New York Mets – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-06-23T21:47:44Z WordPress Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Angels Claim Hansel Robles]]> 2018-06-23T21:02:49Z 2018-06-23T20:16:07Z The Angels announced today that they’ve claimed righty reliever Hansel Robles off waivers from the Mets. Robles was designated for assignment just yesterday. Rene Rivera was transferred to the 60-day DL in order to make room on the expanded roster.

As MLBTR’s Jeff Todd noted at that time, Robles put up some solid numbers for the Mets during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He pitched 131 2/3 innings during that span, allowing 52 earned runs while racking up 146 strikeouts. Robles also pitched three scoreless postseason innings in 2015 without allowing a walk or a hit.

That seems to be in the distant past now, as Robles has an ERA close to 5.00 since the start of the 2017 season. He’s also seen a spike in his walk rate to 4.59 BB/9 during that time frame. Still, the Angels will hope he can add depth to a bullpen that seems to lack stability, as they’ve got a number of relievers with upside but none who have proven themselves reliable across an extended stretch. For the time being, Robles will report to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yoenis Cespedes Still Not Ready For Baseball Activities]]> 2018-06-23T06:09:15Z 2018-06-23T04:29:11Z
  • The Mets, on the other hand, will face off against Kershaw without one of their key players. Slugger Yoenis Cespedes has been down longer than might have been hoped with a hip injury. While the club announced today that Cespedes is still not running or taking part in baseball activities due to ongoing symptoms, GM Sandy Alderson suggested it’s possible the veteran outfielder may get moving again early next week. (Via Anthony DiComo of, on Twitter.) At this point, though, it’s still anyone’s guess just when he may make it back to the bigs.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Designate Hansel Robles For Assignment]]> 2018-06-22T20:24:19Z 2018-06-22T19:25:01Z The Mets have designated righty Hansel Robles for assignment, per a club announcement. With a need for roster spots to accommodate a pair of promotions, the team also moved AJ Ramos to the 60-day DL and optioned fellow right-handed relievers Paul Sewald and Chris Flexen.

    Robles, 27, was a quality pen piece for the Mets in 2015 and 2016. But he has run into troubles more recently, spending time in the minors in each of the past two campaigns while struggling to deliver consistent results at the MLB level.

    In total, Roblems has compiled a 4.95 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in hs past 76 1/3 innings. Beyond the walk problems, Robles has coughed up seven long balls in his 19 2/3 MLB frames this year.

    Despite the issues, it isn’t hard to imagine another team deciding to take a shot on Robles. He still brings mid-nineties heat, can be optioned, and has a history of some success in the majors. On the other hand, he has posted a rather pedestrian 10.0% swinging-strike rate this year (which is actually an improvement on his 2017 numbers), to go with the other issues.

    Mets GM Sandy Alderson did not exactly attempt to put a positive spin on Robles as his seven-day period of DFA limbo begins. “You kept seeing the same thing,” Alderson told reporters including Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). “The adjustments he needed to get consistent outs probably wasn’t going to happen.”

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Release Vance Worley]]> 2018-06-22T13:42:25Z 2018-06-22T13:42:25Z The Mets have released right-hander Vance Worley, reports Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Journal-Review (via Twitter). The veteran right-hander had been on the disabled list with the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Vegas.

    Worley, 30, signed with the Mets back in mid-April to provide some rotation depth, but he made just four starts with the 51’s before landing on the disabled list with an elbow issue (per Helfand). The results weren’t pretty in the 16 2/3 inning Worley was healthy enough to pitch, as he was clobbered for 25 runs on 29 hits and a dozen walks with just five strikeouts.

    Given the extreme nature of his struggles, it’s perhaps not surprising that he wound up on the DL with elbow troubles. Worley, after all, entered his stint with the Mets with a career 3.55 ERA in 278 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level and a 4.09 ERA in 667 big league innings. While he was coming off one of his worst big league seasons — 6.91 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 in 71 2/3 innings with Miami — it certainly does appear he was pitching at less than 100 percent in his brief time with Vegas.

    Depending on the health of his elbow moving forward, Worley could well land with another organization as a depth option in the upper minors later this season. The righty did post a 3.38 ERA (3.98 FIP) in 269 innings from 2014-16 with the Pirates and Orioles.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets To Select Drew Smith, Kevin Kaczmarski]]> 2018-06-22T02:25:46Z 2018-06-22T01:03:18Z The Mets announced following today’s game that they’ve optioned righties Paul Sewald and Chris Flexen to Triple-A Las Vegas. While the team said that corresponding moves won’t be announced until tomorrow, Anthony DiComo of reports that the organization will select the contracts of right-handed reliever Drew Smith and outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski (Twitter link). Kaczmarski was scratched from tonight’s lineup for the 51’s, Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Journal-Review tweets.

    That pair of additions to the 40-man roster will require another pair of corresponding moves. The Mets, obviously, can move AJ Ramos from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL to account for one of those moves, now that Ramos has undergone surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

    The second move isn’t yet clear. It’s possible that they could designate someone for assignment or release someone — Jose Reyes has been rumored to be on thin ice — and DiComo speculates that the team could recall injured righty Jamie Callahan and put him on the MLB 60-day DL, as he’s already out for the year.

    [Related: New York Mets depth chart]

    In Smith, the Mets will be getting their first MLB look at the hard-throwing righty they acquired from the Rays in last year’s Lucas Duda trade. The 24-year-old has worked to a 3.00 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9 and a 45.6 percent ground-ball rate through 30 innings in an excessively hitter-friendly environment. ranks him as the team’s No. 30 prospect, praising his plus heater and above-average curveball and writing that he has “all the ingredients to be an effective short reliever.”

    Kaczmarski, 26, has just 24 games of experience at the Triple-A level, but a combination of his impressive numbers and several injuries in the Mets’ outfield mix has opened an opportunity for him in the Majors, it seems. The 2015 ninth-rounder has hit .363/.413/.450 through 92 plate appearances in Vegas and has a track record of relatively low strikeout rates and solid walk rates. For a Mets club that is currently using Dominic Smith in left field with Cespedes, Jay Bruce and Juan Lagares all on the disabled list, it’s only logical to see a more natural outfield option join the fray.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Jay Bruce Diagnosed With Hip Strain]]> 2018-06-21T03:10:57Z 2018-06-21T03:10:57Z Though the Mets tried to avoid it, they finally were forced to place outfielder Jay Bruce on the 10-day DL. It turns out that he was dealing with more than just soreness; Tim Britton of The Athletic was among those to tweet that imaging revealed a strain in Bruce’s right hip.

    Skipper Mickey Callaway did not reveal much about the severity of the injury, though he said “there’s definitely something there.” It seems reasonable to anticipate that the Mets will now give Bruce whatever time he needs for things to clear up.

    Notably, the veteran outfielder has not just been feeling pain in his hip. In fact, he has dealt with an ongoing bout of plantar fasciitis and also has had some lower back issues of late, as Anthony DiComo of recently tweeted.

    Bruce, 31, is among the players whose early performances have been less than encouraging for New York. Through 236 plate appearances, he carries a meager .212/.292/.321 batting line.

    At this stage of the season, given how things have gone for the Mets, the injury itself is probably less concerning than Bruce’s overall struggles. Perhaps the multiple maladies have contributed to his woes at the plate, though, in which case this respite may offer a much-needed reset.

    Bruce’s three-year, $39MM contract has only just begun, so he never seemed to be a likely mid-season trade candidate. If he can turn things around in the second half, though, it’ll certainly improve the team’s future roster flexibility. In the meantime, Bruce’s absence will also allow the Mets to give some extra opportunities to youngster Dominic Smith, who’s hoping to show more in his second attempt at the majors.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brian Anderson, Brandon Nimmo Hire CAA Sports]]> 2018-06-20T22:48:45Z 2018-06-20T21:43:31Z A pair of increasingly promising young NL East players have hired CAA Sports to represent them. Marlins third baseman/corner outfielder Brian Anderson and Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo are each now repped by CAA, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter) and Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).

    Anderson, 25, has made the most of his opportunities in Miami. Indeed, he has been a breakout performer thus far for the Fish, turning in 316 plate appearances of .294/.373/.423 hitting on the season.

    Though Anderson has never shown a ton of power — he has four this year and has never hit more than 22 in a full professional season — he’s succeeding thus far with a lofty batting average and solid walk rate. The same general profile worked for his predecessor, Martin Prado, who similarly showed the ability to play multiple positions at the game’s highest level.

