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Mets Morning News: Mr. Smile poised to be a superstar in Queens

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

New York Mets v Houston Astros Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

Tom Verducci wrote a feature on Francisco Lindor that is the cover story in the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated.

Roburt Murray reviewed the latest on the Francisco Lindor extension talks and what an extension might look like for Fansided.

Lindor is confident about the talent he brings to baseball. “I am the best shortstop in the game,” he said to Sarah Valenzuela of the New York Daily News.

On the one year anniversary of spring training being suspended, Justin Toscano spoke to Mets players about a year of playing pandemic-era baseball.

Pete Alonso is really happy with how his spring is going so far and is ready to put last season behind him.

During the most recent installment of The Cookie Club, Dominic Smith discussed how Joey Votto helped him improve his approach at the plate.

Free agent Maikel Franco will be making a decision soon on which team he will sign with. The Braces are the latest team reported to be in the mix, but the Mets and Orioles have also been interested in the righty third baseman.

Tim Britton of The Athletic took a look at how the Mets should construct their batting order this season.

Tomas Nido was a last minute scratch in yesterday’s spring training game due to a left foot contusion he sustained when fouling a ball off his foot during batting practice on Thursday.

In his latest Mets notebook, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com argues that defensive wizard Luis Guillorme should be playing third base whenever Marcus Stroman pitches.

Around the National League East

The Braves will have Truist Park at 33% capacity to begin the 2021 season.

Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post wrote a feature on the bond Andrew Stevenson has with his brother, who has Down syndrome.

Around Major League Baseball

After fifteen seasons in the big leagues, Nick Markakis officially retired from baseball. “I just think it’s my time,” he said. “My No. 1 decision and my main focus on this is obviously my kids and my family. I’ve been fortunate enough to do this for a very long time and not many people get to do what I’ve gone through. I’m thankful for every second and every minute.”

A group of MLB.com writers reviewed the players across baseball who are a “must watch” in 2021. Francisco Lindor is among them.

The Athletic curated an oral history of Zack Greinke’s career, collecting stories form various players who were teammates of his. They all agree: he’s a different type of player, but they love him for it.

Cleveland traded Mike Freeman to the Reds in exchange for cash considerations.

A sports gambler pleaded guilty on Wednesday to threatening to kill four Tampa Bay Rays players in their Instagram direct messages after a loss in 2019.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Chris McShane previewed Yennsy Díaz’s season and Christian Romo did the same for catcher David Rodriguez.

This Date in Mets History

Johan Santana, who remains the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter with the Mets, celebrates a birthday today.