New York Mets: Omar Minaya

Morning Briefing: Back to work!

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18

FIRST PITCH: Play ball!

After a four-day All-Star break, the Mets get back to business, trying to build on their 8-2 homestand that closed the first half.

The Amazin’s resume play against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park at 10:10 p.m. ET Friday. Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99 ERA) opposes right-hander Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47).

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets open the second half facing Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne in San Diego.

That kicks off a 10-game trip that also includes stops in Seattle and Milwaukee.

The Padres rank last in the majors in runs (279), average (.214), OBP (.273) and slugging percentage (.334). They lost consecutive 1-0 games to the Los Angeles Dodgers to close the first half. However, San Diego’s staff has a 2.08 ERA in 24 games since June 18.

Read the Mets-Padres series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

Daniel Murphy tells Marc Carig in Newsday that his agents have not had any extension talks with the Mets. Murphy, making $5.7 million this season, is eligible for arbitration a final time this winter. He is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.

"I think that anybody would be willing to listen to an extension," Murphy told the newspaper. "They're not just passing out at-bats in this league. I don't know what the years or anything would look like. But at the point you come and say, 'Hey, we trust you with 600 at-bats [in each] of the next three to five years,' you're like, 'Yeah, I would like that.'”

• Former Mets GM Omar Minaya tells Mike Puma in the Post that the contribution of holdovers from his regime -- including Juan Lagares, Jacob deGrom, Murphy, Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia -- does not feel like vindication.

“I don’t think that way,” said Minaya, who is currently helping oversee the Padres in an interim capacity after the firing of Josh Byrnes as general manager. “You do your job. And when teams don’t win in [New York], people’s opinions are a product of it. We felt very comfortable and believed we had a plan in place to get athletes, to get good players to the major leagues. And it’s an organization, not just one person. Part of it has been Paul DePodesta and Sandy Alderson. They are part of bringing these guys along. It’s not an individual thing.”

• In a lengthy article by Andrew Marchand on Mets fandom, Jonathon Niese said: “We are not filling the stadium. Where are the Mets fans when we are down-and-out? They were here in '06 and '07 when we were really good, but we have struggled and they are not coming to the stadium."

• Puma in the Post chats with Terry Collins on the eve of the second half.

On the Mets’ postseason potential, Collins said: “We’ve got 67 games to go and we’ve got 39 in our division. If we end up having a good record against our division, I think we’re going to be in the mix at the end.”

On whether key bullpen pieces are overworked, the manager said: “Hell, I won’t know that until the end of August. That last month of the season is when those guys who are in the big leagues for that first full season, some of that stuff starts to show up. The fatigue, the pressure of 145 games at that time, and you can start to see it … because their minor-league seasons would have been over and they’re still playing. So how they handle that situation will determine how that last month will go.”

Carlos Torres leads all major league relievers with 59 1/3 innings. Familia’s 45 relief appearances trail MLB co-leaders Brad Ziegler (Arizona) and Will Smith (Milwaukee) by four.

• Back from the Futures Game, Noah Syndergaard allowed seven runs in five innings as Las Vegas lost to Salt Lake, 7-6. Dustin Lawley had a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs as Binghamton beat Trenton, 8-4. Michael Fulmer tossed six scoreless innings in the nightcap as St. Lucie split a doubleheader with Brevard County. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Ron Darling is “extremely optimistic” about the Mets, he tells Bob Raissman in the Daily News.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal asks three questions: Can the Mets continue to produce at the plate? Will the Mets wheel and deal before July 31? And will Syndergaard debut this season?

• Diamond in the Journal also revisits signing Chris Young over Nelson Cruz.

• Justin Terranova in the Post writes that the Mets can become deadline buyers.

• Matt Ehalt in the Record lists five people under scrutiny in the second half: Collins, Alderson, Travis d'Arnaud, Ruben Tejada and deGrom.

• Tim Healey at revisits last August’s trade of Marlon Byrd, which yielded Vic Black and Dilson Herrera.

Jeremy Hefner tossed two innings in the Gulf Coast League on Thursday, in his second game since returning from Tommy John surgery.

Zack Wheeler is one of nine candidates in MLB who could demonstrate significant second-half improvement, Baseball Prospectus suggests. The site writes:

Wheeler has walked more than two batters just twice in past 11 starts (after cracking that threshold five times in his first eight games), and he entered the All-Star break with a string of three consecutive starts in which he pitched six or more innings and surrendered just a single run. He has also honed his stuff since last season, adding 0.5 mph to his fastball (which is now averaging 95.9 mph) and diversifying his pitch mix. He has doubled the frequency of his changeup, and though it is still the weakest offering in a repertoire that features a pair of plus breaking pitches, Wheeler has the potential to be dominant if he can refine el cambio. He has also kept the ball on the ground this season, upping his ground-ball rate by 10 percentage points while surrendering just seven bombs across 108.3 innings (only two homers have come since he turned 24 on May 30th), while his component stats have all trended in positive directions.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger looks at the value of catchers framing pitches.

• Mets first-round pick Michael Conforto was in L.A. on Thursday as a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top collegiate player. The honor went to the University of Kentucky product A.J. Reed. Conforto is due to rejoin Brooklyn on Friday and make his professional debut shortly thereafter.

• Keith Law placed four Mets prospects in his top 50 in MLB: Syndergaard at No. 16, Conforto at No. 32, Brandon Nimmo at No. 34 and Dominic Smith at No. 49. ESPN Insiders can read the commentary here.

• Friday is the MLB deadline to sign players from June’s draft. The Mets do not plan to sign any more of their remaining picks, DePodesta told Eleven college-bound prep players went unsigned: Luke Bonfield (21st round), Richard Moesker (23rd), Tommy Pincin (26th), Keaton McKinney (28th), Chris Glover (32nd), Brady Puckett (33rd), Jordan Hand (34th), Jonathan Teaney (35th), Garett King (36th), Tristan Gray (37th) and Kyle Dunster (38th). Bonfield and McKinney are headed to the University of Arkansas.

• The Padres have narrowed their GM search to four finalists, Scott Miller tweets: Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, MLB senior VP Kim Ng and Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller.

BIRTHDAYS: Hall of Famer Joe Torre, who finished his playing career with the Mets, turns 74. ... Minor-league pitcher Robert Gsellman is 21.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Which Mets player will take the biggest leap forward in the second half?

Series preview: Mets at Padres

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets open the second half facing Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne in San Diego.
METS (45-50, third place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (41-54, third place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47), 10:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-1, 2.56) vs. RHP Tyson Ross (7-10, 2.85), 8:40 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.90) vs. RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.35), 4:10 p.m. ET

Padres short hops

• The Padres fired GM Josh Byrnes on June 22 and are currently being led by Omar Minaya, A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman Jr. in an interim capacity. The reported list of interviewees who remain under consideration to succeed Byrnes include former Marlins GM Larry Beinfest, Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, Diamondbacks director of scouting Ray Montgomery, MLB senior VP Kim Ng, Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller and Padres assistant GM Josh Stein.

• Padres legend Tony Gwynn died June 16. The team’s uniforms now include a patch featuring a No. 19 inside the logo of a home plate, which is being worn over the players’ hearts. The team already had a patch recognizing Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who died Jan. 5 at age 89.

• Although neither pitched, right-hander Tyson Ross and closer Huston Street represented the Padres at Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Street actually was selected late to replace Ross, who started San Diego’s first-half finale and was ineligible.

Ross, 27, became the first Padres starting pitcher selected to the team since Jake Peavy in 2007. In his final five starts of the first half, Ross posted a 1.75 ERA and opponents had only a .229 OBP against him. He nonetheless went 1-4 during that stretch. Since June 6, the Padres have scored a total of eight runs in his eight starts.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Ross has induced an MLB-high 164 swings and misses with his slider this season. He throws the pitch 39.4 percent of the time, also the most in the majors among qualified pitchers.

Lenny Ignelzi/Associated PressSeth Smith signed a two-year, $13 million contract extension.

• The Padres rank last in the majors in runs (279), average (.214), OBP (.273) and slugging percentage (.334). They lost consecutive 1-0 games to the Los Angeles Dodgers to close the first half. San Diego’s pitching has been stellar, though. In 24 games since June 18, the staff has produced a 2.08 ERA.

• San Diego signed outfielder Seth Smith to a two-year, $13 million extension that includes a $7 million team option for 2017. He otherwise would have been eligible for free agency this offseason and would have been traded this month. Smith, 31, was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in December for reliever Luke Gregerson. He is hitting .283 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs and has a .387 OBP this season.

