FIP Gets You Paid Applesauce: Niese's nose may be smaller, but his wallet might get bigger

I got nothing. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Meet the Mets

Jon Rauch and Danny Herrera did their best LOLpen impression, and Prince Fielder did this, as the Mets fell once more in Grapefruit League action. Meh, can the season just start already? Your applesauce writers have had plenty of reps linking to Mets losses this Spring, we are in midseason form. R.A. Dickey had the start, and Fielder's premeditated baseball murder aside, pitched well in limited action. Dickey also got spiked covering first, but seeing as he's pitched without a UCL and with a messed up planter fasciitis, (whatever that is) I'm not too concerned. Neither is R.A. Dickey, who thinks it's just a flesh wound. The Mets are at Disney today to face off with the Braves, and are featuring the best defensive infield you will see all year.

Opening Day is Thursday, and since Johan Santana's arm is still attached (yay!), he will be your Opening Day starter. Looks like he will be limited to 95 pitches, so the Mets will have to lean on the likes of Danny Herrera and Jon Rauch to preserve the win, so that should...work...out...great. Rob Neyer writes about what Santana's return means to Mets fans and baseball fans in general.

After all the agita this Spring surrounding injuries, it looks like the Mets roster will be mostly intact for Opening Day. Andres Torres will be playing games on the MLB side now, so he should avoid the DL. Unless of course, the Mets rushed him back and won't be able to backdate his DL stint when he reinjures his calf. But that doesn't really sound like the Mets. Meanwhile, Tim Byrdak threw on the minor league side, and spent his evening watching Wrestlemania. So he had a productive day.


The big news coming out of Mets camp yesterday was a rumored extension for Jon Niese.Looks like it will be something along the lines of Derek Holland's deal, with a couple team options for his free agent seasons. These pre-arb deals almost always work out, barring long term injuries, and it's good to see the Mets getting aggressive in terms of locking up their younger talent. Looks like Niese would only have to be a league average to provide some surplus value over the life of this deal. And if he does finally break out, this will end up being a bargain.

Mike Kerwick of the Bergen County Register looks at how goddamn young this Mets team is. Wait, Ike Davis was how young when American Pie came out?

Adam Rubin takes a look at the Mets' reinforcements down on the farm. The lesson I took away is that scouts hate all your favorite prospects except Juan Lagares. But I am sure Lagares will turn into Manny Ramirez right about the time Wilmer Flores turns into Miguel Cabrera. The comps have spoken!

The Mets have added former Nippon Ham Fighter Bobby Scales on a minor league deal. Looks like he will be this year's version of Bubba Bell for the Bisons. You might know him better from his cups of coffee with the Cubs, and he can play just about anywhere. Apparently fringy guys that can play a lot of positions fringily is the new market inefficiency.

Finally, my Josh Satin Google Alert has delivered your new desktop wallpaper to my inbox. Thank the Google Alert, you guys!

Around MLB

It wouldn't be Spring Training without some crazy brawl that wasn't captured for TV. This one had the added bonus of featuring former teammates who apparently don't like each other. And Bud Selig was there, which should make things interesting, assuming the commish wasn't napping through the game. Well, maybe Asdrubal Cabrera can chip in to help cover Jimenez's fine, as he is close to an extension with the Tribe.

The calendar turned over to April this weekend. But even if you hadn't noticed that, you probably could have guessed, because Andew Bailey is hurt again. The Red Sox bullpen will also be missing Daniel Bard, who was officially confirmed as a member of the Sox starting rotation along with Felix Doubront.

The Braves traded a decent prospect for Juan Francisco for some reason. I know Chipper is hurt, but Juan Francisco is just Chipper Jones without any command of the strike zone. He is probably better defensively than Chipper at this point at least. The piece is also notable for the absolutely merciless trolling of Alex Remington by the FanGraphs commenters. Poor Alex.

Desmond Jennings is good at baseball. I am so glad I was able to snag him in the third round of my AL-only roto league.No one cares about your fantasy team.

ESPN.com would like to remind you of how awesome the last day of the season was last year.

And finally, it wouldn't be April Fool's Day without at least one really good baseball prank, this one courtesy of Lance Berkman.

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