The Mets were pro-active on Thursday in responding to Internet chatter that the team charges its players to attend offseason workouts.
A team spokesman confirmed speculation that Mike Barwis charges players $1,000 to participate in a non-mandatory conditioning program in the team’s spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
But the spokesperson stressed that Barwis, who trained players in Michigan last winter before moving part of his operation to Florida, is a “consultant,” and that he and the Mets are separate entities.
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One order of Dillon Gee to go could be the extent of the Mets’ remaining offseason moves.
According to industry sources, three to four teams remain interested in Gee, whom the Mets are shopping in an attempt to consolidate their pitching rotation and create payroll flexibility.
The Giants, Padres and Rockies have all been mentioned as potential landing spots for the right-hander, but a source indicated at least one AL team has shown interest. The Mets and Gee avoided arbitration by reaching an agreement Friday on a one-year contract worth $5.3 million.
The source added that Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon are long shots to be traded, making it extremely likely Gee will be the pitcher squeezed out.
Fred Wilpon spoke at length on Thursday about the legacy of outgoing commissioner Bud Selig.
The Mets? Not so much.
Wilpon has been tight-lipped regarding his own club for years, turning down requests for state-of-the-team sessions that used to be regular events in Port St. Lucie and Flushing.
But with the Mets apparently coming out of a long rebuild under Sandy Alderson, Wilpon did say on Thursday that he is "optimistic" about the 2015 club, more so than he had been about any other Mets team in recent years.
Wilpon also expressed confidence in Alderson and his staff, saying the roster appears to have the "horses" to win.