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Mets Morning News: Mets unwilling to part with pick, Mickey mingles with the pitchers

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

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MLB: New York Mets at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

Ken Rosenthal reported that the Mets seem very hesitant to give up their second-round draft pick and international pool money to sign Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb. Instead, they are among several teams “picking over” the remaining free-agent starters, including Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas, Jaime Garcia, Jeremy Hellickson, and John Lackey.

Mickey Callway has arrived in Port St. Lucie and he continues to emphasize that he will maintain an open line of communication with his players. At First Data Field, he is already watching his pitchers throw bullpens and starting to work with them, making a strong first impression.

Yoenis Cespedes is impressed with Juan Lagares’s new and improved swing, saying that he looks “way better.”

Joe Curci, the Executive Producer of Mets baseball on WOR, announced today that he is leaving the station to move on to a new endeavor.

Mike Puma outlines the key Mets storylines entering spring training and the current depth chart.

Mets minor leaguer Colby Woodmansee pledged to donate $10 to the effort to end Alzheimer’s for every hit he gets this spring. This comes on the heels of the story of Bud Harrelson’s battle with the disease.

Around the National League East

The Houston Astros have had some trade discussions with the Marlins about catcher J.T. Realmuto. The Marlins are asking for top prospect Kyle Tucker in return.

Don Mattingly said that he is “excited” about the upcoming Marlins’ season...with a straight face.

Phillies minor-leaguer Steve Geltz was suspended for 100 games by Major League Baseball, following a third failed drug test. It appears his drug use was recreational, rather than performance-enhancing. He would have perhaps had the chance to crack the Phillies bullpen out of camp.

A.J. Cole is the current frontrunner for the Nationals’ 5th rotation spot. projects the Nationals’ 25-man roster for 2018.

Mike Foltynewicz lost his arbitration case against the Braves—the case with the smallest gap in disputed salaries since 1994.

In a tragic incident, ex-Brave Williams Perez accidentally killed his pitching coach in Venezuela when a firearm he was handing to Cesar Quintero discharged unexpectedly.

Around Major League Baseball

In a long-anticipated moment, Yu Darvish was finally signed by the Cubs for six years, $126 million—with the chance to earn up to $150 million in incentives. With Darvish off the table, the market may start to take shape. Jon Morosi reported that the Yankees’ plan to continue to bolster their roster may become clearer soon.

Rick Porcello is working hard to have a bounce-back season after the disappointing 2017 campaign that followed his Cy Young Award season.

The 2018 spring training games for the Yankees will undoubtedly be their most well-attended in many years. Ken Davidoff writes about the hype.

Joel Sherman counted down the most interesting people in baseball in 2018, with Shohei Ohtani leading the pack. Matt Harvey, Tim Tebow, and Yoenis Cespedes earned spots on the list.

John Harper gave us 10 storylines to follow this spring. Unsurprisingly, Ohtani tops his list as well, along with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton together in pinstripes. Mickey Callaway’s first season as Mets skipper comes in at #6.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 1987, reigning World Series MVP Ray Knight made the choice to sign with the Orioles, rather than taking more money to stay in Queens. Relevant to the current offseason, there is a possibility that he was a victim of collusion on the part of owners that kept salaries depressed between 1985 and 1987.