    All things considered, it looks like the Fish have found a solid piece who’ll help them for years. Anderson has carried a hefty .363 batting average on balls in play this year, but Statcast actually thinks he has been a bit unlucky overall based upon his quality of contact (.347 wOBA vs. .368 xwOBA).

    It’s conceivable that the Marlins could come calling at some point about a long-term contract arrangement, though perhaps there isn’t a ton of upside for the club with a player who may not possess an immense ceiling (in terms of productivity and arbitration earning power). Since this is Anderson’s first full season in the majors, his reps likely won’t be negotiating any playing contracts for some time. He won’t qualify for arbitration until 2021 and free agency three years after that.

    The situation isn’t all that different for Nimmo, though his breakout has been all the more compelling. He had already shown well last year in his second partial season in the bigs, but has been off to a torrid start in 2018. Over 215 plate appearances this year, he boasts a .287/.409/.596 batting line with a dozen home runs and seven steals.

    That output dwarfs the typical counting numbers that Nimmo produced over his time in the minors, when he was noted more for his ability to get on base than to produce power and swipe bags. He’s still walking at a 12.6% clip this season, too, so the OBP figures to remain a big part of his value even if he cools a bit. Statcast does see some good fortune in Nimmo’s recent past, as he owns a .423 wOBA but only a .382 xwOBA.

    Due to his prior service time, Nimmo is in a different service class than Anderson. Nimmo came into the year with 1.042 years on his ticker, so he won’t be a Super Two but is on track to reach arbitration (2020) and free agency (2023) one season before Anderson can.

    These agency relationships are now reflected in MLBTR’s agency database. A tip of the cap to Robert Murray of Fan Rag for noting on Twitter that both players had moved to CAA, as we had overlooked Sherman’s report yesterday.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[AJ Ramos To Undergo Shoulder Surgery]]> 2018-06-20T04:10:56Z 2018-06-20T03:36:40Z Mets reliever AJ Ramos has a torn labrum in his right shoulder and will undergo season-ending surgery tomorrow, the team tells reporters (Twitter link via Mike Puma of the New York Post). The right-hander has been out since May 27 with a shoulder injury and was recently said to be weighing surgery.

    Ramos, 31, served as the closer for the Marlins for two and a half seasons before the Mets acquired him in a surprising trade last July. New York had already begun selling off veteran pieces, but GM Sandy Alderson explained at the time that the move was made with an eye toward 2018. The Mets didn’t pay a steep price in terms of prospects to acquire Ramos (Merandy Gonzalez and Ricardo Cespedes), given his salary obligations, but they did agree to a $9.225MM salary with Ramos this winter in avoiding arbitration.

    That will go down as a mostly sunk cost for the Mets, as Ramos was solid through the month of April but was shelled in May and will finish out the year with a 6.41 ERA in 19 2/3 innings. While he racked up an impressive 22 punchouts in that time, he also issued 15 walks and surrendered three homers before initially landing on the disabled list.

    Ramos is a free agent at season’s end, meaning tomorrow’s surgery is likely to end his tenure with the Mets. In all, he pitched just 38 2/3 innings with the team and turned in a 5.59 ERA with a characteristically high strikeout rate (10.9 K/9) against a bloated 6.3 BB/9 mark that was lofty even by Ramos’ standards. He’s never struggled to miss bats, but even at his best, Ramos was often wild, averaging 4.8 walks per nine innings pitched during a largely successful run with the Marlins.

    While a solid season with the Mets would’ve primed Ramos for a multi-year deal in free agency, it now seems likely that he’ll have to settle for a one-year pact with a low base and plenty of incentives, if not a minor league deal with an invitation to prove his shoulder’s health in Spring Training next year.

    As for the Mets, they’ve been operating without Ramos for three weeks or so anyhow, so his loss won’t change much in the short-term. His season-ending injury, however, does eliminate the possibility of flipping him to a contender at the deadline. The return on Ramos, even if healthy and effective, wouldn’t have been especially high considering that $9.225MM salary, though the Mets could’ve at least saved some cash and/or added a modest prospect or two to the minor league ranks.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Notes: deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, Familia, Bruce]]> 2018-06-19T22:19:42Z 2018-06-19T22:15:47Z Having experienced a precipitous fall after an 11-1 start to the season, the Mets are reportedly willing to listen to offers on the majority of their roster. While the Mets are said to have a preference to retain their controllable players, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News argues that the team would be foolish not to listen to offers on aces Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Ackert cites a source with another NL club in agreeing with yesterday’s report from Ken Rosenthal that the Mets are more willing to discuss trading Syndergaard than deGrom, despite the fact that Syndergaard comes with an extra year of club control. There’s a divide in the Mets’ front office about whether to even entertain offers, per Ackert, who adds that there’s nothing serious in the works at this time despite a number of teams checking in on both pitchers. The Yankees, she adds, have yet to make an inquiry.

    More out of Queens…

    • Mike Puma of the New York Post writes that some in the industry believe the Mets are making deGrom and Syndergaard available without the intent of actually trading either and could instead then push alternatives like Zack Wheeler on the teams that inquire about deGrom and Syndergaard. Wheeler is only controllable through 2019, has a longer injury history and doesn’t have great overall results on the season, of course, but he’s been quite a bit better over the past month (3.68 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 34-to-11 K/BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings). In addition to Wheeler, Puma adds that both Asdrubal Cabrera and Jeurys Familia are likely to be marketed in trades in the coming weeks.
    • Following yesterday’s trade of Kelvin Herrera from the Royals to the Nationals, Tim Britton of The Athletic examines what type of impact the swap could have on the Mets’ efforts to deal Familia (subscription required). Familia and Herrera are both 28 years of age, both free agents at season’s end, and are both earning just north of $7.9MM. The two are also rather comparable from a statistical standpoint — at least on a career basis. As Britton notes, the early nature of Herrera’s trade will remove an alternative for bullpen-needy teams to pursue if and when the Mets shop Familia, which could help the Mets to create more demand and further drive up the bidding. Noting that the Royals’ return was somewhat lessened by the fact that the Nats took on all of Herrera’s remaining salary, Britton opines that the Mets should be willing to pay the remainder of Familia’s salary to enhance the deal, adding that the club should aim to procure one high-end talent rather than several lower-tier players (as they did when acquiring three bullpen prospects from the Red Sox in last July’s Addison Reed swap).
    • The Mets announced this afternoon that they’ve placed Jay Bruce on the 10-day disabled list due to a sore right hip, recalling right-hander Tim Peterson from Triple-A Las Vegas in his place. Bruce’s trip to the DL is retroactive to Monday. That injury leaves the Mets without a true backup outfielder on the roster. Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista are the most experienced outfielders on the roster, but it seems Dominic Smith will be logging time in the outfield as well; he’s starting in left field tonight, the team announced.’s Anthony DiComo tweeted earlier that Wilmer Flores may also see some time in the outfield in the near future.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Listening To Trade Offers On Veteran Players]]> 2018-06-18T20:20:39Z 2018-06-18T20:19:39Z 3:19pm:’s Anthony DiComo tweets that while the Mets are indeed listening to offers, no deals should be expected in the short-term. Despite the recent run of poor play, the Mets will take another few weeks to see if they can turn things around before committing to a sale.

    11:05am: With the Mets mired in an abysmal slump that has seen the team go 3-11 in the month of June, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports in his latest notes column (subscription required) that they’re “open for business.” While the Mets understandably prefer to hang onto controllable players like Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Jacob deGrom, Rosenthal notes that they’ll at the very least entertain offers for virtually anyone on the roster.

    It’s been fewer than two weeks since Mets general manager Sandy Alderson called the chances of a major summer sell-off “very remote,” though Alderson admitted at the time of his comments that “circumstances could change” his stance. It’s perhaps telling that in the 13 days between the publication of those two stories, the Mets have gone just 3-8 and scored a paltry 25 runs in a span of 11 games. In the interim, they’ve seen Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes suffer setbacks in their recoveries from injury and revealed that reliever AJ Ramos is weighing season-ending surgery to repair his ailing shoulder.

    Of course, the two reports can also coexist without contradicting one another. Dealing some short-term pieces this summer would hardly constitute a “major” sell-off, after all. And, generally speaking, Alderson was speaking out against the possibility of a full tear-down more than he was against smaller trades around the margins of the 25-man roster.

    While there’s been no shortage of speculation surrounding deGrom, there’s been little indication that the Mets would truly be open to moving their ace. In fact, Rosenthal goes so far as to write that the Mets would actually be more open to trading Syndergaard, who has an additional year of control, though that’s perhaps more a statement on their unwillingness to move deGrom than it is their willingness to part with Syndergaard. Clearly, either pitcher would require a trade partner to surrender an absolutely farm-gutting haul of talent if the Mets were to even consider budging. The Mets shouldn’t be expected to shop either player aggressively.

