Alderson characteristically patient at Meetings

GM confident Mets will accomplish remaining offseason objectives

Alderson characteristically patient at Meetings

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- When the Mets signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes -- their top offseason priority -- last week, general manager Sandy Alderson noted that the speed with which he completed that deal could slow other pursuits. Rather than rush into a trade of Jay Bruce, for example, Alderson would have the luxury of taking things slowly.

So it went this week in National Harbor, where the Mets engaged various clubs on a trade for Bruce as well as various agents on bullpen deals. The Mets walked away from Maryland with no new players, but plenty of leads.

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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 confident d'Arnaud can turn things around

Club hoping new coach Sherlock can help catcher reach his potential

Mets confident d'Arnaud can turn things around

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- If the Mets' offense is to improve from last season, general manager Sandy Alderson said, it is going to have to be from within. The Mets may go the rest of the winter without adding another big league hitter, even on the bench. So much of the burden will fall to those who did not produce this past season.

Chief among that group is catcher Travis d'Arnaud, a former blue-chip prospect who hit just .247 with a .629 OPS in 75 games. Injuries did not help, as d'Arnaud lost nearly two months to a right shoulder sprain. But even when healthy, he simply did not produce, losing playing time to career backup Rene Rivera. That Rivera started the win-or-go-home National League Wild Card Game spoke volumes about how far d'Arnaud had fallen.

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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.

To trim payroll, Mets likely to trade Bruce

To trim payroll, Mets likely to trade Bruce

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Entering the Winter Meetings this week, the Mets internally estimated their 2017 payroll at around $150 million. That's a bit of a jump for a team that only recently eclipsed the nine-figure threshold, dipping below $80 million for a time earlier this decade.

Given the Mets' current budget, it's also somewhat unsustainable. The Mets would like to enter next season with a payroll closer to $140 million, which they plan to accomplish by trading a corner outfielder -- likely Jay Bruce. General manager Sandy Alderson does not plan to reinvest the $13 million the Mets could potentially save from that deal fully into his relief corps, the roster's lone remaining need.

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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.

Piazza focused on growing baseball in Italy

Piazza focused on growing baseball in Italy

NEW YORK -- What a year 2016 has been for Mike Piazza. The former catcher was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and that was shortly after he bought a majority stake in the Italian soccer club A.C. Reggiana 1919 of the Lega Pro league.

On Thursday night, his attention was on 2017, with the fourth installment of the World Baseball Classic and an overall effort to keep growing baseball at the grassroots level in Italy. Piazza, who is returning as a coach for Team Italy in the event next spring, was the featured guest of honor at the Italian American Baseball Family Launch and Dinner at Carmine's in Brooklyn.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No pain, yet no set spot for Wheeler in 2017

Recovering Mets righty isn't sure whether he'll be in rotation or bullpen

No pain, yet no set spot for Wheeler in 2017

NEW YORK -- Zack Wheeler's emotions ran the gamut since he last pitched in a Major League game two Septembers ago: from disappointment to hope and back again, the ride riddled with constant frustration.

Now, the one thing he doesn't feel is pain. Wheeler said his right arm is as healthy as it's been since undergoing Tommy John and flexor tendon surgery in March 2015, fueling the likelihood he'll pitch again this spring. The only question is where.

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

Collins ready to win now, assess future after '17

Collins ready to win now, assess future after '17

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Over the span of a single week in November, Terry Collins lost a pair of friends he had known since grammar school. As he mourned them, Collins, 67, got to thinking. He wondered about his own future. He considered the rest of his life.

"All of a sudden you're looking in the mirror saying, 'Holy cow,'" Collins said. "When the season is over, I will sit down -- and hopefully it's in November next year -- and analyze where I'm at. Because I still feel great. I've got a lot of energy. But I don't know if it's going to be there or not, have to wait and see."

