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Mets Morning News: The Mets add to their roster, Brodie Van Wagenen talks about the season

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Your Tuesday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

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New York Mets Introduce Luis Rojas Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

For the first time in what seems like forever, there was some actual baseball news that involved the Mets making moves. The team filled out more of their 60-player roster pool yesterday by announcing that they had signed Gordon Beckham, Melky Cabrera, Hunter Strickland, and re-signed Ryan Cordell and Erasmo Ramirez.

Tim Britton broke down the Mets’ player pool, which continues to grow.

The Mets signed their second-round pick, J.T. Ginn for $2.9 million. The slot value for the 52nd pick is $1,403,200.

The Mets see a unique opportunity in a season filled with challenges.

Brodie Van Wagenen spoke for the first time since spring training. He said that Yoenis Cespedes is closer to game ready than he was back in March, Michael Conforto has no restrictions, and Jed Lowrie is still trying to transition out of his leg brace.

While Van Wagenen is optimistic about Cespedes, he’s less so about Lowrie, who continues to attempt a comeback from injuries.

The Mets have high (high hopes) for Cespedes going into the shortened 60-game season.

He also revealed that one player on the 40-man roster tested positive for coronavirus while adding that the player “recovering”. He also mentioned that some minor leaguers have tested positive, although not at the Port St. Lucie complex.

The GM emphasized that the team is built to “win now” and anticipates additional players will be added to the roster when the second complex opens up in Brooklyn.

According to Van Wagenen, Noah Syndergaard is doing well while rehabbing after Tommy John Surgery.

The GM reaffirmed that safety will be the top priority during this season.

With the universal DH, the Mets will look at four potential players to fill the role: Cespedes, Robinson Cano, J.D. Davis, and Dominic Smith.

Pete Alonso misses New York so much, he’s even happy to be sitting in bumper to bumper traffic heading home from the airport. Many of his Mets teammates followed suit in traveling to New York, either by plane or by car.

This week’s Mets Mailbag includes questions on Dominic Smith’s trade value, Seth Lugo’s potential role as a starter, and the team’s chances in a shortened season, among other things.

Around the National League East

Nationals pitcher Joe Ross is opting out of the 2020 season, as is teammate and long-time National Ryan Zimmerman.

Zimmerman released a statement on the decision and clarified that he is not retiring.

The Phillies are expected to place a “handful” of players on the COVID list before camp begins.

Philadelphia’s GM admits that safety will be a challenge as the team is ready to report.

The hiatus following the pandemic has helped the Braves’ injury situation.

Marlins president of baseball operations asks “why not us?” in response to Miami’s chances this season.

The Marlins added Nick Vincent and Max Meyer to their 60-player roster pool.

Around Major League Baseball

Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake officially became the first player to announce he would be opting out of the 2020 season. He commented on why he would not be playing.

Ian Desmond announced via Instagram that he would also be opting out. It was a heartfelt post that tackled racial inequality and his feelings on the issues plaguing the world and the sport, and it is well worth a read.

The league officially announced all the rule changes that would be taking effect, including universal DH on second base to start extra innings, and the three-batter minimum for relief pitchers.

In addition, players or managers who break social distancing to argue with an umpire will be subject to discipline from the league.

Hunter Bishop of the Giants tested positive for coronavirus, the team announced.

USA Today poses the question that’s on everybody’s mind: Will MLB be able to complete the abbreviated 60-game season?

Joel Sherman expressed conflicted emotions at MLB’s plan to return.

Bradford William Davis sees MLB’s response to the Rangers’ COVID-19 outbreak at their new stadium as proof they will put dollars over people’s safety when deciding whether to pull the plug on the season.

Many players are making an uncomfortable and difficult decision by choosing whether or not to play this year. Are we okay with them having to make that decision?

ESPN looked at the rise of Ivy League culture and lack of diversity in MLB front offices.

Spring Training 2.0 will officially be known as...drum roll please..“Summer Camp” (sponsored by Camping World)

The Twins announced they will keep full-time employees on for the remainder of the season with no furloughs or pay cuts.

Buster Olney explored at the regimented, raucous culture of Japanese baseball.

The fate of the Minor League Baseball season could be decided after today’s board of trustees meeting. (Paywall Alert)

Rule 5 eligibility has been tweaked for the shortened season.

If the season is able to begin, the Blue Jays will receive approval to play in Toronto. In the meantime, the club is moving players and personnel to Dunedin Florida to begin intake screening and the isolation process. The team will either stay in Florida for their training, or start moving everyone up to Toronto.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

I pondered how the Mets could use the DH in 2020.

We covered the Mets’ busy day, which included signing Cabrera, signing Beckham, signing Strickland, and re-signing Ramirez and Cordell.

Christian Romo recapped Van Wagenen’s presser.

Episode 68 of From Complex to Queens welcomed the new members of the organization and tried to figure out where they’d rank.

Steve Sypa provided an update on the CPBL team, the KBO team, and the NPB team that the From Complex to Queens team has been following this year.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 2000, the Mets erased an 8-1 deficit and roared from behind with a ten-run eighth to stun the Braves 11-8 on fireworks night at Shea Stadium. After a ground out by Robin Ventura made it 8-2 but put the Mets one out away from an end to their rally, New York followed with a run-scoring single by Todd Zeile and another single by Jay Payton. The Mets then drew four consecutive walks off three Atlanta pitchers to pull to within 8-6. Edgardo Alfonzo knotted things up with a two-run single to bring home Joe McEwing and Melvin Mora, and Mike Piazza capped off the improbable comeback with a line-drive, three-run shot down the left field line to provide some early fireworks for the paying crowd of 52,000-plus fans.