New York Mets: Binghamton Mets

Morning Briefing: Gee gets last tune-up

March, 26, 2014
Mar 26

Courtesy of Dillon GeeOpening Day starter Dillon Gee, pictured with wife Kari Ann and son Hudson, gets his final spring-training tune-up Wednesday night.

FIRST PITCH: Opening Day starter Dillon Gee gets his final spring-training tune-up when the Mets play a 6:05 p.m. game Wednesday against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee. Gee opposes Scott Feldman (WOR 710 AM).

Wednesday’s news reports:

• The Mets handed Daisuke Matsuzaka a $100,000 retention bonus Tuesday, preserving the right to send him to the minors. However, it is not as simple as suggesting Jenrry Mejia has won the fifth starter’s job. The Mets want to preserve the eligibility of Matsuzaka and Mejia to be in the rotation if the elbow issue with Jonathon Niese flares up.

Matsuzaka is the one who can be held off the Opening Day roster and still sub for Niese on April 6 if needed. That’s because Matsuzaka is on a minor-league contract. Once Mejia is optioned to the minors, he would be ineligible to take Niese’s start, because Mejia would by rule need to spend the first 10 days of the regular season with Las Vegas.

Incidentally, relief is off the table for Mejia.

Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record, Journal, Newsday and

Matt Harvey and the Mets have settled on a rehab plan. During the season’s first couple of months, Harvey will rehab in New York when the Mets are at home and work out in Port St. Lucie when the big-league club is away from Citi Field. Once he begins expected mound work in June, the rehab will shift nearly exclusively to the team’s Florida complex.

“Certain situations I feel strongly about and I may approach them a little bit differently,” Harvey told David Lennon in Newsday. “But I’m all about this team. I’m all about the New York Mets and I’m all about winning. I can preach that until I’m blue in the face. …

“We had kind of gone back and forth, but it was never an alarming situation. It wasn’t me trying to get my way the whole time and it wasn’t them trying to get their way the whole time, which was kind of perceived through the media. We worked out a good deal and I think everybody is happy.”

David Wright was among those counseling Harvey on the subject. Writes columnist Joel Sherman in the Post:

Wright told Harvey when he was rehabbing the fractured bone in his lower back and had to be with the team because the rehab doctor was in New York, he made sure he arrived super-early to make sure he did not take away doctor/trainer time from active players. He advised Harvey do the same, and also to mimic what he has done in March -- attend the pitchers’ meetings and be an active cheerleader and information dispenser in the dugout. The message is simple: You have to be a supporting actor at Citi, not a star of the City; a dispenser of high fives, not a staple of Page Six.

“It’s been my philosophy that I am an employee, not the employer,” Wright said. “The advice I gave him was to find common ground with the Mets. To definitely do what is best for him, but also not to lose sight that he is the employee, not the employer.”

Read more on Harvey in the Star-Ledger.

Zack Wheeler allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings, including a three-run homer to Bryce Harper, as the Mets lost to the Washington Nationals, 7-3, Tuesday in Viera. Wheeler next faces the Nats next Thursday, in Game 3 of the regular season.

• The Associated Press calculates the Mets’ payroll at $89 million, which ranks 22nd in MLB.

• Frank Viola will require open-heart surgery next Wednesday and will be unable to serve as pitching coach at Triple-A Las Vegas. Read more in Newsday and

• The Wilpons’ settlement with the trustee collecting money for victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is down to $80 million, to be paid in equal installments in 2016 and 2017.

• Sandy Alderson expects Ike Davis and Lucas Duda both to be on the Opening Day roster. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Kyle Farnsworth, who is due to be re-signed by the Mets, rode the bus to Viera on Tuesday with the team despite technically not being a member of the organization.

• Ex-Met Mike Pelfrey was the victim of a practical joke by Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and teammates.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post labels the Mets among the NL’s offseason winners, writing:

They finally spent some money, even if it was only to keep the payroll flat, to acquire Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon. Risky outfield acquisition Chris Young has enjoyed a good spring training.

• Luis Rivera is Double-A Binghamton’s new hitting coach. He replaces Luis Natera, who was promoted to assistant hitting coach with the big-league club.

