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Mets Morning News: ESPN loves the Mets, the Matz loves to fish

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

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets may be ready to make a "splash" with free agent lefty Joe Thatcher. Or maybe not.

The Post has a nice profile on Steven Matz, who is best fishing buddies with Jacob deGrom.

Newsday previews the spring training bench battle between Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt den Dekker, and Eric Campbell.

ESPN sees the Mets as the 10th best team in baseball. From Bristol's mouth to Dickey's ears. ESPN New York on the other hand, isn't so optimistic.

With Kevin Burkhardt off to bigger and better things, Ron Darling is going to give play-by-play a shot during Gary's off days in spring training.

The Mets won't select a player until the 53rd pick in the 2015 draft. NJ.com reviews the recent history of 53rd overall picks. It isn't pretty.

This date in Mets history: David Cone signed on for one last run at glory in 2003.

Around the National League East

The Phillies have received four "real" offers regarding stud lefty Cole Hamels.

Young Atlanta right-hander Shae Simmons will miss the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery.

Miami is expected to host the 2017 All-Star Game. An official announcement may come today.

Around the Majors

The league office is considering altering the strike zone in order to boost offense.

Ben Lindbergh goes deeper into pitching framing than you probably ever wanted to go.

Ricky O'Donnell reminds us of how inspiring the Jackie Robinson West story is, even though the Little League squad was stripped of its United State title.

Grant Brisbee goes looking for next winter's Padres. He doesn't think it's the Mets, but maybe he's wrong.

James Shields says the number one reason he chose San Diego over the Cubs was winning. Very interesting.

In Pursuit of Pennants has named Pat Gillick the second best general manager of all time. No wonder the Phillies used to be so good.

Rodger Sherman says that these minor league gimmicks are getting out of hand.

Is it appropriate for the Cardinals to honor the late Oscar Taveras with a memorial jersey patch?

Yesterday at Amazin' Avenue

The Mets are looking into starting Ruben Tejada at shortstop when Jon Niese is on the mound, so Chris McShane checked the data to see if that's a good idea.

Rob Castellano continued the Top 25 Mets Prospects series with profiles of Gavin CecchiniMarcos Molina, and Amed Rosario.