Votto hitting ahead of him.

It is amazing how turned off teams are on Bruce and one person I spoke to mentioned his OBP and below average defense deflates much of his value, suggesting he’s more of a DH at this point in his career than a right fielder.

After I reported that there was one team that had interest in Bruce but was only willing to offer a B-Level prospect, Jon Heyman posted something interesting later that evening. The Toronto Blue Jays, who have expressed interest in Bruce in seasons past, could be that team I head about.

“The Blue Jays continue to have interest in acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce from the Mets, but they’re offering little,” Heyman said.

It is so glaringly apparent that Sandy wants no part of Jay Bruce on his 2017 roster and teams are all picking up on that. The last thing he wants to do is trade Granderson (who he loves) and risk going into the season with Bruce, who never took to New York and was out-produced in every way by Granderson in the second half. Additionally, Bruce can’t bat leadoff and Granderson can – another reason why Sandy prefers to keep Grandy.

Eventually, Alderson will find a dance partner and he’ll move Bruce, but clearly this hasn’t gone as easy as he first thought it was. My gut feeling tells me that if the Mets were to kick in Brandon Nimmo or Gavin Cecchini, he may have a deal with Baltimore.

travis darnaud

Mets Items of Note

By now you know the Mets are fully committed to giving Travis d’Arnaud one last full chance at grabbing the everyday catcher’s job. To that end, d’Arnaud has been in Arizona over the last week working with Kevin Long on his offense and new catching coach Glenn Sherlock on his defense. Here’s to hoping that it all works out in the end for the 28 year old d’Arnaud, who was once considered the top catching prospect in the game.

Sandy Alderson has not shut the door on trading prospects to get the reliever he’s looking for. However, one prospect that will not be traded is Amed Rosario, he’s going nowhere. Last night, Sandy revealed that the plan for Rosario is to have him play multiple new positions next season, with an emphasis on third base. I was a little surprised by this, given that Rosario is the best defensive shortstop the Mets have had since Rey Ordonez one scout told me. That’s some high praise, and unlike Ordonez, Rosario is going to produce offensively as well.

Winter Meetings Rumors & News

The Washington Nationals are in hot pursuit of White Sox ace Chris Sale, and while some other teams are still in the mix, the Nats are the favorites to sign him according to all the buzz. If the Nats were to acquire him, it would certainly give them the best rotation in baseball, and as an added bonus they will move one of their talented backend rotation guys into the pen, much like the Mets intend to do with Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler or Robert Gsellman.

The San Francisco Giants signed closer Mark Melancon to a four year deal worth $62 million dollars that was heavily front-loaded and included an opt-out after two years. The terms of the deal were very odd to say the least, but in the end the Giants add a huge piece to a bullpen that was in shambles.

The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to terms with veteran relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit on a one year deal worth $7.5 million dollars. The price of mediocrity is staggering these days.

After a breakthrough season in his walk year, right-hander Rich Hill agreed to terms on a three-year deal worth $48 million dollars with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was no secret the Dodgers wanted him back.

Monday was kind of a slow day news wise, but there is plenty of buzz to suggest that we will see a ton of movement today with some significant signings and perhaps a blockbuster trade or two. Perhaps the Mets get their man Ziegler today. I have a good feeling about that.

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Dodgers Deep In Debt, Time To Trade For Yasiel Puig? Tue, 29 Nov 2016 15:00:21 +0000 Yasiel-Puig

The Los Angeles Dodgers are deep in debt. While this offseason they are scrambling to find a second baseman, third baseman, and a closer, they don’t have the ability to spend as much money as they want. After spending over one billion dollars on players alone from 2013-2016, their exemption from MLB debt rules expires in 2017.

The Dodgers are left with a conundrum. How do they shed enough payroll while still filling their needs? They have been linked to free agent closers Kenley Jansen, and if they can’t resign him, Aroldis Chapman. They have also said they want to bring back former Met Justin Turner, but he will be signing a serious contract this offseason. If they want to bring back these players, they need to trade away some of their big contracts.

