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NEW YORK (AP) — Brodie Van Wagenen has certainly been busy since changing careers.Heading into his first spring training as Mets general manager http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authent...ain-jersey , the former player agent has already engineered a major roster overhaul that has New York eyeing the playoffs in a beefed-up NL East.In a flurry of offseason moves that began with a blockbuster trade with Seattle, the Mets added second baseman Robinson Cano, closer Edwin Diaz, catcher Wilson Ramos and infielder Jed Lowrie. They also brought back reliever Jeurys Familia, traded away last summer, to serve as their eighth-inning setup man.All of them recent All-Stars.Add those newcomers to a talented rotation headlined by NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, and suddenly the Mets look like potential contenders again after consecutive losing seasons.“We had a very specific agenda when we started the offseason and we’ve just been going down that list,” Van Wagenen said last month. “We feel really good about what we accomplished and we feel really good about the team that we have.”Of course, the Mets have felt good going into spring training before — only to have their last two seasons ruined by injuries and underperformance. With that in mind, Van Wagenen and his new colleagues focused on building depth and versatility to better absorb the inevitable setbacks.New York spent big bucks to take on Cano’s contract and about $80 million more in free agency, spreading it around to upgrade several areas. Speedy outfielder Keon Broxton and corner infielder J.D. Davis were obtained in trades to boost the bench, at the very least. Established veterans like pitcher Hector Santiago, reliever Luis Avilan and outfielder Rajai Davis were signed to minor league contracts as insurance, and maybe more.“We recognized that we had multiple needs,” Van Wagenen said. “We needed to get better in the bullpen. We needed to increase our run production. … The goal from the beginning was to try to address all of our needs in the most efficient way that we could.”Not only on the field, either.In the dugout, new bench coach Jim Riggleman and hitting instructor Chili Davis join manager Mickey Callaway’s staff. In the front office, additions were made in analytics Jhoulys Chacin Jersey , scouting and player development.When he was introduced as GM last fall, a confident Van Wagenen vowed New York would win now and in the future. His bold moves this offseason led him to say the Mets consider themselves NL East favorites — and he challenged their division rivals to “come get us.”“He’s working hard, that’s all I can tell you. And the rest of the crew around him is working hard,” chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said. “It’s coming together. There’s a new feeling around the office that everybody is rolling in the same direction.”The first workout for pitchers and catchers is Thursday. Some things to keep an eye on as the Mets begin spring training:NEW LOOK: There are newcomers all over the diamond, including at catcher (Ramos), second base (Cano) and third base (Lowrie). Todd Frazier could move from third to first. Broxton could challenge Juan Lagares for playing time in center field. Jeff McNeil, who impressed as a rookie last season, shifts from second base to the outfield and a potential utility role.“I’m really excited people think we have too many good players. And I’m not concerned at all about finding playing time for the best 25 guys that we have, and I don’t think any of our players are concerned about that,” Van Wagenen said. “We are going to use our versatility to our advantage.”ROOKIES TO WATCH: Top power-hitting prospect Peter Alonso, who led all minor leaguers with 36 homers and 119 RBIs combined at Double-A and Triple-A last season, gets a chance to win the first base job. Former star quarterback Tim Tebow also will be in big league camp and is ticketed for Triple-A Syracuse to start the season.THEY’RE SET: If healthy, the front of the rotation should be a strength again with deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler. The back of a revamped bullpen looks good, too, with Diaz, Familia and new lefty Justin Wilson joining holdovers Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. The infield is crowded and the corner outfield spots are manned by productive youngsters Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo as the Mets wait for slugger Yoenis Cespedes to return from surgery on both heels. He’s not expected back until at least mid-July. “We are confident that he’s going to be able to come back. The timing for when he comes back, we’ll have to wait and see Jeremy Jeffress Jersey ,” Van Wagenen said.THEY’RE NOT: Despite the big arms at the top, one or two significant injuries could really derail the rotation. New York is hoping for a breakout season from No. 4 starter Steven Matz and a bounce-back year from lefty Jason Vargas.ON DECK: Several roles are up for grabs and multiple players will be moving around to different positions all spring. The season opener is March 28 at rival Washington. CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Brian Cashman wants to bring CC Sabathia back for an 11th season with the New York Yankees, and he’s also holding out some hope of re-signing J.A. Happ.Eight days after the Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series title in 15 seasons — compared to one in that span for New York — Cashman arrived at the annual general managers’ meetings searching for pitching.“The Red Sox winning doesn’t change the hunger level of trying to deliver a championship sooner than later for our fan base,” the Yankees GM said Monday. “I think the hunger and the effort, the passion’s there, despite the horrible outcome that took place in the World Series this year.”After paying luxury tax for 15 straight years, a total of $341 million, the Yankees dropped below the threshold for the first time in 2018, when Boston took over as baseball’s biggest spender for the first time since records began in the free-agent era. Cashman is a man with money to spend this offseason.“Yeah, we got under the tax, but we’re one of the higher payrolls in the game, as you would expect — and as it should be,” he said.Cashman made his first move last week, re-signing 35-year-old outfielder Brett Gardner to a $7.5 million, one-year deal after declining his $12.5 million option and paying a $2 million buyout.New York finished with a rotation of right-handers Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and Lance Lynn along with left-handers Sabathia and Happ.Only Severino and Tanaka are due back, and Cashman is expected to pursue a group of free-agent pitchers that also include left-handers Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel.Sabathia took a cut in salary from $25 million in 2017 to $10 million this year and went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts — missing a $500 Jesus Aguilar Jersey ,000 bonus by two innings when he was ejected in his last regular-season start for hitting Tampa Bay’s Jesus Sucre after Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge threw up-and-in to Austin Romine.Sabathia had surgery on his right knee last month.“He’s been a great Yankee, and he has time on the clock still,” Cashman said. “I think he’d like to stay, and I think we’d like to keep him.”Happ, 36, was 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts after the Yankees acquired him from Toronto, but he lost at Boston in the Division Series opener.“I would think that there’ll be a lot of interest in him,” Cashman said. “He has a great reputation throughout the game as a pro, and the performance level was exactly what we needed. So he put himself in a good position as a free agent.”Cashman already is deep in talks to trade Sonny Gray, just 15-16 since New York acquired him from Oakland in July 2017. Gray, a right-hander who turns 29 this week, was unhappy with the harsh treatment he was given by demanding Yankees fans.“The game’s evolved to the point where people can see what the real numbers are behind the numbers and the recognition that whoever winds up acquiring Sonny Gray is going to acquire someone that’s going to be the player, the pitcher he was more with Oakland,” Cashman said. “And so we’re very active in those discussions. We’re in name exchanges. It will lead us eventually to a conclusion.”Cashman sidestepped questions about infielder Manny Machado, one of the top two offensive free agents along with Bryce Harper. Because shortstop Didi Gregorius will miss much of next season after surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament, Cashman is examining infield options within and outside.“It all depends on the price point,” he said.
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