• Third baseman Chase Headley, who is eligible for free agency this winter, should be on the move by the end of the month. The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly are among the teams interested. Headley is earning $10.5 million in 2014. Although he is hitting only .226 for the season, the 30-year-old Headley does have a .327 average with one homer and six RBIs in 12 starts in July. Headley told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the production uptick coincides with a grip adjustment with his bat in which the fingers overlap. Headley used that grip for most of his career before abandoning it. “It’s just an overlap,” he told the newspaper. “Not a golf grip, but similar.”

• Left fielder Carlos Quentin is hitting .145 (8-for-55) with one homer since June 17.

Ian Kennedy has 133 strikeouts, trailing only Washington’s Stephen Strasburg (149) and Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto (141) in the National League. Kennedy’s strikeout total was the second-most in franchise history before the All-Star break. Andy Benes had 138 strikeouts in the first half in 1994. The Los Angeles Angels reportedly are interested in acquiring Kennedy, who is under San Diego’s control for another season.

• Second baseman Jedd Gyorko (plantar fasciitis) and shortstop Everth Cabrera (hamstring) closed the first half on the disabled list.

• Cuban defector Odrisamer Despaigne, 27, has a 1.35 ERA in four starts since making his major league debut on June 23. His fastball averages 90.7 mph and cutter averages 87.1 mph. He defected in June 2013 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris while the Cuban team was en route to a tournament in the Netherlands. He received a $1 million bonus to sign with the Padres on May 2.

O No: Minaya not candidate for Pads GM

July, 2, 2014
Jul 2

Adam RubinOmar Minaya caught up with Terry Collins and Jay Horwitz when the Mets visited San Diego last season.

ATLANTA -- Former Mets general manager Omar Minaya, who is helping to lead the San Diego Padres front office after the firing of Josh Byrnes, is not a candidate for the permanent position.

Padres chairman Ron Fowler told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Minaya will not pursue the vacant GM job but would like to remain with the organization. Minaya had served as a special assistant to Byrnes.

According to the newspaper, Los Angeles Dodgers VP of amateur scouting Logan White interviewed for the GM job Monday, while the Padres also are expected to interview Boston Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen and Texas Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller.

White (as well as Byrnes) interviewed with the Mets when the GM job went to Sandy Alderson.

Morning Briefing: A day to exhale

June, 23, 2014
Jun 23

FIRST PITCH: The Mets exhale Monday with a day off before opening a brief two-game homestand against the American League West-leading Oakland Athletics (47-29).

The Mets originally lined up to draw Sonny Gray in Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. opener. Instead, the A’s will delay the 24-year-old Gray’s next start until Saturday in Miami to conserve his innings.

So Scott Kazmir will pitch for the first time in Queens on Tuesday, opposite Bartolo Colon. Kazmir was signed by Oakland for two years, $22 million after Colon departed for a two-year, $20 million deal with the Mets.

Zack Wheeler now faces left-hander Brad Mills on Wednesday. The Mets then head out again for a trip to Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

Monday’s news reports:

• Seven Mets starters had multi-hit games and Jonathon Niese, with unaccustomed run support, won his first game in a month as the Mets beat the Marlins, 11-5, on Sunday. The Mets, who even pulled off a successful suicide squeeze on Niese’s bunt, won three of four games in the series.

Mets players have been celebrating hits by waving towels in the dugout. And the practice has been picking up steam. The team had a season-high-matching 17 hits Sunday.

“We started thinking about it, and it popped right from my memory of the Bulls and their three-peat championship -- Cliff Levingston or Stacey King out there waving a towel all the time,” Curtis Granderson told reporters postgame. “It just popped in my head, and we’ll do that when we get a hit. We started doing it and then a couple other guys did it and now we just needed the guy on the base to do it back. Then it got a little bigger. Now we’ve seen the guys in the bullpen doing it and some of the fans in the stands are doing it.”

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and at

• The San Diego Padres fired GM Josh Byrnes, and elevated Omar Minaya to an interim position helping lead the baseball-operations department. Read the news story at

Juan Lagares is due to play with Double-A Binghamton on Monday as his rehab assignment continues. Lagares is expected to be activated later this week.

Travis d'Arnaud, who is expected to be promoted during the Oakland series, struck out as a pinch hitter and Zack Thornton surrendered two runs in the 11th as Las Vegas lost to Memphis, 7-5. Eudy Pina and L.J. Mazzilli had two doubles apiece as St. Lucie beat Jupiter, 10-6, in a rain-shortened game. Brandon Brosher and Ivan Wilson homered in Kingsport’s 5-2 win against Bluefield. Gaither Burmgardner tossed four scoreless relief innings to earn a save as Brooklyn beat Aberdeen, 2-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• A team insider told that team officials were still weighing which catcher -- Anthony Recker or Taylor Teagarden -- would be dropped once d’Arnaud is promoted. Read more in the Daily News.

• Zach Braziller in the Post reviews Nelson Cruz’s accomplishments since the Mets did not sign him this offseason.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear advises taking things one game, one inning and one pitch at a time.

BIRTHDAYS: Right-hander Juan Castillo, who made his only two major league starts for the Mets, was born in Venezuela, on this date in 1970.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Have you forgiven the Mets for trading Scott Kazmir?

Series preview: Mets vs. Padres

June, 13, 2014
Jun 13

Getty ImagesThe Mets are scheduled to face Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (29-37, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (28-38, fourth place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (5-5, 4.31) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (2-5, 2.13), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.19) vs. TBA, 4:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-0, 2.95) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (5-7, 3.63), 1:10 p.m. ET

Padres short hops

• The Mets had been lined up to face left-hander Eric Stults in the series opener. He instead pitched on short rest Thursday in Philadelphia -- a better matchup for a southpaw -- after getting knocked out the previous start by the Washington Nationals after 2 1/3 innings and 48 pitches.

Andrew Cashner now draws the Friday assignment against the Mets on an extra day of rest. Cashner is a former first-round pick of the Chicago Cubs, who was traded on Jan. 6, 2012 for Anthony Rizzo.

Cashner is winless in his last six starts despite posting a 2.83 ERA during that stretch. San Diego was shut out in three straight starts by him from April 26 through May 7. Cashner’s last start -- six scoreless innings against the Nats -- marked his return from the disabled list after missing more than three weeks with a sore right elbow.

• Saturday’s San Diego starter has not yet been announced. With left-hander Robbie Erlin on the disabled list since May 22 with elbow soreness, the Padres briefly had been using Tim Stauffer in the rotation. However, Stauffer lasted a combined three innings and surrendered nine runs in consecutive starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Pittsburgh Pirates and has been returned to the bullpen. He then tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings in long relief his last appearance, Sunday against the Nats.

Reported candidates to make Saturday’s start include Triple-A right-hander Donn Roach and Double-A right-hander Jesse Hahn, both of whom debuted in the major leagues earlier this season. Hahn attended Fitch Senior High School in Groton, Conn.

• Second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who had 23 homers last season, has been on the disabled list since last Friday with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Rookie Jace Peterson and Alexi Amarista -- both left-handed hitters -- have handled the position in Gyorko’s absence.

• The Padres rank at or near the bottom in the major leagues in nearly every major offensive category: runs (200, last), home runs (48, 26th), average (.216, last), on-base percentage (.275, last) and slugging percentage (.344, last).

The players’ individual averages also reflect that anemic production. Thursday’s starting lineup at Philly included leadoff man Will Venable (now batting .216), shortstop Everth Cabrera (.226), cleanup hitter Chase Headley (.200), first baseman Yonder Alonso (.208), catcher Yasmani Grandal (.185) and the second baseman Amarista (.202).

One exception: Left fielder Seth Smith, acquired from the Oakland Athletics in December for right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson, is hitting .294 with six homers and 21 RBIs in 180 at-bats.

• Padres GM Josh Byrnes was a finalist for the GM job that went to Sandy Alderson with the Mets. Omar Minaya remains a deputy to Byrnes in San Diego.

Morning Briefing: Quiet bats draw Huddy

June, 7, 2014
Jun 7

Ben Margot/Associated PressBuster Posey strikes a pose after connecting on a game-deciding two-run homer against Carlos Torres on Friday.

FIRST PITCH: The Mets will need a win against the pitcher with the top ERA in the majors to prevent their dive from reaching five Saturday.

