Piazza ranks as Mets' best free-agent signing

Piazza ranks as Mets' best free-agent signing

Before bidding adieu to the Hot Stove season, we asked our 30 beat reporters to look back at their club's past and answer the following question: Who is the best free-agent signing in the team's history?

We narrowed the choices with the following parameters: The signings had to be multiyear contracts, to exclude fluky one-year deals and to focus on players who got real commitments. And contract extensions don't count. Only instances when every team in the league had a chance to bid on the player were allowed, including international free agents who received Major League contracts.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Familia, Reed form bullpen backbone

If pair pitches well, Mets could rank among top relief groups in 2017

Around the Horn: Familia, Reed form bullpen backbone

With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Port St. Lucie, Fla., by Feb. 12, it's time to dissect the Mets' 2017 roster. This is the third of a six-part Around the Horn series taking a position-by-position look at projected starters and backups heading into the season. Next up: relievers.

Considering general manager Sandy Alderson's aversion to investing significant dollars into his team's bullpen, it's worth looking at how Mets relievers have fared over the past two seasons. In 2014, New York finished fourth in the National League in bullpen ERA. In '15, it ranked seventh. And last summer, the Mets were third, posting a 3.51 ERA with 569 strikeouts in 525 innings.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith No. 3 on Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

Dodgers' Bellinger ranks first, Pirates' Bell, Mets' Smith follow once again

Smith No. 3 on Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

No position in the big leagues places a greater premium on power than first base, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that MLBPipeline's list of the Top 10 first-base prospects is loaded with sluggers. Four of them have plus pop, led by Cody Bellinger's 65 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale, and the rest all have average or better power. Meanwhile, the top four first basemen all ranked among the top six a year ago, while Bellinger and Casey Gillaspie leaped into the top half of the list.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baseball world mourns Ventura, Marte

Baseball world mourns Ventura, Marte

The baseball world mourned the unexpected deaths of Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and third baseman Andy Marte on Sunday.

Ventura, 25, died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Marte, 33, also died in a separate car crash Sunday in the Dominican Republic.

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Jesse Sanchez has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets absent among contenders for HOF in '17

Mets absent among contenders for HOF in '17

NEW YORK -- Cooperstown forever changed for Mets fans last summer, when Mike Piazza joined Tom Seaver as the only players with Mets caps on their Hall of Fame plaques.

Don't expect more of the same anytime soon.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Longtime scout Minor made major impact

Former evaluator passed away on Wednesday at 89

Longtime scout Minor made major impact

In the hours leading up to the 1982 MLB Draft, the New York Mets were debating whether to take Dwight Gooden or Richard Monteleon with the fifth pick in the first round.

Finally, veteran scout Harry Minor spoke up.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Write 'em Cowboy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trade market dwindling for Mets' Bruce

As camp nears, club may hang on to veteran OF

Trade market dwindling for Mets' Bruce

NEW YORK -- In two blinks of an eye this weekend, Jose Bautista zeroed in on a deal to return to the Blue Jays, while the Phillies agreed to terms with Michael Saunders. Those bits of news landed about a week after the Orioles traded for Seth Smith, fortifying an outfield in need of left-handed thump.

Just like that, the Mets' market for Jay Bruce, which as of New Year's Day included as many as a half-dozen suitors, evaporated down to one or two.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rosario hopes to follow Reyes' path for Mets

Shortstop prospect impresses with continued development in Minors

Rosario hopes to follow Reyes' path for Mets

NEW YORK -- As Amed Rosario has developed from an intriguing prospect to one of baseball's best, he has leaned at various points along the way on a few people in particular.

One, last summer, was Jose Reyes. The two crossed paths for about two weeks last July, when Rosario was playing at Double-A Binghamton and Reyes was working his way back into big league shape there. They snapped pictures together, posting them on social media. Both men came away impressed.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets avoid arbitration with Harvey, deGrom, 3 others

Mets avoid arbitration with Harvey, deGrom, 3 others

The Mets have reportedly avoided arbitration with starting pitchers Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, as well as relievers Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. Each has agreed to terms on a one-year contract. The club has not confirmed the deals.

The Mets avoided arbitration with first baseman Lucas Duda and right-hander Zack Wheeler earlier this week. That leaves infielder Wilmer Flores as the only player with whom New York was unable to reach an agreement. 

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at . This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duda, Mets avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

Duda, Mets avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

The Mets and first baseman Lucas Duda avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract for 2017, the club announced on Thursday. The deal is worth $7.25 million, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Duda was limited to 47 games in 2016, the result of a lower back stress fracture. He produced a .229/.302/.412 slash line, with seven home runs, seven doubles and 23 RBIs.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Mets confident in corner vets

Wright, Duda set to return in 2017 after injury-plagued '16

Around the Horn: Mets confident in corner vets

With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Port St. Lucie, Fla., by Feb. 12, it's time to dissect the Mets' 2017 roster. This is the second of a six-part Around the Horn series taking a position-by-position look at projected starters and backups heading into the season. Next up: corner infielders.

