Mets, Lagares nearing contract extension

Deal would buy out Gold Glover's arbitration years

Mets, Lagares nearing contract extension

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets are closing in on a contract extension with Gold Glove outfielder Juan Lagares, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. Yahoo Sports first reported that the deal would be worth $23 million over four seasons after 2015, with a $9.5 million fifth-year option potentially keeping Lagares in New York through the 2020 season.

The Mets have not commented on the deal because it is not final. Lagares confirmed late Wednesday morning that he has not put pen to paper, but that talks are ongoing.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flores ready to break through as key player for Mets

Entering his first full season in Majors, shortstop as confident as it gets

Flores ready to break through as key player for Mets

Part 3 of MLB.com's team-by-team Spring Training preview takes a look at one player integral to each club's success. With a nod to David Wright, Matt Harvey, Curtis Granderson and others, those players already have track records -- for better or for worse. Shortstop Wilmer Flores does not.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If there is a player within the Mets' clubhouse who rivals Matt Harvey in confidence, it is the skinny Venezuelan keeping to himself near the back of the room, fiddling with his phone or sharing a joke with Juan Lagares. Unlike Harvey, who flaunts his attitude via brashness on and off the mound, supermodel girlfriends and a gray Maserati, Wilmer Flores keeps his attitude bottled.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Collins: 'This is the year for our team to step up'

Manager sees Harvey's return, Wright's rebound as key to success

Collins: 'This is the year for our team to step up'

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Entering his fifth year as the Mets' manager, Terry Collins finds himself under as much pressure as anyone in the organization. Officially in win-now mode, the Mets believe general manager Sandy Alderson's four-year rebuild is complete. They expect to compete for a playoff berth. And at the forefront of their renaissance is Collins, who reveals his thoughts on the 2015 season in Part 2 of MLB.com's season preview.

MLB.com: It's been a rough camp in terms of injuries to the pitching staff. How does that change your outlook heading into the season?

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Niese continues Mets' impressive control streak

Left-hander extended staff's string to 13 consecutive innings without a walk

Niese continues Mets' impressive control streak

VIERA, Fla. -- Though an offensive renaissance has received most of the credit for the Mets' recent hot stretch (they've won 12 of their last 15 Grapefruit League games, scoring close to seven runs per day), it is not the only factor.

When Jon Niese walked no one over six shutout innings in Tuesday's 2-0 win over the Nationals, he extended the starting staff's streak to 13 consecutive innings without a free pass. Dating back to March 22, Mets starters have pitched 52 innings with eight walks, a total of 1.38 per nine.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mayberry goes deep to support strong start by Niese

Left-hander strikes out three over six scoreless innings

Mayberry goes deep to support strong start by Niese

VIERA, Fla. -- In their sixth and final meeting this spring before they face-off to start the season, the Mets defeated the Nationals 2-0 at Space Coast Stadium on Tuesday. New York will travel to Washington for the season opener at Nationals Park on April 6 in D.C.

Jon Niese held the Nationals to four hits while striking out three and not allowing a run in six innings. He is scheduled to make his first start of the regular season on Saturday, April 11 against the Braves.

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blevins excited about opportunity with Mets

Traded from Nationals on Monday, left-hander fans former teammate Harper in debut

Blevins excited about opportunity with Mets

VIERA, Fla. -- Jerry Blevins did not want to ride the bus -- too many ex-teammates, too much awkwardness. So he made the arrangements hastily, asking a former teammate to drive him from Jupiter, Fla., where the Nationals played on Monday, to Viera after the game. Once back in his old office, Blevins lugged his belongings from Space Coast Stadium's home clubhouse down the right-field line to the visitor's quarters across the way.

There was method to his madness. Once the Nationals dealt Blevins to the Mets for Matt den Dekker on Monday, breaking the news to him immediately after the game, Blevins sought to make as clean a break as possible.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alvarez reassigned to Minor League camp

Alvarez reassigned to Minor League camp

VIERA, Fla. -- Giving the Mets two new left-handers, Monday's bullpen makeover forced them to cut an in-house candidate who had been competing for an Opening Day job.

The Mets on Tuesday reassigned rookie Dario Alvarez to Minor League camp, leaving them with three big league left-handed relievers: new acquisitions Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres, plus Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin. The former two are locks to make the team, while the latter is also in excellent shape.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets add lefty relievers Torres, Blevins in pair of trades

With Edgin out, New York bolsters 'pen, deals prospect Mazzoni to SD, den Dekker to D.C.

Mets add lefty relievers Torres, Blevins in pair of trades

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Still smarting from Josh Edgin's season-ending elbow injury, the Mets addressed their left-handed relief problem in two quick strikes on Monday, acquiring Alex Torres from the Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named, then Jerry Blevins from the Nationals for outfielder Matt den Dekker.

"You've got to make moves," manager Terry Collins said. "You go in that room and you talk to these players, we were missing a piece. We talk about how successful we want to be. There was a piece we needed, and today we went out and filled that."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Could Montero unseat Gee in Mets' rotation?

Rookie throws six more shutout innings without walking one, remains possibility for fifth starter

Could Montero unseat Gee in Mets' rotation?