Bartolo Colon (5-5, 4.52 ERA) opposes San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Hudson (6-2, 1.75) at 10:05 p.m. ET at AT&T Park.

Saturday’s news reports:

Carlos Torres surrendered a tiebreaking two-run homer to Buster Posey in the eighth and the Mets lost to the Giants, 4-2, Friday night.

Matt Cain no-hit the Mets into the sixth, but served up a go-ahead two-run homer to Daniel Murphy an inning later. Jonathon Niese allowed a game-tying RBI single to Brandon Crawford in the bottom of the seventh.

Travis d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 and grounded into two double plays as his average dropped to .180.

“I got to be better than this,” d’Arnaud told reporters. “This is unacceptable to me."

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and at

• Read more on d’Arnaud in the Star-Ledger.

John Korduner/Icon SMIThe Mets selected LSU catcher Tyler Moore with their sixth-round pick.

• On Day 2 of the draft, the Mets selected defensive whiz Milton Ramos, a high school shortstop from Florida, in the third round. They then selected slugging third baseman Eudor Garcia out of El Paso Community College, Seton Hall right-hander Josh Prevost and LSU catcher Tyler Moore. Read the recap of rounds 3-10 here and comments from amateur scouting director Tommy Tanous and VP Paul DePodesta here. The draft concludes Saturday with rounds 11 to 40.

Matt Ehalt in the Record profiles first-round pick Michael Conforto out of Oregon State. College coach Pat Casey compares Conforto favorably with fellow Beavers product Jacoby Ellsbury in terms of demeanor and bat.

Read more on the Mets draft in the Post, Times and Star-Ledger.

• Top prospect Noah Syndergaard again dodged a serious injury bullet. Syndergaard, who injured his left shoulder covering the plate after delivering a first-inning wild pitch Thursday with Las Vegas, was diagnosed with a sprained A/C joint in his left, non-throwing shoulder. An X-ray of the scapula was negative for a fracture. Syndergaard may resume tossing a baseball in five to seven days if he is comfortable. He watched Friday’s Las Vegas game from the stands wearing a sling. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record and at

• Former Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca ripped into ex-GM Omar Minaya and the organization’s culture and mocked current the catchers, d’Arnaud and Anthony Recker, during a WFAN radio appearance Friday. On SNY, Lo Duca added: “The Mets need to go back to square one, go back to their roots, go to younger players. If that means to trade David [Wright], that means to trade David.”

Read more in the Post and Daily News.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post suggests the Mets can learn a lot by observing the Giants.

Johan Santana, who was nearing a return to the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles after undergoing shoulder surgery for a second time, suffered a serious blow to his comeback bid. The 35-year-old Santana tore an Achilles tendon in an extended spring training game and will miss the remainder of the season. Read more in the Baltimore Sun.

Eric Young Jr. suffered tightness in his strained right hamstring while attempting to run and will be backed off his rehab. As a result, he will not return from the DL on Tuesday when eligible.

Dillon Gee (lat strain) has resumed tossing a baseball on flat ground, but will take a while to get back into game-ready shape.

• Gabriel Ynoa struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings as St. Lucie blanked Dunedin, 5-0. Brandon Nimmo left that game an inning after being struck in the right wrist/forearm by a pitch. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Mets shortstops are outperforming Yankees shortstops, Cody Deraspina writes in Newsday.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear offers a uniquely Metsian take on the legacy of Don Zimmer.

BIRTHDAYS: Speedy outfielder Esix Snead, who appeared in 18 major league games with the club in 2002 and ’04, turns 38.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets consider demoting Travis d’Arnaud?

Morning Briefing: Check-in, now checkup

February, 16, 2014
Feb 16

Adam RubinChris Young arrives at Mets camp Saturday for the first time.

FIRST PITCH: Mets pitchers and catchers take physicals on Sunday. They then engage in the first official workout of spring training on Monday morning.

A team official did not expect any players to be delayed by visa issues or otherwise.

Outfielder Chris Young was among those who arrived at the complex for the first time Saturday. Curtis Granderson and Matt Harvey are likely to address the media Sunday.

Sunday’s news reports:

Bartolo Colon, who signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Mets in early December, said the club was the only organization to offer him a multiyear deal.

Writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post, making reference to Colon’s 50-game suspension in 2012 for testing positive for abnormal testosterone levels:

As he essentially tries to replace the injured Matt Harvey, Colon brings risk -- that his unorthodox physique finally will surrender to common sense, or he will get caught using illegal performance-enhancing drugs for a second time. Colon failed a drug test in 2012, and it turned out he acquired the offending testosterone from the renowned Anthony Bosch -- demerit to Colon for apparently not following Bosch’s test-beating advice as diligently as did Alex Rodriguez.

He brings wisdom, too. The soft-spoken Colon won’t be working as Dan Warthen’s associate pitching coach. None of his new teammates will probably become great friends with him. Yet they can watch and learn from this master of movement, command and self-control.

Omar Minaya, meanwhile, reiterated to Tim Rohan in the Times he “of course” would make the June 27, 2002 trade with the Cleveland Indians again that dealt then-prospects Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore away and brought Colon to Minaya’s Montreal Expos.

Read more in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and

• Steve Serby in the Post has a Q&A with Noah Syndergaard. One exchange:

Q: You wrote the word “Lion” on your glove one time.

A: Yeah, I feel like just putting your name on a glove is kinda boring, so I just put random stuff on it, like I put Lion, just to be the lion on the mound, and then I have another glove that has “Drago” written on it [after “Rocky IV” villain Ivan Drago], and my two others have “Rick Grimes”and “Heisenberg” from two of my favorite shows, “Breaking Bad” and “Walking Dead.”

• Mike Puma in the Post reports the Mets would be willing to offer Stephen Drew a one-year contract with an option, but Scott Boras’ asking price “hasn’t dropped enough recently for the Mets to consider themselves serious suitors.” Sandy Alderson has been clear in saying signing Drew is unlikely.

Kyle Farnsworth offered his thoughts about joining the Mets. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• The Mets seriously discussed trading Jose Reyes to the Texas Rangers during the 2003-04 offseason for Alfonso Soriano, but the Rangers owner halted those talks, writes Joel Sherman in the Post. It came just after Soriano was acquired from the Yankees for Alex Rodriguez.

Aaron Harang, who finished last season with the Mets, joined the Indians on a minor-league deal. Read more in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

• Phil Mushnick in the Post is unimpressed with the Mets’ $10 “UltiMet” offering.

• Marc Carig in Newsday suggests “the Mets did import some talent this offseason, but they also left several glaring holes unfilled.”

• Danny Anderson, the St. Lucie Mets clubhouse staffer whom David Wright and other players had a Super Bowl party to rally around, died of cancer Thursday, writes

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing sorts through a slew of responses to its question regarding which Mets postseason most merits cosmetic reconstructive surgery. … John Delcos at Mets Report lists five questions Terry Collins must answer this spring.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets infielder Bill Pecota was born on this date in 1960.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What will Bartolo Colon’s record and ERA be in 2014?

Morning Briefing: O on Mets' '06 Dice-K bid

August, 23, 2013

Getty Images, Associated PressOmar Minaya and the Mets put in an aggressive posting bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka back in 2006.

FIRST PITCH: A day after officially joining the organization, Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his Mets debut when he starts tonight’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers at Citi Field.

Matsuzaka, now 32, nearly became a Met in his prime.

Former GM Omar Minaya on Thursday recalled the Mets finishing second to the Boston Red Sox in the posting bidding for Matsuzaka after the Japanese icon declared his intent to come to the United States during a November 2006 press conference at the Takanawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo.

Minaya remembered Mets officials feeling good about their chances of landing Matsuzaka after submitting a posting bid in the $35 million vicinity.

Courtesy of New York MetsDaisuke Matsuzaka stopped by Citi Field on Thursday's off-day.

The highest bid would give the major league team the exclusive right to negotiate with the pitcher. The posting fee goes to the Japanese ballclub, not the player.

At the time, the Mets’ bid was poised to wildly surpass the highest figure ever submitted for a player posted from Japan. The record at the time: The Seattle Mariners had won the rights to negotiate with Ichiro Suzuki back in 2000 for a $13 million posting fee to the Orix Blue Wave.

However, the Mets lost out on Matsuzaka when the bids were unsealed and it was learned the Red Sox had submitted a whopping posting bid of $51.11 million to the Seibu Lions.