NEW YORK -- At one end of the diamond, the Mets are set to feature a seven-time All-Star. At the other, a 30-homer slugger. Combined, those two players will make roughly $30 million in 2017.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets sign lefty Wilk to Minor League deal

Mets sign lefty Wilk to Minor League deal

Their bullpen lacking a traditional left-handed specialist, the Mets signed southpaw Adam Wilk to a Minor League contract Thursday that includes an invite to Spring Training.

Wilk, 29, is 0-3 with a 6.49 career ERA in nine games (three starts) across three brief big league stints dating back to 2011. He most recently appeared in the Majors with the Angels in '15, and he spent all of last season with Tampa Bay's Triple-A Durham affiliate, going 2-8 with a 3.61 ERA in 15 games (all starts).

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How big of a role will Conforto play?

Mets beat reporter Anthony DiComo responds to fans' questions

Inbox: How big of a role will Conforto play?

One month and one day from now, Mets pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training. The team still has a bit to do this offseason, including an anticipated trade of Jay Bruce. In the meantime, here's the latest batch of Mets questions and answers:

How much of a leash do you think Michael Conforto has to improve and bounce back? Will he get full-time at-bats against left-handed pitchers?
-- @JCarpenter2015 via Twitter

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets, Wheeler avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

Mets, Wheeler avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

The Mets and Zack Wheeler have avoided arbitration by coming to terms on a one-year for 2017, the club announced on Wednesday. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported the deal is worth $800,000.

Wheeler, 26, has missed each of the last two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery he underwent in March 2015. He is expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training in February.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith heads list of Mets' 13 NRI additions

Club's No. 2 prospect follows breakout season with second spring invite

Smith heads list of Mets' 13 NRI additions

NEW YORK -- First baseman Dominic Smith, the Mets' second-ranked prospect, highlights a list of 13 non-roster players the Mets have invited to big league Spring Training.

Also on the list: pitchers Chasen Bradford, P.J. Conlon, Kevin McGowan, David Roseboom, Paul Sewald, Corey Taylor and Logan Taylor; catcher Xorge Carrillo; infielders Phillip Evans and Luis Guillorme (Mets' No. 20 prospect); and outfielders Champ Stuart and Travis Taijeron.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thor drops track list for 'Noah Syndergaard mixtape'

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Thor drops track list for 'Noah Syndergaard mixtape'

It's been a tumultuous few months for Noah Syndergaard. Despite his stellar start, the Mets were eliminated in heartbreaking fashion by the Giants in the NL Wild Card Game. A month later, he wasn't named as a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award. And then, a few days later, the coup de grace: Rotation-mate and being of pure light Bartolo Colon was gone, off to the Atlanta Braves

After all that, Thor has responded just as any true artist would: He's channeled his emotion into his music. Allow us to present, the Noah Syndergaard Mixtape.

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Ordonez introduced himself with a miraculous throw

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Ordonez introduced himself with a miraculous throw

It was Mets Opening Day -- April 1, 1996. The Amazins were playing the Cardinals, and the team had some new faces on its roster: Lance Johnson, who signed as a free agent, Men In Black's Bernard Gilkey and some defensive wiz kid named Rey Ordonez.

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Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Despite the frigid temperatures throughout many big league cities, Major League Baseball's announcement Tuesday of the first workout dates of Spring Training should be enough to warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.

The following are the first Spring Training workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League clubs. 

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Around the Horn: d'Arnaud bounceback key at backstop

Mets relying on idea of catcher as significant contributor

Around the Horn: d'Arnaud bounceback key at backstop

With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Port St. Lucie, Fla., by Feb. 12, it's time to dissect the Mets' 2016 roster. This is the first of a multipart Around the Horn series taking a position-by-position look at projected starters and backups heading into the season.

Earlier this offseason, a reporter asked Mets general manager Sandy Alderson if he expected the team to improve at catcher. The question's implication was clear -- would New York sign Matt Wieters or another free-agent backstop? Might the Mets dip back into the trade market behind the plate?

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franchise favorite Alfonzo to manage Brooklyn

Former Met spent eight of his 12 big league seasons with New York

Franchise favorite Alfonzo to manage Brooklyn

NEW YORK -- A franchise favorite will return to a prominent role in the Mets' organization this season. Class A Short-Season Brooklyn announced Thursday that Edgardo Alfonzo will become its manager in 2017.

