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Mets Morning News: deGrom sharp in spring debut, will start on Opening Day for third straight season

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

New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom throws batting practice during spring training workout

Meet the Mets

The Mets ultimately decided to stay out of the multi-year center field market. Will they regret that decision? Joel Sherman of the Post considers the question.

Tim Britton of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the Mets’ three biggest flaws: defense, holding runners on, and baserunning.

“Nothing to report on my end,” Michael Conforto said yesterday when asked about extension talks, although that is “not necessarily abnormal.”

The Mets (and other teams too) saw changes in Sam McWilliams’ mechanics that made him a top target for them this offseason.

Taijuan Walker will make his Mets spring training debut on Tuesday against the Cardinals.

In a truly shocking development, Jacob deGrom will pitch on Opening Day. He will join Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and Johan Santana as the only Mets pitchers to do so three years in a row.

deGrom looked very sharp in his spring debut against the Astros, touching triple digits with his fastball.

Ken Davidoff of the Post covers deGrom’s sustained velocity upswing since 2016.

“I don’t think there’s another pitcher like him in the rest of the league,” Edwin Díaz said about deGrom. “He’s from a different planet.”

In a decision that is very popular with the Amazin’ Avenue staff, Edwin Diaz will return to using “Narco” as his entrance music.

Diaz also made his Grapefruit League debut yesterday and he approached it like it was a game that mattered rather than an exhibition game.

Around the National League East

After concern that he’d been exposed to someone with COVID-19, Braves starter Max Fried has been cleared to rejoin the team and resume workouts and should make his spring debut in a few days.

Of the seven players with at least 100 stolen bases since 2017, Trea Turner has the highest slugging percentage (.469) and the most home runs (61). Tyler Kepner did an in-depth piece on the Nationals speedster for the New York Times.

Patrick Corbin was happy with his first outing of the spring.

Beyond the Box Score ran their Miami Marlins season preview.

Around Major League Baseball

Jake Odorizzi—the last major free agent available—signed a two-year deal with the Houston Astros yesterday.

Free agent Roberto Osuna will be holding a showcase on March 12 and has begun talking to teams.

Yankees starter Gerrit Cole is already noticing a difference with the new 2021 baseballs. “I haven’t come across anything strikingly weird, which is new,” he said. “I’m finding them comfortable, I’m finding that the grip is consistent.”

Jay Bruce is trying to make the Yankees roster.

Former Met and now top Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic has suffered an adductor strain in his left knee.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

We continued our season preview series with two players unlikely to crack the big league roster out of camp, but who could still make an impact: Jared Robinson and Franklyn Kilomé.

This Date in Mets History

Happy birthday to a less heralded player in Mets history: Jeff Kent.