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Mets Morning News: Michael Conforto exits spring game with back stiffness, Bartolo Colon has no retirement plans

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

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets dropped a Grapefruit League game to the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Bartolo Colon struck out six over six scoreless innings. The Mets lone run came on a home run by minor league outfielder Patrick Biondi.

Michael Conforto exited the game due to back stiffness. He attributed the ailment to a long bus ride and not getting properly warmed up before the game.

Colon has no plans to retire in the immediate future. The 42-year-old is under contract with the Mets through this season, and will evaluate his career on a year-to-year basis.

Steven Matz is very much still learning, writes Marc Carig. Matz has struggled this spring, but retired the final seven batters he faced against the Yankees in his last Grapefruit League start.

Yoenis Cespedes is a pioneer among the most recent wave of Cuban baseball players to come to America, writes John Harper.

David Wright did a ten-minute interview on WOR. In it, he discussed his spinal stenosis and his expectations for the 2016 season.

Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom were both photographed and interviewed for Forbes Magazine. Harvey's can be found here, and deGrom's here.

Mrs. Met showed off her engagement ring on Twitter for National Proposal Day.

Around the NL East

The Phillies named Jeremy Hellickson their Opening Day starter. Hellickson is coming off a season in which he had a 4.62 ERA and 4.44 FIP for Arizona.

The Nationals reassigned pitcher Lucas Giolito to minor league camp. Giolito is widely considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.

The Braves reportedly had been willing to go to six years to sign Justin Upton, the same number that was offered by the Tigers. However, they did not want match the money that ultimately swayed Upton.

Around MLB

During the game against the Mets, Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was hit on the hand by a pitch from Colon. He exited the game, but x-rays came back negative.

Construction is progressing on a Palm Beach facility that will be the site of spring of training for the Nationals and Astros. This will be of particular importance for the Mets, since it will increase the number of teams on the east coast of Florida.

Alex Rodriguez intends to retire after the 2017 season when his contract expires. It will be his 23rd season in the big leagues.

Cole Hamels has been named the Opening Day starter for the Rangers. The decision was made easier by the fact that Yu Darvish is still recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Justin Masterson will have a pitching showcase for teams on Monday. He has struggled recently, posting 5.61 ERA over just 59.1 innings for the Red Sox this past season.

Yesterday at AA

Steve Schreiber wondered what other Mets' players would look like with Jacob deGrom's hair. Check out the results!

This Date in Mets History

In 2002, minor leaguer Jason Bay was acquired by the Mets in a trade with the Expos that saw Lou Collier sent to the Montreal. Bay would subsequently be traded by the Mets, but later returned as a free agent in 2009.