• Granderson reminisces about his first Opening Day at

• Bovada sets the following over-unders for the Mets in 2014:

David Wright -- BA in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under .295

David Wright -- Total HRs in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under 22.5

David Wright -- Total RBIs in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under 85.5

Curtis Granderson -- Total HRs in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under 27.5

Curtis Granderson -- Total RBIs in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under 89.5

Ike Davis -- BA in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under .240

Daniel Murphy -- BA in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under .295

Daniel Murphy -- Total Stolen Bases in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under 20.5

Daniel Murphy -- Total RBIs in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under 70.5

Dillon Gee -- Total Wins in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under 12

Jonathon Niese -- Total Wins in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under 11.5

Bartolo Colon -- Total Wins in the 2014 Regular Season

Over/Under 10.5

• Jonathan Lehman in the Post has a history quiz about Mets Opening Day starting pitchers.

John Lannan is getting acclimated to a relief role, Mike Vorkunov writes in the Star-Ledger.

Omar Quintanilla appears likely to beat out Anthony Seratelli for the backup middle-infield job. But Seratelli has hopes of making his MLB debut at age 31, writes Tim Rohan in the Times.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets infielder Jose Vizcaino turns 46.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Where do you stand on the above over-unders?

Mets tab Rivera as Double-A hitting coach

March, 25, 2014
Mar 25
VIERA, Fla. -- Luis Rivera has been anointed hitting coach for the Double-A Binghamton

Mets. Rivera replaces Luis Natera, who was promoted Monday to assistant hitting coach of the big-league club.

Rivera, 30, served as the organization's short-season hitting coordinator the past two seasons, and previously was the hitting coach at Kingsport.

He spent six seasons as an infielder with the Chicago Cubs and Mets organizations. Rivera was a New York-Penn League All-Star in 2006.

The B-Mets also named Jason Griffin their strength and conditioning coach, replacing Jake Henderson.

Morning Briefing: Tripleheader today

March, 6, 2014
Mar 6

FIRST PITCH: It’s a tripleheader for the Mets on Thursday.

The Mets send a pair of squads to Kissimmee, Fla., to face the Houston Astros. At 10 a.m. in a “B” game, Logan Verrett, Vic Black, Jack Leathersich and Erik Goeddel are scheduled to pitch.

Jeff Roberson/Associated PressFifth-starter contender John Lannan starts Thursday's Grapefruit League game.

Then, in the 1:05 p.m. official Grapefruit League game at Osceola County Stadium, fifth-starter contender John Lannan opposes ex-Met Collin McHugh. Rafael Montero and Steven Matz also now are listed for that game.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of action crammed into three innings in a structured intrasquad game on a back field at the Mets’ complex, which will not be open to the public. Now at 10 a.m., Bartolo Colon, Jonathon Niese and Bobby Parnell have their first game action of spring training.

Colon was slowed early in camp by a calf issue. Niese had to be dispatched to New York for an MRI of his shoulder (which came back not alarming). Parnell, returning deliberately from herniated-disk surgery anyway, has a lingering quadriceps issue, too. This will be his first game-type action since last July 30.

The batters, primarily minor leaguers, should also include David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis and maybe Ruben Tejada.

Terry Collins kept Wright and Murphy out of the first week of Grapefruit League games to ease them into action and guard against injury. Each should make his first official spring-training start Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals in Port St. Lucie. Davis (calves) and Tejada (hamstring) both have been dealing with injuries.

Lucas Duda (hamstring) is not ready to participate, Collins added.

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Mets were swept in split-squad games, losing in Viera, 11-5, to the Washington Nationals and losing, 5-2, in 10 innings in Port St. Lucie to the Miami Marlins. Jenrry Mejia -- who may get bullpen consideration late in camp, but who for now is eyeing the fifth-starter role -- allowed one unearned run in two innings against the Nats. Cory Mazzoni was tagged for seven runs in the eighth in that loss. Facing Miami’s Jose Fernandez and Washington’s Gio Gonzalez, the Mets went scoreless for a combined 5 1/3 innings against the aces. Gonzalez Germen allowed three 10th-inning runs after Matt den Dekker’s sacrifice fly tied the score in the bottom of the ninth.

