From the Mets making the World Series to Michigan State defeating Michigan, the First Take Thanksgiving crew share the sports moments that they are most thankful for this year.

Jose ReyesAP Photo/Gregory Bull, FileAn attorney for Jose Reyes entered a not guilty plea for his client in a Maui court on Tuesday. The Rockies shortstop was charged with domestic abuse after an argument with his wife that police said turned physical at a resort in Hawaii on Oct. 31.

An attorney entered a not guilty plea for Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes to a charge of domestic abuse in a Maui court Tuesday.

Reyes wasn't present for the arraignment, as his defense attorney, David Sereno, waived his presence. The next court date is a Jan. 14 pretrial hearing.

Reyes was arrested after an argument with his wife that police said turned physical at the Wailea Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii on Oct. 31. He was jailed on $1,000 bond and issued a citation to stay away from his wife for three days after the arrest.

Reyes' wife was treated by medics at the scene, then transported to a hospital for additional treatment after the incident. According to a recording of the 911 call released by police, a hotel security guard reported that Reyes' wife had injuries to her left leg and scratches on her neck.

MLB has been investigating the "facts and circumstances" of Reyes' arrest.

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Mets sign RHP Stolmy Pimentel to minor league contract

November, 24, 2015
Nov 24

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets have signed right-hander Stolmy Pimentel to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp for spring training.

Pimentel, 25, had a 3.97 ERA in eight relief appearances for the Texas Rangers in 2015. He made 12 relief appearances with the Pittsburgh Pirates the previous two seasons.

Pimentel originally was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2006 out of the Dominican Republic.

Pimentel is the second player added by the Mets to a minor league deal with spring-training invite this offseason. Ty Kelly was signed by the Mets on Nov. 13.

Mets release Grapefruit League schedule

November, 24, 2015
Nov 24

NEW YORK -- Here is the Grapefruit League schedule for the New York Mets:


3 at Washington, 1:05 p.m.

4 vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.

5 at Houston, 1:05 p.m.

6 vs. Atlanta, 1:10 p.m.

7 vs. Detroit, 1:10 p.m. (ss)

7 at St. Louis, 1:05 p.m. (ss)

8 at Atlanta, 1:05 p.m.

9 vs. Yankees, 1:10 p.m.

10 vs. St. Louis, 1:10 p.m.

11 at Washington, 1:05 p.m.

12 vs. St. Louis, 1:10 p.m.

13 at Miami, 1:05 p.m.

14 at Detroit, 1:05 p.m.

15 at Miami, 1:05 p.m.

16 OFF

17 at Miami, 1:05 p.m.

18 vs. Washington, 6:10 p.m.

19 at Washington, 1:05 p.m.

20 vs. Boston, 1:10 p.m.

21 vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.

22 at Yankees, 6:35 p.m.

23 at Toronto, 1:07 p.m.

24 vs. Houston, 1:10 p.m. (ss)

24 at Boston, 1:05 p.m. (ss)

25 vs. St. Louis, 1:10 p.m.

26 at Atlanta, 1:05 p.m.

27 vs. Washington, 1:10 p.m.

28 at St. Louis, 1:05 p.m.

29 vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.

30 vs. Washington, 12:10 p.m.

The Mets are still working to add at least a pair of exhibition games, perhaps outside of Florida, for March 31 through April 2. The Amazin's open the season on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball on April 3 at Kansas City.

Mets add four prospects to 40-man roster

November, 20, 2015
Nov 20

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets added outfielder Brandon Nimmo and right-handers Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo and Jeff Walters to the 40-man roster on Friday to shield them from Rule 5 draft eligibility.

Among the players left unprotected for the Dec. 10 draft include Class A outfielder Wuilmer Becerra as well as upper-level right-handers Matt Bowman and Paul Sewald, first baseman/outfielder Jayce Boyd and infielder T.J. Rivera.

The Mets currently have 39 players on the 40-man roster.

Nimmo, 22, hit a combined .269 with five homers and 26 RBIs in 376 at-bats in 2015 while primarily playing for Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. He had a .362 on-base percentage. Nimmo, a first-round pick in 2011, missed a month with a sprained left knee.

After the Mets traded eight minor-league pitchers in July and August, the 22-year-old Gsellman arguably became the organization's top pitching prospect. The club named him the organization's pitcher of the year. He went 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA in 24 starts between Binghamton and Class A St. Lucie this past season. He was drafted in the 13th round in 2011.

