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Mets Morning News: Proving they belong

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

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Arizona Fall League All Star Game Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

Edwin Diaz has a “big set of cojones” and he’s looking to bring that mentality, which he credits to his parents, to Queens.

After an extended look in the majors last season, both Drew Smith and Tyler Bashlor are fighting for the final couple of bullpen slots with the big league club in spring training.

Peter Alonso knows that fairly or unfairly, there is a chance he may not be coming north with the Mets after spring training, especially given the situation with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who Alonso says “deserves to be up there.” But Alonso wants to “force someone’s hand” and win the first base job, having worked especially hard on his defense.

Tim Tebow turned down an opportunity with the Alliance of American Football league, saying he is “all in” on baseball.

Laura Albanese tells the inspiring story of former Met, Ed Hearn, who has survived a wide array of health issues, as well as a suicide attempt, and now uses his story to help others.

Around the National League East

While much of the focus when it comes to the Nationals has been how they will survive post-Harper, Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post writes that they are a plenty formidable club already without him.

A lot of the Nationals’ success will depend on their big free agent acquisition, Patrick Corbin.

Andrew Simon writes about where Bryce Harper would slot in the lineup and in the field for the Phillies and how it would change their 2019 projections, should he choose to sign with them.

Freddie Freeman is happy with what the Braves have done this offseason.

Ronald Acuña Jr. prefers to stay in the leadoff spot in the lineup in 2019.

Marlins Rule 5 pick Riley Ferrell is hoping he can help the team as a piece in their bullpen in 2019.

Around Major League Baseball

Today in “in the best shape of his life” headlines, we have the legendary Ichiro showing up to Mariners camp looking as good as ever, to much fanfare. “He’s like a folk hero,’’ Jay Bruce said of Ichiro. “There’s this mystique about him. Greatness speaks for itself. I mean, he’s a first-name-only guy. Ichiro. That’s awesome. I’ll always be able to tell everybody that I played with Ichiro.’’

The rumors continue to swirl that Bryce Harper may be making his decision any day now.

The Giants signed Cameron Maybin to a minor league deal.

Zack Greinke has no desire to be traded.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

David Capobianco discussed the issue of color commentators in baseball who lack enthusiasm for today’s game.

This Date in Mets History

Happy birthday to Roger Craig, the man who pitched the first game in New York Mets franchise history.