Mets Morning News: Shortstops on the brain

Your Thursday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

Meet the Mets

The Mets had their lone off-day of the spring on Wednesday. When they get back on the field today against the Braves, they will face Ervin Santana, who is making his spring debut.

Shortstops dominated the news wire for the Mets, with the primary focus being on the Diamondbacks' Didi Gregorius. The team has made Gregorius available after naming Chris Owings their starting shortstop. The Mets are unwilling to part with Noah Syndergaard for him, but a baseball person not involved with either team told Adam Rubin Gregorius to the Mets "has legs." Gregorius hit .252/.333/.373 (91 wRC+) in 2013.

On Day 41,822 of the Stephen Drew saga, the former Red Sox shortstop is no closer to finding a home. The Tigers, despite looking like an obvious fit, still have no inclination to pursue Drew. The Mets still appear to be the best fit, and rival GMs have asked "Why haven't the Mets signed Drew yet?" The main reason likely appears to be Boras' asking price. The Mets like Drew on a one-year, $9 million contract or even a two-year, $20 million contract, but Boras refuses to budge.

The Cardinals have made Pete Kozma available, but the Mets have little interest, likely due to the fact that Kozma actually had a lower OPS than Ruben Tejada last season.

Matt Meyers believes that if an external shortstop acquisition is not made, Wilmer Flores should be given the nod.

Besides the issues at shortstop, the Mets still have to figure out who their first baseman and fifth starter will be.

With all the recent backlash against Matt Harvey, one ex-Met has come out in praise of him, saying "He has 1986 blood in his veins, but much more mature."

Around the Majors

A terrifying incident occurred on Wednesday night, when Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Royals catcher Salvador Perez during the Reds-Royals game. The game was called and Chapman was taken off on a stretcher. A hospital visit revealed fractures above Chapman's nose and eye with a brain scan still to come.

In completely stunning news, the Nationals will start Stephen Strasburg on Opening Day against the Mets.

Jose Reyes believes he can return to form in 2014.

Braves lefty Mike Minor won't make his season debut until mid-April.

The Astros are playing a vicious numbers game with top prospect George Springer.

The Mariners would like to re-sign Kendrys Morales, but they seemingly want a compensation pick for him more.

Jimmy Rollins is not worried about the Phillies trading him because they can't without his permission.

The Tigers are scouting two Cubs; infielder Darwin Barney and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

Yesterday At AA

Matthew Callan previewed the 2014 Marlins

Peter Thomas Fornatale interviewed Mets radio broadcaster Howie Rose, part one of which can be read right here.

If you read an article or find a link that you think would be a great addition to a future edition of Mets Morning News, please forward it to our tips email address tips@grission.com and we'll try to add it in.

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