In subsequent negotiations, Matsuzaka received a $52 million contract over six years from Boston, making the Red Sox’s total outlay to land him $103.11 million.

“We thought we had a good number at the time, but the bottom line is they were much higher than us,” recalled Minaya, now a special assistant with the San Diego Padres. “After that season, we were kind of looking for that No. 1 guy. And the guys we were considering were Dice-K and [Barry] Zito at the time, too. Dice-K and him were the two best guys out there.

“At that time, I think the biggest [posting bid ever] was Ichiro -- not even $15 million. And we finished third with Ichiro. But the bottom line is we went up to the middle $30s -- or high $30s, I think it was -- with Dice-K. And we thought we had a good chance. The bottom line is they went up to the $50s.

“I had seen Dice-K a lot. I saw Dice-K in Japan. I saw Dice-K in Australia and in the Olympics. So I had a lot of history with him. And at the time he was a pretty good pitcher -- a very good pitcher.

“The question was: How much does he bring to the marketing side? At that time Boston felt he was going to bring them a lot of extra marketing, and that’s why they went to that number.”

Courtesy of New York MetsTonight's game also features a Jay Horwitz bobblehead giveaway (here pictured with the real thing).

Now, Matsuzaka opposes right-hander Doug Fister (10-6, 3.63) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener. The night also includes a Jay Horwitz bobblehead giveaway for those buying special tickets. Third Eye Blind entertains with a postgame concert.

Matsuzaka likely will have a short outing, since he will work on short rest after throwing 85 pitches Monday for Triple-A Columbus. Carlos Torres, originally penciled in for the start, should piggyback Matsuzaka’s outing.

Read the series Mets-Tigers preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler tells Marc Carig in Newsday he does not mind a team-imposed innings cap. The rookie noted his fastball velocity is now hovering in the lower-90s mph, which signals he is pitching deeper into a season than before and his energy is getting sapped. Wheeler’s brother, Adam, was a flame-throwing Yankees farmhand before tearing a labrum and undergoing surgery that derailed his career. So Wheeler acutely understands the dangers of overwork.

Wheeler currently is at a combined 138 1/3 innings between the majors at minors this season. He logged 149 innings last year. A roughly 30-inning jump from the previous season generally is within the acceptable limit. So Wheeler may have 40 or so more innings left before a shutdown.

"Of course, I'm young and I want to pitch as long as I can,” Wheeler tells Carig. “And with them sort of limiting innings and pitches and all that stuff, I think it will help me out down the road. I'm not mad about it, honestly.''

• The Mets dispatched Greg Burke to Triple-A Las Vegas to clear a roster spot for Matsuzaka. Burke should return after the 51s complete their season and major league rosters have expanded.

Read more on Matsuzaka’s signing in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times, Journal and

Paul Chesne/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesStephan Jenkins and Third Eye Blind perform postgame tonight at Citi Field.

Jason Heyward underwent surgery Thursday in Atlanta on his jaw. He had two plates inserted -- one in each fractured area. Heyward was struck Wednesday by a 90 mph fastball from Jonathon Niese. Read more in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

John Buck tells Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger he is embracing the role of mentoring Travis d’Arnaud. Buck generously made an effort to dine with d’Arnaud this summer when the rookie was in New York for a follow-up exam on his fractured foot. “I still have a responsibility to the Mets and to this team,” Buck said. “Travis is my teammate. I have a lot of family members and stuff that think I’m crazy. But that’s just who I am.”

• Giancarlo Alvarado tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings and Zach Lutz drove in three runs as Las Vegas beat Fresno, 5-0. Rob Whalen tossed seven scoreless innings and Kingsport blanked Bluefield, 7-0. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Former Mets minor league catcher Landon Powell, whose emotional story was documented in an E:60 piece, has joined Furman University as a volunteer assistant coach.

Jeremy Hefner was shocked by the murder of an Australian man playing college baseball in Hefner’s home state of Oklahoma, he told the Daily News.

From the bloggers: Rising Apple expects the Mets to be in contention in 2014. … John Delcos at Mets Report speculates about a potential Jose Reyes-Mets winter reunion.

BIRTHDAYS: Julio Franco turns 55. … Ed Hearn is 53. … Prentice Redman turns 34. … Pat Strange is 33.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Would you prefer Daisuke Matsuzaka, Carlos Torres, Rafael Montero or Jacob deGrom getting starts down the stretch?

Farm report: Chism an FSL leader like dad

August, 21, 2013
T.J. Chism has 16 saves for Class A St. Lucie, which ranks third in the Florida State League. The southpaw isn’t the first member of his family to rank among that league’s leaders.

Chism’s father Tom hit .314 and won the FSL batting title in 1975. The elder Chism, a first baseman, went on to appear in six games for the Orioles four year later.

“We have a lot of team pictures and stuff like that of him and Cal Ripken right next to each other,” Chism said. “It’s kind of cool. I was born after he was done playing, but I still feel like I was alive, because there’s all that stuff around the house. He won a Florida State League batting title, which is crazy now that I’m playing in the same league. He always tells me this is a pitchers’ league.”

Courtesy of New York MetsT.J. Chism

Not that the 5-foot-10 Chism’s mother, Kelly MacIntosh, was a slouch athletically.

“She’ll take all the credit, if you ask her,” Chism quipped. “She played high school basketball and stuff like that. She was a little bit smaller, which is why I think I got a little bit slighted on the height side. But her athletic ability was tremendous. She always tells me stories about how she scored 50 points in basketball games, which is weird because I can’t shoot a basketball to save my life. I played every other sport but basketball.”

Chism is a 32nd-round pick in 2009 by the Mets out of La Salle University. He grew up a 40-minute drive from the Philadelphia campus. He led the Explorers in homers his junior year with 11 and averaged nearly a run and RBI per game.

“I was a hitter. That was my passion,” said Chism, who noted that he pitched to get seen by scouts and because there were not clear alternatives on the team.

Added Chism: “I would start on Sundays and I’d still hit for myself. I got into the sixth inning one time, I think. That was against Temple. I was good for two or three innings and then the wheels fell off.”

Chism, who turned 25 on Aug. 9, does not have eye-popping velocity, but results are results.

In 54 innings over 42 appearances, Chism has limited opponents to 46 hits and 13 walks (three intentional) while striking out 50. His 16 saves have come in 19 chances. He has a 2.33 ERA. Lefty batters are hitting .194 with one homer in 62 at-bats against him.

Chism began closing as part of a revolving set of back-end pitchers in 2011 with Brooklyn. He then became established in the role last season with Savannah.

He primarily throws a four-seam fastball (86-87 mph) as well as a slider and changeup. He dropped to a three-quarters arm slot in 2010 with the encouragement of Jonathan Hurst, his Kingsport pitching coach.

“We were playing catch one day, and I couldn’t throw a strike to save my life,” Chism said. “So I dropped down a little bit on my own, and he goes, ‘Chiz, what’s going on? You doing something different?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I dropped down a little bit just to get a consistent release point.’ He’s like, ‘Dude, the ball is jumping out of your hand. Let’s roll with it.’ I was like, ‘All right, let’s do it.’ That saved my career.”

Organization leaders

Average: Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, .328; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, .326; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, .321; Jhoan Urena, GCL Mets, .319; Yeixon Ruiz, Kingsport, .316; Jeff McNeil, Kingsport, .314; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, .308; LJ Mazzilli, Brooklyn, .299; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .296; Eric Campbell, Vegas, .295.

Homers: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 25; Travis Taijeron, Binghamton, 21; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 19; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 16; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 15.

RBIs: Dustin Lawley, St. Lucie, 90; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 86; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 77; Jayce Boyd, St. Lucie, 76; Kevin Plawecki, St. Lucie, 76.

Steals: Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, 29; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 24; Alonzo Harris, Binghamton, 23; Eudy Pina, Savannah, 18; Patrick Biondi, Brooklyn, 17.

ERA: Rob Whalen, Kingsport, 1.67; Chris Flexen, Kingsport, 2.14; Noah Syndergaard, Binghamton, 2.43; Robert Gsellman, Brooklyn, 2.50; Miller Diaz, Brooklyn, 2.54; Rainy Lara, St. Lucie, 2.55; John Gant, Brooklyn, 2.59; Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 2.71; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 2.88; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 3.05.

Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, Savannah, 14; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 12; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 10; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 10.