Read more on Mejia in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Record and Newsday.

• Collins understands he could use a backup shortstop with some offensive capability, so the manager wondered aloud if Wilmer Flores could serve in that role. Still, it seems very tentatively more like that Anthony Seratelli gets that nod over Flores or Omar Quintanilla, at least with the roster as presently constituted.

Anthony DiComo at profiles Seratelli’s long route to the Mets, including the emotional loss of his father in 2011 in an auto accident.

Read more on Seratelli in the Star-Ledger.

• Collins is considering batting his pitcher eighth on occasion. Columnist Joel Sherman tackles that topic in the Post. Sherman also suggests that Juan Lagares will make the team at least as a bench player, although the columnist asserts there ought to be consideration to sending Lagares to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, a friend of Stephen Drew labeled it “very slim” to Sherman that the free-agent shortstop lands with the Mets.

• Murphy tells the Daily News about the conflict between the team’s offensive philosophy and his own mindset: “I struggle with thinking that a walk is a win. I struggle with that, because I look at a walk as, ‘I didn’t get a hit.’ And so what I’m trying to really, really learn is that 0-for-2 with two walks, that is a win. But I don’t always view it like that.”

• After pitching a perfect ninth inning at Tradition Field against the Marlins on Wednesday, Jose Valverde told Mike Puma in the Post about trying to make the club: “For me, every year I try to compete like a minor-league guy -- always. All my life, what I’ve done in spring training is like I’ve never played in the big leagues. The first day in Arizona, Houston, Detroit and now with the Mets, that was my mindset all the time -- ‘It’s my first spring training.’”

• Parking prices are rising at Citi Field, Mets Police reports. After charging $20 last season, the new posted rates for cars are $22 for the regular season, $25 for the postseason, $30 for special events and $22 for the U.S. Open.

Matt Harvey will earn a base salary of $547,000 in 2014 -- $47,000 above the MLB minimum -- plus another $60,000 in bonuses, according to the Associated Press.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post asks original Generation K member Jason Isringhausen about the Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard trio. “Three guys coming up, there’s a lot of expectation,” Izzy, a guest instructor with the Cardinals, told Kernan. “But, with us, there were a lot of injuries. So hopefully these kids stay injury-free and they are able to pitch for 20 years. That would be great. That’s what everybody wants. The reality is you got to take care of these kids.’’

• Read more on the plan for Mets players returning to Grapefruit League play from injuries in the Star-Ledger, Record and Newsday.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal questions whether Duda’s fractured wrist during the 2012-13 offseason impacted his performance a year ago.

• Frank Viola’s son Frank III, who has tried to revive his career as a knuckleball pitcher, has signed a minor-league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays after a successful tryout, the former Cy Young winner tweeted. The younger Viola, a right-hander, is 29 years old.

• Tim Rohan in the Times profiles Mets farmhand L.J. Mazzilli, the son of Lee Mazzilli. L.J. was assigned No. 13 in minor-league camp, which his father wore from 1986 through ’89 with the Mets. L.J. has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, so he needs to be extra vigilant concentrating in the field, Rohan writes.

• Matz is profiled in the Post. The Long Island native is expected to open the season in Class A St. Lucie’s rotation, with a potential jump to Double-A Binghamton for the second half.

• Chris McShane at Amazin’ Avenue interviews Paul DePodesta.

• The Binghamton Mets will host a “Welcome Home” dinner for the Double-A club on April 2 at the DoubleTree in Binghamton. Tickets for the event/autograph session are $25. Call 607-723-METS or purchase at the NYSEG Stadium ticket office.

From the bloggers … The Eddie Kranepool Society addresses WOR’s Mets radio booth still being in flux. … Faith and Fear hears spring training is the cure for the common winter. … John Delcos at Mets Report wonders why there are so many tight muscles in camp.

BIRTHDAYS: No player to appear for the Mets was born on this date, but Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Arnold, Alan Greenspan and Michelangelo celebrate birthdays today.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you prefer Wilmer Flores, Omar Quintanilla or Anthony Seratelli as the backup shortstop?

B-Mets staff remaining intact

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13

The 2013 Binghamton Mets staff is returning intact for the upcoming season.

