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February 21, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Adam Rubin

Adam Rubin
  (1:59 PM)

Thanks for joining me. Let's get started ...

Jim Vitelli (Staten Island)

Who has made an early impression on you for the right field job?

Adam Rubin
  (2:00 PM)

Until they play games, and we're finally getting to that point this weekend, it's way premature to say. Marlon Byrd would have the inside track if he can demonstrate some capability this spring. The viable competitors would be Andrew Brown, Zach Lutz and Jamie Hoffmann as righty hitters. Mike Baxter will contribute in right field as the lefty hitter.

Dan (Manhattan)

Hey Adam, do you think the Mets are putting too much pressure on their young prospects Wheeler, D'arnaud, etc.? They are basically calling them saviors. Wouldn't it have been better to do what they did with Wright & Reyes, and put good veteran players around them so they don't have the weight of the franchise future on their backs?

Adam Rubin
  (2:01 PM)

Would be nice to put veteran players around them, but that's not the reality of the situation. The way this team is being constructed, those guys have to lift the Mets into contention, then free agency would be used to put the organization over the top.

Alex (Mobile, AL)

Terry recently said Kirk will get the first shot at leading off. If Kirk does do well, I would assume he'd still only lead off against righties... In the case of lefties, will Cowgill get the same oppurtunity or will it be Tejada?

Adam Rubin
  (2:02 PM)

I presume Collin Cowgill would get some time there against righties, but TC also mentioned Marlon Byrd as a potential leadoff candidate.

Alex (Mobile, AL)

Do you see Puello receiving a 50 game suspension?

Adam Rubin
  (2:02 PM)

Not my area of expertise, but I don't think journal entries alone at Biogenesis would be sufficient for MLB to have the grounds for a suspension.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Adam - thanks for the balanced insights on all things Mets. Once/if Arnaud makes the big league club the Mets will have 3/4 of a very solid up the middle team. Does the front office have a future CF in mind that they envision being part of their plan going forward?

Adam Rubin
  (2:03 PM)

I'm not sure via free agency, but certainly Kirk Nieuwenhuis would be the immediate hope, followed by Matt den Dekker.

Abdullah (FL)

Terry Collins is a good manager who gets the most out of his players, represents the organization well and comes across as top notch in all of his interviews with the media. Why haven't the Mets extended him? He's been given a rotten roster for his entire tenure here and he does a terrific job getting those players to play to the best of their abilities. I hate how he's in this position, I think he's great for the Mets. What is it about Collins that the Mets don't like?

Adam Rubin
  (2:04 PM)

They extended people before they had to in the past and ended up paying them for years after they were fired (Omar, Art Howe, Willie Randolph, etc.). I don't think it's ideal to be a lame duck, but he'll be rewarded at the end of the year if they feel he did a good job.

Pablo (Bronx, NY )

What are scouts and/or your sources telling you about RHP prospect Rafael Montero? Sounds like he's been getting a lot of buzz down there.

Adam Rubin
  (2:05 PM)

I'm going to take a wait-and-see. Front-office execs did flock to watch him throw batting practice today. My scout friends are just getting down here now because Grapefruit League play begins Saturday. I'll be interested for their take and will share it in future weeks.

Nick (Fairfield)

Vegas has the Mets at 74 wins, do you think that is close to what we will see, or is .500 a real possibility?

Adam Rubin
  (2:06 PM)

I think Vegas has some sharp fellows setting those kinds of things. And it's not just the Mets. The Nats and Braves are two of the best teams in baseball, and the Mets play them 18 (or so) times a year. And don't bury the Phillies just yet, either.

Tim (NY)

I hear Wheelerpro45 has been impressing people in his throwing sessions. If he has a great spring is there any chance the team gives up that extra year of control and he heads up north when they break camp? If so who's the odd man out? Gee?

Adam Rubin
  (2:07 PM)

Zack Wheeler is not bumping Dillon Gee from the rotation. The only way I can see Wheeler coming north is if there's an injury to one of the projected starters during spring training: Johan, Gee, Marcum, Harvey or Niese.

Jeff (Bronx)

Does the Players Association complain when teams keep Major League players in the minors to delay the arbitration clock? Any idea if they will fight to have the rule changed or modified?

Adam Rubin
  (2:08 PM)

They may not like it, but they have no grounds to complain. It's the way the system works. And, frankly, the Players' Association shouldn't really care. The way the rule reads, the top 22 percent of players with two-plus years service time get the extra year of arbitration eligibility. So it's not like Zack Wheeler is a Super Two or no one is. If it's not Wheeler, some other player will be part of that 22 percent.

