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Mets Morning News: Is Rob Manfred shifting away from defensive creativity?

Your Monday morning dose of New York Mets and Major League Baseball news, notes, and links.

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

Rising Apple is realizing that Zack Wheeler must pitch much better against the Nationals if the Mets hope to compete in 2015.

Mets 360 says that if Cesar Puello doesn't perform this season, he'll find himself being passed by even younger outfielders on the team's organizational depth chart.

On this date in Mets history: In 1989, Major League Baseball relaxed its balk rules a few months after the Mets set a franchise record with 40 balks in a season. Nowadays, the Mets can go almost a whole season without balking. Imagine that.

Around the National League East

Federal Baseball wonders what the Nationals will do with some of their contracts that expire after 2015. Should they hold onto everyone for the upcoming title run or make a deal to improve the future of the franchise?

Around the Majors

Rob Manfred said in an interview with ESPN that he would be open to eliminating defensive shifts. If put into action, this plan would ruin the Mets' strategy to play without a shortstop in 2015.

Fortunately, Mets fans weren't the only ones who thought Manfred was out of line.

Bill Baer suggests some other things that Manfred can do to make baseball more palatable for the casual fan.

The Blue Jays are no longer interested in acquiring Orioles general manager Dan Duquette. Baltimore was asking for some high-ranking prospects in exchange for Duquette's services.

Mets hero Endy Chavez has re-signed with the Mariners.

Meanwhile, the Brewers are thinking of bringing K-Rod back.

Yesterday at Amazin' Avenue

Al Jackson leads off Matt Varvaro's list of overlooked and underrated Mets starting pitchers.