Their biggest contract, Clayton Kershaw, isn’t going anywhere. Scott Kazmir, who is owed $32 million over the next two years, could certainly be on the move, but he doesn’t perk the Mets interest at all because the Mets should be pretty set with starting pitching barring injuries. Adrian Gonzalez is owed $43 million over the next two seasons, but again, the Mets wouldn’t want him as they have Lucas Duda for 2017, then potentially Dominic Smith for years to come.

Andre Ethier is owed $35 million over the next two seasons, so he could certainly be on the move as well. However, there is another Dodger outfielder that has not only been mentioned in many trade rumors, but I think is right up the Mets’ alley.

Yasiel puig

Why Trade For Him?

Yasiel Puig, 25, is owed about $17.5 million over the next two seasons, and is arbitration eligible in 2019 making for three years under team control. Now, I know what you’re thinking, so I’ll address the elephant in the room right up front. He has been described as many things, including dramatic, a punk, a prima donna, etc. It is easy for us to look in from the outside and make our own judgments, but I’d like to remind you all of something:

Those are exactly the kinds of words people were using to describe Yoenis Cespedes before he became a Met. However, since he came to Flushing, he has been one of the most beloved players by not only the fans, but his teammates and coaches as well. Of course, I do not know if this is the case with Puig, but judging by his frequent Tweets and interactions with the press, reports about his negative attitude could be greatly exaggerated.

Putting aside talks about his attitude, Puig is exactly the kind of player the Mets should be pursuing currently. They say they want a powerful right-handed outfielder, well, here he is. Not only can he hit, he is a great right fielder with a video game arm, earning the 2(-5) rating on his Strat-O-Matic card. He can also play a very good left or center field if needed, which certainly should perk Sandy Alderson’s interest a bit more.

Picture this for a second: In left field you have Yoenis Cespedes, in center field is Juan Lagares, and in right field is Yasiel Puig. Cespedes and Puig have two of the best arms in the Show, if not the best, and Lagares’ arm is well above average as well. Each of those three outfielders have recorded 15 assists in a season at least once. In addition to their arms, they all have great speed.

An outfield consisting of those three men would severely curtail the amount of extra base hits and sacrifice flies the Mets allow. With the Mets’ starting rotation supposedly healthy going into 2017, a strong defensive outfield would make them even better, and Cespedes/Lagares/Puig is as strong as it gets.

Puig hasn’t played a full season since 2014 due to injuries. He played in only 79 games in 2015 and 104 games in 2016. Last year, he hit .263/.323/.416 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs. While those numbers can be interpreted as under-producing, we must all remember that he is still only 25 years old and still developing as a player. He has a lot more potential in his bat, and everyone knows that, because they’ve seen it.

After finishing 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 behind Jose Fernandez, he played in 148 games in 2014, slashing .296/.382/.480 with 16 home runs, 69 RBIs, 165 hits, nine triples, and 11 stolen bases. He made his first All Star team en route to finishing 19th in MVP voting (his teammate Clayton Kershaw would win it that season).

His potential is undeniable, and a move to New York City could benefit him the same way it did Yoenis Cespedes. After being traded to NY, Cespedes has seen an increase in almost all of his offensive statistics. He loves it here, and judging by how Puig interacts with the media, it seems he would too. If Cespedes were to return, he could take the young Puig under his wing.

The Mets also have something the Dodgers don’t: A plethora of real veteran leaders. They’ve got captain David WrightRoberto Clemente Award-winning outfielder Curtis Granderson, as well as veterans Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes. The Dodgers had some veterans, including Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, and Chase Utley, but they didn’t seem to be the right mentors for Puig, while the Mets have veterans that could be.

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What Would It Take?

Not that much at all, actually. As I mentioned earlier, the Dodgers quite literally do not have a second or third baseman. Furthermore, they quite literally have to shed contract obligations.

As much as I love him, the Dodgers would jump at an opportunity to acquire a player like Wilmer Flores, who can play both second and third base while being a solid presence in the lineup. He is projected to make $2-3 million through arbitration in 2017, and would be a much cheaper option for the Dodgers than trying to retain FA Justin Turner when they truly can not take on more big contracts.

Flores put up solid numbers in 2016, setting new career highs in batting average (.267), on-base percentage (.319), and slugging percentage while matching his career high in home runs (16) in 103 games. He was on track to easily beat more of his career highs before his season ended with a wrist injury.