Pedro Lopez remains the manager, with Luis Natera serving as hitting coach and Glenn Abbott serving as pitching coach.

Last season, the B-Mets produced a franchise-record 86 wins and earned their first playoff appearance since 2004. Lopez earned Eastern League manager of the year honors.

The 2014 team should include catching prospect Kevin Plawecki, first baseman Jayce Boyd, third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez and potentially outfielder Dustin Lawley, who led the Florida State League in homers last year.

The Triple-A Las Vegas staff is Wally Backman as manager with Frank Viola as pitching coach and George Greer as hitting coach. The Class A St. Lucie staff is Ryan Ellis as manager with Phil Regan as pitching coach and Joel Fuentes as hitting coach.

Randy St. Claire, who served as Triple-A pitching coach last season, has left the organization. He has been named Triple-A pitching coach for the Blue Jays, in Buffalo.

B-Mets to Ottawa now fully dead

October, 5, 2013
The long-reported potential move of the Double-A Binghamton Mets to Ottawa has received what appears to be its final death knell.

Ottawa's Finance and Economic Development Committee has shifted its attention from a prospective Double-A team to an independent league team, according to a published report in Canada.

The CBC News report reads:

The city had been pursuing a Double-A team for the vacant stadium, but the one bidder that came forward wanted more than $40 million in stadium upgrades and a 20-year lease. Instead city staff recommended approving an offer from the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball to lease the stadium.

Under the terms of the proposal, Ottawa would have a team by May 2015. The terms of the deal would include a ten-year lease with an option for later extensions, a $750,000 initial capital cost and an annual operating cost of $400,000.

Mets' Double-A to Ottawa? Not so fast

November, 27, 2012
The latest report indicating the Mets' Double-A Bighamton affiliate was prepared to be sold and moved to Ottawa was accurate at the time. However, the sale appears to have fallen through, according to a source with knowledge of the minor league arrangement.

That means the affiliate may remain in Binghamton after all.

The Mets are signed up with the affiliate through 2016.

Mets moving to Ottawa for Double-A?

November, 21, 2012
The Binghamton Mets, who steadfastly denied reports earlier this year about a potential move to Ottawa, are headed north of the border as soon as the 2014 season, Baseball America reports. Writes author Josh Leventhal in the magazine:

Several sources confirmed that Binghamton would indeed be the team on the move to Ottawa, a scenario first reported by the Ottawa Citizen early in the year and denied passionately and repeatedly by Binghamton owner Michael Urda to local media. A source familiar with the negotiations also confirmed the Citizen's report that Nolan Ryan-owned Ryan-Sanders Baseball is the ownership group that plans to purchase the B-Mets. Ryan-Sanders CEO Reid Ryan declined to comment. Urda did not return a pair of interview requests from Baseball America.

The city of Ottawa announced in early September that it had reached an agreement in principle with the Eastern League to bring one of its franchises to town for the 2014 season. League president Joe McEacharn said several hurdles still need to be cleared before a deal is finalized, including a satisfactory plan to renovate 19-year-old Ottawa Stadium and a lease agreement that would not put an excessive financial burden on the club.

The Mets just signed an extension of their player-development agreement with the B-Mets for four years, through 2016. That would seem to mean they're locked into following the club to Canada for that period should this materialize.

Binghamton, Mets extend affiliation tie

August, 30, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- The Mets and Double-A Binghamton have extended their working agreement four seasons, through 2016.

They have been partners since Binghamton joined the Eastern League in 1992, after being relocated from Williamsport, Pa.

The Mets are likely to switch Triple-A affiliates, though. Buffalo appears inclined to align with the Blue Jays, leaving the Mets potentially headed for Las Vegas and the Pacific Coast League.

Mets morning briefing 7.13.12

July, 13, 2012
After a four-day break, the Mets resume play with a critical series at Atlanta, which leads the Mets -- and the wild-card standings -- by a half-game. After Johan Santana and then Dillon Gee were unable to take the ball in the second-half opener, Chris Young opposes Tim Hudson in the 7:35 p.m. game.

Friday's news reports:

• Gee is due to undergo surgery in St. Louis today to replace a portion of a damaged artery in his shoulder, the Mets confirmed. There is an outside chance Gee could return in late September, but the most likely scenario is he is back for 2013 without having to fear for any recurrences of clotting. Read more in Newsday and the Post.