An All-Star and National League Silver Slugger Award winner who spent eight of his 12 big league seasons with the Mets, Alfonzo enjoyed his best year with the pennant-winning 2000 team, batting .324 with 25 home runs and a .967 OPS. He ranks fifth in franchise history in hits and runs scored, sixth in batting average and doubles, seventh in walks and RBIs and ninth in home runs.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Wright or Reyes play third?

Beat reporter Anthony DiComo answers Mets fans' questions

Inbox: Will Wright or Reyes play third?

The new year is upon us, with plenty for the Mets still to do. Now that teams around Major League Baseball are back from their holiday breaks, the Mets' offseason agenda should kick into high gear. Atop their list? A trade of Jay Bruce and the acquisition of at least one reliever.

In the meantime, here is another batch of questions and answers to open 2017:

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes, injuries remain Mets' top concerns

Collins' future also in question as he enters final year of contract

Cespedes, injuries remain Mets' top concerns

NEW YORK -- Picture one of the most talented rosters in the Majors fully healthy, recharged and ready to compete for a title. Picture tens of thousands of screaming fans once again pouring into Citi Field for a late-October postseason game.

Perhaps that's a pipe dream for a Mets club with plenty of questions heading into 2017. Perhaps it's unrealistic in a league featuring other talented young contenders such as the Cubs and Nationals -- not to mention a prickly division including the upstart Braves. But New York believes its own roster is still very much in its prime, ready to compete for a World Series title.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former MLB catcher Cannizzaro dies at 78

Original '62 Met, first Padres All-Star played 13 seasons

Former MLB catcher Cannizzaro dies at 78

Chris Cannizzaro, an original 1962 Met and the first All-Star in Padres franchise history, died on Thursday at the age of 78.

The former catcher, who played in the Major Leagues for 13 seasons from 1960-74, had been suffering from lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Padres acknowledged his passing on Friday.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets make playoffs in '16, fall short of goal

Injuries to several key players derailed WS dreams

Mets make playoffs in '16, fall short of goal

NEW YORK -- Still soaring from their World Series appearance in 2015, the Mets entered this past season with higher expectations than at nearly any point in their 54-year history. Among the National League's preseason favorites, the Mets aimed to combine their standout starting pitching with a good-enough offense to return to October glory.

It didn't work out quite according to plan. Nearly every step of the way, injuries undermined the Mets, who lost three-fifths of their rotation and three-quarters of their starting infield for large swaths of the summer. But the Mets persevered, relying on a cast of relative unknowns to stay afloat in the NL Wild Card race, before ultimately earning a playoff berth on the season's final weekend.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

5 pitchers who dropped off Hall ballot too soon

5 pitchers who dropped off Hall ballot too soon

MLB.com has already taken a look at some of the more surprising position players to go one-and-done in Hall of Fame balloting. Next up are the pitchers.

Players eligible for election to the Hall of Fame need 75 percent of votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America to be enshrined in Cooperstown; they only need 5 percent to reserve a spot on the ballot for the following year. But not all candidates hit that mark, and many have dropped off the ballot after only one year. Many more will do so again in the future.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

6 surprising Hall ballot one-and-done hitters

Edmonds, Delgado, Lofton among players who compare favorably to HOFers

6 surprising Hall ballot one-and-done hitters

This is Tim Raines' 10th and final year of eligibility on the Hall of Fame ballot, and the campaigning for Rock has been strong. But there will also be, inevitably, those among the candidates who never get that full run of chances.

Since 1979, in one form or another, the 5-percent rule has applied for potential Cooperstown inductees: receive at least five percent of the Baseball Writers Association of America's votes, stay on the ballot for another year; fall short of that mark, fall off future ballots. (The number of votes needed for election to the Hall is 75 percent.)

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Most amazing National League games of 2016

Most amazing National League games of 2016

The 2016 season in Major League Baseball was one of inspiring feats of athleticism, ballparks packed with ecstatic fans and the undeniable drama that comes with America's pastime. At the end of the 162-game push and an amazing October, one team was standing: the Chicago Cubs, who broke a 108-year championship drought and won the World Series for the National League.

But 14 other NL teams played all season and had their own pinnacle moments. In consultation with each club's beat reporter, here is the game of the year for each club in the NL in 2016:

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Lugo to play for PR in WBC

Source: Lugo to play for PR in WBC

Puerto Rico added a pair of Major Leaguers to its World Baseball Classic roster on Tuesday. Mets pitcher Seth Lugo and Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario have committed to play for Puerto Rico in the 2017 tournament, sources told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.

Puerto Rico opens WBC play in Pool D against host Mexico, Italy and Venezuela at Estadio Charros de Jalisco from March 9-12.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.