His trade value is high right now, partly because of his progression as a hitter but also because of his prowess crushing left-handed pitchers. The Mets can afford to trade him because of their extensive infield depth. If the Mets trade Wilmer, they would have Lucas Duda at first, Neil Walker at second, Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop, David Wright at third, with Jose Reyes and T.J. Rivera as backup infielders.

The Dodgers could also be interested in acquiring Rivera or possibly Matt Reynolds, but I think they would mostly be interested in Flores.

The Dodgers outfield would be just fine without Puig, with Andrew Toles in left field, Joc Pederson in center, and Andre Ethier in right with Enrique Hernandez as their fourth outfielder. While the Dodgers would probably to prefer to trade Ethier, his age (34) and his remaining contract (2 years, $35 million) would make that difficult. Trading Puig just makes sense for them.

Long story short, after the Mets trade Jay Bruce, which they probably will, at least looking into acquiring Yasiel Puig might be a good idea.

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Nationals Willing To Reconfigure Outfield For Yoenis Cespedes Tue, 29 Nov 2016 12:14:29 +0000 yoenis-cespedes-550

Last offseason, the Washington Nationals were one of the few teams in on Yoenis Cespedes until Cespedes signed a deal to return to the Mets.  With Cespedes having opted out of his contract with the Mets, the Nationals are once again interested in signing Cespedes, and they are willing to do what is necessary to make their team more appealing to him.

According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, the Nationals are willing to reconfigure their outfield to permit Cespedes to play left field like he prefers.

The new outfield alignment would move Bryce Harper to center field and Jayson Werth to right field, a position he played when he was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.  Trea Turner would move back to his natural shortstop position to take over Danny Espinosa, who the Nationals view as a trade piece.

What is unknown is how much the Nationals will be willing to offer Cespedes.  It was reported the Nationals offered Cespedes a five year $110 million deal last offseason. However, Cespedes ultimately rejected the deal because of the amount of deferred payments in the contract.

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Psychics Agree: No Fifth Year For Cespedes Wed, 23 Nov 2016 20:00:58 +0000 yoenis cespedes

The New York Post indicated that the Mets remain interested in signing Yoenis Cespedes to a four year contract, but a fifth year could wind up being a deal breaker. We can spend all day speculating about the actual reason for this rumored line in the sand.

Many fans still think the Wilpons have no intention of signing Yo and are just trying to give the impression that they made their best effort to keep him here. It’s also possible that this is all just part of the negotiating process for Sandy Alderson.

The Mets may also just be leaking this news to the media purely as a negotiating tactic. In the end the Mets may cave and give Cespedes exactly what he wants because they recognize how important he is to the team.

The Cespedes negotiations have implications that go beyond simply losing or retaining the most valuable bat on the team. Many fans will see the outcome as a signal for the direction of the franchise. If Yo leaves, some Mets fans will see that as confirmation of their worst fears regarding the Wilpons’ willingness to spend. On the contrary, if he signs a multi-year deal with the Mets, some fans will see this as a sign that the team’s payroll is going in the right direction.

That being said, many baseball “psychics” seem to know exactly how the Cespedes deal will turn out. I can’t tell you how many fans have talked to me or tweeted at me to state their support of a four year deal for Cespedes, but not a five year deal.

The baseball fans that take hard stances against giving a free agent “the extra year” always baffle me. Baseball doesn’t have a hard salary cap. The Mets’ payroll is not approaching the current MLB luxury tax threshold. So why do Mets fans have strong views on this? Do people seriously feel that a four year deal is acceptable, but a fifth year is so unreasonable that they’d rather not watch Cespedes (i.e. the most exciting baseball player in New York City) play at Citi Field?

Why are some people specifically afraid of a fifth year? Do you have a crystal ball? These fans act like they know with certainty that at 35 years old Yoenis Cespedes will cease to be a productive major leaguer. At 34 he’ll be fine. But at 35? He’s done!


In my opinion, you can make one of two arguments when it comes to Cespedes:

Argument 1: Don’t sign Yo and instead spread out that money across multiple players to improve the team.