Saves: Jeff Walters, Binghamton, 35; Beck Wheeler, Savannah, 17; T.J. Chism, St. Lucie, 16; Robert Carson, Vegas, 11; Bret Mitchell, St. Lucie, 10.

Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 137; Noah Syndergaaard, Binghamton, 128; Logan Verrett, Binghamton, 117; Matt Bowman, St. Lucie, 116; Erik Goeddel, Binghamton, 116.

Short hops

• Despite innings caps, right-handers Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom should be permitted to pitch with Las Vegas through the playoffs, provided the 51s qualify. The exception: If Las Vegas became eliminated from postseason contention early, the pitching prospects likely would skip their final regular-season starts. Montero and deGrom are expected to be on 90-pitch limits for the remainder of the season.

Innings limits are hitting the entire system. Double-A phenom Noah Syndergaard, who regularly has been capped at five innings of late, is skipping a start. He is due to reenter the rotation Monday. With St. Lucie, Matt Bowman is at least temporarily shut down.

• The Mets added a pair of starting-pitching arms for Las Vegas -- right-handers Mitch Talbot and Daryl Thompson.

Talbot, 29, made one appearance for Triple-A New Orleans in April before experiencing elbow tendinitis and getting shut down. He was released by the Marlins organization at his request after appearing in two Gulf Coast League games -- the latter a five-inning effort on Aug. 1 against the Mets in Port St. Lucie -- because New Orleans did not have any roster room. Talbot is a career 12-19 with a 5.30 ERA in 43 major league appearances (41 starts) from 2008 through 2011 with the Rays and Indians.

Thompson, 27, is 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) with the Reds in 2008 and ’11. He was 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 124 2/3 innings for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the independent Atlantic League this season.

Las Vegas needs the extra arms, particularly because of an upcoming six-game series over four days at Colorado Springs.

The bullpen is so taxed, especially with Greg Burke getting a call-up, that starter Matt Fox had to log 107 pitches Monday despite getting drilled for eight runs in four innings.

• An observer clocked Tim Byrdak’s fastball velocity at 88-89 mph during an appearance Monday and suggested he should be no-brainer to be up with the Mets after rosters expand. Byrdak currently is on a minor league contract as he returns from Sept. 6, 2012 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.

The Mets should have 40-man roster room for call-ups, including Byrdak. Since Cesar Puello and Jordany Valdespin are on the restricted list and do not count, the Mets’ 40-man roster is at 38. Players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-man roster, either. The Mets already have Frank Francisco, Jeurys Familia and Johan Santana on the 60-day DL. Team officials potentially can open two 40-man roster more spots by shifting Jenrry Mejia and Jeremy Hefner to the 60-day DL.

While it is premature for any commitments, logical September call-ups include Anthony Recker on Sept. 1 and then Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Robert Carson and Matt den Dekker once the 51s’ season ends. (Zach Lutz, on the 40-man roster, is far more iffy.)

Den Dekker is not on the 40-man roster, but needs to be added this offseason anyway for Rule 5 protection.

The Mets often reward an unheralded player for performance, too. That could wind up being 26-year-old Eric Campbell, an eighth-round pick in 2008 from Boston College, who has more walks (55) than strikeouts (52) and a .419 on-base percentage. He can play corner infield and outfield positions.

• Binghamton’s magic number for its first division title since 2000 technically remains at one, but the B-Mets already have clinched because they own the tiebreaker with Trenton by virtue of winning the season series. The 2000 squad included Ty Wigginton, Alex Escobar, Tyler Walker, Dicky Gonzalez and Pat Strange, as well as top prospect Brian Cole, who died the following spring training.

• The B-Mets dodged a pair of injury bullets. Outfielder Cory Vaughn, struck in the back of the helmet with a pitch Monday, passed concussion tests and returned to the lineup a day later as DH. Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar, hurt in the same game, underwent X-rays on his left wrist that were negative.

Vaughn, incidentally will be part of the Mets’ Arizona Fall League contingent, his agents at Northwest Sports Management Group announced. Also AFL-bound: B-Mets right-hander Cory Mazzoni, assuming he heals from season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Mazzoni faces a five- to six-week rehab timetable.

• Savannah’s Gabriel Ynoa earned his 14th win Tuesday. That is the most wins by a Mets farmhand since Jason Scobie had 15 with Triple-A Norfolk in 2005.

• B-Mets first baseman Allan Dykstra’s 97 walks are the most in the Eastern League since Brian Myrow had 107 walks with the Trenton Thunder in 2003.

Michael Fulmer preliminarily has been diagnosed with biceps tendinitis after leaving his last start. He is due to see team doctors in New York on Thursday.

• With 14 games remaining in St. Lucie’s season, Dustin Lawley is chasing several of the Florida State League club’s single-season records. Lawley sits at 25 homers, 90 RBIs and 31 doubles. The St. Lucie records belong to Robert Stratton with 29 homers in 2000, Nikco Riesgo with 94 RBIs in 1990 and David Wright with 39 doubles in 2003.

T.J. Rivera leads the Florida State League with 137 hits (including one in Tuesday's suspended game). The St. Lucie record is 156 hits, jointly held by Omar Garcia (1993) and Corey Coles (2006).

Gavin Cecchini’s hit streak with Brooklyn ended at 16 games Monday, one shy of matching the Cyclones’ record set by Lucas Duda in 2007. Cecchini isn’t the only former first-round pick heating up. Brandon Nimmo is batting .393 (24-for-61) with one homer, 12 RBIs and a .543 on-base percentage in August with Savannah.

Kyle Johnson, acquired from the Angels for Collin Cowgill, has a 15-game hitting streak with St. Lucie -- including a hit in Tuesday’s suspended game that will resume Wednesday.

Omar Minaya, now a special assistant for the Padres, is predicting big things for one of his former Mets signings. Minaya last weekend praised Mexican right-hander Luis Cessa, who is 7-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 19 starts with Savannah. Cessa, as noted by Minaya, originally was signed as a third baseman and dabbled in the infield in 2009 and ’10 before moving full time to pitching.

Mets morning briefing 6.29.12

June, 29, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- Chris Young topped former teammate Chris Capuano, David Wright drove in a pair of runs and Bobby Parnell converted his first save attempt as Frank Francisco's fill-in as the Mets beat the Dodgers, 3-2, Thursday night.

R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.31 ERA) opposes right-hander Aaron Harang (5-4, 3.81) in Game 2 of the series at 10:10 tonight.

Friday's news reports:

• Parnell flopped in a September audition for closer last season, but he touched 101 mph Thursday night while tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Parnell had to wait until the sixth game with Francisco unavailable before finally getting a save chance, since the Mets had lost four straight, then posted a 17-1 win against the Cubs before arriving in L.A.

• Young and Capuano appreciated lining up against each other in the opener, since both used opportunities with the Mets to revive their careers. Capuano, who signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Dodgers last offseason that includes a team option for 2014, fell to 9-3 despite pitching effectively. Read more in Newsday.

• Wright, already the franchise's RBI, runs and doubles leader, passed Darryl Strawberry for the franchise record for walks in his final plate appearance Thursday. Earlier, Wright had launched a solo shot against Capuano to pull even with Howard Johnson for third on the Mets' all-time homer list.

• Read game recaps in the Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Post and Daily News.

Jack Egbert picked up the win with two scoreless relief innings as Triple-A Buffalo beat Louisville, 4-2. Read Thursday's full minor league recap here.

• On the injury front: Jason Bay rode a stationary bicycle Wednesday and did not have any post-concussion symptoms arise, Terry Collins said. Mike Baxter (displaced collarbone) has not done any significant physical activity, the manager added. Mike Pelfrey, who is expected to be nontendered and become a free agent in December, is working on strengthening exercises following Tommy John surgery and should begin tossing a baseball in late August or early September.

• Despite struggling in a relief role with Buffalo and the organization considering moving Jenrry Mejia back into a starting role in the minors, Mejia will remain doing bullpen work with the Bisons for now, Collins said.

• Collins, who was overseeing the farm system in 2010, recently told reporters Dickey nearly was released rather than reassigned to minor league camp that spring training when he was the first cut from big league camp. Brian Costa in the Journal speaks with then-GM Omar Minaya about how close it came. Writes Costa:

They were wondering if Dickey was even worth sending to Triple-A Buffalo. "There was a possibility he was going to get released," said Omar Minaya, the Mets' general manager at the time. "That was talked about." It turned out to be the best move Minaya never made.

