Mets Afternoon News: Early returns looking good for Piazza, Ike Davis is still a Met

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Your Friday dose of Mets news and links.

Meet the Mets

Good news everyone! Darren Viola of Baseball Think Factory is conducting his own Hall of Fame ballot poll, and with four percent of votes in, Mike Piazza has 78.3 percent of the vote. That’s a smidge better than the 75 percent he needs for induction. Hopefully this is the year we get to see another Mets great enter the Hall of Fame.

As for current affairs regarding the team, The Star-Ledger asked Sandy Alderson about trade talks, the GM said that "nothing has changed" since he talked about the market for a Mets first baseman at the team holiday party. Milwaukee’s pursuit of Michael Young can’t be a good sign, though.

Bill Price of the Daily News says that the Mets Clubhouse store in midtown Manhattan is sadly not updated with merchandise representing the latest team activity. The best way to get a Curtis Granderson shirt in time for Christmas might be to customize one online. Or you could just get a Justin Turner shirt if you are giving a gift to someone with a great sense of humor.

The Mets might not sign Stephen Drew, but Baseball Prospectus has a good scouting report of him.

Around MLB

According to Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy, protective headgear for pitchers will be available, but not mandatory in 2014. That’s a big step for McCarthy and other hurlers who have experienced horrifying head injuries during their careers.

While Masahiro Tanaka’s journey stateside remains in jeopardy, the Cubs have inked Japanese starter Tsuyoshi Wada. The lefty originally left Japan to sign with Baltimore two winters ago, but Tommy John surgery kept him from ever pitching for the Orioles.

Poor Starlin Castro had $3.6 million seized by a Domincan baseball school because apparently when the shortstop was 15 years old, his father promised the school a percentage of Castro’s career earnings. The deal held up in Dominican court.

The two-year, $15 million deal between Grant Balfour and the Orioles has hit a snag because of issues with the pitcher’s shoulder. Balfour previously had surgery on the shoulder, but recently he’s appeared healthy.

Grant Brisbee says he'll be okay with Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame so long as Tim Raines gets in, too.

The Yankees weren't good in 2013 and won't be much better in 2014, says Rany Jazayerli.

Finally, Charlie Manuel is expected to take a job in the Phillies’ front office. The role reportedly will involve minor league scouting as well as some public relations work for the beloved skipper.

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