Argument 2: Go all out to sign Yo to a four or five year deal and hope he maintains his power and health over the course of the deal.

I understand that there’s uncertainty surrounding a contract that takes a player into his mid 30′s, but arguing over the merits of a four or five or even six year contract for a 31 year old player coming off the two best seasons of his career, drawing arbitrary lines in the sand is ridiculous in my opinion.

Sure, long-term deals can be hit or miss. Jose Reyes signed a six year deal with the Marlins at 28, and it didn’t really work out due to injuries and his off the field problems. David Wright signed an eight year deal at 29 and due to his health issues that hasn’t really worked out.

On the other hand, Carlos Beltran signed a seven year deal with the Mets at 27, and he’s still going strong at 39. The four year deal the Mets gave to Curtis Granderson has worked out thus far, and he’s 35 years old.

The point is, unless these baseball fortune tellers have seen Yo’s medical reports and somehow know for a fact that he’s on the path to early retirement, I don’t how they can possibly sell me on the argument that a four year deal makes sense but a five year deal is irresponsible.

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Cafardo: Players With Big Contracts Who Could Go To The Mets Mon, 21 Nov 2016 12:00:36 +0000 MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Arizona Diamondbacks

Nick Cafardo wrote an article for the Boston Globe, referencing some players with large contracts that could be on the move this offseason. In that list were a few players that he imagines could be wearing a Mets uniform in 2017.

One player on his list is 31 year-old Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. The three-time All Star and 2008 Rookie of the Year had a good year for the struggling Rays, hitting .273 while blasting 36 home runs and driving in 98.

He is very durable, having played at least 160 games every season since 2013. He is also very consistent, hitting 20 or more home runs every season except 2012 when he hit 17 in only 74 games. He is also a very good defender, having won two Gold Gloves in his career.

Contract-wise, he is owed $13.5 million for 2018, $14.5 million for 2019, $15 million for 2020, $18.5 million for 2021 and $19.5 million for 2022. There is a $13 million option for 2023 with a $5 million buyout. He would be 37 years old for that 2023 contract year.

I don’t see the Mets trading for Longoria. The Rays will want many players in return to help rebuild their franchise, and the Mets just don’t really need him right now. They have David Wright, Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, and T.J. Rivera who can all play third base. While Longoria is a great player, I’d pass.

joey votto

Another player on Cafardo’s list is long-time Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Votto, 33, had yet another phenomenal year, hitting .326 and leading the National League with a .434 on base percentage. He also crushed 29 home runs with 97 RBIs, 101 runs, eight stolen bases, and a .985 OPS.

His career on base percentage (.425) is the highest among active players. The four-time All Star has finished in the top-ten in MVP voting five times, winning the award in 2010.

While the Reds are clearly in rebuilding mode, the Reds manager Dick Williams has said that he’s not shopping Votto, but will listen to offers. While he would be an immediate upgrade to any lineup, his contract might hinder many teams’ interest.

Votto will be paid $25 million every year from 2018-2023 when he will be 40 years of age. His contract contains a $20 million team option for the 2024 season with a $7 million buyout. This is exactly the kind of contract Sandy Alderson tries to avoid.

That, along with his full no-trade clause, makes me doubt the Mets will make a play for him.

carlos Gonzalez

With one year and $20 million left on his contract, Carlos Gonzalez will almost certainly be on the move this offseason. Posting yet another great season in which he hit .298 with 25 home runs and 100 RBIs, the three-time All Star and Gold Glover will be on the tip of general managers’ tongues at the winter meetings.

With the exception of 2014 during which he played in only 70 games, the 31 year-old has hit 20 home runs every season since 2010. His powerful bat, defensive prowess, and bearable contract make him an interesting conversation topic, but will the Mets trade for him?

Again, I think the answer is no. The Mets are focused on retaining Yoenis Cespedes and trading Jay Bruce because they have a very left-handed team. If the Mets were to trade away Bruce and bring in Gonzalez, they would be paying $7 million more for only a slight upgrade.

steven matz stanton

Now this one is interesting. Cafardo points out that with the untimely death of Jose Fernandez, Marlins’ right fielder Giancarlo Stanton‘s name has been brought up more frequently.

