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Mets Morning News: Still crowded in the corners

Your Friday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

MLB: New York Mets at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

Sandy Alderson told reporters he’s content with carrying Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce on the roster heading into spring training.

The Daily News’ John Harper argues why that’s not such a good idea.

The Mets will play their final spring training game in 2017 against Army at West Point on March 31.

The Mets are utilizing a “file-and-trial” policy in negotiating contracts for arbitration-eligible players. This means the franchise and players will only negotiate until Friday’s 1 p.m. deadline. If a figure isn’t agreed upon, the case goes to arbitration.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball grades the top 20 Mets prospects.

Around the NL East

The Braves will construct a statue in tribute of Hank Aaron at the new SunTrust Park. The stadium will also feature a terrace, bat sculpture, and more in honor of the Hall of Famer.

Fish Stripes laments losing out on Drew Smyly, whom the Rays traded to the Mariners on Wednesday.

After shortstop Freddy Galvis exploded for 20 home runs in 2016, the Phillies rewarded him with a $4.35 million salary for 2017, avoiding arbitration.

The Nationals inked 37-year-old lefty reliever Neal Cotts to a minor league contract. He held lefties to a .178/.243/.330 line over 63.1 innings for the Brewers and Twins in 2016.

Around the Majors

Grant Brisbee wonders if the Mariners’ flurry of trades has actually made them better.

Last season’s home run champ, Mark Trumbo, still doesn’t have a team.

FanGraphs’ Paul Swydan makes a compelling argument for a better-than-expected Yankees season in 2017.

Yesterday at AA

The Mets and first baseman Lucas Duda avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year, $7.25 million contract for 2017.

David Capobianco explores the team’s difficulty in clearing up their outfield situation.

There are five former Mets on the Hall of Fame ballot: Gary Sheffield, Jeff Kent, Billy Wagner, Mike Cameron, and Melvin Mora.

This Date in Mets History

In 1981, the Mets drafted Herm Winningham on this date. Three years later, he was part of the trade that brought Gary Carter to New York.