Dec 10

Wilpon: Matt Harvey Injury Impacted Mets’ Offseason Approach

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon conceded this afternoon what we’ve known for months: Matt Harvey’s elbow injury greatly impacted the team’s offseason plans.

For one thing, the Mets would only need one pitcher and not two at the back end of their rotation.

WILPON: Harvey's injury had impact.

WILPON: Harvey’s injury had impact.

“Matt getting hurt has taken away unquestionably a guy who looked like he was going to be our ace,’’ Wilpon said. “It changes things a little bit. We don’t need an extra pitcher if Matt is the guy there. And you might use the resources elsewhere.’’

Since Sandy Alderson became general manager, the plan was to compete in 2014 when the contracts for Johan Santana and Jason Bay came off the books. Now, the talk is for 2015 when Harvey is back from Tommy John surgery.

“I don’t have an answer. You’d like to say no,’’ Wilpon said when asked if the Mets tempered expectations with Harvey gone. “But if he was going to be out there for 200 innings, you’d think the results would be pretty good. Taking away those 200 innings is definitely an issue.’’

Wilpon said Anderson isn’t restrained by finances, but the Mets haven’t moved on Bronson Arroyo, who has been an effective innings eater for years. Reportedly, Arroyo is close to signing with Minnesota. Bringing in Arroyo or Paul Maholm aren’t current options. However, re-signing Jeremy Hefner is, although he won’t pitch in 2014 as he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Alderson said the Mets would be interested in talking to Johan Santana, who just got a $5.5 million buyout from the team. Santana is throwing off flat ground at 150 feet, so he’s nowhere close to being an option. There are a half-dozen teams interested in talking to Santana when he’s ready. Of course, Santana won’t give the Mets any kind of discount. Don’t be surprised if Santana ends up where he started, which is Minnesota.

As for a fourth starter, there’s a disconnect between Terry Collins and Alderson on Jenrry Mejia. Today Collins said Mejia should be ready for spring training, but yesterday Alderson indicated he might not be ready until after the season started.

The Mets are reluctant to open the season with one of their young pitchers in the rotation, but Collins said: “Somebody has to win Rookie of the Year. Why not one of our guys?’’

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Dec 10

Manager Terry Collins Touches On All Things Mets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – New York Mets manager Terry Collins addressed a myriad of issues surrounding his club two months away from spring training.

Among them:

* He has the mindset both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda will be on the roster in February, and he’ll “adjust’’ accordingly.

* Said one of the reasons why Davis hasn’t reached his potential is because he presses trying to hit home runs.

COLLINS: Optimistic.

COLLINS: Optimistic.

* He’s prepared to start the season with Ruben Tejada at shortstop. Collins said Tejada understood, “his career is at stake.’’

* Zack Wheeler should be able to throw 200-plus innings. Collins said he liked Wheeler’s composure and ability to throw strikes when asked if he’s ready to take a Matt Harvey step.

* He’s prepared to have Anthony Recker as the back-up catcher.

* Is not worried about strikeouts from Curtis Granderson and Chris Young because they offset the strikeouts with run production. Collins named Young as the player most poised to be a surprise this season. Collins indicated Granderson will hit fourth behind David Wright.

* Is pleased with Wilmer Flores attending fitness camp in Michigan. Said he’s added quickness and speed and did not rule out playing some shortstop.

* With Eric Young delegated to the bench, said there’s no clear-cut candidate to hit lead off. Named Daniel Murphy and Tejada as possibilities.

* Has not come up with an outfield rotation, but Juan Lagares will be in it.

* Said he’ll wait until what he sees in spring training before deciding if Bobby Parnell will be ready. Vic Black is the presumed closer if he is not.

Collins said pitchers and catchers will report to Port St. Lucie for spring training on Feb. 15.

ON DECK:  Jeff Wilpon dishes on how Mets’ offseason plans changed with Harvey’s injury.

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Dec 10

GM Sandy Alderson Says Nothing Imminent In Trading Ike Davis

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The New York Mets introduced Curtis Granderson this afternoon. Don’t expect anything more from them today.

General manager Sandy Alderson said nothing was imminent, and that includes trading first baseman Ike Davis.

