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Mets Morning News: Mets avoid arbitration with Bobby Parnell, Flores still the heavy favorite for shortstop

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

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Meet the Mets

The Mets avoided salary arbitration with relief pitcher Bobby Parnell. Parnell, who missed all but one game last season after Tommy John surgery, agreed to a salary of $3.7 million, the same amount he made in 2014. He is expected to return to the Mets in May.

Sandy Alderson suggested that the chance the Mets would trade for Troy Tulowitzki is no more. He maintained that the Mets would go into the season with in-house options, namely Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada, and potentially Matt Reynolds further into the season.

Dillon Gee is still the most likely candidate to be traded of the Mets starting pitchers. With the return of Matt Harvey in 2015, the Mets have six starting pitchers at the major league level along with several capable arms in the high minors.

Craig Biggio recounted the story of his draft day in which he revealed he was almost drafted by the Mets. The Mets were interested in the Seton Hall product with the 24th pick, but he was snatched up by the Astros two spots earlier.

Around the NL East

The Marlins were reportedly open to trading catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia this offseason. Saltalamacchia signed a three year deal with Miami after a successful 2013 with the Red Sox but failed to live up to expectations in 2014.

Over at The Good Phight, John Stolnis examines how difficult it is to get into the Hall of Fame. In particular, he looks at the careers of the core players from the Phillies teams of 2007-2011 and wonders about their prospects.

The city of West Palm Beach is helping to smooth out the process of creating a spring training facility for the Nationals and Astros. This would place the two teams near the Mets' facility in St. Lucie, an area in which only a few teams have few spring training complexes.

The Braves officially announced the signings of catcher A.J. Pierzynski and relief pitcher Jason Grilli. They also announced the signing of relief pitcher Josh Outman.

Around the Major Leagues

The Yankees removed another shortstop option from the market by re-signing Stephen Drew to a one year deal. The deal is believed to be worth around $5 million with an addition $1-2 million in incentives.

Curt Schilling believes that his political affiliation negatively affected his chances of getting elected to the Hall of Fame. He incorrectly cited that John Smoltz is a Democrat, and as a result was received more positively by the voters.

Ichiro Suzuki reportedly has three suitors interested in his services. The Orioles, Marlins, and now Blue Jays have all shown some level of interest in the 41-year-old. Ichiro spent 2014 with the Yankees.

Barry Bonds believes he will eventually get in the Hall of Fame. He faces a difficult challenge as he only received 36.8% of the vote.

Yesterday at AA

Lukas Vlahos compared projections for the Mets and Marlins WAR totals to see which team is expected to have a better season in 2015. He then followed with his own projections. He finds that the Marlins are projected to finish slightly ahead of the Mets but notes that random variation across a season could easily result in the opposite outcome

This Day in Mets History

Twelve years ago catcher Gary Carter was elected to the Hall of Fame. Carter came to the Mets from Montreal via trade in 1984 and became an integral part of the 1986 team that won the World Series.