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Mets Morning News: Yo’s ready to go, but Smith still sidelined by quad discomfort

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

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

Yoenis Cespedes played in a minor league intrasquad game yesterday and says he is ready to go for Opening Day. He was even upbeat enough to crack a joke: “I’m not going to be able to play anymore —ever. Forever. No, I’m fine.”

Michael Conforto also continues to play in minor league games. The Mets offense very much depends on Cespedes and Conforto being healthy and providing a powerful one-two punch in the lineup, Matt Ehalt writes.

Dominic Smith being healthy before the Mets break camp is uncertain, however. He still cannot run without discomfort in his strained quad.

Swarzak is back! He pitched a perfect inning in yesterday’s game against the Nationals and is expected to be ready for opening day.

To round out our updates on injured Mets, Jason Vargas is still sore after taking a comebacker to the hand on Friday. However, his X-rays were negative, and he felt optimistic after getting a CT scan. He plans to see a hand specialist and the Mets still feel he will be ready for the first time through the rotation, especially given the off days in the schedule early in the season.

Trade rumors have begun buzzing around Rafael Montero, who has not had a good spring showing and is out of options. Nothing is imminent, but apparently he has drawn some interest.

Monique Gooden, the ex-wife of former Met Dwight Gooden, was “disgusted” with ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary “Doc & Daryl.” She believes it painted a one-sided picture of the family man she knows.

Around the National League East

Jeremy Hellickson talked to the Washington Post about how he was simply glad to get a call from a team—any team. The fact that it was a team with playoff aspirations was just icing on the cake.

Braves prospect Ronald Acuna hit another home run yesterday. It was a blast.

Amid much fanfare, Jake Arrieta threw a simulated game at the Phillies’ minor league complex yesterday. He showcased all of his pitches and broke two of Jorge Alfaro’s bats.

Marlins shortstop JT Riddle played in the field for the first time since having season-ending shoulder surgery in July of last season. The Marlins are starting to feel hopeful that he may be ready for Opening Day after all.

The Marlins are hoping that Isan Diaz—the centerpiece of the Christian Yelich trade—is their second baseman of the future.

Around Major League Baseball reviews the players that are out of options for every MLB club. Of course, for the Mets, the only player for whom this is a factor is Rafael Montero.

In a move prompted by the news that Jharel Cotton will have Tommy John surgery, the Athletics signed Trevor Cahill.

Shohei Ohtani has struggled mightily this spring, leading to speculation that he may start the season in the minor leagues.

Joel Sherman discusses the decline in interest in older players in baseball, which is perhaps leading to some premature retirements. He also lists five veterans in their thirties who have something to prove this season; Adrian Gonzalez is one of them.

Clint Frazier is an example of the evolution in baseball’s approach to concussions.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Chris McShane detailed the update on Dominic Smith.

This Date in Mets History

On March 18, 2000, the Mets gave up what would have been a reunion with Jesse Orosco to acquire Joe McEwing from the Cardinals. Also on this date in 2011, Luis Castillo and the Mets parted ways. Even though Castillo contributed much more as a Met than McEwing ever did, they are remembered very differently by the fanbase. One can have a few theories about that, but a certain dropped fly ball may have something to do with it.