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Because the Mets think so highly of Dillon Gee, they announced he would return to the rotation mere hours after Zack Wheeler learned about the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow earlier this month. At the time, that seemed to be the end of the discussion. Gee would be in the rotation. Rafael Montero, if he pitched well enough, would be in the bullpen.

Yet in the two weeks since, Montero has not only pitched well enough to claim a bullpen spot, but brilliantly enough to make a serious dent in Gee's job security. Though Gee remains the favorite with less than a week left in camp, Montero could still sneak into the starting five.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Upbeat Wilpon addresses Mets in rare meeting

Upbeat Wilpon addresses Mets in rare meeting

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon has made himself scarce in public settings over the past half-decade. And while he continues to turn down interview requests on a regular basis, he has become a more visible presence at Mets camp, frequently meeting with manager Terry Collins before and after games.

That manifested itself in a different way early Monday morning, when Wilpon gathered everyone in big league camp for his first closed-door meeting with players in years. One player described the meeting as exceedingly positive and "very, very genuine," saying Wilpon expressed to the players how badly he wants to win.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fully revamped Mets ready to take on NL, rise above 79 wins

Fully revamped Mets ready to take on NL, rise above 79 wins

In part one of MLB.com's team-by-team season preview, we explore one number critical to each club's success. For the Mets, it's simple: 79.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- When Sandy Alderson took over as general manager in October 2010, the Mets were coming off a 79-win season. With two straight losing seasons in their past and an aging roster causing all sorts of issues, it was clear that their window of contention had closed.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montero fires zeros, while Duda plates five vs. Fish

Montero fires zeros, while Duda plates five vs. Fish

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Rookie Rafael Montero continued making decisions difficult for the Mets on Monday, delivering six shutout innings, while Lucas Duda drove in five runs in a 7-1 win over the Marlins at Tradition Field. With less than a week left in camp, Montero is making a late push for a rotation spot.

His efforts were enough to silence a Marlins lineup featuring most of Miami's biggest names. Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Martin Prado and Marcell Ozuna all finished hitless against Montero and the Mets, who won for the 11th time in 14 games.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets holding 'Amazin' Auction' for charity

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets on Monday announced the launch of their "Amazin' Auction," which offers memorabilia and experiences in support of the team's annual Welcome Home Dinner. The Mets Foundation will distribute the proceeds from each item to various charities, including the David Wright Foundation, Curtis Granderson's Grand Kids Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The auction is available at Mets.com/AmazinAuction. Experiences include a fantasy football draft with Wright, a pitching lesson from Matt Harvey, a hitting clinic with Granderson and hitting coach Kevin Long, a lunch with general manager Sandy Alderson, a fielding lesson with Daniel Murphy, a magic lesson from Michael Cuddyer and an outfield clinic with Juan Lagares. Memorabilia items include a signed Jacob deGrom jersey and a Lucas Duda autographed bat.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

den Dekker departs, but should still see plenty of Mets

Sent to Nationals in trade for Blevins, once touted prospect surprised by move

den Dekker departs, but should still see plenty of Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Matt den Dekker understood his place on a team featuring five other outfielders, all of them boasting more big league success than him. So when Mets manager Terry Collins called den Dekker into his office on Monday afternoon, the outfielder assumed he had been demoted to Minor League camp.

Instead, Collins told him he was heading to the Nationals in a trade for Jerry Blevins, with a chance to make the Opening Day roster of one of the National League's best teams.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duda may be starting to solve lefties at plate

New approach paying dividends

Duda may be starting to solve lefties at plate

JUPITER, Fla. -- The one knock on Lucas Duda's breakout season -- and certainly something giving the Mets pause as they consider handing Duda a long-term contract extension -- is his history against left-handed pitchers. Simply put, Duda has done next to nothing against them over the past three years. Worse, his same-sided production has waned even as his overall results have improved.

So it was refreshing for the Mets to see Duda rap out three hits against lefties in Sunday's win over the Cardinals, brandishing a new approach at the plate. Rather than try to crush home runs as he normally does against right-handed pitchers, Duda shortened up his swing enough to punch three singles through the infield -- two of them to the opposite field.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gee deals seven sharp in bid for rotation spot

Starter scatters seven hits across seven innings; Duda 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs

Gee deals seven sharp in bid for rotation spot

JUPITER, Fla. -- Infielder Matt Reynolds, who is making a final push for a spot on the Mets' bench, singled and scored the go-ahead run during the sixth inning of New York's 3-2 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.

Reynolds opened the inning with a hit off Cardinals reliever Seth Maness and moved to third on an Anthony Recker double. He then scored on a fielder's choice to push the Mets toward their Grapefruit League-best 16th win.

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Jenifer Langosch has been a reporter with MLB.com since 2007, first covering the Pirates and now the Cardinals.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

deGrom eyes bigger prize after Rookie of Year campaign

deGrom eyes bigger prize after Rookie of Year campaign

When it comes down to it, the only thing Jacob deGrom knows about the 2015 season is that he won't repeat his greatest career achievement. The National League Rookie of the Year honor the Mets right-hander won last year is a one-time deal, the one award that has an expiration date.

