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Mets Morning News: Long balls abound in first Mets spring training contest

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

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MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Washington Nationals Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets played their first spring training game yesterday, defeating the Nationals 6-2. Luis Guillorme, Dominic Smith, and Nick Plummer all took Josiah Gray deep in the first inning.

Yesterday’s game saw Howie Rose return to the booth after his medical leave and he has been overwhelmed by the fans’ support.

Thomas Szapucki was optioned to minor league camp to ensure he throws enough innings to stay stretched out as a starter.

Big time foodie Mark Canha is very excited to find himself in one of the best food cities in the country.

“Real calmness about him,” Buck Showalter said of Eduardo Escobar, who is already taking on a leadership role in the clubhouse. “He doesn’t need to show anybody — those guys are always trying to show everybody what a good guy they are. You see people are drawn to him very quickly. Much like Robbie [Cano] and a lot of our guys. Those types of guys bring a certain calmness through storms.”

Steve Cohen acting as baseball’s “Goliath” and eliciting fans’ ire is good for the game, writes Joel Sherman of the Post.

Tyler Kepner of the New York Times wrote a profile on Mets GM Billy Eppler and his recipe for success.

According to reports from Andy Martino of SNY, Michael Conforto turned down an extension “in the $100 million range” prior to the 2021 season.

Both the Mets and Yankees saw their division rivals add to their rosters substantially immediately after the lockout.

Dominic Smith has used video to improve his swing, watching footage of some of the best in the game.

Around the National League East

The Marlins signed free agent outfielder Jorge Soler to a three-year, $36 million contract with opt-outs after each of the first two years.

The Braves signed infielder Phil Gosselin to a minor league deal.

It was an eventful Grapefruit League game for Phillies announcer Tom McCarthy, as he was hit by a foul ball in the chest during the game (he is okay).

Nationals third baseman Carter Kieboom suffered a strained flexor mass in his throwing elbow and will likely miss Opening Day.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez is enjoying more spring training night games this season.

In a decision by MASN—the network on which both Nationals and Orioles games air—Nationals and Orioles broadcast teams will not be traveling to road games to start the 2022 season, unlike most of their colleagues.

Around Major League Baseball

The Reds signed former Met Sam McWilliams to a minor league deal.

The Twins signed Joe Smith to a one-year, $2.25 million deal.

Lefty Drew Smyly reached an agreement with the Cubs—a one-year deal worth $5.25 million, plus $2.5 million in incentives.

Carlos Correa and Freddie Freeman could wind up being missed opportunities for the Yankees, writes Joel Sherman of the Post. But it’s also possible the Bronx Bombers could end up being rewarded for their cautious approach.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 1961, the Yankees announced that they would not allow the fledgling National League New York franchise use their stadium for home games.