Lugo, 26, went 8-7 with a 3.84 ERA as a starting pitcher with Las Vegas and Binghamton. He was drafted in the 34th round in 2011 out of Centenary College in Louisiana.

Walters, 28, actually had been on the 40-man roster before, and is now back on. After returning from Tommy John surgery on June 22, Walters went a combined 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA and two saves in 29 relief appearances with Binghamton, St. Lucie and in the Gulf Coast League. Walters set Binghamton's single-season and career records when he amassed 38 saves in 2013.

Pace Law School in White Plains, New York, won the sixth annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in New Orleans in 2013. This week, Dan Masi (Pace ’14), Steven Stieglitz (Pace ’16), W. Paul Alvarez (Pace ’16) and Bryan Kelly (Pace ’17) offer their salary projections for the New York Mets‘ arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Matt Harvey, Lucas Duda, Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed.

The Pace Law arbitration team is using the same methods agents and team officials employ.

On the fifth and final day, here is a roundup of other arbitration-eligible Mets.

Ruben Tejada -- previous salary: $1.88 million

The shortstop was enjoying another season of improved output in 2015 before suffering a fractured fibula in his right leg on a late slide from Chase Utley during the National League Division Series. Still shy of his 2011-12 production, Tejada batted .261 with three homers and 28 RBIs in 116 games. Using Emilio Bonifacio in 2013 and Cliff Pennington in 2014 as comps, he would be expected to earn a raise of about $700,000 on his 2015 salary, to a total of $2.58 million. However, the total salary would most likely exceed his value on the open market. Contributing a WAR of only 1.0, he is too expensive compared to the value he brings. Prediction: Non-tender

Ruben TejadaAP Photo/Jeff RobersonRuben Tejada is due a raise in arbitration, but the higher price tag could move the Mets to non-tender the shortstop.

Jenrry Mejia -- previous salary: $2.595 million

The right-hander twice tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2015 and, if tendered, should receive the same salary as the previous year based on minimal stats. (He would only receive a prorated portion for the time he is active, with his 162-game suspension due to run into late July.) The Mets will have to decide whether to keep Mejia on the roster. However, retaining the team's best reliever from the 2014 season on a relatively cheap salary could be an easy boost to the bullpen. Prediction: $2.595 million

Carlos Torres -- previous salary: $582,125

Torres provided adequate cover in the Mets bullpen in 2015. Entering his first year of salary arbitration, the right-hander will see a modest raise. Appearing in 59 games, Torres pitched to a 4.68 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. However, his advanced metrics suggest he actually performed much better. Contributing a 0.4 WAR, he is only slightly better than the fictional replacement player. Look to Chris Resop in 2011 ($850,000) as a comparable player. Prediction: $875,000

Josh Edgin -- previous salary: $520,625

Edgin missed the 2015 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in March. Still, he was coming off a 2014 season with a 1.32 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. With a K/9 of 9.2 and BB/9 of 2.0 that season, Edgin held opponents' bats in check. However, his injury, lack of career workload and role as a lefty specialist will suppress his value. Prediction: $600,000

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets on Friday will need to add some prospects to the 40-man roster to shield them from Rule 5 draft eligibility.

One no-brainer is former first-round pick Brandon Nimmo, who likely is ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas to open 2016.

Other candidates to be added include right-handers Robert Gsellman, Matt Bowman, Jeff Walters and Paul Sewald as well as outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra.

Becerra, acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays along with Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud in the trade for R.A. Dickey, has not played above low-A Savannah. So it may not make sense to protect him. After all, he would need to stick on another team's major league roster a full season in order for the Mets to officially lose his rights.

Seth Lugo, Jayce Boyd and T.J. Rivera also will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft among upper-level minor leaguers if they are not added to the 40-man roster.

After losing Jack Leathersich off waivers to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, the Mets' 40-man roster currently stands at 35. (Jenrry Mejia, serving a 162-game suspension, does not count against the 40-man roster.)

The Mets used the Rule 5 draft to select Sean Gilmartin from the Minnesota Twins at the winter meetings last December. Gilmartin spent the entire 2015 regular season on the Mets' major league roster and now officially is their property.

The Mets earlier this offseason added reliever Josh Smoker to the 40-man roster.

Yoenis CespedesAP Photo/David ZalubowskiYoenis Cespedes hit .287 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI in 57 regular-season games for the Mets.

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes' two-month stint with the New York Mets apparently left an impression with Baseball Writers' Association of America voters.