    [Related: New York Mets depth chart and New York Mets payroll]

    More realistic trade pieces would include impending free-agents Asdrubal Cabrera, Jeurys Familia and Devin Mesoraco. Struggling lefty Jerry Blevins has a lengthy track record despite poor results in 2018, and there’s time yet for him to right the ship and hold appeal to another organization. The Mets also have a number of intriguing players who are controlled only through the 2019 season, including Todd Frazier, Zack Wheeler, Anthony Swarzak and Wilmer Flores. As is the case with Blevins, lefty starter Jason Vargas has a solid track record but poor 2018 results to date, though he’s begun to turn things around of late (3.91 ERA, 23 strikeouts, seven walks in his past 23 innings).

    Certainly, the focus of many readers will be on just what type of package it’d take to pry away one of the Mets’ two young aces, deGrom or Syndergaard, but it seems likelier that they’ll instead focus on moving shorter-term pieces. Rosenthal adds that, in particular, the Mets will be “motivated” to move Familia given that they’re not likely to make him a qualifying offer following the season. As such, they’d stand to lose him for nothing if he’s not dealt this summer.

    Familia did just have a minimal stint on the DL for shoulder soreness, but if he can prove that to be a non-issue, he’d certainly hold appeal. He’s earning $7.925MM this season (with $4.45MM yet to be paid out) and has worked to a 2.70 ERA with 9.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 0.3 HR/9 and a 48.8 percent ground-ball rate in 30 innings.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Cespedes, Astros, Bruce]]> 2018-06-17T17:50:12Z 2018-06-17T17:50:12Z The latest out of Citi Field…

    • The Mets faced a tough challenge from the Astros in the race to sign Yoenis Cespedes in the 2016-17 offseason, John Harper of the New York Daily News reports.  The Astros reportedly made Cespedes a similarly-sized offer (four years, $110MM) that the outfielder was “strongly considering,” according to one Mets source.  Another Mets-connected person tells Harper that Cespedes’ “considerations were [to play for a] contender, money, no-trade clause, and [to] train in Florida near his ranch,” and Houston checked off all of those boxes but was unwilling to provide full no-trade protection.  Mets GM Sandy Alderson was also wary about the no-trade clause, yet ultimately agreed to add it to the deal in order to get Cespedes back in the fold.  That “separator” in talks, as another Mets source described it, may have also been necessary to retain Cespedes given his issues with former manager Terry Collins, which Harper relates at length.  It’s safe to assume that the Astros don’t harbor much regret about missing on Cespedes, as they instead spread out their money to acquire multiple players (Josh Reddick, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran) that helped them win the World Series, while Cespedes has been hampered by injuries since re-signing with New York.
    • Earlier this week, Joel Sherman of the New York Post floated a hypothetical trade of struggling players, with the Mets sending Jay Bruce to the Rockies in exchange for Bryan Shaw.  There isn’t any indication that either team is considering such a deal, and a trade of either player would be pretty surprising since both Bruce and Shaw just signed three-year free agent contracts last winter.  Sherman’s argument, however, is that this trade would solve some problems on both rosters — Colorado would get a veteran bat who could help in the corner outfield or at first base, while the Mets would add a long-term relief piece and clear up some of their own cluttered first base/corner outfield situation.  Shaw could also be helped by a reunion with Mickey Callaway, his former pitching coach in Cleveland.
    • Speaking of Bruce, the veteran hasn’t played in the last three games due to some lingering injuries in his back, hip, and foot.  Newsday’s Tim Healey writes that Bruce had two days fully off before being available off the bench on Saturday, though he wasn’t used.  These minor injuries aside, Bruce said that he has felt healthy this season, which makes his mediocre numbers (.216/.297/.327 with three homers in 232 PA) all the more frustrating.  “I feel so close. I hit balls at people. Fly out, just miss the ball. Stuff you really can’t control,” Bruce said.  Advanced metrics partially bear out Bruce’s assessment — he only has a .263 BABIP, and his .344 xwOBA is far beyond his actual .275 wOBA.  His 32.7% hard-hit ball rate, however, is below his career average and his .111 Isolated Power (ISO) total is by far the lowest of his career.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Injury Updates: Cespedes, Syndergaard, Familia]]> 2018-06-17T13:39:32Z 2018-06-17T03:34:29Z
  • Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is slated to resume his rehab on Monday, Tim Healey of Newsday tweets. Cespedes, out since mid-May with a hip strain, had been nearing a return until suffering a setback last weekend. It remains unclear when he’ll be healthy enough to rejoin the nosediving Mets, and the same goes for ace Noah Syndergaard. The righty is getting “better and better,” though, manager Mickey Callaway told Anthony DiComo of and other reporters Saturday (Twitter links). Syndergaard has been out for three weeks because of a finger injury. In better news for New York, closer Jeurys Familia will come off the DL on Sunday, DiComo relays. Familia will end up missing the minimum of 10 days after going on the shelf June 8 with right shoulder soreness.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Amateur Draft Signings: 6/15/18]]> 2018-06-16T03:49:09Z 2018-06-16T03:49:09Z Here are the day’s deals of note from the top few rounds of the draft (rankings referenced are courtesy of Baseball AmericaMLB.comFangraphs and ESPN’s Keith Law — with the scouting reports from MLB and Fangraphs both coming free to the general public) …

    • The Giants agreed to a $1.5MM bonus with second-round choice Sean Hjelle, according to’s Jim Callis (via Twitter). A towering righty from the University of Kentucky, Hjelle was taken with the 45th overall choice, which came with a $1,587,600 pick allocation. He ranked as high as thirtieth on pre-draft lists, earning that placement on the Baseball America board. Evaluators seem to think the polished collegiate hurler is likely to be a steady, back-of-the-rotation arm, though he isn’t generally seen as possessing immense upside.
    • Mets second-rounder Simeon Woods-Richardson will receive a $1.85MM bonus to forego his commitment to the University of Texas, Callis tweets. That lands above the $1,485,100 slot value at the 48th overall pick. While the right-handed hurler has shown quite a lot of promise at times, there are concerns that he has not consistently maintained that high level throughout his starts. Grades were all over the map, with BA highest at #76. Clearly, the Mets believe they can tap into the tools.
    • The Brewers will save some money against the slot value on Micah Bello, their competitive balance round B pick,’s Jonathan Mayo reports on Twitter. He’ll receive a $550K bonus, leaving the club with some excess pool space from the 73rd overall pick ($824,900 slot). A Hawaiian high-school outfielder, Bello did not draw top-100 billing but placed 121st on BA’s board. He’s credited as a quality overall hitter who may yet have a bit of upside, with some speed and perhaps some untapped power potential, though it’s not clear whether he’ll remain an up-the-middle defender as a professional.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Sign First-Rounder Jarred Kelenic]]> 2018-06-15T17:01:45Z 2018-06-15T17:00:03Z June 15: The Mets have formally announced their deal with Kelenic. His bonus comes in shy of that initial report, checking in at $4.5MM, according to Jim Callis of (Twitter link).

    June 8: The Mets have agreed to terms with their top draft choice, Jarred Kelenic, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (Twitter link). He’s expected to receive a bonus of around $5MM, per Fan Rag’s Robert Murray (via Twitter).

    That number leaves the Mets with some leftovers to utilize on other drafted players. The sixth overall choice with which Kelenic was taken gave the team $5,525,200 of pool space to play with.

    Kelenic, an outfielder from Wisconsin, entered the draft with a consensus supporting him as the best position-playing prospect from the high school ranks. Keith Law of was highest on him among prospect writers, listing Kelenic as the sixth-best player available overall.

    Scouts value Kelenic both for his existing polish and his projectable tools. He’s seen as having five tools and the will to work to maximize them. If there’s a question, it seems, it’s whether he’ll be able to stick in center field over the long run, though his value doesn’t hinge entirely on his eventual defensive position.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Outright Jose Lobaton]]> 2018-06-14T18:14:58Z 2018-06-14T18:14:50Z
  • Catcher Jose Lobaton cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Mets and has been sent outright to Triple-A Las Vegas, as noted on the team’s transactions page. It’s the second time that the veteran Lobaton has been designated and subsequently outrighted by the Mets in 2018. While he has the option of rejecting the option of rejecting the assignment in favor of free agency, he accepted his previous assignment and is already once again listed on the team’s roster in Triple-A. Lobaton, 33, has hit just .152/.264/.239 in 53 plate appearances for the Mets thus far in 2018, continuing his struggles from the 2017 season with the Nats. The switch-hitter is a career .271/.352/.419 hitter in Triple-A, however.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Claim Chris Beck]]> 2018-06-13T18:16:56Z 2018-06-13T18:09:20Z The Mets have claimed righty Chris Beck off waivers from the White Sox, per club announcements. The 27-year-old had been designated for assignment by the Chicago organization.

