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Mets would prefer to trade a starting pitcher before start of spring training

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If the team deals one of its starting pitchers, the trade is likely to happen before the end of February.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Although it's often heard in baseball circles that there's no such thing as too much pitching, the Mets feel that they can afford to trade one or two of their starters this winter if the deal helps the club improve in other areas.

Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, and Jon Niese are the big three names on the trade block, and Sandy Alderson said on Tuesday that he would prefer a deal to materialize sooner rather than later.

"Spring-training trades don't happen frequently," Alderson said.

Colon was arguably the most effective of the three expendables in 2014, but he's over 40 years old and is set to make $11 million next year according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Niese is set to make $7 million and is on a team-friendly deal through 2017. Gee is still in arbitration and should make around $5 million in 2015.

Spring training kicks off for the Mets in Disney World on March 4. Look for Alderson to be on the prowl for a possible trade during the Winter Meetings, which start on December 8 in San Diego.