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Mets Baseball Cards of the Week: 2016 Topps Series 1 team set

This year’s Topps flagship set has been out for a couple of weeks now, and I finally got my Mets team set delivered this weekend. This is the first time Topps hasn’t used borders in the main set, and I don’t really miss them.

I’m less of a fan of the “smoke” effect and other digital “enhancements” to the the photos, but there’s got to be somebody out there who likes the style decision. At least Topps started out with a strong selection of photos.

Player selection was also pretty good – 11 of 13 individual cards depict players who are still Mets. Michael Cuddyer‘s retirement was a surprise decision, and Jon Niese was traded over the winter.

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Of the 14 Mets cards, I think David Wright‘s is my favorite.

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Welcome back, Bartolo

Bartolo Colon pitches against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field on June 13, 2014 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Bartolo Colon (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The New York Mets have reportedly reached an agreement with Bartolo Colon on a one-year contract worth $7.25 million.

Colon, who will turn 43 next season, replaces Jonathon Niese in the rotation at the start of the season. When Zack Wheeler is ready to return from Tommy John surgery, Colon will likely move to the bullpen.

In the meantime, we’ll get to enjoy more highlight reel-worthy at-bats and fielding plays…and I’ll get to spend another year watching at least one Mets player who is older than me.

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Hellos and goodbyes

Michael Cuddyer suprised us all this weekend by announcing his retirement from baseball.

In  a piece for Derek Jeter’s “Players’ Tribune” site, Cuddyer wrote:

Baseball is my life’s passion, but at the same time I knew in some distant part of my heart that it wouldn’t and couldn’t last forever. Ever since I was a kid, my mantra has been, “Play hard, dream big.” But I’ve always believed in loyalty to the game itself: the day that I can’t give it 100 percent is the day I have to walk away. Now that the day has come, it’s harder than I thought it would be.

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Mets news & notes to end the week

Daniel Murphy plays in what was likely his final regular season game with the Mets on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Daniel Murphy plays in what was likely his final regular season game with the Mets on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The Mets extended a $15.8 million qualifying offer to free agent Daniel Murphy today, though that doesn’t mean he is any more likely to return to the team in 2016. Rather, it was about making sure the Mets get an extra draft pick between the first and second rounds of next year’s amateur free agent draft. But it’s a good move, nonetheless. Before the playoff run, I was concerned that Sandy Alderson might let Murphy leave for no return.

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That futile feeling….

Citi-Field-Night-IMG_201209The New York Mets’  brain trust did two things today that fans have been hoping for since the All-Star Break. They promoted outfielder Michael Conforto from Double-A Binghamton (about 13 months after he was drafted with the 10th overall selection last year) and they made a trade to acquire help for the major league offense.

It didn’t help, as the Mets lost 7-2 to the Dodgers and are now 2-6 since the break, just one game over the .500 mark for the season. But the Nationals also lost again, so the Mets remain just three games out of first place in the NL East.

Conforto drove in a run with a ground out in his second major league at-bat, but otherwise was a non-factor in the game. So were most of the other Mets batters.

The trade has yet to be officially announced by the Mets or Braves, but it should improve New York’s roster without costing the organization any players who factored into any immediate plans. Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe add depth, but they are not really the kind of players who can make a bad offense into a good one.

Much like the Michael Cuddyer signing last winter, I like the move if it’s the first step of a plan to retool the Mets’ lineup. But if it’s the only trade that happens in the waning days of July, I don’t see that much point. (And considering how the Cuddyer signing turned out so far, I have to admit that I don’t have a very good record evaluating player acquisitions.)