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12/06/10 8:36 PM EST

Mets sign pair to Minor League deals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It took just one day for Sandy Alderson to make good on his promise.

Vowing to return from the Winter Meetings with "new players," Alderson on Monday inked infielder Russ Adams and catcher Dusty Ryan to Minor League contracts and invited them both to Spring Training.

Adams, 30, hit .264 in 108 games for Triple-A Buffalo last season, after signing with the Mets as a Minor League free agent last December. A former first-round Draft pick, Adams has appeared in 286 big league games over parts of five seasons with the Blue Jays.

Ryan, 26, hit .199 with seven home runs in 89 games last season for Triple-A Portland. He also possesses some Major League experience, having played in 27 games over parts of two seasons with the Tigers.

Van Slyke interviews for Mets hitting coach

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Mets interviewed Andy Van Slyke on Monday for their vacant hitting coach position, which they hope to fill by the end of this week. And they have interest in making former outfielder Moises Alou their first-base coach, according to SNY.

Van Slyke, 49, recently served four seasons as first-base coach under Jim Leyland in Detroit, but has never been a Major League hitting coach. A five-time Gold Glove-winning center fielder and two-time Silver Slugger, Van Slyke hit .274 with 164 home runs over a 13-season career split mainly between the Cardinals and Pirates.

"I know he's a real, real bright guy and played the game right, studied the game," said new Mets manager Terry Collins, who coached Van Slyke in Pittsburgh. "So I wanted to talk to him about this job."

The Mets plan to interview three more candidates at the Winter Meetings in the hopes of naming their new hitting coach by week's end.

The club is also looking to fill vacancies at bench coach, first-base coach and bullpen coach. Departing hitting coach Howard Johnson and bullpen coach Randy Niemann will be offered new roles within the organization.

Alou, 44, was a .303 career hitter over 17 big league seasons, the final two with the Mets. Widely considered one of his generation's best pure hitters, Alou retired after the 2008 season in large part due to an inability to avoid injuries.

Mets part ways with strength coach Slate

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Though the Mets have no plans to revamp their oft-criticized medical and training staffs, they will proceed without one member of that team.

According to a source, the Mets will dismiss strength and conditioning coach Rick Slate after his contract expires on Dec. 31, shaking up a staff that has gone largely unchanged over the past few seasons. Slate has served as the Mets' strength and conditioning coach since 2003, previously holding the same position with the Marlins.

The same source indicated that the rest of the team's medical and training staffs -- including head trainer Ray Ramirez and assistant Mike Herbst -- should remain intact. The Mets actually saw a reduction in their collective days spent on the disabled list last season, though that was primarily a reflection of the massive number of DL days they accrued in 2009.

Enduring a shocking amount of major injuries to key players that season, the Mets went long stretches without Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and Johan Santana, among others.

This past season, the Mets absorbed criticism for their handling of Reyes' oblique strain, allowing the switch-hitter to bat right-handed before he was fully healed.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.