• A resolution could come Friday as Ike Davis awaits word of the amount of his fine and about a potential suspension. The discipline decision stems from Davis touching umpire Manny Gonzalez with his glove while disputing a safe call on a pickoff attempt Tuesday in Chicago.

• Dodgers slugger Andre Ethier, who suffered an oblique strain Wednesday in San Francisco, will avoid the DL for now.

• The Mets' victory in the opener came despite grueling travel. The team spent 4 1/2 hours Sunday evening on a plane with mechanical trouble at O'Hare before shifting to another that could fly the team to L.A. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

• Right-hander Zack Wheeler as well as third baseman Jefry Marte and first baseman Eric Campbell were selected to represent Double-A Binghamton in the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 11 in Reading, Pa.

• ESPN's Buster Olney writes that Oakland right-handed reliever Grant Balfour makes sense for the Mets to pursue via trade.

Lenny Dykstra wil plead guilty to bankruptcy fraud and faces as many as 20 years in prison.

TRIVIA: Wright passed Strawberry for the most walks in franchise history. Who ranks third?

Thursday's answer: First baseman Jeremy Reed misfired on a throw to the plate on May 18, 2009 at Dodger Stadium that allowed the winning run to score in the 11th inning.

Mets morning briefing 6.3.12

June, 3, 2012
R.A. Dickey followed Johan Santana's no-hitter with the Mets' second straight shutout and the Amazin's moved seven games over .500 for the first time since July 15, 2010 with a 5-0 win against the Cardinals on Saturday at Citi Field.

Mets pitchers produced back-to-back complete-game shutouts for the first time since Dickey and Santana also combined on the feat on Aug. 12 and 13, 2010. Dickey upped his scoreless streak to 17 1/3 innings. The knuckleballer did not have a three-ball count until he faced the final batter of the game, Carlos Beltran. The ex-Met ultimately flied out. Dickey picked up his eighth win, matching Philadelphia's Cole Hamels and St. Louis' Lance Lynn -- whom Dickey opposed Saturday -- for the NL lead.

David Wright capped the scoring with a solo homer in the eighth. It was Wright's 734th run scored as a Met, pulling him within one of matching Jose Reyes' franchise record.

In tonight's ESPN-televised game at 8:05, Jon Niese (3-2, 4.55 ERA) opposes Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook (4-4, 3.69). The Mets will induct John Franco into the team's Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony. He will be the 26th person enshrined.

Sunday's news reports:

• Coming off his historic no-hitter in which he logged a career-high 134 pitches, Santana is expected to pitch on extra rest in his next outing, likely against the Yankees on Friday in the Bronx. As a result, the Mets have abandoned their plan to give Chris Young two more minor league starts. Young is expected to jump into the major league rotation as soon as Tuesday in D.C.

Adam Rubin
Chris Young should make his season debut with the Mets in D.C.

Young is returning from May 16, 2011 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder -- the same procedure Santana underwent the previous September. Young has made four minor league appearances, most recently with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday. He limited Columbus to two hits and three walks in six scoreless innings while throwing 87 pitches. None of Young's minor league starts came on standard rest.

• Read more Santana day-after reaction in the Times, Newsday, Post, Daily News and Record.

• The Hall of Fame is calling for Santana game-used items, Tom Pedulla writes in Newsday. "It is one of those events everybody is talking about," Hall spokesman Barry Horn told Pedulla. "In the 50th anniversary of the team, certainly interest is heightened. ... We have game-used baseballs from every no-hitter since 1940, so we requested that. We don't need to have everything, but we would certainly welcome one of them to document the moment."

Terry Collins has yet to announce his upcoming rotation, but Miguel Batista is eligible to return from the DL on Monday and seems like a fit for the series finale against the Cardinals. That was Jeremy Hefner's actual day anyway, so he is an option. Or Dillon Gee can pitch on standard rest that day since he last pitched Wednesday, with Batista potentially going in D.C. along with Young.

Mike Baxter suffered a displaced right collarbone as well as fractured rib cartilage in the collision with the wall on the no-hitter-saving catch on Yadier Molina's seventh-inning shot. The no-hitter was costly for reliever Ramon Ramirez as well. Ramirez strained a hamstring running in from the bullpen during the postgame celebration, Collins said. The manager estimated Baxter would miss six weeks. Baxter said he did not suffer a concussion. Baxter's left shoulder had the initial jolt and that arm went numb, but it was his right side that ultimately suffered the brunt of the damage. "That'll tell you how hard he hit it," Collins said, referring to the wall. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Record and Newsday.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post is prepared to push aside Dwight Gooden's no-hitter with the Yankees for Santana's feat as the most notable he has observed. Writes Sherman:

Because this is baseball, we knew all of this and, thus, we were there in the dugout agonizing with Collins on Friday night. We knew these two main storylines were now at war: Was it worth jeopardizing Santana’s health by pushing his pitch count higher, higher, higher than it had ever been, even pre-surgery, all to make the toothache go away forever? Collins, his humanity and honesty on full display, admitted the next day there were parts of him hoping the Cardinals would get a hit, part of him regretting a decision he said “went against everything I stand for.”

Jay Horwitz, the Mets' PR man since 1980, told columnist John Harper in the Daily News: “Even I’m a little bit overwhelmed by the reaction. It’s almost that ‘Now-I-can-die-in-peace’ type of thing.’’

• Columnist Bob Klapsich in the Record wrote:

One major league executive who watched the no-hitter on TV said, “I actually felt sorry for Terry because he knew the consequences. I’d bet you a million bucks he was rooting for a base hit after the seventh inning.”

• The Mets did not announce corresponding moves after Saturday's game for Baxter and Ramirez heading to the DL, but Pedro Beato is expected to join the Mets as soon as today, the day he is eligible to be activated. Beato, who developed a shoulder issue during spring training, has made eight relief appearances between St. Lucie and Buffalo, including tossing two scoreless innings Saturday for the Triple-A club. The Mets would have to make a 40-man roster move since Beato did not count while on the 60-day DL.

Jason Bay went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts while serving as the DH in a rehab game for Class A St. Lucie on Saturday. He should be close to rejoining the Mets. The organization preferred Bay rehab with Buffalo, but Bay opted for the Florida locale. Ruben Tejada (quadriceps) had been scheduled to run Saturday and should test the balky muscle circling the bases today.

• St. Lucie ended up sweeping a doubleheader from the Tampa Yankees to clinch its division's first-half title in the Florida State League. St. Lucie owns a 43-12 record. The clincher came in Game 1 behind six scoreless innings from Angel Cuan, but the nightcap had the dramatics. With the score tied in the bottom of the final frame, Cory Vaughn walked, moved to second when Blake Forysthe was hit by a pitch and scored on a subsequent error. For Binghamton, Robert Carson notched his second Eastern League save. With Buffalo, Fernando Cabrera surrendered a game-winning homer at Toledo. Read Saturday's full minor league recap here.

• Wright reiterated Saturday what he said the previous day that was lost in the no-hitter hoopla: He does not want to negotiate a contract extension in-season. The third baseman said he had resolved with his agents not to negotiate in-season even before the year started. Wright's side informed the front office Thursday of the policy, he said. Wright said his 2006 in-season extension was a distraction. "We let the front office know ... just so everybody is on the same page and we can just focus on baseball," Wright said. "And that's it. It's just not necessary. With the good vibes that are going on right now and just the 'good' surrounding this club, I just feel somewhat selfish in the middle of the season to be talking about myself, talking about me, when we should be talking about we."

• Read Saturday game recaps in the Record, Times, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Beltran had high praise for Santana before Saturday's game. The ex-Met did not grouse above being deprived of an extra-base hit by an incorrect foul call Friday by ump Adrian Johnson. "What can I say? I think it was meant to happen," Beltran said, according to David Lennon in Newsday. "That's the only way I can put it. Honestly, I'm happy for Johan because he's a good man and he really has battled, last year and this year. He's a competitor and he loves to win. I love to win also, but sometimes God rewards people for how hard they work. He has really gone through a lot and now he's getting good results."

• The St. Louis Post-Dispatch put an asterisk on its sports front next to "NO-HITTER." View here.

• Right-hander Chris Schwinden, who was placed on waivers Thursday to clear a 40-man roster spot for Elvin Ramirez, was claimed by Toronto. In parts of two seasons at the major league level, Schwinden was 0-3 with a 6.98 ERA in seven appearances (six starts).

