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Mets Morning News: Happy Birthday Lucas Duda, here's $4.2 million

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

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Meet the Mets

Lucas Duda celebrates his 29th birthday today after agreeing to a one-year, $4.2 million deal with the Mets that avoided arbitration. The Mets have now reached agreements with all six of their arbitration-eligible players.

According to Adam Rubin's math, the Mets have officially—and likely temporarily—exceeded the $100 million payroll benchmark. Rising Apple's Danny Abriano disagrees with Rubin's assessment.

Sandy Alderson went on MLB Network’s "High Heat" with Christopher Russo. After answering a couple farcical questions about the 1988-90 Oakland Athletics, Alderson addressed a few things regarding the 2015 New York Mets.

Travis d'Arnaud spoke to the Post about the upcoming season, how excited he and Anthony Recker are about working with the Mets' pitching staff, and the fact that he was much more relaxed at the plate after his minor league stint in the middle of last season.

Mets360 examines the Mets’ potential championship window.

On this date in 1983, the Mets signed Ed Hearn to a minor league free-agent contract. He would later become Gary Carter’s primary backup during the 1986 championship season. Hearn would be included in the trade for David Cone in March 1987.

Around the National League East

The Nationals officially announced their signing of reliever Casey Janssen.

After getting hit in the face with a pitch, $325 million outfielder Giancarlo Stanton plans to wear a face guard in 2015. According to this FoxSports piece, Stanton is still getting dental surgeries for the season-ending injury that he suffered in September.

Phillies third baseman Cody Asche is getting reps in left field this offseason as highly touted prospect Maikel Franco looms.

After the front office dismantled the team, Braves players are going through their "chip on the shoulder" phase. Boys, listen to Mets fans on this one. This isn't going to end well for you.

Around the Majors

The Rockies signed free agent reliever John Axford to a minor league contract that could be worth up to $4.1 million if he makes the major league roster.

James Shields remains as the biggest free agent yet to sign with a team this offseason.

FanGraphs released the New York Yankees ZiPS projections for 2015.

Dave Cameron searches for a baseball equivalent of throwing a pass on the one yard line.

John Sickels released his Top 20 Chicago White Sox prospects.