Stanton has as much power as anyone in the game of baseball. He has some kind of potential, but hasn’t quite lived up to it thus far having battled various injuries. While already having 208 home runs at the age of 27, he has played in more than 125 games in a season only twice.

On average, he plays in 118 games a season, averaging 30 home runs and 77 RBIs while also providing great defense in right field. In 2014 he slashed .298/395/.555 with 37 home runs, 105 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases, finishing second in MVP voting behind Clayton Kershaw.

He has a very interesting contract. He is entering the third season of a 13-year $325 million contract. He will make $25 million in 2018, and $26 million in 2019 and 2020. This is where it gets interesting, as he has an opt-out clause after the 2020 season. This would allow him to leave the remaining 8 years and $233 million on the table to pursue free agency at the age of 31.

While it is a longshot, I do believe it is possible for the Mets to pull this one off. It would be unlikely that the Marlins would trade him intra-division, however if the price is right, they could take that route as the Mets have a very strong farm system. Another roadblock is Stanton’s full no-trade clause, as while I believe he would soak up the spotlight in NYC, he has made a home for himself in Florida.

Whether or not the Mets retain Yoenis Cespedes, seeing Giancarlo Stanton in a Mets uniform would be phenomenal.

I don’t see Sandy Alderson going out of his way to trade for any of these players this offseason. With speculation that Sandy will be trading Jay Bruce and might deal Curtis Granderson, the prospect of adding another expensive bat via trade seems implausible.

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NL East News: Braves, Nationals Have Interest In SP Chris Sale Wed, 16 Nov 2016 16:11:28 +0000 chris sale

According to Buster Olney on Twitter, the Chicago White Sox are in rebuilding mode. They have many players that teams would find attractive, including Jose Abreu, Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier, and Melky Cabrera. Clearly, though, their most valuable piece is left-handed starting pitcher Chris Sale.

Unfortunately, according to Jon Heyman on Twitter, the Atlanta Braves are interested in acquiring his services. The Washington Nationals are also interested. They both have a real shot of landing him because they have very strong farm systems with a plethora of young players the rebuilding White Sox would want.

Sale, 27, is one of the nastiest pitchers in the game. Since becoming a starter in 2012, he has been an All Star every year and hasn’t finished lower than 6th in Cy Young voting, going 70-47 with a 3.04 ERA. In 1015.2 innings, he has struck out 1133 batters and pitching to a 1.061 WHIP. He has struck out at least 200 batters every year since 2013, whiffing 274 in 2015.

Sale is also highly sought after because of his relatively cheap contract. He will make $12 million in 2017, with options for 2018 and 2019 for $12.5 million and $15 million respectively. Unless he signs an extension, he will be a free agent after the 2019 season before his age 31 season.

The Braves have already signed former Met starters R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon this offseason. They already had Julio Teheran, so the addition of Sale would make for a pretty strong rotation.

They have also been linked to Chris Archer (more on that here), but it’s hard to imagine they have the means to acquire both aces.

The Nationals as of now have a strong rotation including Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, and Joe Ross. It’s reasonable to assume Roark and/or Ross would be moving to Chicago if the Nationals ended up trading for Sale.

If either of these two teams added Chris Sale, it would obviously have an immediate effect on the Mets. If the Braves acquired him, they certainly wouldn’t be thrust into a contending role right away, but if the Nationals signed him, they would solidify themselves at the top of the division with the Mets for years to come.

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Yoenis Cespedes Officially Rejects Qualifying Offer Mon, 14 Nov 2016 16:23:17 +0000 USP MLB: MIAMI MARLINS AT NEW YORK METS S BBN USA NY

In a not-so-surprising turn of events, Yoenis Cespedes has rejected the Mets’ qualifying offer, according to multiple sources. He has officially become a free agent.

Cespedes, 31, is the best free agent outfielder on the market and should fetch a huge contract. He has publicly said he wants five years, and the Mets have been said to be willing to offer him a four-year deal around $100 million.

The re-signing of Cespedes went down to the wire last year and the team does not want to take the same approach this offseason. Last week, Mets general manager, Sandy Alderson, spoke on resolving things a bit faster this time around.