Fernando Martinez, who was claimed off waivers from the Mets during the offseason, was promoted Saturday and made his Houston Astros debut. Martinez went 1-for-5 with two RBIs and three strikeouts. His subpar route and diving attempt on Brandon Phillips' shot to right field did allow the Reds to take a 10-9 lead en route to a 12-9 win. The promotion coincided with Travis Buck landing on the DL. Martinez, 23, was hitting .319 with eight homers and 38 RBIs in 188 at-bats at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Read more in the Houston Chronicle.

• The MLB draft begins Monday. The Mets pick 12th. Baseball America projects the Mets will take David Dahl, a high school outfielder from Birmingham, Ala. Texas A&M right-hander Michael Wacha and Louisiana high school shortstop Gavin Cecchini are projected as the primary alternatives. The Mets will get extra picks at No. 35 and No. 71 overall for losing Reyes to the Marlins, before their own second-round pick at No. 75. Dahl and Cecchini worked out Friday at Citi Field for Paul DePodesta, Sandy Alderson and other Mets honchos, Brian Costa of the Journal tweeted.

Omar Minaya weighed in on Santana's no-hitter in the Daily News.

• Columnist George Vecsey in the Times notes not every devout Mets fan saw Santana's no-no. Writes Vecsey:

Every fan had long been aware that no Met had ever pitched a no-hitter. In true biblical wandering, the fans consoled themselves by muttering, “Someday it will happen,” yet some of them inevitably took their eye off the ball. I know one Mets fan who on Friday night went to watch his daughter in a school play. Never saw a pitch of their 8,020th game. That will teach him to be a good dad. Another Mets fan left a despondent monotone message on my answering machine at 11:30 p.m. Friday: “I go out for a good time and this is how God punishes me. It just isn’t fair.” That guy has not sounded so disconsolate since the Mets traded Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell for some mope in 1989. His message then was: “It stinks. It just stinks.” Of course, it stinks. You’re a Mets fan. It’s part of the deal.

• The web site, which chronicled the Mets' no-hit futility, is now irrelevant. Site founder Dirk Lammers told Brian Costello in the Post he may turn over the domain name to a Padres fan. “It’s not like the thing was profitable,” Lammers told Costello. “It’s not going to hurt me financially. If I made 12 cents on Google ads, that was a good day. It wasn’t going to make me rich. I will miss it. It was a fun thing.” With the site overwhelmed with traffic Friday, many who clicked on the web page in the wake of Santana's feat got a message that read: "Error establishing a database connection." Read more in the Journal.

TRIVIA: Bay appeared for Class A St. Lucie on Saturday to begin a rehab assignment. What year did he play for that club as an actual minor leaguer?

Saturday's answer: The San Diego Padres are the lone major league team without a no-hitter.

Series preview: Mets vs. Padres

May, 24, 2012

Getty Images
The Mets will face Eric Stults (l), Anthony Bass (r) and Clayton Richard (c) in the opening three games of the weekend series.
METS (24-20, third place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (16-29, fifth place/NL West)

Thursday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-1, 2.25) vs. LHP Eric Stults (0-0, 2.70), 7:10 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (3-3, 5.44) vs. RHP Anthony Bass (2-4, 2.89), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Johan Santana (1-2, 3.24) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (2-5, 4.63), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP R.A. Dickey (6-1, 3.45) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (2-4, 3.49), 1:10 p.m. ET

Padres short hops

• Closer Huston Street, who was acquired from Colorado in December for the final year of a guaranteed three-year, $22.5 million deal, landed on the disabled list May 5 with a strained right lat.

Right-hander Dale Thayer, who made 11 relief appearances with the Mets last season, signed with the Padres as a minor league free agent and now has stepped into the closer’s role and excelled. Thayer retired the first 10 batters he faced this season, has retired 28 of 36 overall and has worked a scoreless inning in each of his 10 appearances. He is 5-for-5 in save chances since recording his first as a Padre on May 7. Thayer had only one previous save -- on May 22, 2009, by pitching the final three innings of a 15-2 win with the Tampa Bay Rays in his major league debut.

Denis Poroy/Getty Images
Dale Thayer has emerged as the unexpected closer of the Padres in Huston Street's absence.

• Left-hander Eric Stults was claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on May 17. Stults, 32, is making his second Padres start. He allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. Stults had made two appearances (one start) for the Sox this season. He was 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Charlotte. Starters Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland landed on the DL eight days apart earlier this month. Luebke required Tommy John surgery.

• Rampant injuries have forced the Padres to use 39 players this season, tied with the Boston Red Sox for most in the majors. The Padres have 13 players currently on the DL. The absentees also include shortstop Jason Bartlett and outfielder Carlos Quentin, who was acquired from the White Sox after slugging a combined 107 homers in four years with Chicago.

• Former Mets GM Omar Minaya is an assistant to San Diego GM Josh Byrnes. Byrnes was a finalist for the Mets job that went to Sandy Alderson.

• The Padres released Orlando Hudson, who was hitting .211 through 123 at-bats. Alexi Amarista was acquired in a trade with the Angels on May 3 and is manning second base.

• Third baseman Chase Headley denied an report that he and ex-teammate Ryan Ludwick, now with Cincinnati, had a clubhouse altercation with Mike Adams last season, before Adams was dealt to Texas. The report stated that Adams had told the players to stop griping about Petco Park’s spacious dimensions.

• First baseman Yonder Alonso has hit safely in 22 of his past 25 games. He is hitting .362 (34-for-94) during that span, upping his average to .300. He leads NL rookies in average, hits, on-base percentage and doubles. Alonso arrived from Cincinnati in a steep package with Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger in December for Mat Latos.

• Catcher Nick Hundley has thrown out a major league-high 14 would-be base stealers.

• Center fielder Cameron Maybin, a former Marlin, is hitting only .212.

• San Diego has scored 139 runs and has a team .220 batting average. Both rank 15th in the NL, ahead of only the Pirates (126 runs/.217). The Mets rank second-to-last in homers with 25. San Diego is last at 17.

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Petco Park, Aug. 15-17, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Mets 5, Padres 4 (10 innings): Everybody with the Mets wanted to make a big deal about Jason Isringhausen’s 300th career save except the pitcher himself. Isringhausen notched his milestone save with runners on second and third. The save came after Scott Hairston drove in the go-ahead run with a fielder's choice in the top of the inning. The Mets had a small champagne party in the clubhouse afterward. More

Padres 6, Mets 1: Nick Hundley had three hits, including two triples, to lead a 15-hit attack as the San Diego Padres defeated the slumping Mets. Orlando Hudson drove in two runs and Cameron Maybin hit his eighth homer, a leadoff drive in the seventh, for San Diego, which reached double figures in hits for the second straight game. Hundley's second triple led off the eighth inning and came off Mike Pelfrey. More

Mets 7, Padres 3: After hitting a big home run, David Wright faked out Cameron Maybin. Wright hit a three-run homer and Angel Pagan added three RBIs to lift the Mets to their first series win in San Diego in more than nine years. Maybin was on second base when Logan Forysthe hit a hard grounder down the third-base line with two outs. Wright dived and stopped the ball some 15 feet behind the bag and then popped to his feet and faked the throw to first when he saw Maybin wasn't watching him. More

Mets morning briefing 4.4.12

April, 4, 2012
Only hours remain in spring training for the Mets. The Amazin's complete their Grapefruit League schedule against Andy Pettitte and the Yankees at noon today in Tampa, then fly home. Next up: Johan Santana versus Tommy Hanson on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.

Check back at later today for a revealing feature on Santana, ESPN Stats & Information's Mark Simon looking at upcoming Mets statistical milestones, scouts breaking down the Mets pitching staff and an in-depth series preview with Atlanta Braves info.

Wednesday's news reports:

• After all the talk about potential DL trips, it turns out the only players landing there apparently will be Pedro Beato (shoulder) and D.J. Carrasco (ankle). Closer Frank Francisco, lefty specialist Tim Byrdak and center fielder Andres Torres all are ready to break camp with the team. Francisco threw a bullpen session Tuesday, two days after receiving a cortisone shot in his ailing left knee. The closer said he is pain-free, despite some residual inflammation. Sandy Alderson acknowledged the issue could linger -- "especially for a guy who weighs 260 pounds," the GM told reporters.