• In all likelihood, Terry Collins said at Turner Field on Thursday, Miguel Batista should take the ball the next time the Mets need a fifth starter. When will that be? It could be as late as next Saturday, assuming Young is capable of pitching on standard rest Wednesday in Washington.

What about Matt Harvey? Well, Collins did not completely rule him out for the first turn in Gee's rotation spot, but painted it as an unlikely scenario. "It's a remote possibility," the manager said. "I'm not ruling out anything."

Make no mistake: The job appears likely to be Harvey's sooner than later.

“We’re in the hunt,” Collins told reporters in Atlanta. “This isn’t a tryout camp. So if the people who see him say he’s ready, bring him up. I’m all for it. ... [Buffalo manager] Wally [Backman] told me, 'Look, he's coming [along]. I'm not sure he's ready yet.' But, you know what? There may be a force-feed."

Writes Brian Costa in the Journal:

Before his team's game in Pawtucket, R.I., on Thursday, Buffalo manager Wally Backman said Harvey has made major strides in the past month, keeping his emotions in check and keeping the ball down in the strike zone. "I think if Matt were to go up there tomorrow, he's definitely not going to embarrass himself, without question," Backman said. "He's going to go up there and he's going to compete. He's learned a lot. There's still a lot for him to learn." And therein lies the Mets' dilemma. How ready does Harvey need to be before he's deemed ready? And at what point does that become secondary to the reality facing the major league team?

• Santana, despite a balky right ankle, was declared fit to start Sunday's series finale, expected to be against Ben Sheets in the ex-Brewer's return to the majors after a two-year absence. Santana tossed a baseball during Thursday's workout and should throw a bullpen session today to get ready. So the rotation is Young, R.A. Dickey and Santana in Atlanta, then Jon Niese opening the series in D.C. on Tuesday, after a team off-day. It should be Young or Batista on Wednesday.

“I told these guys I would have pitched [Friday night],” Santana said, according to Andy McCullough in the Star-Ledger. “But the doctors told me they wanted me to take a couple extra days, and just give it a break. It was sore the day after. But it was manageable.”

Read more in Newsday, Post and the Daily News.

Jason Bay began a rehab assignment Thursday night with Class A St. Lucie, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout and walk and manning seven innings in left field for Class A St. Lucie. Frank Francisco (oblique) also is ready to begin pitching for the club.

• In Game 2 of a doubleheader at Tampa, two Yankees farmhands no-hit the St. Lucie Mets. Read Thursday's full minor league recap here.

Mike Kerwick in the Record looks at Ike Davis. Writes Kerwick:

The Mets are counting on a continued climb from Davis. He hit .302 with 25 RBI in 36 games during 2011, before an ankle injury cut short his season. He had a 19-homer, 71-RBI campaign as a rookie in 2010. His first-half power numbers have been decent (12 HR, 49 RBI), but so far this season has been a step back. Davis was diagnosed with symptoms of Valley Fever during spring training -- the illness Collins referenced this past Sunday -- but Davis has said repeatedly that it has not affected his performance. But Collins wants more. Not just from Davis, but from left fielder Jason Bay and right fielder Lucas Duda.

• Here are looks at the Mets at the midway point in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Times and Record.

• In Newsday, Cody Derespina looks at on-the-block players around baseball who may fit the Mets. Derespina also offers these Mets grades.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post salutes Collins. Writes Kernan:

The Mets are the surprise team of the NL. That is so fitting because Collins is shocked he ever got this opportunity. He never believed he would get the chance to manage again. When Sandy Alderson called, Collins said he thought, “‘Geez I’m honored you are interviewing me.’ Then when I got it, I was flabbergasted. That’s why I said when I got it, I’m going to enjoy it more than I did the last time.’’ Collins has been true to his word, consistently turning lemons into lemonade, but that’s what you have to do when you’re a Met. “Damn right,’’ Collins said.

• Binghamton is due to remain the organization's Double-A affiliate.

TRIVIA: Which players, active or retired, have more career homers against the Mets than Chipper Jones?