    Beck came up as a starter but has mostly worked in a relief role in recent years. He has 119 2/3 MLB innings under his belt, with a cumulative 5.94 ERA and 6.1 K/9 against 5.0 BB/9. The results have improved so far in 2018, as Beck owns a 4.18 ERA in 23 2/3 frames. Frankly, the peripherals don’t really indicate that he has made any strides, though Beck is working at a career-high 95.8 mph with his average fastball.

    Perhaps the Mets feel they can unlock something from the former second-rounder. Of course, the club also may simply feel Beck will help improve the team’s depth situation as several hurlers filter back from the DL.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Expect Lengthy Absence For AJ Ramos]]> 2018-06-12T18:33:30Z 2018-06-12T17:41:26Z When he hit the DL with a shoulder injury about two weeks ago, it was not really clear how long Mets reliever AJ Ramos would miss. GM Sandy Alderson said today, though, that the righty is expected to sidelined for a significant stretch, as Tim Britton of The Athletic was among those to tweet.

    Alderson revealed that Ramos is weighing a surgical route, in fact, though the precise nature of the underlying injury remains unclear. The alternative would be a rehab course that will also require further downtime.

    “We certainly don’t expect him back anytime soon,” Alderson said. Though we still don’t know even loose potential timelines, it seems fair to read that as an indication that the Mets will go without one of their most experienced late-inning arms for the foreseeable future.

    Of course, the 31-year-old Ramos had not been at his best in 2018. Acquired last summer even as the Mets sold off veterans, and then signed to a $9.225MM salary in his final year of arbitration, Ramos was seen as a key piece of the pen this year. Through 19 2/3 innings, though, he’s carrying a 6.41 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 6.9 BB/9.

    Control problems are nothing new for Ramos, who has 99 career saves but also a lifetime average of 4.9 walks per nine innings. With free agency beckoning at season’s end, though, it was all the more important that he demonstrate he could keep the free passes in check. As things stand, Ramos will have quite a lot to prove if and when he’s able to return later in the season.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Cespedes, Asdrubal, Reyes, Callahan]]> 2018-06-11T05:23:42Z 2018-06-11T05:13:28Z The release of Adrian Gonzalez and a subsequent roster shuffle is the big news out of Citi Field, though here are some more Mets items….

    • Yoenis Cespedes was on the verge of a return from his hip flexor strain, though a setback in Saturday’s minor league rehab game will require him to restart his recovery program, manager Mickey Callaway told’s Anthony DiComo and other reporters.  It isn’t clear when Cespedes will be able to return from the injury that has kept him sidelined since May 16, leaving the offense-starved Mets without their best hitter for an even longer period of time.  In better DL news, Callaway was hopeful that Jeurys Familia and Wilmer Flores would both be back in action at some point during the Mets’ upcoming road trip.
    • Asdrubal Cabrera left tonight’s game due to a tight left hamstring, with Newsday’s Tim Healey (Twitter link) being among those to report that Cabrera will stay overnight in New York to have the problem examined.  Losing Cabrera would be yet another big injury loss for the Mets, as the infielder has hit an impressive .283/.323/.498 through 254 PA this season.
    • A Cabrera DL stint could help prolong Jose Reyes’ time with the Mets, though as The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler (subscription required) writes, the infielder’s prolonged struggles are creating an uncomfortable situation for both the player and the team.  Reyes “has advocates in ownership and the front office” and has yet to speak to team officials about his future, though he seems like an expendable piece after hitting just .149/.213/.203 through his first 80 PA.  Reyes said that he is still adjusting to being a part-time player, though he acknowledges that he hasn’t been worthy of more playing time.  “So far the opportunities that I’ve had I feel like I didn’t do anything,” Reyes said.
    • Right-hander Jamie Callahan will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery, Triple-A manager Tony DeFrancesco told Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Journal-Review and other reporters (Twitter link).  It’s a tough blow for Callahan, who was acquired as part of the Addison Reed trade last July and looked like a potential candidate to see more time in the Mets bullpen this season.  Originally a second-round pick for Boston in the 2012 draft, Callahan began to deliver better results after becoming a full-time reliever in 2016, and he made his MLB debut by appearing in nine games with the Mets last year.  Shoulder problems began to crop up early this season, however, and Callahan tossed just 8 1/3 Triple-A innings before hitting the disabled list.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Release Adrian Gonzalez]]> 2018-06-11T04:41:45Z 2018-06-11T04:05:04Z The Mets announced several roster moves after tonight’s win over the Yankees, including the news that first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has been released.  On Tuesday, prior to the team’s next game, catcher Jose Lobaton will be designated for assignment.  The two open roster spots will be filled by Dominic Smith and Ty Kelly, as the Mets will recall Smith and select Kelly’s contract.

    Gonzalez found himself a free agent this winter after the Braves acquired him as part of a payroll-shifting trade with the Dodgers and then almost immediately released the veteran first baseman.  With the Braves covering virtually all of Gonzalez’s 2018 salary, the Mets inked him to a minimum-salary contract to see if they could find a bargain if Gonzalez regained any of his old form.

    After a hot start in his first few games, however, Gonzalez settled into being a below-average bat and has most recently been caught in a deep slump, with just a .550 OPS over his last 43 plate appearances coming into tonight’s game.  He’ll conclude his Mets tenure with a .237/.299/.373 slash line and six homers over 187 PA, with the bulk of his at-bats coming against right-handed pitching.

    “A-Gon” began to show some signs of decline in 2016 (though still posting a 111 wRC+) and then cratered in 2017, as a severe back injury limited him to just 71 games and he hit only .242/.287/.355 over 252 PA.  Gonzalez has looked generally healthy during his time with the Mets, though at age 36 and showing little sign of his old hitting prowess, one has to wonder if this could mark the end of Gonzalez’s otherwise outstanding 15-year career in the big leagues.

    Ranked as one of baseball’s top-100 prospects coming into last season, Smith’s star dimmed after a mediocre start to his MLB career, as he hit just .198/.262/.395 and struck out a whopping 49 times over 183 PA last season.  Mets GM Sandy Alderson was rather bluntly critical about Smith’s first stint in the big leagues, and the team’s acquisitions of Gonzalez and Jay Bruce in the offseason indicated that the team felt Smith needed more seasoning before being given another crack at regular first base duty.

    The first base picture at Citi Field is still rather unclear, as both Smith and Bruce are left-handed bats and thus not an ideal platoon mix.  The right-handed hitting Jose Bautista is also on the roster, and utilityman Wilmer Flores is on the DL.  Brandon Nimmo’s emergence as an everyday player has helped the Mets withstand the loss of the injured Yoenis Cespedes, though it could lead to a bit of a roster logjam at the first base and corner outfield spots once Flores and Cespedes return (though the latter may not be back for a while yet).

    Further complicating matters is the fact that Asdrubal Cabrera left tonight’s game with a hamstring issue, which could explain why utilityman Kelly is headed for another stint with the Mets.  Rookie Luis Guillorme and struggling veteran Jose Reyes also provide infield depth on the roster, and if Cabrera does require some DL time, it could give Reyes some more opportunity to turn around his disastrous season.

    Lobaton signed a minors deal over the winter to provide catching depth that quite immediately became necessary as Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki were both sidelined with injuries.  With Plawecki back and Devin Mesoraco establishing himself as a regular, Lobaton became the odd man out.  This is the second time in under a month that Lobaton will enter DFA limbo, so he could very well clear waivers again and return to Triple-A.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Sign Ian Krol]]> 2018-06-11T03:00:24Z 2018-06-11T03:00:24Z The Mets have signed left-hander Ian Krol to a minor league deal, Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review Journal reports (Twitter link).  The Angels designated Krol for assignment two weeks ago, and the veteran southpaw elected to become a free agent rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A.

    Krol signed a minors deal with the Angels in February and ended up appearing in just one game for the team, tossing two scoreless relief innings back on May 27.  He’ll seemingly have a better chance at catching on in a Mets bullpen that is short on lefty options — Jerry Blevins is the only southpaw on the big league roster, while P.J. Conlon is the only other left-hander on the 40-man.  It should be noted, however, that left-handed batters have actually fared better against Krol than right-handed batters over the last few years.