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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 plan to assign Tebow to Minors camp

Club will also give him exposure to Major League pitching in Grapefruit games

Mets plan to assign Tebow to Minors camp

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- When the Mets decided to ship Tim Tebow out to the Arizona Fall League in October, they did so fully believing he was "overmatched" -- general manager Sandy Alderson's word -- by the competition there. But the Mets sent him anyway because they believed if Tebow were to succeed at age 29, his crash course in baseball would need to include as many actual games as possible.

With that in mind, the Mets are all but certain to assign Tebow to Minor League camp this February -- not to big league Spring Training, where the lights and attention would be brighter. But the Mets do plan to borrow Tebow from the Minors on a regular basis, giving him exposure to Major League pitching in Grapefruit League games.

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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.

Alderson: Wright is Mets' everyday third baseman

GM also discusses trying Reyes in outfield in Spring Training

Alderson: Wright is Mets' everyday third baseman

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson did not hesitate Monday when asked about the identity of his third baseman heading into next season.

"David Wright," Alderson said simply, as if anything regarding Wright these days were simple.

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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.

Clubs appear to prefer Granderson over Bruce

Mets reportedly show interest in Orioles reliever Brach

Clubs appear to prefer Granderson over Bruce

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the first day of the Winter Meetings drew to a close, the Mets reached something of an impasse regarding their desire to trade an outfielder. After spending Monday talking to the Orioles and other teams about potential deals, the Mets came away believing clubs are more interested in Curtis Granderson than Jay Bruce.

That does not jive well with a Mets front office that vastly prefers to trade Bruce, with an eye toward using Granderson on a regular basis in center field.

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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.

Play Ball auction honors late Mets staffer Forde

Proceeds to go toward renaming field in her name, renovations at complex

Play Ball auction honors late Mets staffer Forde

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- More than two dozen Mets employees from various sects of the organization climbed onto a Winter Meetings stage early Monday, there to provide the kind of support that late staffer Shannon Forde always did. Longtime Mets public relations executive Jay Horwitz sighed loudly as he attempted to describe the impact that Forde had on the organization.

Perhaps chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said it best, gesturing to the employees around him: "This is what Shannon meant to all of us." It was with that in mind that the Mets became the focus of MLB's annual "Play Ball" auction initiative, which this year will direct proceeds to dedicating a youth baseball and softball field in Forde's name.

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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 promote Lopez to manage at Triple-A

Skipper had been man in charge at Double-A Binghamton since 2009

Mets promote Lopez to manage at Triple-A

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- To replace Wally Backman, their top Minor League manager for the past five seasons, the Mets on Monday promoted Pedro Lopez to Backman's former post as Triple-A Las Vegas manager. Lopez had served as Double-A Binghamton manager since 2009.

The Mets also announced that Frank Viola will return as Las Vegas' pitching coach, while Jack Voigt will reprise his role as hitting coach.

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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 likely out on FA closers; Wheeler in 'pen?

Club to look at mid-level relief arms, internal options

Mets likely out on FA closers; Wheeler in 'pen?

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The free-agent market for outfielders is thinner than usual at the dawn of the Winter Meetings. For starting pitchers, it is practically nonexistent. But the market for late-inning relievers is robust, with closers Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon all hitting free agency at the same time.

For a Mets club seeking back-end relief help, particularly with Jeurys Familia facing a possible suspension via Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence Policy, those names might seem tempting. But general manager Sandy Alderson's general aversion to bullpen volatility makes a marriage with any of them unlikely.

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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 settle with Rivera at non-tender deadline

Backup catcher gets $1.75 million deal in final year of arbitration eligibility

Mets settle with Rivera at non-tender deadline

NEW YORK -- Seeking to retain some veteran depth behind the plate, the Mets on Friday settled with Rene Rivera on a $1.75 million contract to avoid arbitration. Rivera will compete with Kevin Plawecki for a spot backing up starting catcher Travis d'Arnaud.

The Mets signed Rivera to a Minor League deal last April, shortly after the Rays released him. Quickly becoming a significant part of New York's roster, Rivera played in 65 games as d'Arnaud battled injuries and Plawecki slumped for most of the season.

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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.