DAVIS: Nothing moving.

DAVIS: Nothing moving.

“He’s still here,’’ Alderson deadpanned. “We’re here until Thursday. We’ll see.’’

The market is currently not hot – not even warm – for Davis.

One potential trading partner, Milwaukee, is more interested in re-signing Corey Hart than trading for Davis, figuring the devil you know is always better.

Hart and James Loney are on the market, and teams needing a first baseman tend to first look at free agents because all it would cost is money. In trading for Davis, there would also be the surrendering of talent.

“Why would they give up prospects for mediocre talent?” once baseball insider asked about Davis.

Once Hart and Loney are off the market, things might heat up for Davis, but then there is also the matter of competing with Miami, who is taking offers for Logan Morrison, and Texas, which is shopping Mitch Moreland.

So, while the Mets are anxious to move Davis – that anxiousness might parlay itself into lesser offers – don’t count on anything happening soon.

ON DECK: Terry Collins talks to media.

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Dec 10

Curtis Granderson Makes Good First Impression

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – On his unveiling as a member of the New York Mets, outfielder Curtis Granderson said all the right things, including: “A lot of people I’ve met in New York have always said true New Yorkers are Mets fans.’’

Now, how can you not like that enthusiasm?

GRANDERSON: Good first impression.

GRANDERSON: Good first impression.

Both GM Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon praised Granderson’s professionalism and clubhouse presence, and said it was a major consideration in bringing him to the Mets.

Granderson is expected to ease the burden for David Wright, both as a run producer and in the clubhouse.

“He brings, No. 1, professionalism,’’ Alderson said. “He brings a personality. He brings credibility. He brings talent … all things that are important.’’

Granderson said the Yankees were upfront with him in their rebuilding plans, and while he talked to other teams – including Boston after Jacoby Ellsbury left – the Mets were by far the most aggressive in recruiting him.

“A lot of homework went into it,’’ Granderson said. “[The Mets] were the best fit possible.’’

Even without Matt Harvey available this season, the Mets sold Granderson on better days – years – in the future. With the Yankees, Granderson knew they would be competitive. The Mets had to convince him.

“They have a plan that’s getting in place,’’ Granderson said. “It’s going to take 25 guys. They have an opportunity to go out there and do some things.’’

Regarding Granderson’s contract, both the player and Alderson said a fourth year was important. Alderson said there were no bells and whistles in the contract, such as a no-trade clause.

“It was your typical, boilerplate, $60-million contract,’’ said Alderson.

ON DECK: Nothing imminent in dealing Ike Davis.

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Dec 10

Jenrry Mejia Not Close To Being Ready

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Staying healthy has always been an obstacle in Jenrry Mejia’s pursuit of a starting job in the New York Mets’ rotation and it is that way again.

Mejia, who underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow, isn’t a given in being ready for spring training.

If he was ready, he’s be the fourth starter slotted in after Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese.

MEJIA: When will we see him?

MEJIA: When will we see him?

As of now, general manager Sandy Alderson doesn’t expect him any sooner than May.

“He demonstrated he could pitch effectively as a major-league starter,’’ Alderson said. “It’s a question of can he stay healthy. … He won’t even be able to demonstrate that over the course of spring training or even the first month of the season.’’

The 24-year-old Mejia made five starts with an ERA of 2.30 before needing surgery.

The puzzling thing in how this was handled was the Mets said Mejia needed surgery in the offseason, yet kept pitching him.

It wasn’t the first time the Mets mishandled Mejia.

In 2010, then-manager Jerry Manuel, who going into the season knew his job was in jeopardy, battled the front office to bring up Mejia at the start of the season to work in the bullpen.

The troubling aspect of this decision was Manuel rarely used Mejia, especially when the game was in the balance. Eventually, he was returned to the minors, but as a starter. The strain of changing roles damaged his arm and he underwent Tommy John surgery.

At the time, Mejia was the Mets’ hottest prospect, but by not settling on a defined role for him it hurt his trade value. After all, how could the Mets pitch to other teams his potential value as a starter when he wasn’t even in that role for them?

Alderson doesn’t know when Mejia will be ready, and how he’ll perform when he’s available. As of now, it is back to Square One for Mejia.

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