    After mixed results in his first three MLB seasons, it seemed as through Krol had turned a corner when he posted a 3.18 ERA, 9.9 K/9, and 4.31 K/BB rate over over 51 innings out of the Braves’ pen in 2016.  Last year, however, his ERA ballooned up to 5.33 thanks in large part to renewed problems with allowing home runs — his 1.5 HR/9 in 2017 matched his number from 2013-15, though he avoided the long ball in 2016 to the tune of just an 0.7 HR/9.  His rough season led to the Braves outrighting him off their roster, costing Krol a projected $1.3MM salary in his second year of arbitration eligibility.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Olney: Mets Should Listen To Offers For deGrom, Syndergaard]]> 2018-06-10T20:59:04Z 2018-06-10T20:58:05Z With the Mets looking more like bottom feeders than contenders, there has been speculation that they could listen to proposals for two of their best players, co-aces Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. The 29-year-old deGrom is under control through 2020, while Syndergaard, 25, is wrapped up through 2021, meaning each would bring back a significant haul in a trade. Of the teams that could go after either, the Yankees perhaps stand out as the most logical suitors, and Buster Olney of ESPN opines that the Mets would have to strongly consider offers from their crosstown rivals. While it would hurt the Mets and their fans in the near term to see one of those starters thriving with the Yankees, the return they’d get back would ease the pain, Olney contends. Ultimately, however, Olney doesn’t expect a deal between the teams to come to fruition, and he goes on to name several other starters the Yankees could pursue prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline if they attempt to upgrade their rotation.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Could Demote Michael Conforto]]> 2018-06-10T13:45:47Z 2018-06-10T13:42:28Z Mets outfielder Michael Conforto looked like one of the brightest young stars in baseball last season, his age-24 campaign, when he slashed .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs and racked up 4.3 fWAR. Conforto piled up those stellar numbers over just 440 plate appearances before undergoing season-ending left shoulder surgery in early September, and because of that injury, the Mets went into the winter unsure of what he’d provide in 2018.

    To Conforto’s credit, he worked his way back to the Mets’ lineup a few weeks earlier than expected, making his season debut on April 5. At that point, New York was amid a red-hot start that would see the team collect 11 wins in its first 12 games. Two months later, the Mets are a lowly 27-34, owners of the third-worst record in the National League and the NL’s second-worst offense by runs scored (235).

    Even though he owns the majors’ 11th-best walk percentage (15.1), Conforto hasn’t really been part of the solution, having hit an uninspiring .219/.340/.365 line with seven homers in 212 PAs. The Mets even pinch-hit for him in the ninth inning of a one-run loss to the Yankees on Saturday, electing to sit the left-handed Conforto in favor of the righty-swinging Devin Mesoraco with southpaw Aroldis Chapman on the mound.

    Unfortunately for Conforto, there may be a more significant demotion on the way if he doesn’t turn his season around soon. The Mets have considered sending Conforto to Triple-A Las Vegas to work through his issues, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The likelihood of that has decreased over the past day, Sherman notes, given that fellow outfielder Yoenis Cespedes suffered a setback in his injury rehab on Saturday. Had Cespedes remained on track, New York may well have optioned Conforto upon the veteran’s return. For his part, Conforto – whom the Mets previously sent to the minors during a disappointing 2016 – doesn’t believe he’d benefit from another trip to Vegas.

    “Triple-A is not an answer. I’ve been through that,” he said. “I have done all I can do down there. I play at this level, that’s it.”

    While Conforto understandably wants to remain in the majors, the Mets may have an outfield logjam on their hands when Cespedes does come back. He and the emergent Brandon Nimmo will be guaranteed starting jobs, manager Mickey Callaway informed Sherman, leaving one everyday spot for the struggling Jay Bruce (in the first season of a three-year, $39MM contract) and Conforto. Both players are lefty hitters, so the Mets wouldn’t be able to simply platoon them, and Conforto has options remaining. As such, the Mets may send him down so he’ll continue receiving consistent at-bats.

    In another scenario, Sherman points out that Bruce and/or Cespedes could see time at first, which would perhaps spell the end of the Adrian Gonzalez era. The Mets brought Gonzalez in over the winter as a league-minimum free agent, but it hasn’t worked to this point. They’re mulling how much longer they want to go with Gonzalez, Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista – three mid-30-somethings whose best days appear long gone. Moving on from some or all of that group instead of demoting Conforto would seem to make more sense for a New York club that doesn’t look as if it’s going to contend this season, though it seems Conforto’s going to have to make a case for a roster spot as the team awaits Cespedes’ return.

    While Conforto’s bottom-line production has declined this year, his underlying numbers have also worsened. After running up a .385 expected weighted on-base average a year ago, he’s at .332 this season. That’s still above the .321 league average, though it’s not the borderline elite figure he posted in 2017, when he averaged a 95.2 mph exit velocity on fly balls/line drives and made 95 mph-plus contact on 43.2 percent of batted balls. This season, Conforto has posted a 92.3 mph mean on flies/liners and seen his rate of 95 mph-plus contact drop to 32.8. Further, Conforto’s line drive rate has dropped off considerably since 2017 (from 24.4 percent to 17.7), while both his groundball percentage (37.8 to 41.9) and infield fly rate (10.1 percent to 14.0) have increased to discouraging degrees.

    All of the above has helped add up to Conforto’s subpar start and may lead to a minor league demotion sometime soon. For now, he and his team, losers of eight straight (all at home), are left to dig out of a deep hole. Having scored just 10 runs this month, during which Conforto has batted .080/.207/.200 in 29 PAs, the Mets sit 8.5 games out in both their division and a crowded NL wild-card race.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[East Notes: Yankees, H. Harvey, Soroka, Cespedes]]> 2018-06-10T02:44:12Z 2018-06-10T02:44:12Z It turns out top prospect Justus Sheffield might not be the next minor league pitcher in line to join the Yankees’ rotation, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports in his latest video that the club nearly promoted 23-year-old Jonathan Loaisiga for a spot start during a doubleheader, until rain altered their schedule. Rosenthal notes that Loaisiga had never pitched above Low-A ball until this season. It seems like he’s met little resistance this year, though, as he’s posted a 3.13 ERA this season while striking out 10.96 batters per nine against an equally impressive 1.17 walks per nine. Of course, plenty could change by the next time the Yankees need another starter. It’s certainly worth noting that promoting Sheffield last Monday might have improved his chances of making the Super Two cut, had he impressed enough to stick in the rotation from there on out. There will certainly be some entertaining suspense surrounding this situation from here forward.

    Other items fresh off the East coast…

    • Orioles prospect Hunter Harvey was scratched from his most recent Double-A start due to a shoulder injury, Dan Connoly of reports. Harvey’s dealt with plenty of injury issues in his career already, and this latest case (described as “posterior shoulder instability) has left him on an unknown timetable to return to the rotation. Harvey also had Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow in 2016. Even when on the field, he hasn’t been particularly impressive this year. His 5.57 ERA across 32 1/3 innings on the season is an eyesore.
    • Rookie Mike Soroka is set to come off the DL and start Wednesday for the Braves, reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O’Brien adds that manager Brian Snitker plans to hold Soroka to a pitch count of 85-90. Soroka is widely considered to be one of the best right-handed pitching prospects in the game, and he’s backed that up by pitching to a 2.77 FIP in three starts this season while striking out more than a batter per inning.
    • Injury news isn’t looking so good for a division rival, however, as the MetsYoenis Cespedes reportedly left his rehab start tonight with tightness in his right quad. He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow, but even a small setback is certainly discouraging; Cespedes has been riddled with injuries since signing a four-year, $110MM pact with New York following the 2016 season.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Outright Buddy Baumann, Phillip Evans]]> 2018-06-09T20:58:21Z 2018-06-09T20:58:11Z
  • Mets left-hander Buddy Baumann and infielder Phillip Evans cleared waivers and will be assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas, Tim Healey of Newsday tweets. The club designated both players for assignment earlier this week. The 30-year-old Baumann allowed 10 earned runs on nine hits and seven walks during 3 1/3 disastrous innings with the Mets this season prior to his designation. Evans, 25, has collected one hit in nine MLB plate appearances this year. Over a much larger sample size (165 PAs) at the Triple-A level this season, he has slashed .255/.321/.544 hitter with 12 home runs.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Noah Syndergaard Won't Come Off DL On Sunday]]> 2018-06-09T13:39:12Z 2018-06-09T13:37:06Z
  • Mets righty Noah Syndergaard won’t come off the DL to make his scheduled start against the Yankees on Sunday, per Anthony DiComo of Syndergaard, who has been out since May 26 with a strained finger ligament, experienced a setback after playing catch this week. It’s unknown how much more time Syndergaard will miss, but with him unavailable, the Mets will start fellow righty Seth Lugo on Sunday.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Place Jeurys Familia On 10-Day DL]]> 2018-06-08T19:59:56Z 2018-06-08T19:03:27Z The Mets have placed closer Jeurys Familia on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He’ll be replaced on the roster by right-hander Jacob Rhame.

