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Mets Morning News: Amazins have big bat as their number one winter goal

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

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Meet the Mets

Terry Collins told reporters that finding a middle-of-the-order bat to protect David Wright is Sandy Alderson's top priority this winter. To improve the team, the Mets will use a "Red Sox model" that involves signing mid-tier free agents instead of the most expensive guys on the market.

The Mets did not find their big bat at the general managers' meetings in Orlando this week, but there have been some preliminary discussions regarding a number of free agents.

Some of those discussions were apparently regarding Red Sox starter/reliever Alfredo Aceves, as the Mets are reportedly close to a deal with the pitcher.

Baseball America named recent Mets acquisition Joel Carreno as a "free agent with intrigue." Carreno was shifted to the bullpen in the minor leagues last season and saw his strikeout rate jump from 25 percent to 34 percent in the upper levels of Toronto's system. Intriguing indeed.

Around MLB

Hardware was handed out! Andrew McCutchen won the NL MVP award, beating out Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina by a wide margin. Of course, Miguel Cabrera took home the AL MVP award despite being nearly three wins worse than Mike Trout this season. If the voters decided that baserunning and defense didn't matter, they might as well have given Goldschmidt the NL award. Cabrera is the first player to win back-to-back AL MVP awards since Frank Thomas did it in 1993 and 1994.

Baseball's owners voted unanimously in favor of expanded replay in 2014. This includes an NFL-like "challenge" system that will allow managers to ask for a review on pretty much anything besides strike/ball calls. Props go to former Mets beat writer Andy McCullough for using "kvetching" in his write-up.

Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison is reportedly available via trade. As a struggling lefty first baseman who is injury-prone but still has significant upside, he's pretty much Miami's Ike Davis.

While the Mets will probably not be in the market for Morrison this winter, they are looking for a shortstop. One they might be able to acquire is Stephen Drew, who declined a qualifying offer from the Red Sox and will reportedly not be returning to the team in 2014.

Finally, Craig Kimbrel is considering leaving the Braves for a career at Taco Bell, and NL Rookie of the Year award winner Jose Fernandez was reunited with his grandmother after five years apart. The good stuff starts at the three-minute mark.

Yesterday at AA

Steve Sypa wonders if the Mets should look into signing their former draft pick Bobby Keppel. The right-handed pitcher is 31-years old and was just released by the Nippon Ham Fighters.

As for free agents who played in MLB last season, Chris McShane checked out Mike Napoli, while I examined Corey Hart.

On this date in 1966, Bing Devine took over as president of the Mets. Devine made a number of transactions that helped the Amazins to capture the 1969 World Series title.

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