“I think realistically, from our standpoint this year, things will probably have to resolve themselves a lot sooner than they did last year,” said Alderson. “But it’s hard to predict where things will go.”

“Things could go quickly. Things could linger. But certainly, from our standpoint, between now and the winter meetings, and through the end of the winter meetings, would be the right time to get some of these issues resolved. But that doesn’t mean it will happen.”

Cespedes was everything you could have asked for as a Met, hitting 280/.354/.530 with 31 homers to go along with 86 RBI this past season, showcasing his raw power at all the right times and leading the Mets offense to their second consecutive playoff berth.

Cespedes has said he would want to return to the Mets, presumably if the price is right.

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Please Don’t Smear Cespedes On The Way Out Sun, 06 Nov 2016 17:02:13 +0000 yoenis cespedes michael conforto

With Yoenis Cespedes officially opting out of his contract on Friday, the danger of losing him in free agency will begin to be fully realized.

The Mets have had over a month to negotiate a deal with Cespedes.  Over this time period, the Mets were the only team that could negotiate with Cespedes, and yet the front office has had no contract discussions with him.  Instead, the Mets have let everyone know they are pessimistic about re-signing him because he wants a five year deal.  They also put out some signals that they are concerned about his effort if he gets the longterm deal he is looking for.

Is this the beginning of another smear campaign the Mets launched against Cespedes last offseason? Last offseason, the Mets quickly moved on from Cespedes by signing Alejandro De Aza to platoon with Juan Lagares in center, with Sandy Alderson referring to Cespedes as a square peg in a round hole to justify why the team decided against him.  It was only after Cespedes didn’t get the deal he was expecting in free agency that he and the Mets were able to negotiate the current deal Cespedes is opting out of.

yoenis cespedes juan lagares

There will be no signings similar to De Aza this offseason. The Mets already have a glut of outfielders with Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Lagares. The Mets will likely piece together their outfield configuration from among their internal options for the 2017 season. There’s a good chance that Cespedes is as good as gone this time.

And if he does move on and signs with a new team, just let him go and not disparage or tarnish him on the way out.  He was an amazing impact player for the Mets over the past year and a half.  Not only did he energize and electrify the fans, but he was a huge difference maker in the lineup. If the Mets believe they can build a competitive offense without Cespedes, that’s fine and more power to them.

However, no matter what your decision, please don’t smear the guy on the way out. No matter how hard you try, you are never going to change our positive opinion of him. Please don’t taint all the great memories and thrilling moments that Cespedes had with the Mets. He gave us hope and we might have never snapped our six year losing streak without him. He exceeded all of our expectations with the Mets, helped us make back to back postseason appearances, and he shouldn’t be derided for wanting to find a better deal for himself. So I urge Mets ownership and the front office, please… no smear campaigns.

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Mets And Yoenis Cespedes Haven’t Spoken About Contract Wed, 02 Nov 2016 17:00:59 +0000 yoenis-cespedes-2-550

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN, the Mets have yet to speak to Yoenis Cespedes or his representatives regarding a contract past the 2016 season. Cespedes, who is expected to opt out of his current contract by Saturday, will be the premier outfield free agent this offseason at the age of 31. In 2016, he made the All Star team while hitting to the tune of a .280/.354/.530 slash line, blasting 31 homers and driving in 86 runs.

The Mets brass are skeptical that he will want to return to New York as they believe he will seek to maximize his paycheck. He will be looking for a five-year deal, and Sandy Alderson is known for his aversion to long-term contracts for veterans. In his case, though, many are worried about the effort he will put in once locked up in a long-term guaranteed contract.

If he departs for good, the Mets will pursue another source of offense, preferably a right-handed outfielder/first baseman. The name that immediately comes to mind is Mark Trumbo, however that might be a little much to ask for. The Mets have a plethora of left-handed-hitting outfielders including the likes of Curtis Granderson, Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, and Michael Conforto, so having another right-handed bat to compliment Juan Lagares against lefties would be prudent.

The Mets will be able to extend a $17.2M qualifying offer to Yoenis Cespedes, which he will accept once pigs fly through a frozen-over hell. If he signs elsewhere after declining that offer, the Mets would be compensated with a high-round draft pick in the 2017 draft.

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