    Familia is said to be dealing with right shoulder soreness. There’s no further information available at this time as the underlying cause of the issue or the expected duration of his time on the DL.

    Thus far in 2018, Familia has put a trying 2017 campaign in the rearview mirror. He’s carrying a 2.48 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 through 29 innings. Though Familia isn’t generating swinging strikes at quite his peak level (12.0% thus far), he is working in range of his career average in fastball velocity (96.7 mph).

    For the Mets, they’ll be losing a closer who has been one of the few consistent positives on the field. It’s not clear how they’ll fill in for him in the 9th inning. A.J. Ramos has plenty of experience in that role, but he’s also been shelved with shoulder problems. Seth Lugo has been very effective, but he has been giving multiple innings. Perhaps Robert Gsellman or the recently-activated Anthony Swarzak will be seen as candidates, or the club may utilize a committee approach.

    There is at least some more promising injury news to pass along from New York. The club also announced that star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will embark upon a rehab assignment beginning today. It’s not known just how long he’ll need, but presumably he’s not too far off from returning to the majors from a hip ailment.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Fernando Abad Serving Retroactive 80-Game Suspension]]> 2018-06-08T03:27:30Z 2018-06-08T03:24:57Z 10:24pm: FanRag’s Jon Heyman reports that Abad’s minor league deal with the Mets in late March was indeed axed when the Mets learned of his failed PED test shortly before the deal became official (all Twitter links). Importantly, he notes that Abad went through a lengthy appeal process that was ultimately unsuccessful. However, the beginning of his suspension is retroactive to the filing of the appeal, meaning his suspension will actually finish being served later this month.

    Heyman also relays a statement from Abad in which he, like many suspended players before him, indicates that he didn’t knowingly take a banned substance.

    3:50pm: Free agent left-handed reliever Fernando Abad has received an 80-game ban after testing positive for Stanozolol, the league announced.

    The 32-year-old Abad was with the Phillies in Spring Training and, after being cut loose, agreed to a minor league deal with the Mets. Abad never appeared in a game with the Mets though, and his contract with the club seemed to have fallen through at some point (quite possibly due to the impending suspension). Any club that signs Abad now will do so knowing that he’ll have to sit out for 80 games upon the deal’s completion. At this point in the schedule, an 80-game suspension would put Abad out for the vast majority of the season.

    Abad drew fairly limited interest this past offseason despite the fact that he turned in a solid 2017 season with the Red Sox. In 43 2/3 frames with Boston last year, he pitched to a 3.30 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 0.82 HR/9 and a 45 percent ground-ball rate. Lefties hit just .224/.288/.348 against him, and it was his second consecutive season with an ERA well south of 4.00 in more than 40 innings of work. In fact, Abad has somewhat quietly worked to a 3.13 ERA with a 206-to-80 K/BB ratio in 233 innings from 2013-17. He worked primarily in low-leverage spots with the Red Sox last year, though, often pitching when the game was already out of hand and the team was behind.

    In 317 2/3 career innings at the big league level, Abad has a 3.65 ERA with 38 holds, two saves,  7.7 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 40.7 percent ground-ball rate.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 6/7/18]]> 2018-06-07T18:52:52Z 2018-06-07T18:52:52Z We’ll track the day’s minor moves here:

    • Mets lefty Aaron Laffey has decided to retire, according to Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review Journal (via Twitter). The 33-year-old, an eight-year MLB veteran, had been pitching for the organization’s top affiliate. Laffey was struggling quite a bit, though, carrying an unsightly 11.77 ERA through 26 innings in six starts. He recorded only 11 strikeouts against six walks while surrendering a whopping 45 base hits and ten long balls. Over his 494 1/3 career innings in the majors, the last of which came in 2015, Laffey worked to a 4.44 ERA. He spent the bulk of his time with the Indians and also saw substantial action with the Blue Jays, along with shorter stints with the Mets, Mariners, Yankees, and Rockies.
    • Backstop Steven Baron has cleared waivers after being outrighted by the Cardinals, according to a club announcement and as tweeted by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It seems Baron will accept an assignment to Triple-A. He was designated for assignment recently after a brief MLB stint, during which he recorded his first hit in the majors. The 27-year-old is a .248/.307/.333 hitter in 455 career plate appearances at Triple-A.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Deal With GM Sandy Alderson Runs Through 2019]]> 2018-06-07T17:01:02Z 2018-06-07T17:01:02Z Mets GM Sandy Alderson is under contract with the organization through the 2019 season, according to a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. The veteran executive is earning $8MM total in the two-year agreement.

    Alderson signed the deal with the team last December, representing a long-expected continuation of his tenure at the helm of the baseball operations department. At the time, though, the duration and value of the deal were not announced or firmly reported.

    When he agreed to stay in charge, Alderson cited a desire to complete “some unfinished business” after a disappointing 2017 season. After shipping out several veterans in mid-season trades, the front office oversaw a busy offseason, that featured a variety of veteran additions.

    Unfortunately, things haven’t gone as hoped thus far in 2018. The club is mired in a six-game skid and has fallen 7.5 games back of the pace in the NL East. Alderson already sent out former ace Matt Harvey and could now face some tough roster decisions at the trade deadline.

    Recently, Alderson suggested that the Mets organization does not foresee any major deals involving core players. He indicated ongoing optimism that the current roster can compete, at least once it’s back to full health. But the pressure is building as the struggles continue.

    In any event, barring a surprise shake-up, it’ll be Alderson who leads the charge in setting the strategy through the current season and into 2019. Whether he and the organization desire for the arrangement to continue beyond that point remains to be seen. It has been reported that assistant GM John Ricco is seen as an eventual successor.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Claim P.J. Conlon From Dodgers, Designate Phillip Evans]]> 2018-06-06T21:33:52Z 2018-06-06T20:55:53Z The Mets have re-claimed left-hander P.J. Conlon off waivers from the Dodgers and designated infielder Phillip Evans for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the team announced to reporters following this afternoon’s game (Twitter link via Anthony DiComo of Conlon has been optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.

    Conlon’s time with the Dodgers, clearly, will prove to be abbreviated. Los Angeles only claimed him off waivers from the Mets last week, and the southpaw had yet to even pitch in a game with his new organization before being placed back on waivers. It’s nothing new for the Dodgers to claim a player and then try to run him through waivers themselves as a means of keeping him in the organization without committing a 40-man roster spot. It’s a move they’ve had a fair amount of success with in past seasons, though the Mets clearly didn’t see fit to let Conlon get away and seized the opportunity to reclaim the depth they lost last week.

    Conlon, 24, allowed seven earned runs in his first two big league starts with the Mets this season, spanning just 5 2/3 innings. His struggles weren’t contained to the MLB level, either, as he posted a whopping 6.58 ERA in 39 2/3 innings spanning eight starts with Vegas this year. However, Conlon possesses solid numbers up through the the Double-A level and turned in promising K/BB numbers in Triple-A this year even while struggling with his bottom-line run prevention numbers. He’ll now return to the organization that originally drafted him and continue on as a depth piece.

    As for the 25-year-old Evans, this’ll be the second time he’s been designated for assignment by the Mets in the past calendar year. He’s just 1-for-9 on the young season but hit .303/.395/.364 in a tiny sample of 38 plate appearances in the Majors last year. Evans is a career .273/.337/.445 hitter in 671 PAs at the Triple-A level and has experience at every position other than center field, first base and catcher. If he clears waivers, he’ll have the right to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency, given that he was outrighted the last time he was designated by the Mets.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Have Considered Releasing Jose Reyes]]> 2018-06-06T16:16:15Z 2018-06-06T16:16:15Z The Mets have had internal discussions about cutting ties with veteran infielder Jose Reyes, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). With some upcoming roster decisions as players return to health, there could soon be added pressure to do just that.