Thursday's answer: Jones collected shell casings he found in the outfield from the 21-gun salute in the first baseball game back in New York after 9/11. He has kept them to this day.

Report: Binghamton to remain Mets affiliate

July, 12, 2012
The Mets, whose player-development contract with Double-A Binghamton expires after this season, will be re-upping and staying put, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reports.

"It's going to happen," team president Mike Urda said.

Writes Lynn Worthy in the newspaper:

Urda said he was in New York at Citi Field on June 22 to see the Mets and New York Yankees square off in the Subway Series -- that night was the only one season series that the Mets won. While in the city, Urda said he had a meeting with New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. The two discussed continuing the relationship between Binghamton and New York, and Urda said the idea of extending the player development contract for four years instead of two years was brought up. The next player development contract for the B-Mets would be the first since Alderson took over as general manager of the major league club. "We had a good hour-long meeting," Urda said. "It's going to happen."

The Ottawa Citizen had reported during the offseason that the Binghamton franchise likely was to be sold to investors who would move it to Ottawa.

Report: B-Mets may not move for '13

May, 24, 2012
The Ottawa Citizen, which previously had portrayed a deal as nearly in place to relocate Double-A Binghamton to Ottawa for the 2013 season, now is hedging on that prediction. Writes Don Campbell in the newspaper:

(Ottawa Mayor Jim) Watson said he had no new information and negotiations continue, but added the city needs to know in June whether an Eastern League Double-A team would be "go or no-go" in the Ottawa Stadium for the 2013 season. "The bottom line is that unless we have a Double-A team, we're not going to do all of the extensive renovations for a Double-A team," Watson said. If an agreement can't be reached for the 2013 season, he said, "I wouldn't read into (it) that there's going to be no Double-A baseball, it just means that we're probably going to need more time to put all the pieces together and have a season in 2014."

Binghamton Mets officials have dismissed in the past Ottawa-based reports their franchise was being relocated. The Citizen previously reported the B-Mets were poised to move to Ottawa, with a New York-Penn League team relocating to NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton.

Even if accurately reported, the Mets would not necessarily follow the Double-A franchise to Canada. They would be free to relocate to another Double-A city that was looking for a new parent club.

Mets morning briefing 2.23.12

February, 23, 2012
With Day 2 of pitchers and catchers on tap, eyes also will be on the U.S. District Courthouse in lower Manhattan late Thursday afternoon. In Judge Jed S. Rakoff's courtroom, oral arguments are scheduled to be heard on Fred Wilpon and family's motion to toss the $386 million lawsuit. There is also a motion by the trustee trying to recover funds for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme to award $83 million -- two years' profits -- even before the scheduled March 19 trial. In Port St. Lucie, Johan Santana throws his third bullpen session of spring training, with special rules that means he does not need to do drills with other pitchers.

I'll be doing a Mets chat at 2 p.m. Please join me here.

Thursday's news reports:

Terry Collins expressed disappointment shortstop Ruben Tejada did not report to camp early. Position players are not required to report until Saturday, although virtually all of the Mets have been seen at the complex already. Jason Bay, who is in Port St. Lucie, according to a team spokesman, as well as Scott Hairston and Ronny Cedeno also have not yet participated in voluntary workouts or otherwise been visible at the complex ahead of the official reporting date. Bay is expected today. Read more in Newsday, the Post, Star-Ledger and Daily News.

Ike Davis traveled to New York for more extensive testing after his camp physical turned up something that required investigation, a team spokesman said. Collins said Davis already has been cleared to resume working out Thursday in Port St. Lucie, and that the issue was unrelated to the ankle issue that sidelined the first baseman after May 10 last season. Read more in Newsday and the Times.

• Mets owners have commitments for seven of the 10 minority ownership shares they hope to sell for $20 million apiece, the Associated Press reports. Beyond billionaire Connecticut resident Steve Cohen, who also is a bidder for the majority stake of the Los Angeles Dodgers, it is unclear who is buying blocks. The New York Times previously stated four of the $20 million blocks will be purchased by SportsNet New York, of which the Wilpon family is majority owner. Writes the AP:

The sale of the limited partnership units will not take place until all 10 can close at the same time, a person familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because talks were ongoing. New York owes $25 million to Major League Baseball, a loan whose repayment was extended from November until March, and $40 million to Bank of America. The team chose to sell limited partnerships following the collapse of a deal last summer with hedge fund manager David Einhorn.