Byrdak recorded three outs in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game, exactly three weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Torres, who had resumed game action during the weekend on the minor league side, had two plate appearances Tuesday in his first Grapefruit League game since March 20, when he suffered a strained left calf. He singled against Ivan Nova and was hit by a pitch. Read more on the positive health resolutions in the Star-Ledger, Record, Journal, Daily News, Post and Newsday.

• As a result of the trio's health, Vinny Rottino and Daniel Herrera have been dispatched to Buffalo. The Mets also had held back Kirk Nieuwenhuis in Port St. Lucie after the center-field prospect's Triple-A teammates had departed, but Nieuwenhuis was cleared by late Monday to head north to join the Mets' top minor league affiliate.

• Because the three players avoided the disabled list, the Mets will only need to clear two 40-man roster spots -- for backup lefty-hitting outfielder Mike Baxter and spot starter/long reliever Miguel Batista.

Ike Davis hit a walk-off homer and the Mets beat the Yankees, 7-6, Tuesday in the first spring-training meeting between the clubs in Port St. Lucie since 1995. Mike Pelfrey limited the Yankees to a Nick Swisher solo homer and one other hit while striking out five and walking none in four innings. Read more in Newsday, the Times, Post and Star-Ledger.

• Swisher reminisced to David Waldstein in the Times about growing up at the Mets' spring-training complex. Writes Waldstein:

From age 8, when his father, the former major leaguer Steve Swisher, was a minor league manager with the Mets and later a coach with the big-league club, Swisher was a fixture at the Mets’ spring training. There were the days when he won $100 off Todd Hundley, joked around with the eccentric Bill Pulsipher and took what he estimated were a million swings on the back fields. Returning here Tuesday as a 31-year-old Yankees right fielder brought back a stream of memories for Swisher, who celebrated his return by hitting a home run in a 7-6 loss to the Mets in the same park where he used to shag fly balls as a youngster.

Paul DePodesta, who oversees the Mets' farm system and amateur scouting, participated in a chat at Baseball Prospectus. DePodesta addressed the new collective bargaining agreement, which will restrict Mets spending on draft picks. He also discussed left-handed prospect Josh Edgin's future, 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo (who will participate in extended spring training rather than break camp with full-season Savannah), the plan to give Jordany Valdespin limited exposure to center field while keeping him primarily in the middle infield, the elimination of the Mets' Gulf Coast League team, and under-the radar-prospects. On that last subject, DePodesta identified Domingo Tapia and Rafael Montero as legit prospects not getting hype. "Both guys have a chance to emerge as our next group of top-tier potential major league starting pitchers," DePodesta predicted. "They have power stuff. Tapia routinely touched 100 mph last summer. And both pound the strike zone."

DePodesta added that while the organization is committed to building from within, they also realize they need to strategically add capable free agents. "It's awfully difficult to build a championship-caliber club just with your own minor league players (though the Rockies basically did)," DePodesta said. "But if we can build up a core, and we absolutely believe we can and we will, then we will have plenty of capacity to make strategic free-agent or even trade decisions."

On top prospect Zack Wheeler, DePodesta said: "Like most young pitchers with big stuff, it's just a matter of consistency. He has a major league repertoire right now. In fact, it's better than most major league starters. The difference is simply how consistently he's able to make the ball go where he wants and do what he wants. He's making progress and isn't far off, and we'll see stretches this year when he's locked in and looking like a big leaguer."

DePodesta said his children have selected Lucas Duda as the player most likely to pick up the Linsanity mantle.

• Read's position-by-position analysis of the Mets, including scout comment.

Matt Harvey will start Buffalo's opener Thursday at Pawtucket. He will be followed in the Bisons' rotation by Jeurys Familia, Chris Schwinden, Jeremy Hefner and Garrett Olson. "It's a huge honor," Harvey told Mike Harrington at the Buffalo News' Bisons blog. "I wasn't sure going into spring training exactly where I was going to start [between Buffalo and Binghamton]. Wally [Backman] told me the whole time I had a good chance of going with him. As soon as they told me, I was extremely honored and happy."

Double-A Binghamton, which opens at home, will have Collin McHugh on the mound Thursday, in Game 1. Lynn Worthy profiles the B-Mets in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. Wheeler, Edgin, Juan Lagares, Matt den Dekker and Darin Gorski highlight the Double-A roster.

See the full minor league roster assignments here.

• The Mets will have a group seating/party area between the old and new left-field walls at Citi Field, with ticket prices ranging from $100 to $200 per person and including food and drink. Meanwhile, executive VP Dave Howard acknowledged Tuesday that Opening Day is not yet sold out. Read more in the Times, Post and Newsday.

Rhiner Cruz, the hard-throwing right-hander plucked from the Mets in the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings, has made the Opening Day roster of the Astros. Cruz will need to stick with Houston at the major league level for the full season in order to officially become Houston property.

• Among Post baseball writers, Ken Davidoff and Mike Vaccaro predict the Mets finishing fourth in the NL East, ahead of the Braves. George King, Mike Puma, Joel Sherman, Kevin Kernan and Dan Martin pick the Mets for the basement.

Kernan has a National League preview. Kernan's Mets comment: "Offense will be fine if Wright is healthy because Ike Davis and Lucas Duda can crush, but this is a transitional season. Not enough pitching. Looking forward to seeing Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia join the rotation and watching Zack Wheeler grow."

Sherman has these Mets predictions in a 2012 crystal ball column:

Johan Santana needs two DL stints to survive just a 15-start season, but uses his savvy to go 8-5 with a 3.58 ERA when he does pitch. Jon Niese’s command and maturity catch up to his competitiveness and stuff, allowing him to become a 15-game winner with an ERA in the threes. Andres Torres tanks and the Mets turn to Matt den Dekker, who proves to be Devon White Lite: Long legs and a long swing leading to ace defense, bunches of strikeouts and some lefty pop. Ike Davis and Lucas Duda each top 30 homers, but Davis does it with Gold Glove contention defense while Duda is so troublesome in right the Mets are forced to consider whether he can play there long term. The same goes for Daniel Murphy as a definitely-can-hit, but-can’t-field second baseman.

Frank Francisco’s knee issues and inability to deal with the running game leads to Terry Collins going with a hot-hand approach at closer and no Met recording more than 18 saves. Ruben Tejada is not Jose Reyes, but he proves himself an everyday major league shortstop by making all the plays defensively while maintaining a good on-base percentage in the .350 range. David Wright is helped by the shortened Citi Field fences and rebounds to a .285, 24-homer season, but nothing helps Jason Bay, who finishes with just 10 homers.

Here's Puma's Mets preview. And here's Davidoff wondering if New York could become a Mets town again.

Andy Martino in the Daily News writes Jon Niese's deal will be close to the five-year, $28.5 million guarantee the Texas Rangers gave to left-hander Derek Holland, but "not necessarily quite that lucrative."

Omar Minaya, now a lieutenant to GM Josh Byrnes in San Diego, tells Christian Red in the Daily News that Ruben Tejada will be a capable alternative to Jose Reyes. “He’ll surprise you,” Minaya told Red. “Listen, you’re not going to replace Jose. But I don’t think Ruben is of that mindset. Ruben is a fine shortstop. He’s a young kid who can throw, catch, who is going to hit the ball into the gap. He’s a well-rounded baseball player.”

• Columnist John Harper writes in the Daily News the Mets really could use the Yankees' Brett Gardner. Meanwhile, he quotes Alderson on the lack of Yankees first-team players who attended the game in Port St. Lucie as saying: “That’s an issue for Major League Baseball, not for us. But I don’t know whether Yankees fans are happy to see a Yankee uniform or would prefer to see somebody recognizable in the uniform.”

TRIVIA: Who has been the only player other than Reyes to bat leadoff for the Mets on Opening Day since 2005?

Tuesday's answer: Schwinden led Buffalo in strikeouts last season with 134, in 145 2/3 innings.

Omar Minaya is in demand

November, 17, 2011
Add the Boston Red Sox to the list of teams looking to hire Omar Minaya as a special assistant.'s Maureen Mullen reports Boston is one of several teams trying to lure Minaya.

If Minaya returns to baseball, any amount he earns would be deducted from the roughly $1.1 million the Mets owe him in 2012, the final year of his GM contract.

Report: Jays offer Minaya scouting position

November, 15, 2011
The Toronto Blue Jays have offered former Mets GM Omar Minaya a scouting position, reported.

Minaya sat out this past season while collecting roughly $1.1 million from the Mets.



Daniel Murphy
.295 9 55 76
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 86
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .832
WB. Colon 14
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180