    Certainly, Reyes has done little on the field this year to stave off such a move. He’s slashing a meager .141/.208/.197, with just two extra-base hits through 71 plate appearances. While Statcast paints a slightly more promising picture — Reyes carries a .187 wOBA that’s well shy of his .250 xwOBA — the struggles can hardly be attributed solely to batted-ball misfortune.

    While he brings defensive flexibility, Reyes hasn’t graded particularly well with the glove. Likewise, despite grading as a premium baserunner last year, he’s sitting at average in that regard so far in 2018. Just days away from his 35th birthday, Reyes has produced more negative value (-0.9 fWAR) than all but four other position players in the game.

    Despite those less-than-promising numbers, Puma reports that there’s some hesitation from the Mets organization. Citing Reyes’s “roots” with the club, Puma says there’s a belief that he deserves a “proper sendoff.” That’s understandable, on the one hand, given that this is his 12th campaign with the club. That said, the circumstances under which Reyes came back to Queens — the Mets took him in when he was released by the Rockies after serving a domestic violence suspension — do not really speak in favor of any kind of preferential treatment.

    Beyond off-the-field considerations, it’ll be tough for the Mets to hang onto Reyes given what he has shown thus far, despite the fact that he was a useful contributor over the prior two campaigns. As Tim Britton wrote today for The Athletic (subscription link), there’s a sense that the team is “teetering on the brink of another long, irrelevant summer” after it took a fifth-straight loss. While GM Sandy Alderson insists that he’s still optimistic and isn’t weighing a summer sell-off, climbing back into the postseason picture will obviously require the team to field a healthy and productive mix of players.

    The Reyes question isn’t pressing just yet, but could be in the near-term. The team is carrying a five-man bench at present, with a roster that includes three catchers, four starters, and eight relievers. Upheaval is imminent, with Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, and Wilmer Flores currently rehabbing and perhaps not too far off from returns. With a wide variety of considerations in play, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Alderson: Chances Of Major Mets Sell-Off “Remote”]]> 2018-06-05T21:16:10Z 2018-06-05T21:15:51Z In a candid interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Mets GM Sandy Alderson suggested that it’s quite unlikely his organization will oversee a franchise-altering sell-off of MLB assets this summer. The post is a must-read for Mets fans.

    “Can circumstances change that, yes,” Alderson said of the possibility of a significant roster tear-down. “But I think that would be very, very remote. It’s not something we’re even considering or talking about.”

    Even more interesting than that statement, though, was Alderson’s explication of his philosophy on roster building and team performance. He tells Nightengale that he rejects the notion — which he says is prevalent in the broader MLB culture — that “you’re either really good or you stink.” Alderson generally explains that he doesn’t adhere to that level of extremism and notes that a significant rebuild, while coming with the potential for great success, also doesn’t guarantee a return to prominence.

    That line of thinking seems to hint that the Mets will not feel pressured to take a dramatic approach to the deadline. Of course, Alderson has also proven willing to do so in recent years, having adopted both buying and selling postures as situations warranted. Memorably, the club struck a pair of 2015 blockbusters — one foiled by medicals, one consummated — with a resulting butterfly effect of rare significance. Last year, the club shipped out a bevy of veterans on expiring contracts after a disappointing and injury-riddled first half of the season.

    This time around, the hope was — and still is — that the roster would perform much better. The Mets ponied up some cash for solid veterans at areas of need, though certainly some would have argued that a bigger spend on more elite talent was warranted. Things looked promising after an initial run of success, but the club entered play today three games under .500.

    Alderson is taking the long view and remaining optimistic despite the team’s recent struggles, bemoaning a “temporary loss of perspective” and citing “the possibilities when we get players back from injuries.” Indeed, the team is welcoming back two significant offseason additions — Todd Frazier and Anthony Swarzak — for today’s game, while Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes are perhaps not far behind. Those returns won’t ensure an upswing in the standings and don’t explain all of the difficulties the Mets have encountered, but each absence has also undoubtedly been a significant component in the club’s overall struggles.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Designate Buddy Baumann]]> 2018-06-05T19:06:12Z 2018-06-05T19:06:12Z The Mets have designated lefty Buddy Baumann for assignment, per a club announcement. Also departing the active roster is righty Gerson Bautista, who was optioned to Triple-A.

    These moves will create the roster space needed for the Mets to activate Todd Frazier and Anthony Swarzak. We covered their activations from the DL earlier today.

    Baumann, 30, was hit hard in his three appearances this year with the Mets. He has shown swing-and-miss ability at the game’s highest level, but has yet to fully establish himself in the majors. In 14 Triple-A innings this season, Baumann has allowed only a pair of earned runs on seven hits, with 18 strikeouts and ten walks.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets To Activate Todd Frazier, Anthony Swarzak]]> 2018-06-05T17:47:30Z 2018-06-05T17:42:23Z The Mets have announced that they will activate third baseman Todd Frazier and righty Anthony Swarzak from the disabled list today, as’s Anthony DiComo tweets. Corresponding roster moves are not yet known.

    Frazier will end up missing just under a month with a hamstring strain. The veteran was off to a solid start to the year before that, slashing .237/.357/.412 with five home runs and a 15.0% walk rate over his first 140 plate appearances with the organization. He inked a two-year, $17MM contract over the winter.

    Likewise, Swarzak joined the Mets on a two-year free agent pact; in his case, it came with a $14MM guarantee. But he made only two appearances before going down to an oblique injury.

    Both players represent significant pieces of the Mets roster. The news is most welcome given the team’s struggles of late. With a number of players on the DL, the club has carried three catchers and utilized youngster Luis Guillorme quite a lot at second and third.

    Given his struggles at the plate, Guillorme could simply be sent down to make way for Frazier. Complicating matters, though, is the fact that Swarzak will require a 40-man spot since he’s coming back from the 60-day DL. Veteran utilityman Jose Reyes has been even worse offensively than Guillorme, and trimming him from the roster would allow the club to maintain greater pitching depth by optioning (rather than designating) a reliever. That said, there are also some reasonable DFA candidates on the current staff and there has been no indication to date that Reyes is at risk.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Anthony Swarzak To Return From DL On Tuesday]]> 2018-06-04T04:06:00Z 2018-06-04T04:06:00Z
  • The Mets are expected to activate reliever Anthony Swarzak from the disabled list on Tuesday, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports.  Swarzak, who signed a two-year/$14MM free agent deal last winter, made just two appearances for the team before hitting the DL due to an oblique injury in early April.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Outright Scott Copeland To Double-A]]> 2018-06-03T22:23:47Z 2018-06-03T22:21:55Z
  • The Mets have assigned Scott Copeland to Double-A after the right-hander cleared waivers, The Athletic’s Tim Healey reports (Twitter link).  Copeland was designated for assignment on Friday after just a two-day stint in the majors, though he did chalk up his first MLB appearance since the 2015 season.  The 30-year-old has a 3.22 ERA over 22 1/3 IP (all as a starter) at the Double-A level this season.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Todd Frazier Likely To Return Tuesday]]> 2018-06-05T02:59:23Z 2018-06-03T16:53:01Z
  • Mets third baseman Todd Frazier is primed to come off the DL in time for the team’s series against Baltimore, which begins Tuesday, Matt Ehalt of The Record suggests. Indeed, Frazier tweeted Sunday that he’s on his way back to New York, thus wrapping up a Triple-A rehab assignment. His return will be a rare positive development for the free-falling Mets, who placed Frazier on the DL with a hamstring strain on May 8. Prior to suffering the injury, the offseason free-agent signing opened 2018 with a helpful .237/.357/.412 line and five home runs in 140 plate appearances.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Dodgers Claim P.J. Conlon]]> 2018-06-02T20:52:07Z 2018-06-02T20:40:04Z The Dodgers have claimed left-hander P.J. Conlon off waivers from the Mets; the club announced the move. Conlon will be assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu has been transferred to the 60-day DL in order to make room on the 40-man roster.

    Conlon hasn’t exactly impressed in his first taste of big league action; he’s allowed seven earned runs in his first two big league starts spanning just 5 2/3 innings. The Mets apparently didn’t need to see much more, as they designated him for assignment on Thursday in order to clear room to add a pair of right-handers to the roster. Juan Lagares was also transferred to the 60-day disabled list at that time.

    Even in Triple-A last season, Conlon pitched to a whopping 6.58 ERA in 39 2/3 innings spanning eight starts. A mid-round pick of the Mets back in 2015, Conlon rocketed up the minor league ladder to make his MLB debut while spending no more than one year at each level of the minors. It’s almost curious that the Mets gave up on Conlon without ever giving him more than ten starts above the Double-A level, particularly given his serviceable results at Double-A in 2017.

