Stephen Drew

Mets, Yankees interested in Stephen Drew

The Mets — and the Yankees — are showing an early interest in free agent SS Stephen Drew, according to reporters Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman (CBS Sports, Nov. 19 & NYP, Nov. 13).

Drew could reportedly settle for a one-year deal, Heyman said. Sherman reports while there is interest in the shortstop, both teams likely see him as a fallback option if other trades or signings don’t work out.

Last season, after signing a one-year, $10 million deal in May due to draft pick compensation, Drew played in 85 total games and hit .162 with a .237 OBP and seven home runs between the Red Sox and Yankees.

Wilmer Flores homers

Sandy Alderson, and others, like Wilmer Flores

Wilmer Flores is again impressing people with how he’s working on his agility and fitness during the team’s off-season conditioning program in Port St. Lucie, according to reporter Andy Martino (Daily News, Nov. 18).

Martino later added that he’s never heard similar compliments about Ruben Tejada, who attended to the clinic last winter (Daily News, Nov. 18).

The Mets are rumored to be searching for an upgrade over Flores and Tejada at shortstop. However, last week, Sandy Alderson told reporters Flores is completely capable of being an above-average, starting shortstop next season.

“I think the issue has always been whether he can play defensively adequately or better,” Alderson said this week (Vorkunov, Nov. 18). “A lot of us think he has the ability or the potential to do that.”

Flores hit .251 with a .664 OPS in 2014. The league-average shortstop hit .251 with a .669 OPS. Similarly,’s Steamer projections put Flores as a possible 2.0 WAR player in 2015, which is on par with White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez and Cubs SS Starlin Castro and significantly better than free-agents Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie and Stephen Drew.

“I’m one of those people that says put him out there and see what can happen, which is why we played him so much last year,” Alderson said (Vorkunov, Nov. 18). “I hope it works. I like Wilmer.”

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Mets

Mets hope to deal a pitcher before Spring Training

Sandy Alderson acknowledged Tuesday that he has an excess of starting pitchers.

In the event he makes a trade, he hopes to do it before spring training since it’s more difficult to deal pitchers during spring training.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon are not drawing a lot of interest in the trade market (NY Post, Nov. 17).

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: I still see Gee as the most likely guy to be dealt. These days, I’m hearing teams are skeptical of Niese’s shoulder, which they expect will eventually need surgery. And Colon, well, you know the deal with his age, contract, history, etc… So, it’s not surprising to me to read Puma’s report. In the end, though he may not be anyone’s first choice right now, Gee is viewed around baseball as a No. 3 or 4 starting pitcher and I’m sure he could be dealt for a minor leaguer or two to thin the heard…

In terms of the overall market, I’ve heard the Mariners, Yankees, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Red Sox and others, have some interest in these guys, but I assume they’re busy exploring other options, which is exactly what they should be doing at this point in the winter. In the end, I still believe Niese or Gee, Rafael Montero and a catcher can net something helpful in trade. We’ll see…

Niese is due $7 million in 2015 and $9 million in 2016, followed by team options in 2017 and 2018.

He missed time this past season with pain in the AC joint in his shoulder, as well as elbow inflammation. He was also pulled from a start with an elevated heart rate for the second time in three years.


Mets hope to hire another coach by end of this week

The Mets hope to hire a new assistant hitting coach before the end of this week, Sandy Alderson said Tuesday.

The Mets added the assistant hitting coach position during spring training last season. Luis Natera occupied the role until he and Dave Hudgens were fired in late May, after which the position remained vacant.

Former Yankees director of player development Pat Roessler did well in his interview for the position last week (Waldstein, Nov. 11). He will be the only external candidate to be interviewed, with all other candidates coming from inside the organization (Rubin, Nov. 12).

The Mets may also be considering filling their assistant hitting coach position with a more general coach (Puma, Nov. 4).

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In case you missed it on MetsBlog…

The new dimensions at Citi Field, with right-center field moved in a small amount, were revealed >> Read more

In advance of the Rule 5 draft, Sandy Alderson said the Mets would likely add five to six prospects to the 40-man roster on Thursday >> Read more

Wilmer Flores continues to impress Mets officials with his work ethic >> Read more

Matthew Cerrone wrote that the relationship between the Mets and Matt Harvey >> Read more

outfield wall dimensions

Mets announce new Citi Field dimensions

The Mets announced their latest changes to the Citi Field outfield wall on Tuesday.

The changes affected are located in center to right field ranging from three to 11 feet, the team said. The right-center field fence will move from 390 feet to 380 feet, while the area near the bullpen will move from 375 to 370 feet.

“These modifications are a refinement of previous changes made to the Citi Field fences and continue to be fair to both pitchers and hitters,” General Manager Sandy Alderson said in a release. “A lot of analysis went into this decision. We believe these modifications will increase the number of home runs without adversely affecting our pitchers.”

The new dimensions should resemble Shea Stadium, Alderson told reporters at the GM Meetings in Arizona.

“It’s all about how our hitters feel comfortable, I think that’s more important,” Jon Niese told MLB Network Radio on Monday. “Us, as a pitching staff, I think we can figure out how to get outs.”

According to Alderson’s research, had the new dimensions existed last season, his team would have hit an additional 17 home runs, while opponents would have hit an extra 10.

Alderson shows the media the changes currently underway to the right-field dimensions at Citi Field…

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