Asdrubal to play for Venezuela in Classic

Asdrubal to play for Venezuela in Classic

NEW YORK -- Fresh off one of the best seasons of his career, Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is set to represent his native Venezuela in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

According to a person familiar with the roster, Cabrera will participate in the event, which begins March 6 in Seoul, South Korea. Venezuela's first game is scheduled for March 10 in Jalisco, Mexico.

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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.

deGrom past elbow woes, sees 'window' for title

Right-hander to begin throwing in December as Mets hope rotation returns to full capacity

deGrom past elbow woes, sees 'window' for title

NEW YORK -- Initially, it hurt Jacob deGrom to snap his fingers. So after surgery to displace a nerve in his right elbow, deGrom did what any curious pitcher would do. He continued snapping the fingers on his right hand until one day, finally, the pain disappeared.

"Honestly, it feels good," deGrom said Friday at Citi Field, where he capped a week of promotional appearances in New York City. "It feels like nothing happened. So I'm ready to start throwing."

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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 schedule spring report, workout dates

Pitchers, catchers to arrive by Feb. 12; position players set for Feb. 17

Mets schedule spring report, workout dates

NEW YORK -- A day after generating plenty of optimism by making their Yoenis Cespedes signing official, the Mets on Thursday announced a series of 2017 Spring Training dates.

Pitchers and catchers must report to Port St. Lucie, Fla., by Feb. 12, a few days earlier than usual due to the following month's World Baseball Classic. The first official workout for pitchers and catchers will occur on Feb. 14. Position players must report by Feb. 17, with the Mets' first full-squad workout scheduled for Feb. 19.

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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.

Winter Meetings interview: Mets Charity Auction

JAY HORWITZ: Good morning, everybody. For anybody here who is in the back room either wants to make their way over here or to those in front here, we welcome you.

It's certainly a day that none of us hoped we would have to have an event like this, but for the baseball family, for the PR family, for the Mets family, it's a very special day for us to be making an announcement today about Shannon Forde Field.

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deGrom champions Syndergaard's hitting

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deGrom champions Syndergaard's hitting

The Mets currently employ one of the most formidable sluggers in the National League (and newly re-signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is OK, too). 

We're talking, of course, about Noah Syndergaard: part-time flamethrowing rotation ace, part-time dinger machine -- and sometimes, he does both in the same night

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Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides. 

At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes, Mets finalize $110M deal

Slugger puts pen to paper on 4-year pact

Cespedes, Mets finalize $110M deal

NEW YORK -- Major League agents go to great lengths to promote their players. Scott Boras, for example, is known for his binders. For his prominent clients, he publishes reams of statistical data espousing their attributes, then distributes those booklets around the league.

Yoenis Cespedes' lead agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, took a different tack for his superstar outfielder. To the Mets, he delivered a binder filled not with Cespedes' numbers -- those were readily available elsewhere -- but back pages from the three primary New York tabloids since the start of this year. By the time Cespedes climbed atop a stage at Citi Field on Wednesday for a news conference to announce his four-year, $110 million contract, the binder included 57 newspaper headlines featuring Cespedes -- including three on Wednesday alone.

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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 fielding calls on Bruce, Granderson

Cespedes' deal makes trade of another outfielder likely

Mets fielding calls on Bruce, Granderson

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes' return to the Mets was a perfect marriage in all ways but one: the Mets now have four power-hitting corner outfielders on their roster, and no place to play them all. So it came as little surprise when, mere hours after news of Cespedes' contract broke, the Mets began fielding calls on Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson.

Multiple sources said the team's strong preference is to deal Bruce, a 29-year-old whose average of 29 home runs per season since 2011 makes him attractive to clubs. Trading Bruce would also allow the Mets to use Granderson at least semi-regularly in center field, where he impressed the team with his defense last year at age 35.

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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 send Verrett to Orioles for cash

Mets send Verrett to Orioles for cash

NEW YORK -- To make room for Yoenis Cespedes on their 40-man roster, the Mets completed a minor trade with the Orioles on Wednesday, swapping right-hander Logan Verrett for cash.

