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New York Mets Add Six Players to 40 Man Roster

November 23rd, 2014 at 6:13 PM
By Mike Phillips

The New York Mets made some 40 man roster moves this past week. With the Rule V deadline on Thursday, the Mets needed to add any eligible prospects they wanted to protect onto their 40 man squad. The Mets made their choices, adding some slam dunk choices and leaving one surprise omission.

The Mets added six pitchers to the 40 man roster prior to the deadline, MetsBlog.com reports. The newest protected prospects included RHP's Noah Syndergaard, Cory Mazzoni, Akeel Morris, Gabriel Ynoa, and Hansel Robels as well as lefty Jack Leathersich. All of these additions aren't very surprising, as the Mets' strength is young pitching. The Mets' young hitting prospects, like Brandon Nimmo and Kevin Plawecki, aren't yet eligible for the Rule V Draft.

One surprising snub from the 40 man roster was righty Logan Verrett. Verrett, a starter with Las Vegas last season, is highly regarded by the Mets but they couldn't protect all of their eligible players. so Verrett will be exposed to the Rule V draft. The Mets can lose Verrett to the draft, but any team that picks him up will have to keep him on their 25 man roster for the entire season. If they don't, Verrett would be offered back to the Mets for a fee.

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Wally Backman Named Manager in Dominican Winter League

November 23rd, 2014 at 12:13 PM
By Mike Phillips

Popular former Met Wally Backman has a job with the New York Mets' organization as the manager of the Triple-A Las Vegas 51's. Many Mets fans have clamored for him to be the major league skipper, but that isn't an option at the moment with Terry Collins back for a fifth year at the helm. Backman will get some more managing experience this winter, though, in the Dominican Republic.

Backman will manage the Dominican League club Licey, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports. The move was announced by Licey GM and former Mets coach Manny Acta, who fired incumbent Jose Offerman after Licey got off to a 10-17 start. Backman will finish out the year for Licey, whose roster includes Mets prospects Dilson Herrera and Hansel Robles. That should keep Backman busy until the Triple-A season starts in April, even though there has been no official announcement of Backman's return yet.

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David Wright and Travis D’Arnaud Will Visit Hitting Coach Kevin Long This Winter

November 22nd, 2014 at 1:32 PM
By Mike Phillips

New York Mets hitting coach Kevin Long is highly respected throughout baseball and is expected to help the Mets improve their overall approach at the plate this season. Long's work will start in the winter, as several Mets players are expected to visit him in the offseason to get a jump on the 2015 season. David Wright and Travis d'Arnaud are among the players who are planning on visiting Long in Phoenix in January, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports.

Rubin's report cites information from Long himself, who confirmed both players will visit him in January. Long is also expected to spend some time with outfielder Curtis Granderson, although that hasn't been finalized yet. Granderson struggled in his first season in Flushing after spending years under Long's tutelage as a member of the New York Yankees. Long indicated that he felt Granderson's struggles came down to him dropping his hands more than he had in the Bronx, and that working on ways to help correct that flaw would be a top priority.

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Jonathon Niese’s Shoulder Could Hurt His Trade Value

November 21st, 2014 at 1:15 PM
By Mike Phillips

Jonathon Niese has been a popular name in trade rumors surrounding the New York Mets. The Mets are expected to deal one of their veteran starting pitchers (Niese, Dillon Gee, or Bartolo Colon) at some point to clear a log jam in the rotation. Niese is perceived to have tremendous value due to the fact that he is a young lefty on an affordable contract. That value hasn't materialized yet, however, as the Mets are receiving little interest in their vets early on.

A big reason for the lack of interest in Niese is his shoulder, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. Niese has had a history of injury problems and has yet to pitch 200 innings in a season. Martino cites a rival club executive who feels that the Mets are underestimating Niese's shoulder issues. Other teams fear that he could break down and require surgery in the future, and Niese's club-friendly contract isn't very friendly if Niese is on the disabled list.

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New York Mets Looking for Second Lefty in Bullpen

November 20th, 2014 at 1:09 PM
By Mike Phillips

One of the more under-reported stories of the 2014 season was the improvement of the New York Mets' bullpen. The unit, which was one of baseball's worst for years, made a dramatic turnaround and ranked inside the top ten in ERA as a group. While a lot of that success was due to the infusion of young arms like Jenrry Mejia and Vic Black, another key factor was the presence of lefties Josh Edgin and Dana Eveland. Eveland, along with fellow veteran Buddy Carlyle, were cut loose after the season to avoid arbitration raises, but the Mets would still like to bring them back.

ESPN New York's Adam Rubin is reporting that the Mets would like to re-sign both veterans, although Eveland is a higher priority. Edgin is the only lefty in the Mets' bullpen, and there isn't another lefty ready to contribute at the moment. Eveland could provide the Mets with some stability in the pen, as well as lessen the burden on Edgin to be the lone lefty specialist. If the Mets can't re-sign Eveland, they will look to add a veteran lefty to fill that role. There are a lot of options out there, including top free agent reliever Andrew Miller. Miller will cost a lot, though, so the Mets will likely look for a cheaper arm to compete for a bullpen role.

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