Sam (Evanston, Illinois)

When will Wheeler come up? Also do you see the Mets being active in free agency next winter?

Adam Rubin
  (2:09 PM)

Wheeler will come up (1) if there's an injury; (2) after the Super 2 status is avoided; (3) when he's ready. Some combination of those. ... How's that for a lawyer-like answer?

Jeff (Bronx)

Do you think we will see a close version of the opening day line-up/regular line-up on Saturday?

Adam Rubin
  (2:11 PM)

I haven't asked Terry if he's using the full lineup, but I presume so. Murphy is out with the side injury, so perhaps Saturday will look like: Kirk, Tejada, Wright, Ike, Duda, Buck, Baxter, Turner, Marcum

Andy Hahn (Norfolk, VA)

I know this is the spring and this is the time of year where hope is in each ball club. I certainly have hope for the future but not this year with the Mets. How does Terry Collins go to work knowing he very well may get the axe for a Wally Backman or other candidate to take them into the promise land. Must feel like Moses a little bit.

Adam Rubin
  (2:12 PM)

I'm sure Terry isn't thrilled, but there's too much going on to be thinking about what may happen at season's end. Terry is fond of noting that Hall of Fame skipper Walter Alston managed 23 straight years on one-year contracts.

Pablo (NJ)

hey Adam-it sounds like Rafael Montero and Wheeler have been the buzz of camp in the first week. I know it's early, but any chance we see either guy on the big club by the summer?

Adam Rubin
  (2:13 PM)

Rafael Montero has pitched in eight games above low-A -- with high-A St. Lucie last season. He'll start in the Florida State League, maybe finish in Binghamton. You won't see him until 2014 ... if that.

Timothy (New York)

I hear the coaches are working with the players on going first to third more. Shouldn't they be trying to get them to go from 4th to 1st?

Adam Rubin
  (2:13 PM)

I know you're partially kidding, but Terry has lamented during his first two seasons how the Mets are less adept at scoring from second, going first-to-third, taking advantage of balls in the dirt compared with other teams.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Adam - no expectations for the team this year but even if Harvey and Wheeler develop into top grade starters and Arnaud is the real deal can the Mets really compete with Washington & Atlanta beyond 2013?

Adam Rubin
  (2:14 PM)

It's going to take more than those three piece, plus Wright and Niese. I hope they start dipping into free agency a little more and help the team's competitiveness.

Ben W (DC)

Hey Adam (fellow Penn alum here- class of 2012),To what extent do you think that the Mets have overlooked d'Arnaud's injury-prone history? He has been sold as a potential franchise catcher, and it seems the talent is there, but based on reports and how the Mets evaluated his injury history, are the lofty expectations for him a bit overblown? Just trying to be realistic. Thanks

Adam Rubin
  (2:16 PM)

Last year's injury was aggressively sliding into second base. ... The Mets did their due diligence on d'Arnaud before the trade. They brought him to New York a few days before the trade became official, and before R.A. Dickey had completed his deal with Toronto, in order to have Mets doctors look at d'Arnaud.

Chris (NY)

Was a K-Rod reunion ever discussed by the front office?

Adam Rubin
  (2:16 PM)

They would have been open to it, but I was told K-Rod was seeking $8 million or so guaranteed and the Mets were not going anywhere near that.

James (Greenwich)

Have you noticed anything different with Duda so far this spring? How many Duda bombs do you project for him?

Adam Rubin
  (2:17 PM)

Terry says Duda is going to get a lot of early at-bats in Grapefruit League games because he's working on a new stance.

Ryan (NYC)

Aside from Santana is there any other big contracts the Mets will be free of this time next year?

Adam Rubin
  (2:18 PM)

They deferred some of the Jason Bay money, but technically $21 million or so was assigned to this year. The Mets also picked up John Buck's entire $6 million salary as part of the Blue Jays trade. Frank Francisco is making $6.5 million this year and then is off the books. So that comes off as well. The only two notable payroll commitments for 2014 are for David Wright and Jon Niese.

Brent (Hoboken)

Adam - What's the deal with Tejada's lack of stolen bases? Is it a speed thing, or does he just not know how and when to swipe a bag?

Adam Rubin
  (2:19 PM)

Both. But he's definitely not fast. Baserunning overall will be a point of emphasis for the Mets this spring training.

JR (Vegas)

How serious is Murphy's injury? If he's not ready Opening Day, is Turner the starting 2B until Murph is ready?