While Washington's Bryce Harper unanimously was named the National League MVP on Thursday, Cespedes comfortably topped Curtis Granderson for the best showing by a Met.

Among the 30 voters' ballots, Cespedes appeared sixth on two, seventh on three, and 10th on two -- for 24 points. That placed Cespedes 13th overall.

Granderson appeared on only one ballot -- getting a seventh-place vote from Mike Puma of the New York Post. With four points, Granderson finished 18th.

Twenty players, in all, received votes. See the full voting tally here.

Ned Yost Denny Medley/USA TODAY SportsThe Kansas City Royals will open their title defense by hosting the Mets on Sunday Night Baseball on April 3, part of an ESPN tripleheader.

The Kansas City Royals will begin their World Series title defense against a familiar opponent: the New York Mets.

The season-opening series between the 2015 pennant winners will anchor ESPN's Opening Day tripleheader on Sunday, April 3.

NL Central foes the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates will open the slate with a 1 p.m. game on ESPN. That will be followed at 4 p.m. by a matchup between the AL East champion Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays to be aired on ESPN2.

The Royals will host the Mets to conclude the first day of the 2016 baseball season, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

ESPN, ESPN2 and WatchESPN will air seven total season openers thanks to a quadrupleheader slated for Monday.

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Mets lose Jack Leathersich to Cubs

November, 19, 2015
Nov 19

NEW YORK -- The Chicago Cubs have claimed left-handed reliever Jack Leathersich off waivers from the New York Mets.

Leathersich, 25, underwent Tommy John surgery on July 30, so he is not due to return until next summer.

The Mets have a shortage of left-handed relievers, but chose anyway to remove Leathersich to clear a spot ahead of Friday's deadline to add prospects to the 40-man roster to shield them from the Rule 5 draft.

Leathersich was drafted in the fifth round in 2011 out of UMass-Lowell. He had a 2.31 ERA in 17 major league relief appearances.

Leathersich has an amazing rate of 15.2 strikeouts per nine innings during his minor league career, but also was prone to walk batters.

The New York Mets will begin the 2016 season on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

In a World Series rematch, the Mets and Kansas City Royals will meet on April 3 at 8:35 p.m. ET.

Two other games will be played earlier that Sunday to open the Major League Baseball season -- the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m. on ESPN, and the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays at 4:05 p.m. on ESPN2.

As a result of the opener moving to Sunday, the Mets will now have three off-days the first week. Game 2 will now be April 5 against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Mets then will have their third game of the season -- the home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies -- at Citi Field on April 8.

Although not necessary, the Mets could conceivably use their Opening Day starter in Game 3 on standard rest because of the days off.


It shouldn't take a whack upside the head with a Louisville Slugger to alert teams to the appeal of Yoenis Cespedes. In these power-deprived times, any free-agent outfielder capable of hitting 35 homers and slugging .500 should be a welcome sight in the middle of a batting order.

Cespedes brings an additional "oh my gosh" factor to the proceedings with his ability to summon a Yasiel Puig, Bryce Harper or even a Bo Jackson-caliber moment during lulls in the action. His showmanship is manifested in laser throws from the warning track, home runs that intrude upon casual conversations on the outfield concourse, and a demeanor that suggests he's comfortable stepping in the batter's box in high-leverage situations (that .150 World Series batting average notwithstanding).

At age 30, a mere four years removed from his arrival in the big leagues from his native Cuba, Cespedes hits the open market amid a crowded landscape. Teams with a need for an outfield upgrade can choose among defensive whizzes Jason Heyward and Alex Gordon, slugger Chris Davis and the multitalented Justin Upton, a three-time All-Star at age 28. They all come with varied skill sets and mutual visions of nine-figure deals.

So how does an agency entrusted with representing a star player carve out a niche? In Cespedes' case, the process begins one colorfully illustrated page at a time.

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Pace Law School in White Plains won the sixth annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in New Orleans in 2013. This week, Dan Masi (Pace ’14), Steven Stieglitz (Pace ’16), W. Paul Alvarez (Pace ’16) and Bryan Kelly (Pace ’17) offer their salary projections for the New York Mets‘ arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Matt Harvey, Lucas Duda, Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed.

The Pace Law arbitration team is using the same methods agents and team officials employ.

On Day 4, here is an analysis of Reed’s projected 2016 salary.

