Adrian Gonzalez has agreed to a deal with the New York Mets pending a physical, according to ESPN and multiple reports. 

It's the second significant move this past week for the Mets, who brought back free-agent outfielder Jay Bruce on a three-year, $39 million contract Wednesday.

Gonzalez gives the Mets a veteran presence at first base, where Lucas Duda and Dominic Smith mainly played for them last season. Duda was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays during the season, and Smith, 22, struggled offensively, batting just .198. 

Gonzalez spent the past six seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers but was limited to 71 games in 2017 because of a herniated disk in his back that put him on the disabled list for a long stretch. When he returned, National League Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger had taken over for the NL champion Dodgers.

Los Angeles traded Gonzalez to the Atlanta Braves last month as part of the Matt Kemp deal. Atlanta, in turn, quickly released him, making him a free agent. 

Gonzalez, 35, is owed $21.5 million in the final year of his contract. The Mets would owe him just $545,000, with Atlanta paying the rest.

USA Today first reported the agreement between Gonzalez and the Mets. 


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ESPN Illustration

From top-flight starting rotations, bullpens and defenses to lineups that won't quit, there are only a handful of teams in it to win it in 2018.

Kathy Willens/AP PhotoPitchers Matt Harvey (left) and Noah Syndergaard reached 1-year deals with the Mets to avoid arbitration. Harvey is coming off a 5-7 season derailed by a shoulder injury, while Syndergaard was stellar with a 14-9 record and a 2.60 ERA.

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets have reached one-year deals with starters Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey and settled with five other players.

Relievers Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos and Hansel Robles, catcher Travis d'Arnaud and infielder Wilmer Flores also agreed Friday to one-year contracts and avoided arbitration.

Starter Zack Wheeler was the only Mets player who exchanged salary figures with the team. He asked for $1.9 million, and the club offered $1.5 million.

While many of his Mets rotation mates got hurt or hit hard last year, deGrom ($7.4 million) was a rock all season for a team that finished 70-92. He went 15-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 31 starts, emerging as the staff ace with Syndergaard injured.

The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom ranked second in the National League with 239 strikeouts last season and fifth with 201 1/3 innings -- 81 more than any other New York pitcher. He set career highs in both categories, as well as wins, though his ERA was his highest in four major league seasons.

The 29-year-old right-hander earned $4.1 million last season, and the Mets might consider giving him a multiyear contract at some point. He can become a free agent after the 2020 season.

Perhaps no injury was more damaging and deflating to the Mets last year than Syndergaard's torn lat muscle on April 30. The fireballing ace returned in late September for some brief work at the end of a lost season, finishing 1-2 with a 2.97 ERA in only 30 1/3 innings.

After bulking up during the previous winter, Syndergaard altered his workouts this offseason under the supervision of Eric Cressey, a performance coach who assisted Corey Kluber


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Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton put the Big in the Big Apple. Is it a clown question to ask if both rank ahead of Bryce Harper in right field?
Noah K. Murray/USA Today SportsIn his return to the Mets, Jay Bruce scored the second-biggest contract signed by any position player this winter.

Teams weren't going to avoid big deals forever, but the Mets re-signing their former right fielder is just the first answer to many offseason needs.

Jay BruceGregory Shamus/Getty ImagesJay Bruce is going back to the Mets, returning to the team that dealt him to Cleveland at last season's trade deadline.

Free-agent outfielder Jay Bruce has reached agreement on a three-year, $39 million contract with the New York Mets, two baseball sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

Bruce, 30, is a .249 career hitter with 277 home runs over 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Mets and Cleveland Indians. He had received interest from the San Francisco Giants on the free-agent market before electing to return to New York.

The Mets initially acquired Bruce from Cincinnati for second baseman Dilson Herrera and pitcher Max Wotell in August 2016, then traded him to Cleveland for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan during the stretch drive last summer.

Bruce's deal is the second highest for a free-agent position player this offseason -- trailing only first baseman Carlos Santana's three-year, guaranteed $60 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in December.

With Bruce back in the fold, the Mets' 2018 starting outfield is likely to consist of Yoenis Cespedes


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ESPN Illustration

The Cardinals landed a big Fish for their outfield, while other top performers -- including last year's No. 1 -- sunk.

NEW YORK -- Suspended reliever Jenrry Mejia and the New York Mets have agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,729,000, money the pitcher will not receive because of his three positive drug tests.

Even though Mejia was banned from baseball for life in February 2016, the Mets retain his rights as a player on their restricted list. The deal is the maximum 30 percent cut from his 2016 salary of $2.47 million. He was cut the maximum 20 percent last year to $1,976,000. Under baseball's drug agreement, players serving suspensions do not get paid.

Mejia was suspended for 80 games on April 11, 2015, following a positive test for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders, and admitted then he took a banned substance.


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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY SportsA huge 2017 season hasn't kept J.D. Martinez from having to wait well into the offseason to find a new home. What's behind the glacial pace of this hot stove season?

The calendar says January, but the list of remaining free agents looks a lot like it did when the MLB season ended in November. From a less-than-stellar crop of free agents to teams with an eye on next year's superstar class and a certain agent holding many of the cards this winter, there are plenty of reasons for a cold stove that has to heat up.

We asked ESPN.com writers Bradford Doolittle, Sam Miller and David Schoenfield to explain the slow pace of free agency and make predictions about what will happen when things finally get moving. 

What is the biggest factor causing the slow pace of free agency this winter?