Adam Rubin
  (2:20 PM)

They're likening it to David Wright's side injury last year, and Wright comfortably was back for Opening Day. Murphy estimates he'll be sidelined a week to 10 days. I'll take the over on that, but I don't think he's in jeopardy of not being available on April 1 since they caught it early apparently. If there were a setback, I suppose Justin Turner, Omar Quintanilla, Brandon Hicks and Jordany Valdespin would be the considerations.

Spencer (NYC)

I feel like the "where does Murph fit" conversation has finally ended. I think he's going to have a stellar season. So much so that I think he will be an All Star at Citi field. Are you feeling a big year from him?

Adam Rubin
  (2:21 PM)

He'll will himself to a passable level defensively. He can hit .300. He's not going to hit for much power, but that's fine for a second baseman if he can post a ton of doubles.

Kevin C (Midtown, NYC)

Hey Adam, what is your projection for the pen? You think Feliciano or Burke will make the team?

Adam Rubin
  (2:22 PM)

There are four locks (if healthy): Frank Francisco, Josh Edgin, Brandon Lyon and Bobby Parnell. Then you get to the three guys on minor league deals with experience: LaTroy Hawkins, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Atchison. If one of the first four is injured (and Francisco may be) or one of the latter three doesn't show enough, that opens the door for someone else on the 40: Greg Burke, Jeurys Familia, Jeremy Hefner, etc.

Jacob (Northport)

Will Wilmer Flores see big league action this year?

Adam Rubin
  (2:22 PM)

He's on the 40, but it's going to take a good showing at Las Vegas coupled with an injury.

Chris (NY)

Do you think Meija is a starter for the Mets in 2014?

Adam Rubin
  (2:23 PM)

I wrote about it on the blog today. Both Dan Warthen and Wally Backman still believe he projects as a reliever. I believe he'll be back in that relief role by 2014, even though he'll open this season as a starting pitcher.

JR (Vegas)

Was there any discussion by the Mets to try and re-acquire Carp from he M's before the Red Sox traded for him?

Adam Rubin
  (2:24 PM)

He's a lefty hitter, so the need wasn't there. I'm not aware of any pursuit (although I'm not positive).

Alex (Mobile, Al)

Ok so if Kirk and Cowgill split the leadoff spot, does Tejada or Murph bat second?

Adam Rubin
  (2:24 PM)

Good question. I can see both scenarios. To lengthen the lineup, I can see Murphy hitting down a little in order.

Matt (Binghamton)

Adam, can you enlighten us on the fact that Fred Wilpon and the Mets' money issues disappeared the day after the Mets failed to sign Bourn, or any other big name player for that matter? Could this really be true, or his he just throwing Mets fans for a loop again? Thanks!

Adam Rubin
  (2:25 PM)

I do believe part of the reluctance to spend is that Sandy Alderson is just conservative, and there's always an irrational bidder for a premium free agent. But you cannot tell me if the payroll was $140M or so that Alderson would have hemmed and hawed about signing Hairston. He would have done it, then dealt with it if Bourn or Upton followed.

John (NY)

Am I reading the schedule right with the Mets playing the Twins the 2nd week of April? Did interleague play get moved up this year?

Adam Rubin
  (2:26 PM)

With the Astros moving to the AL, there are 15 teams in each league. So there is always one interleague series going on -- even opening day in MLB. The Mets' have an April trip to Denver and Minneapolis. It's going to be cold.

Jason (Orlando)

Gut feeling...Do you think the Mets make a trade during Spring to get a better OF in the mix? Does Turner have value to other clubs?

Adam Rubin
  (2:27 PM)

Anything is possible, but gut is Mets don't make a trade. The guys who become available are guys who can't make the other team. The Mets have plenty of those.

Chris (NY)

Is Familia in camp and if so, how does he look? Option for the pen opening day?

Adam Rubin
  (2:28 PM)

It's way too early for people to be saying how people look. Literally, pitchers have thrown one batting practice session. Familia will be a consideration for the bullpen. But, as I noted earlier, a veteran probably has to falter or be injured fro him to get on.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Adam - is the front office cautiously optimistic that the bullpen could emerge as a postive this season versus the previous years?

Adam Rubin
  (2:29 PM)

Alderson seems to believe that bullpens are crapshoots. So he might as well sign guys on minor league contracts (Feliciano, Atchison, Hawkins) as opposed to spend millions like last year (Francisco, Rauch, Ramon Ramirez). That way, if it stinks, at least it wasn't costly too.

Jerry M (Hicksville)

Who controls when Murphy starts activities. Is it Meds,Trainers,or does he try things on his oiwn when his chest feels better?

Adam Rubin
  (2:29 PM)

The trainers consult with team doctors.