Reed performed admirably for the Mets, primarily as a seventh-inning setup man, after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 29. Reed made the most of his new opportunity and responded with a superb 1.17 ERA in 15S innings with the Mets. With 105 career saves, Reed enters his second year of arbitration eligibility near the top of the reliever market. But his lack of saves in 2015 -- four, including one with the Mets -- will severely limit his raise.

Addison ReedAnthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsAddison Reed made $4.875 million last season.

Reed began this past season in Arizona, where he got off to a sluggish start, with a 4.50 ERA and one save in the first month. He hit a low point during June, when he had an ERA of more than 10.00 in six appearances. Reed used a one-month stint in the minors effectively and improved tremendously after his return. His ERA went from 5.92 before the demotion to 1.42 for the remainder of the regular season upon his return. His WHIP went from 1.73 to 1.11. His increase in productivity also led to an increase in interest from other teams, and the Mets acquired him for minor league right-handers Matt Koch and Miller Diaz to help solidify their bullpen. Reed will receive a raise from the $4.875 million he earned in 2015. It will be a high salary to pay a controlled non-closer. However, it will be a substantially smaller raise because of his change in role and decrease in saves.

The three players Reed might be compared with in arbitration are Drew Storen (2013), Brett Cecil (2014) and Tommy Hunter (2013).

Storen is a good comp because of their similar career path of having extensive experience as a closer only to finish their platform years with few saves. Storen finished with 13 more appearances, one fewer save and an ERA more than a run higher than Reed in the comparable year. Storen received a salary of $3.45 million -- a $700,000 raise from his previous salary, including bonuses. With clearly superior stats across the board during their respective platform years, Reed merits a raise greater than Storen received after the 2013 season.

Hunter represents a comp who excelled as a non-closing reliever. He received a raise of $1.18 million after the 2013 season. Compared with Reed, Hunter was the superior pitcher, besting Reed in appearances, holds, ERA, WHIP and OPS against. Hunter excelled in limiting damage with a sub-1.00 WHIP, an area in which Reed struggled at times in 2015. While Hunter only received a total salary of $3.0 million, Reed will look to receive a similar raise due to his higher starting salary in the market ($4.875 million).

Cecil received a raise of $1.175 million after the 2014 season, just shy of the raise Hunter received. While not nearly as accomplished as a strikeout pitcher, Reed made up for it with more control than Cecil and maintained a nearly identical WHIP. Compared to Hunter, Cecil had a better ERA, more holds and more saves, yet had a WHIP that was 0.39 points higher. He also excelled as a strikeout artist with a K/9 of 12.83. Despite having a better ERA and more saves than Hunter, Cecil received a $50,000 lower raise. Reed will receive a raise lower than Hunter and Cecil because his ERA was a half-run worse and he didn’t outperform either player in any vital category.

Because he entered the 2015 season with more than 100 career saves, Reed entered near the top of the reliever market in terms of salary. His demotion from a closing role will tremendously hinder his ability to increase his salary, but he still will be generously compensated thanks to his career accomplishments.

Projection: Addison Reed should sign for $5.8125 million, a raise of $937,500 -- splitting the difference between the raises to Storen and Cecil.

Mets remain unlikely to trade Zack Wheeler

November, 18, 2015
Nov 18

NEW YORK -- New York Mets officials do not place Zack Wheeler in the same category as Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. Still, team officials portray it as very unlikely that they trade Wheeler this offseason.

The Mets had been prepared to send Wheeler with Wilmer Flores to the Milwaukee Brewers for Carlos Gomez on July 29, but that deal unraveled over concern about Gomez's hip.

Shortly thereafter, the Mets nearly sent Wheeler to the Cincinnati Reds for Jay Bruce, but the National League Central club balked.

Zack WheelerAlex Goodlett/Getty ImagesZack Wheeler is due to return after elbow surgery at some point in the 2016 season.

Now, the Mets reason that Wheeler is so close to returning from Tommy John surgery, the attractiveness of trading him has diminished. And even though the Mets have five other starting pitchers (Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard and Matz, plus Jonathon Niese), there is a recognition that the club likely will need an extra arm by the summer because someone inevitably will get injured.

Wheeler is expected to return to the majors in June or July.

He underwent the elbow procedure on March 25. Team doctor David Altchek reconstructed Wheeler's fully torn ulnar collateral ligament and repaired a partially torn flexor-pronator tendon.



Daniel Murphy
.281 14 73 56
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 73
RC. Granderson 98
OPSL. Duda .838
WB. Colon 14
ERAJ. deGrom 2.54
SOJ. deGrom 205