Verrett, 26, was the Mets' primary swingman for most of last season, bouncing between the rotation and bullpen. He posted a 5.20 ERA overall in 12 starts and 23 relief appearances, with 66 strikeouts and 43 walks in 91 2/3 innings. Most of Verrett's best work came in April; he went 3-0 with a 0.52 ERA that month, and 0-8 with a 6.30 ERA afterward.

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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

Jim Callis

The Next Big Leaguers: Mets' Cecchini

A team-by-team look at future key contributors who starred in the 2016 Arizona Fall League

The Next Big Leaguers: Mets' Cecchini

The Arizona Fall League always is loaded with talent, and it was stronger than usual in 2016. In the initial installment of MLBPipeline.com's "The Next Big Leaguers," which premieres Tuesday, we focused on five prospects: Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, Twins shortstop Nick Gordon, Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez, Red Sox infielder Yoan Moncada and Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres.

We could have spotlighted many more promising prospects if not limited by time constraints, and below we'll do exactly that.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Meet the Mets' newest outfielder

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Meet the Mets' newest outfielder

It can be a bit overwhelming when your favorite team signs a player to a multi-year contract worth nine-figures. The new player is instantly a key member of the franchise and, as a fan, you want to be sure you know everything there is to know about him.

Don't worry, Mets fans. Your team may have just signed some new outfielder named Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $110 million deal, but we have everything you need to know about your team's brand-new, never-heard-of-him-before player right here.

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Teufel remains in Mets organization

Longtime coach to be roving Minor League infield instructor, club ambassador

Teufel remains in Mets organization

Tim Teufel will remain in the Mets' organization as their roving Minor League infield instructor and club ambassador for the 2017 season, the team announced on Friday.

The Mets had replaced Teufel as their third-base coach, which he had been since 2012, with longtime D-backs coach Glenn Sherlock earlier this month.

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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.

Granderson continues to give during Thanksgiving season

Granderson continues to give during Thanksgiving season

NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson shot up the Van Wyck Expressway, heading north to another destination. Granderson and Jose Reyes just finished distributing Thanksgiving turkeys to needy families in Jamaica, Queens. Next up was a stop in Harlem as part of the same initiative. Later that night, Granderson headed to Midtown for a Grand Kids Foundation fundraiser.

Granderson's traffic-defying schedule last Tuesday was hardly unique. Since the Mets bowed out of postseason play seven weeks ago, the Mets outfielder has crisscrossed the eastern United States, running charity events in both New York City and his native Chicago. In late October, he paused at Wrigley Field to collect the Roberto Clemente Award, Major League Baseball's highest off-field honor. Then, he continued the process of demonstrating why he earned that recognition, using Thanksgiving as a springboard for his charitable giving.

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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 opts to forgo WBC, stick with routine

Thor opts to forgo WBC, stick with routine

NEW YORK -- Despite his status as one of Major League Baseball's top American-born pitchers, Mets starter Noah Syndergaard will not participate in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

"Noah feels his performance the past two years is, in large part, due to his offseason and spring workout routines," Syndergaard's agent, Ryan Hamill, said in a statement. "After consulting with the Mets, and given the injuries that plagued their rotation last year, and his role on the team moving forward, both Noah and the Mets feel it is important to stay in his established routine.

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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.

Source: TV voice Cohen signs multiyear deal

Mets' play-by-play broadcaster forms popular booth with former MLBers Darling, Hernandez

Source: TV voice Cohen signs multiyear deal

NEW YORK -- Play-by-play broadcaster Gary Cohen, a staple of SNY's Mets broadcasts for the past 11 seasons, will remain in the booth for the foreseeable future. Cohen has signed a multiyear contract to remain with SNY, according to a source, keeping the network's broadcast team of Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling intact. The club has not confirmed the deal.

That trio has been together since SNY's inception in 2006. Steve Gelbs joined the team in 2015, replacing longtime sideline reporter Kevin Burkhardt.

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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.