    The Dodgers have some rotation issues of their own, and Conlon could provide some decent minor-league depth. After all, they just learned they’ll be without fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw for another month (though obviously Conlon wouldn’t be much of a consolation prize in that regard).

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Select Jose Lobaton, Designate Scott Copeland]]> 2018-06-01T20:03:16Z 2018-06-01T19:33:46Z The Mets have selected the contract of veteran catcher Jose Lobaton, as Tim Healey of The Athletic reports on Twitter. To open a roster spot, the team designated just-promoted righty Scott Copeland for assignment.

    Lobaton already spent some time in the majors with the Mets earlier this year, but lost his roster spot after hitting just .152/.250/.239 in his 52 plate appearances in the majors. It’s certainly possible that this second stay will be even shorter, unless the club decides to keep three catchers for a stretch.

    As for the 30-year-old Copeland, his return to the majors proved fleeting. Though he worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings last night, he was mostly called up to give the team a fresh arm. Now, unless he’s claimed, he’ll end up back in the minors, waiting for another opportunity.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mets Designate P.J. Conlon For Assignment]]> 2018-05-30T21:37:32Z 2018-05-30T21:21:06Z The Mets announced that they’ve designated left-hander P.J. Conlon for assignment and transferred Juan Lagares to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday. Their spots on the 40-man roster will go to right-handers Tim Peterson and Scott Copeland, each of whom has been selected to the Major League roster (as was reported earlier today). Furthermore, New York optioned right-hander Jacob Rhame and infielder Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas and recalled left-hander Buddy Baumann from Triple-A.

    Conlon, 24, enjoyed a strong season with the Mets’ Double-A affiliate in 2017, tossing 136 innings of 3.38 ERA ball with 7.2 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9, but he’s endured a disastrous 2018 campaign so far. Though Conlon has had one significant milestone in 2018, making his MLB debut, his results on the mound have been ugly in both the Majors and the minors. The former 13th-round pick (2015) was tagged for seven runs on 12 hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings for the Mets, and he’s limped to a 6.58 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 in 39 2/3 innings out of the rotation in Las Vegas.

    The Mets will have a week to trade Conlon or place him on outright or release waivers. He’s not considered to be an elite prospect, but he entered the year ranked 24th among Mets farmhands, per, where Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo suggested that he could ultimately function as a multi-inning bullpen piece capable of setting down both lefties and righties.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets To Select Contracts Of Tim Peterson, Scott Copeland]]> 2018-05-30T16:59:30Z 2018-05-30T16:12:36Z 11:55am: Righty Scott Copeland is the other pitcher heading up, per’s Anthony DiComo (via Twitter). He’ll also need to be added to the 40-man.

    Copeland, 30, briefly cracked the majors back in 2015. He has taken five starts this year in the upper minors, working to a 3.81 ERA with 6.7 K/9 against 5.4 BB/9 in 28 1/3 innings.

    11:48am: New York will likely also add another arm, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports on Twitter. It’s not yet clear who that will be, but Puma says the mystery hurler may currently be on the Double-A roster.

    11:12am: The Mets are set to promote right-hander Tim Peterson to the majors, per Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. Corresponding roster moves have yet to be announced.

    Peterson, 27, has pitched in the minors since 2012, when he was taken with a 20th round pick out of the University of Kentucky. He reached the Triple-A level briefly last year after a strong showing at Double-A, then returned to Las Vegas to begin the current campaign.

    Over his 22 appearances this year, Peterson has thrown 27 2/3 innings of 3.58 ERA ball. He has held opposing batters to 18 hits and eight walks while racking up forty strikeouts.

    While the New York organization surely preferred not to make any 40-man moves, the club’s pitching depth has been pressed to its limits by recent injuries. Noah Syndergaard was supposed to start today but ended up on the DL, leaving Jason Vargas to take the ball on short rest. And Steven Matz left his outing yesterday early, putting further strain on the relief unit. (Rather improbably, both he and Syndergaard were felled in succession by finger injuries.)

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Matz Exits Start With Finger Injury; Swarzak Begins Rehab Assignment]]> 2018-05-30T03:57:46Z 2018-05-30T03:57:46Z
  • Steven Matz exited tonight’s start with discomfort in his left middle finger, though the Mets said that x-rays have already ruled out a broken bone, per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. The injury occurred when swinging in his latest at-bat, and Matz is headed for an MRI for further evaluation, tweets Tim Britton of The Athletic. The Mets already lost Noah Syndergaard to the DL earlier today, so even a brief absence for Matz would be all the more problematic. On the plus side for the Mets, right-hander Anthony Swarzak made a rehab appearance in Triple-A Las Vegas tonight and threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and one hit allowed.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Place Noah Syndergaard On DL With Strained Finger Ligament]]> 2018-05-29T18:27:02Z 2018-05-29T17:32:08Z 1:16pm: It seems the injury is not viewed as a serious one. James Wagner of the New York Times tweets that Syndergaard could potentially return after the minimum absence. (The placement was backdated to May 26th.) He’ll wear a splint for the time being but could try throwing again this weekend to gauge his progress.

    12:32pm: The Mets announced that righty Noah Syndergaard has been placed on the 10-day DL. He was diagnosed with a strained ligament in his right index finger, per the announcement.

    At present, it’s not clear how long the Mets will go without their co-ace. But any absence is most unwelcome given the tightly packed group of contenders in the NL East.

    The real question here, of course, is whether this injury holds any potential for long-term concern. That’s simply not apparent based upon what is known publicly at this point. Prior to the team’s announcement, after all, there was no indication that Syndergaard was dealing with a problem at all.

    There are also more immediate needs to be dealt with. The New York organization is going to have to scramble to account for Syndergaard’s scheduled start tomorrow. That could mean that Jason Vargas takes the ball on short rest, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link), and/or that the club tries to find a fresh arm from its minor-league ranks.

    Thus far in 2018, Syndergaard has been in fine form after missing much of the prior season with a lat injury. He owns a 3.06 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 through 64 2/3 innings, with a typically sturdy 47.7% groundball rate. He is throwing his fastballs in the upper-nineties range we’ve come to expect and carries a personal-high 15.0% swinging-strike rate.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Wilmer Flores Could Hit DL With Back Injury]]> 2018-05-28T00:53:09Z 2018-05-28T00:53:09Z
  • A DL stint could be in the offing for Wilmer Flores, as the Mets infielder left today’s game in the fourth inning due to back soreness.’s Anthony DiComo reports that Flores has flown back to New York for examination, and the Mets will have Phillip Evans on hand in Atlanta tomorrow if a roster move needs to be made.  Flores is hitting .248/.320/.398 through 128 PA this season and has continued to be a versatile infield depth piece for the Mets, most recently seeing a lot of third base time filling in for the injured Todd Frazier.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Wright, Frazier, Swarzak]]> 2018-05-27T20:23:10Z 2018-05-27T20:22:27Z
  • Mets third baseman David Wright last appeared in a major league game on May 27, 2017, exactly two years ago today. A laundry list of upper-body injuries have kept Wright off the field for all but 75 games since 2015, and he may be in the midst of yet another lost season. However, the captain isn’t calling it a career. Rather, the 35-year-old Wright continues to hold out hope that he’ll return to the field, and he’ll go for a re-evaluation by the end of the month, Tim Healey of Newsday writes. Healey spoke to a few of Wright’s Mets teammates about his plight, and each offered effusive praise for the seven-time All-Star. Wright, of course, is still under contract through 2020 for $47MM – including $20MM this year – but the team has an insurance policy covering about 75 percent of that money.
  • Wright’s injuries helped open the door for the Mets’ offseason signing of veteran third baseman Todd Frazier, who has dealt with his own injury issues this year. Frazier went to the DL with a hamstring issue back on May 8, but he’s almost ready for a Triple-A rehab assignment, Healey reports. The same goes for reliever and fellow winter free-agent signing Anthony Swarzak, out since the first week of the season with an oblique strain (Twitter link via Mike Puma of the New York Post).
  • More injury news on the Mets, who will send reliever AJ Ramos for an MRI on his right shoulder, Anthony DiComo of was among those to report. It’s the latest negative development this season for the 31-year-old Ramos, who has posted a 6.41 ERA with 6.86 walks per nine over 19 2/3 innings. Ramos has been especially poor lately, having given up at least two earned runs in three of six appearances, perhaps because of an injury.
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