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Mets Morning News: Mets say goodbye to the Leather Rocket, get ready for Sunday Night Baseball

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

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets will make their 2016 debut a day earlier than we initially thought! The opening game versus Kansas City has been moved to Sunday night, April 3 and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

Left-handed reliever Jack Leathersich no longer plays for New York, as the Cubs claimed him off of waivers yesterday.

Rumored Mets free agent target Joakim Soria is reportedly seeking a three-year deal this offseason. The right-handed reliever played for Detroit and Pittsburgh in 2015.

Another bullpen arm, Darren O'Day, is said to be a catalyst in the free agent market.

Noah Syndergaard, who has been thoroughly enjoying New York since the season ended, says he wants to be a Met for life.

Around the National League East

Washington's Bryce Harper took home the NL MVP Award on Thursday night. He didn't turn 23 years old until October.

Even though he's a young, controllable asset, there's still a chance that the Phillies trade relief pitcher Ken Giles this winter.

If the Marlins want to sign Adeiny Hechavarria to a long-term deal, they might have to pay him more than they're paying Christian Yelich.

Over at Talking Chop, you can vote on the top Braves celebration of 2015.

Around the majors

Josh Donaldson beat out Mike Trout and everyone else for American League MVP honors.

The 2016 regular season will begin on a Sunday afternoon, with the Cardinals taking on the Pirates to start a trio of games on ESPN networks.

The Marlins and Pirates will play a two-game series in Puerto Rico this May to honor Roberto Clemente Day.

Other changes coming next season include expanded safety nets and in-market streaming of live games.

Sports On Earth tries to find the bargain version of every big-name free agent.

This FanGraphs chat with old friend Eno Sarris has some good Mets tidbits inside.

Yesterday at Amazin' Avenue

It took a persistent Google Now notification to finally bring Nathan Gismot into the offseason.

This date in Mets history

A pair of Mets pitching legends won Rookie of the Year Awards.