Read more in Newsday and the Daily News.

• The Mets plan to watch free-agent left-hander Scott Kazmir throw on Friday, GM Sandy Alderson indicated. Buster Olney reports the Mets are one of six teams pursuing Kazmir.

• Mets hitters got a preview of the new Citi Field dimensions when they hit Wednesday on a back field in Port St. Lucie that has been reconfigured to the Flushing stadium's new dimensions. Read more in the Record, Times and Newsday.

• The Ottawa city council approved spending as much as $5.7 million on improvements to a stadium in order to relocate a Double-A Eastern League team to the city, The Ottawa Citizen reported. The paper reiterated its previous reporting that the Mets' Binghamton affiliate is expected to relocate. B-Mets officials have issued denials. Wrote Neco Cockburn:

No official statements were made before the council vote about the team expected to move to Ottawa, but minor-league sources have indicated it’s believed to be the Binghamton Mets, and that the new owners in Ottawa would be expected to pursue an affiliation agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays. A staff report says a 10-year lease arrangement has been proposed, with two five-year extension options.

Jason Isringhausen signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels. "Jason brings a great deal of experience," Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told Bill Plunkett in the Orange County Register. "He's a 300-career save guy with a fearless mentality. He's been around. He knows what it takes. We've talked all along about wanting to bring in guys who can make a difference for us on the mound and serve as a mentor in the bullpen situation for our young pitchers. Jason fits that bill -- and it doesn't hurt that he had seven saves, 19 holds and held right-handed hitters to a .498 OPS last year. ... He's coming off a year in which he pitched in 53 games for the Mets from the start of the season until September [when a herniated disc issue arose], and pitched well enough in critical parts of the game to save seven games and have those 19 holds. We're not expecting to get the 2004 version of Jason Isringhausen. What we are expecting is a guy who will come in here and compete for a job."

• New center fielder/leadoff hitter Andres Torres arrived in camp Wednesday. Watch video here. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Post.

Anthony Destefano in Newsday previews Thursday's Madoff-related court hearing involving trustee Irving Picard and the Wilpons. Writes Destefano:

The hearing before Manhattan federal District Judge Jed Rakoff is expected to last at least two hours as trustee Irving Picard and attorneys for the Mets try for the last time to persuade him to end the case in their favor and avoid a March 19 trial. Also on the agenda are challenges to each side's list of expert witnesses.

TRIVIA: Which Hawaiian-born player has appeared in the most games as a Met?

(Wednesday's answer: Coach Matt Galante was the last person in a Mets uniform to wear No. 8, in 2002. Galante currently is a scout for the Houston Astros.)

Report: Binghamton losing AA baseball

February, 10, 2012
The Binghamton Mets will be no more after the 2012 season, the Ottawa Citizen reports.

Beacon Sports Capital Partners is buying the Double-A team and moving it to Ottawa, according to the newspaper.

With the Mets' affiliation agreement expiring with Binghamton after 2012, it would not mean the Mets will be playing Eastern League baseball in Ottawa in '13 if the report is accurate. In fact, the report states Ottawa is likely to align with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Instead, it means the Mets would be looking for a new Double-A affiliate for the 2013 season -- like they were when they relocated from New Orleans to Buffalo for Triple-A ball for the 2009 season.

One in-the-know person speculates the Mets could wind up in New Britain in 2013, with the Twins moving to New Hampshire and the Blue Jays in Ottawa.

Binghamton Mets president Michael Urda denied the report, telling the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: "The Binghamton Mets have not been sold, and we have not been contacted by anyone interested in our club."

Still, the Ottawa Citizen report was very specific. It even added that NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton will continue to have baseball in 2013, but it will be in the lower-level New York-Penn League, with a team moving from Batavia, N.Y. With the Mets owning Brooklyn in that league, it appears the Mets' run in Binghamton at any level will end.

Binghamton has been the Mets' Double-A home since 1992.

