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Mets Morning News: Looking for lefties in all the wrong places

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

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Meet the Mets

John Franco will serve as a guest instructor during spring training this year. Or maybe he'll be the second lefty out of the bullpen we've been waiting for. Who knows?

Ken Davidoff talked to Franco about his efforts to build up youth baseball in New York City.

Jared Diamond spoke to the fan who is raising money to put up an anti-Wilpon billboard message in Queens.

The blood drive hosted by the Mets on Thursday was a big hit with fans. Hopefully they didn't reject any of the orange and blue blood.

On this date in Mets history: In 2005, Carlos Beltran signed with the Mets.

Around the National League East

The Braves agreed to trade a pair of prospects to Anaheim in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Ricardo Sanchez.

The Nationals are not pursuing Ben Zobrist, but Ken Rosenthal reckons that they ought to.

One reason why Zobrist fits with the Nats: Jayson Werth is expected to miss two or three months due to shoulder surgery.

Around the Majors

The Cardinals are said to be looking for another ace to pair with Adam Wainwright. Max Scherzer is still a free agent and either Cole Hamels or David Price could be had for the right prospect package.

Craig Goldstein answers your questions about the next hot Cuban import, 29-year-old second baseman Hector Olivera.

C.J. Nitkowski finds it curious that Jeff Bagwell hasn't been voted into the Hall of Fame when his career accomplishments are similar to those of the recently enshrined Frank Thomas.

Rob Neyer says that it might be a while until we see another pitcher voted into the Hall.

Platoon first baseman Gaby Sanchez is taking his talents to Japan.

The Cubs' spring training field will be named after a toilet company this year. It will also be named after E's girlfriend from Entourage.

The college football title game has sparked a friendly wager between minor league baseball teams.

Yankees prospect Ty Hensley was seriously injured over the holidays in a brutal assault.

Yesterday at Amazin' Avenue

Josh A. Barnes did some research on 22-year-old sluggers that shows why Wilmer Flores has a great chance of becoming a solid hitter.

Matt Varvaro continued his underrated series with three defensive-minded shortstops.

2015 AARGH is set for February 7 in midtown Manhattan. Read all about it here.