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The countdown to Opening Day is down to six.
What we learned: A lot, actually. Jon Niese felt no pain after his first bullpen session since undergoing an MRI on his left shoulder. Kyle Farnsworth will re-sign with the Mets. Matt Harvey will headquarter his rehab in New York, not Florida. Dillon Gee will pitch Opening Day. And the Mets have hired an assistant hitting coach.
What we wrote:
- Mets 5, Marlins 3: Matsuzaka allows one run in bid for rotation
- Gee officially named Opening Day starter
- Mets having Flores work at short in Minors
- Niese on track after successful ‘pen session
- Reports: Harvey to rehab elbow at Citi Field
- Mets name Natera as assistant to Hudgens
- Farnsworth to sign new Minors deal with Mets
Around the league:
- In pitching-rich NL East, Nats primed to rise to the top
- Yu Darvish scratched from Opening Day start
- Braves add veteran Aaron Harang after cutting Freddy Garcia
They said it:
“It’s a big honor obviously for them to trust me with that day and give that to me. I’m very thankful for that opportunity.” –Gee on his Opening Day start
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The Mets lost one of their primary free agent targets Friday morning when Jeff Francis reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Royals.
Though he may never have been the Mets’ top starting pitcher target — they have been in talks with Chris Young for weeks — the deal should nonetheless affect them. In addition to losing the bargaining power of talking to Francis, the Mets now must come with the fact that the other teams after him — the Yankees, for one — now may focus more of their energies on Young.
If the Mets cannot land Young, they may turn toward Dave Bush or Freddy Garcia instead. Earlier this month, the club signed Chris Capuano to a heavily incentive-laden one-year deal worth a base of $1.5 million; they would like to do acquire another starter on similar terms.
—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.