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Mets Morning News: Mets hold Cespedes press conference, avoid arbitration with Jeurys Familia

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

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Meet the Mets

Jeurys Familia and the Mets avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year $4.1 million deal.

The Mets could look to try Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki at positions other than catcher, said Sandy Alderson. A possible scenario would be having one of them fill in for Lucas Duda against lefties, since the Mets have no clear backup first baseman.

Michael Conforto could also find himself in a different spot at times. The Mets will reportedly try him out in right field during spring training.

The Mets are targeting a return of July 1 for Zack Wheeler. He underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2015.

While Alejandro De Aza was signed to play regularly as part of a platoon with Juan Lagares, the signing of Yoenis Cespedes has pushed him further down the depth chart. As a result, Sandy Alderson could see teams approaching the Mets about a trade.

Michael Baumann wrote about the remarkable unremarkability of new Mets second baseman Neil Walker.

Around the NL East

The Braves are reportedly going to make a push for Cuban teenager Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango, who is number eight on's list of international prospects.

After designating him for assignment on Monday, the Phillies traded former top pick Jesse Biddle to the Pirates. In 2015, Biddle had a 4.95 ERA across two levels.

Around MLB

Brewers general manager David Stearns stated that there is no trade in the works involving catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Last month, Lucroy indicated to a reporter that he wanted to be dealt from Milwaukee.

The Mariners signed Korean first baseman/designated hitter Lee Dae-Ho to a contract. The deal is for one year, and he could earn $4 million if he hits incentives.

Reliever Hideki Okajima signed a minor league deal with the Orioles. The 40-year-old lefty has not appeared in the majors since 2013.

Catcher Miguel Olivo also signed a minor league deal. He spent 2015 in the Mexican league. In 2014, he was released by the Dodgers after a brawl in which he bit Alex Guerrero's ear during a Triple-A game.

This Date in Mets History

In 1963, the new stadium being built for the Mets was officially named for William Shea, the lawyer who helped bring about the creation of the team. It would be more than a year before the Mets played in the stadium.