B-Mets and Eastern League officials did not return calls Thursday, but a source familiar with the pending transaction hinted Binghamton was the Eastern League team on the move.

B-Mets, or someone, appears on move

February, 9, 2012
A source with direct knowledge about the pending move of an Eastern League team to Ottawa confirmed an Ottawa Citizen report that the city should be landing a team from the Double-A league for the 2013 season.

Furthermore, the source would not eliminate the Binghamton Mets as a candidate for purchase and relocation by Needham, Mass.-based Beacon Sports Capital Partners. The person only instead emphasized there is no formal agreement yet when asked if Binghamton was the franchise slated for relocation.

Calls to Eastern League president Joe McEacharn and Binghamton Mets GM Jim Weed went unreturned. Rick Billings, chief operating officer of Beacon Sports Capital Parnters, said he was not permitted to comment, citing baseball confidentiality rules.

In early November, B-Mets president Michael Urda downplayed reports of a potential move of the B-Mets, telling the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: "People may want to talk to us, but they haven't. Nobody has talked to us."

Even though an Eastern League city is apparently losing a team to Ottawa, that doesn't mean its current major league affiliate will be playing in Canada, too. Assuming the affiliation agreement is up, a major league team can simply switch affiliates, as the Mets did when they changed from New Orleans to Buffalo at the Triple-A level.

Flores short stop not over ... yet

November, 2, 2011
Despite highly regarded prospect Wilmer Flores playing other positions with Margarita in the Venezuelan winter league, Mets VP Paul DePodesta indicated the organization has not yet resolved to move Flores from shortstop to open the 2012 season.

"That's something we reevaluate every spring with all of our infielders depending on roster composition and long-term plan," DePodesta indicated. "But at this point, yes, there isn't a plan to move him. ... Wilmer is playing where the (winter-ball) club needs him. Last winter he played primarily third base. They have our blessing to move him around, as we think that type of exposure is good for all of our infielders."

Flores, 20, is hitting .167 through 48 at-bats in Venezuela. He has made 12 appearances at third base, and two apiece at second base and shortstop.

Flores hit .269 with nine homers and 81 RBIs in 133 games for Class A St. Lucie during the regular season.

Because of below-average foot speed and a larger frame, many major league scouts have projected Flores eventually will change positions.

DePodesta has acknowledged as much as well, telling in August:

"We’ve talked about the benefits of him staying at shortstop and it will help him regardless of where he moves. We do think that the next move, if there is a move, and I think it’s probably likely at some point, it will be in the infield. The play at shortstop has been solid. It actually has been quite solid. The question is whether or not we think it’s going to hold up, and ultimately from his standpoint where he’s most comfortable.

“He’s played some third in winter ball. There’s been some talk about second base. We’ll discuss this as we sort of wind down the season and head into the offseason. I think we feel like regardless his time at short has been well-spent, and will continue to be well-spent if he continues to stay there. To his credit, he’s really played it well.

“He just turned 20 years old. And one thing I feel strongly about, and one thing I think we feel strongly about organizationally, is that one of the things that improves dramatically with repetitions is infield defense probably as much as anything in the game. Guys might get a little bit better in the outfield. They get better with routes and jumps. But there are limitations in terms of how much better they can get. Hitting is tough. There are limitations with how much better a guy is going to get. But infield defense, there are just a lot of stories of guys who made 30, 40, even 50 errors in the minor leagues and went on to become very solid defensive infielders in the major leagues.”

RISING STAR: Right-handed reliever Taylor Whitenton is the Mets' lone representative in Saturday's "Rising Stars Game" for Arizona Fall League all-stars. Whitenton (1-2, 4.50 ERA) allowed two runs in an inning Wednesday for Peoria and was tagged with the loss. He has allowed 11 hits and walked nine while striking out 15 in 12 innings.

OUTTA HERE? Binghamton Mets owners disputed an online report the club may be sold and relocated to Ottawa, Canada. "People may want to talk to us, but they haven't. Nobody has talked to us," team president Michael Urda told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.



Daniel Murphy
.299 9 52 70
HRL. Duda 23
RBIL. Duda 69
RD. Murphy 70
OPSL. Duda .841
WB. Colon 11
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.48
SOZ. Wheeler 148