Bradford Doolittle: It'll be an interesting postmortem when the dust finally settles, but I suspect it's the 2018 free-agent class that is gumming the works. That has kept the Yankees and Dodgers in check, which muddles the top of this market, and all is a result of the new collective bargaining agreement. But maybe the biggest factor of all is that this isn't a great class and teams are just more savvy than ever when it comes to spending money efficiently.


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The hot stove appears to be on the fritz this winter, serving up only a few lukewarm morsels to whet our withering appetites. At least it gives us plenty of time for concocting lame metaphors. The offseason's rumors-to-news ratio has been wildly skewed toward the former. Surely, that will change soon, if only because there are dozens of useful veterans still lingering on the open market and there are more than a handful of playoff hopefuls with roster holes still to be plugged. It has to change soon, right?

Spring training is only six weeks away -- though, given the frigid temperatures across most of the country, it seems like more than that. Still, teams will be mostly finishing off their winter work this month, which should make for the rare offseason in which January holds as much intrigue as December. This isn't to say that nothing has changed since we established our pre-hot stove baselines. It's just that things haven't changed as much as they might have, given a normal rate of hot stove activity.

Today's check-in orders the teams by how much their forecast -- based on simulations of the upcoming season -- has changed since our last installment, making it a nifty summary of how this winter has ever-so-slowly progressed.

The aggressors

Philadelphia Phillies

New Year's win projection: 77.3

Change in win projection from pre-hot stove forecast: 5.9 (Rank: 1)

Playoff probability: 14 percent | Championship probability: 0.2 percent

The Phillies are the most improved team of the winter because they represent a combination of unusual (for this winter) aggressiveness and the lack of high-stakes activity elsewhere across baseball. They've been proactive (signing Carlos Santana


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AP Photo/Charlie RiedelLorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas remain unsigned amid a slow-moving free-agent market.

It's already January, but there are aces and sluggers looking for new homes. We find the best bet -- and a dark horse -- for the top available names.
ESPN IllustrationThere are fewer frontline starters than ever before, but the ones who still lord over the game are something special. So which one is No. 1?

There are fewer frontline starters than ever before, but the ones who still lord over the game are something special. So which one is No. 1?

Jose Altuve and Aaron JudgeThomas B. Shea/USA TODAY SportsNow that we've laid out the criteria for what makes a baseball season memorable, we put 2017 to the test.

What will the year 2077 remember about the 2017 baseball season?

Yesterday, we analyzed the most remembered events, people, stories and statistics of Major League Baseball's past 114 years for clues to help answer this question. It can be hard to anticipate what will survive, with only some correlation between sports-page coverage and future interest. We identified seven categories -- plus subcategories! -- of events that are particularly durable. Now we'll overlay the 2017 season onto these categories so we can speculate responsibly.


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Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson & Honus WagnerESPN.com IllustrationFrom the first World Series in 1903 to the Cubs' first title in more than a century, we look back through the lens of history to list the stories, teams, players and plays that made their mark on MLB forever.

I couldn't tell you off the top of my head who won the 1945 World Series, but I could tell you that a goat got kicked out of it. I couldn't tell you who the best pitcher in baseball was in 1956, but I could tell you who threw a perfect game in that year's World Series. I don't remember who hit the most home runs in 1990, but I do remember that the Mariners' No. 2 and 3 hitters -- both of them named Griffey -- hit back-to-back dingers one day that year. Most of us remember these things like we remember our first phone number.

We would probably all be surprised to find out what history will remember about our era. Once the eyewitnesses die, a lot of weird stuff gets remembered, and a lot of stuff that seemed important at the time gets forgotten. I got to wondering what history will remember about 2017 -- what a late-21st century kid raised on baseball trivia books, This Date In History radio segments and her granddad's memories will know about this past season. To answer that requires first figuring out what gets remembered and why.

So, with the help of a few smart baseball friends, I charted 114 years of baseball by the single most memorable fact of each season -- the one thing a fairly serious baseball fan has probably heard of from that year.

What we learned: There are exactly seven ways to be remembered. Plus subcategories.


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Mets hire Omar Minaya as special assistant to GM

December, 22, 2017
12/22/17
10:46
AM ET

NEW YORK -- Omar Minaya is returning to the New York Mets as a special assistant to Sandy Alderson, who replaced him as general manager after the 2010 season.

Minaya was the Mets' senior assistant GM from September 1997 until February 2002, when he joined the Montreal Expos as Major League Baseball's first Hispanic GM. He returned to the Mets as GM after the 2004 season, helped put together a roster that reached Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in 2006, then was fired after consecutive seasons with losing records.

"In sports, the way it is today, there are right moments and there are not right moments. This is the right moment I felt to come home," Minaya said. "I'm from Queens. I still go to Mama's. I'm still in Corona, Jackson Heights."

Minaya will work alongside assistant general manager John Ricco -- whom he hired for the Mets -- and special assistants J.P. Ricciardi and Terry Collins.

"It's a very versatile role," Minaya said. "What I love to do is scouting and development. I love international. I love the procurement of young players. I love the draft."

Minaya was San Diego's senior vice president of baseball operations from December 2011 until January 2015, and since then has been senior adviser to players' association head Tony Clark.

Now 59, Minaya worked in scouting for Texas from 1985 to 1987.


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SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Asdrubal Cabrera
BA HR RBI R
.280 14 59 66
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Bruce 29
RBIJ. Bruce 75
RJ. Reyes 75
OPSA. Cabrera .785
WJ. deGrom 15
ERAJ. deGrom 3.53
SOJ. deGrom 239