Tim (NY )

If the team finds itself in contention midseason could you see Sandy being a buyer at the deadline willing to trade some young prospects for an outfielder? Would it make any sense to play both sides and sell on Santana as well to restock the farm assuming the pitching depth is there?

Adam Rubin
  (2:30 PM)

Believe your question is an unrealistic hypothetical, but sure -- if they're neck and neck with the Braves and Nats, I bet Sandy goes out and gets somebody at a position of need.

Rob (NY)

With so many former and current closers available as free agents, do you think the Mets could/should get a deal on one of them especially given Francisco's injury and Parnell's inconsistency?

Adam Rubin
  (2:30 PM)

Sandy said he's done with free agency.

Timothy ( New York)

Have you noticed more of a presence from Wright this spring after his big contact? Do you think he's ready to have more of a vocal leadership role? Or do you think its just not in his DNA and he'll continue to lead more by example?

Adam Rubin
  (2:31 PM)

To me David is the same as he's been in past seasons -- quiet leader. There are less veterans around him, so perhaps it's more important now.

Kevin C (Midtown, NYC)

Any chance the Mets make a run at Cano next year if he is available?

Adam Rubin
  (2:31 PM)

Hard to see a scenario in which the Wilpons try to outbid the Yankees for someone the Yankees want.

Christian (Arlington, VA)

What does it say about the state of Mets financials status that Hairstons deal with the Cubs was out of their price range?

Adam Rubin
  (2:32 PM)

They portray it as a timing thing -- they were hopeful on Bourn or Upton and Hairston went off the board first.

Billy (Boston)

Thanks for all your work. On Flores, seems like we've heard about him forever yet he's only 21. Could you see the Mets keeping him at 3B and trading him as the value of his bat at 3B would be higher than in LF?

Adam Rubin
  (2:33 PM)

I imagine he'll keep doing what he did last season -- split time between third and second. I know the Mets have David Wright for eight years, but injuries happen. You keep third-base prospects at third base even if they're blocked sometimes because a need can always arise.

Tim ( NY)

If there are no injuries or trades, who gets bumped by Wheeler midseason? I don't agree with them but would they consider a 6 man rotation?

Adam Rubin
  (2:33 PM)

No rotation -- especially not a Mets rotation -- goes wire-to-wire. Last first half Pelfrey and Gee went down, no? There can be any number of other scenarios. Heck, Johan could get traded to coincide with Wheeler's call-up.

Chris (NY)

Do you believe the Mets will be open in looking at free agents cut during camp a la Sheffield a few years back?

Adam Rubin
  (2:34 PM)

I'm sure they'll look, but they already have those types of pieces in camp. The odds someone gets cut loose who is dramatically better than the best performer from Byrd, Brown or Lutz isn't likely, in my mind.

Chris (NY)

Does anyone have a chance to unseat Murphy at 2B?

Adam Rubin
  (2:35 PM)

Why would you want to unseat Murphy at second base?

John (NY)

Did TC ever consider naming Lyon as the closer over Parnell?

Adam Rubin
  (2:35 PM)

Not that I'm aware. TC said Lyon would slide to eighth inning if Parnell closes. And when Lyon was signed, he was portrayed to me by someone in organization as a trusted late-inning guy but not a closer.

Kevin (FL)

You mention contention at the deadline as a pipe dream, but this team (as bad as it's been) has been there by around the halfway point in some way, shape or form the past few years. Do you think this year's team is significantly worse than the past groups? (By the way, I'm not expecting much from them, just pointing this out).

Adam Rubin
  (2:36 PM)

I do believe they were very fortunate last year. Imagine if their halves had been reversed last season. What would Citi Field have looked like during the summer?

Chris (NY)

Do the Mets expect to name Wright captain prior to Opening Day?

Adam Rubin
  (2:37 PM)

Terry Collins said he planned to initiate that process, so I presume it'll happen. I don't know if they'll plaster the "C" on the jersey, though.

Matt (Long Island)

Out of your projected starting rotation, who do see have the best year? Johan isn't a Cy Young winner anymore, and the other four seem reliable, but with a nice upside. Looks like anyone of them can really come out on top.

Adam Rubin
  (2:37 PM)

Jon Niese.

Jason (NYC)

When can we expect your win projection?

Adam Rubin
  (2:38 PM)

When I feel like getting a lot of angry emails and tweets, I'll post it. I will say I've been within three of the correct win total each of the past three years.

Adam Rubin
  (2:38 PM)

Anyway, thanks for joining me for the past 40 minutes. We'll do it again next Thursday, probably in the noon hour, since the Grapefruit League games will have started.