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Mets Morning News: Ticket sales up, Eveland signs with Red Sox, Johan has another setback

Your Thursday morning dose of Mets and Major League Baseball news, notes, and links.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

At Capital New York, Howard Megdal wrote about the Mets' announcement that ticket sales are up 19.26% over last year. As he has done in the past, he delves into the shady nature of the Wilpons' finances. This time he looks at the seemingly contradictory nature of soaring ticket sales but lack of spending by ownership along with the timing of the announcement as Jeff Wilpon faces charges of unfairly firing the previous head of ticket sales.

Lefty reliever Dana Eveland, who spent last season with the Mets, has signed with the Red Sox. As such, Adam Rubin wrote about the state of the competition for the Mets' second left-handed reliever.

The IRS auctioned off the remainder of Darryl Strawberry's deferred salary from the Mets. The winning bidder paid $1.3 million for the rights to receive approximately $2 million over the next 18.5 years.

Minor league pitcher Steven Matz landed at number eight for MLB's list of left-handed pitching prospects. Read the scouting report on him here.

Around the NL East

Amid rumors that the Nationals could look to trade star pitcher Stephen Strasburg after signing Max Scherzer, his agent Scott Boras said that Strasburg wants to stay with the Nationals and called the rumors "inaccurate." Nationals' ownership also echoed the sentiments that they wish to keep the rotation intact.

The Braves signed Kelly Johnson to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Johnson was drafted by the Braves and played four seasons for them, but has since had stints with six other teams.

The Marlins are considering signing Ichiro Suzuki as their fourth outfielder. Fish Stripes looked at the possibility he reaches 3,000 hits in the major leagues.

The Good Phight ran several articles discussing the future of Cole Hamels. Eric Chesterton evaluated Hamels' value on the market after the Scherzer signing, while John Stolnis debated the merits of the Phillies throwing in cash to get a deal done.

Around the Major Leagues

With the Scherzer signing, James Shields is now the best available starting pitcher, and Jayson Stark reported that teams are jumping back into the bidding for his services. He is said to be seeking a five year deal worth $125 million.

Alex Rodriguez is working out with Barry Bonds now, and that's just fine, says Ken Davidoff.

Johan Santana suffered a setback in his attempt to return to the major leagues. He has been shut down in his native Venezuela due to shoulder problems.

Blue Jays pitching prospect Daniel Norris spends part of his offseason living in his old Volkswagen van and exploring the outdoors.

Yu Darvish has been throwing and is expected to be fully ready for the 2015 season. He was shut down in 2014 due to elbow inflammation.

Major League Baseball has reportedly come to terms with the NCAA over moving the draft from June to July. This will primarily be done to accommodate players participating in the NCAA tournament. However, it is unclear how this will affect the beginning of the short-season minor league affiliates.

Dontrelle Willis signed a minor league deal with the Brewers. He has not pitched in the majors since 2011.

Yesterday at AA

Matt Harvey is awesome. Steve Schreiber wanted you to remember this, so he put together a collection of GIFs and videos to showcase Harvey's awesomeness.

Bryan Brandom defended the offseason moves, or lack thereof,  by Sandy Alderson. While he admits that the front office's moves were limited, he notes the financial limitations it faced and that the Mets should still be a better team in 2015 than they were in 2014.

Today in Mets History

19 years ago the Mets acquired Bernard Gilkey from the Cardinals. He put up solid numbers during the 1996 season but ultimately saw his numbers decline in subsequent years and was traded to the Diamondbacks in 1998.