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Mets Morning News: Pitchers and catchers officially report, Sandy Alderson speaks

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

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

In his second season in the big leagues, Michael Conforto will take on an expanded role with the Mets. After mostly facing right-handed pitchers last year, he will now face lefties as well. He'll also see some time in right field in spring training.

The Rangers could be in the market for an outfielder, and Alejandro De Aza is reportedly an option. Whether they attempt to acquire an outfielder would be dependent on the health of Josh Hamilton.

The Mets will monitor David Wright's playing time this spring in order to keep his back healthy over the course of the season.

In an essay for The Players' Tribune, Jeurys Familia discussed his new walkout music that he is producing with Dominican musician Zacarias Ferreira. In the past, Familia entered games to the sound of "Danza Kuduro."

Former Mets infielder Edgardo Alfonzo will again be part of the Cyclones' coaching staff in 2016. He will serve as the team's bench coach, alongside manager Tom Gamboa.

Around the NL East

The Nationals signed right-handed pitcher Matt Belisle to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training. Belisle pitched in 34 games for the Cardinals in 2015, posting a 2.67 ERA.

At Talking Chop, the writers offered predictions for the Braves' top 10 prospects in 2015.

Left-handed pitcher Matt Harrison is not expected at Phillies spring training in the near future. He has dealt with back issues for several years and has not pitched for the Phillies since being acquired in 2015 as a part of the trade that sent Cole Hamels to Texas.

Signed to a minor league deal, reliever Craig Breslow has a chance to crack the 25-man roster with the Marlins. Breslow had a 4.15 ERA over 65 innings with the Red Sox last year.

Around MLB

The Orioles are reportedly discussing a multi-year deal with outfielder Dexter Fowler. The deal could be for two or three years, and worth $12-to-13 million per year.

D.J. LeMahieu signed a two-year deal with the Rockies, avoiding arbitration in the process.

The Rays are reportedly "close" to signing left-handed reliever Ryan Webb. In 2015, Webb logged 51 innings with the Indians, recording a 3.20 ERA.

Scott Boras expects the Rangers to sign Adrian Beltre to an extension. As of now, he will become a free agent after the 2016 season.

The Yankees will be forbidding the use of tickets that were printed at home. The move is ostensibly to prevent fraud, but, in reality, has more to do with the Yankees' partnership with Ticketmaster.

Yesterday at AA

Our series reviewing the 2015 season wrapped up with David Wright.

This Date in Mets History

February 18 is the birthday of eight people with ties to the Mets organization, including former pitcher Shawn Estes. Happy birthday to him and all of the others!