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Bud Norris Jersey
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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 Bud Norris 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 http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/...tte-jersey ,” 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, 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 Yadier Molina Jersey , 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,” 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. BOSTON (AP) — The AL wild-card game will be in the Bronx, where the New York Yankees bats have always felt at home.The Yankees cleared the Fenway fences four times on Friday night to tie the major league single-season home run record, clinching home-field advantage for the upcoming one-game playoff against Oakland with a 11-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox.The win in the opener of the three-game series settled the AL’s last remaining postseason question with two games to go. The Yankees will host the Athletics on Wednesday for the right to play Boston in the divisional round.“That’s an exhale right there, for the moment,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “Now we can start working on getting ready as best as we can for that Wednesday game. It’s nice to finish that off.”The Red Sox http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/...cil-jersey , who clinched the best record in baseball with a franchise-record 107 wins, were hoping to make things difficult for their archrivals — and the A’s, too — by forcing the winner of the wild-card game to fly cross-country next week. The ALDS begins in Boston on Friday.Instead, the Yankees will sleep in their own beds, and play in the park where they were 53-28 while hitting 144 home runs.“It’s not the end-all, be-all by any means,” Boone said. “But when push comes to shove you want to be at home.”Reigning Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge hit his first homer since coming off the disabled list Sept. 14, and Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks and Luke Voit also homered to give the Yankees 264 home runs for the season. That matches the mark set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.AUDITIONSJ.A. Happ (17-6) pitched three perfect innings and allowed just one hit through five. Staked to an 8-0 lead, he loaded the bases in the sixth for Steve Pearce’s grand slam but got Rafael Devers on a groundout to end the inning.In all, Happ allowed four runs on four hits and two walks, striking out seven in six innings. He would be on regular rest for the wild-card game.“I’d love to get the nod,” he said. “But I think we’re going to feel good with whoever is out there.”LONG BALLSSanchez homered to lead off the third, just his second homer and fourth hit of any kind in two weeks. Hicks hit a three-run shot in New York’s six-run fourth. Voit hit a solo shot in the seventh and Judge hit his 27th of the year in the eighth to make it 11-4.Boone said he wouldn’t have expected to set home run records in a season without Judge and Giancarlo Stanton hitting 50 apiece. Judge battled injuries after hitting 52 as a rookie; Stanton dropped from 59 to 37.Twelve players hit 10 or more homers and six topped 20.“We’re getting a lot of production from a lot of guys Adam Wainwright Jersey ,” Boone said.LATE THREATBoston scored once and loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth against Dellin Betances, but Eduardo Nunez lined out to second to end it. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the ninth before Zach Britton walked Xander Bogaerts to score a run and cut the deficit to 11-6.But Pearce grounded out on a 3-2 pitch to third base to end it, giving the Yankees their 99th win.“I loved the way we fought,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Got to Betances; got to Britton. We had the big inning against Happ.”PASSING THE MESSAGEPearce is 6 for 32 with six homers against Happ in his career. Asked why he’s struggled so much to keep Pearce in the park, Happ said with a smile, “I don’t know, why don’t you go over there and ask him why it’s so easy for him. I’d like to know what he says.”(When that was relayed to Pearce, he also smiled and said, “It’s not easy. He’s a good pitcher.”)FOR THE RECORDRed Sox left-hander Brian Johnson (4-5) allowed two runs in three innings and left with a 2-0 deficit. William Cuevas came out to start the fourth and gave up six runs on six hits and a walk while getting just one out.DOUBLING UPMiguel Andujar’s fourth-inning double was his 44th of the season, tying Joe DiMaggio for the record by a Yankees rookie.Second base umpire Andy Fletcher appeared to hurt his calf while calling Andujar safe on the play. The game was completed using three umpires. According to Major League Baseball, Fletcher sustained a muscular injury and will need further evaluation but will likely be replaced for the rest of the series.TRAINER’S ROOMYankees: SS Didi Grigorius returned to the lineup for the first time since Saturday because of torn cartilage in his right wrist. Hicks also returned to the lineup; he missed two games with tightness in his left hamstring.UP NEXTRHP Lance Lynn (9-10) is scheduled to face RHP Nathan Eovaldi.
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