A player's second season is a once-in-a-career situation, as well, and the 6-foot-4 hurler with the long locks is heading into his so-called sophomore season with eyes wide open.

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John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reynolds has inside track on Opening Day start at second

Regular starter Murphy's lingering hamstring strain likely to keep him out

Reynolds has inside track on Opening Day start at second

JUPITER, Fla. -- At the dawn of Spring Training, it seemed near-impossible that Matt Reynolds would make the Mets. Though Reynolds broke out a year ago at Triple-A Las Vegas, the Mets already had their starting middle infield set with Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy. Giving Reynolds a bit more seasoning in the desert seemed apt.

But Reynolds' strong spring, combined with Murphy's lingering right hamstring strain, has cast uncertainty over the situation. With each passing day, it appears less and less likely that Murphy will heal in time for Opening Day, meaning the Mets must choose amongst Reynolds, Danny Muno or Ruben Tejada at second base.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gee reinforces grip on rotation

Right-hander gives up just two runs over seven innings Sunday vs. Cards

Gee reinforces grip on rotation

JUPITER, Fla. -- Publicly, the Mets have still not deemed Dillon Gee their fifth starter. But Gee continued to make that little more than a formality on Sunday, actually raising his ERA to 2.49 by giving up two runs over seven innings against the Cardinals.

"He was patented Dillon Gee," manager Terry Collins said. "He was working on stuff. For the first few innings, he didn't throw a lot of breaking stuff because he was trying to locate the fastball, work on the cutter and the change. He doesn't get caught up in anything except trying to go out and make sure he's ready to start the year. You look up and that's what you get: seven innings and quality work."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sources: Mets, Duda discussing long-term contract extension

First baseman could be signed into his early 30s

Sources: Mets, Duda discussing long-term contract extension

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets and Lucas Duda are discussing a long-term contract extension, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations, which would keep the first baseman in Flushing well into his 30s. The Mets have not publicly acknowledged the negotiations, and general manager Sandy Alderson declined comment on Saturday afternoon.

Duda, 29, is set to make $4.2 million this season as an arbitration-eligible player, more than twice what he earned a year ago. He is under team control through the 2017 season, meaning any extension would be at least four years long -- covering his final three years of team control plus his first year of free agency. Such a deal would take Duda at least through his age-32 season, guaranteeing him a measure of security while giving the Mets a proven cleanup hitter for the foreseeable future.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

deGrom gets better of Strasburg, with help from long ball

Granderson, Wright lead four-homer attack for Mets

deGrom gets better of Strasburg, with help from long ball

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jacob deGrom kept thriving, David Wright and Curtis Granderson kept mashing and everything continued going swimmingly for the Mets on Saturday in a 10-2 win over the Nationals.

Granderson and Wright hit back-to-back home runs off Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg in the third, giving deGrom all the cushion he would need. In his penultimate spring start, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year fired seven innings of one-run ball, the only damage coming on a leadoff homer by Bryce Harper in the sixth. That lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 2.45, tops amongst all pitchers with more than 20 innings.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cohen takes a look ahead to upcoming season

Mets broadcaster speaks with MLB.com before start of 2015 campaign

Cohen takes a look ahead to upcoming season

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- SNY's broadcast team of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling -- Gary, Keith and Ron, or simply GKR to Mets fans -- is entering its 10th season calling games on SNY. MLB.com recently caught up with Cohen to talk about this year.

MLB.com: The expectations for this Mets team are higher than they've been in half a decade. Are they warranted?

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets taking cautious approach with Black comeback

Given injuries, team fears rushing reliever back too soon

Mets taking cautious approach with Black comeback

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Though Vic Black enjoyed a successful return to the mound on Saturday, throwing a 22-pitch bullpen session late in the morning, his status for Opening Day remains tenuous. Black is looking at a progression that would have him return to game action next Wednesday, leaving essentially no margin for error between now and April 6.

"I'm good with what they end up deciding to do," said Black, who threw off a mound for the first time since the Mets diagnosed him with right shoulder tendinitis in mid-March. "The joy here is that my arm feels great, which means that I can help the team out when the time comes."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets reassign Rice, Castellanos, Bradford to Minors camp

Mets reassign Rice, Castellanos, Bradford to Minors camp

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Temperatures at Mets camp took a noticeable dip on Saturday morning, which only served to disguise how few calendar flips are left until Opening Day. As if to remind themselves, the Mets reassigned three more players to Minor League camp, reducing the number in big league camp to 36 -- or 33 not counting injured pitchers Zack Wheeler, Josh Edgin and Bobby Parnell. Almost everyone left in the clubhouse has a legitimate chance to make the team.

Saturday's cuts were left-handed reliever Scott Rice, right-hander Chasen Bradford and outfielder Alex Castellanos.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey celebrates b-day with breezy outing

Mets' ace fans five, allows one run in 4 1/3 innings against split Cardinals squad

Harvey celebrates b-day with breezy outing

JUPITER, Fla. -- Consider this mathematical improbability: Matt Harvey was one of four Mets players to celebrate a birthday on Friday, receiving an early-morning cake in the clubhouse alongside outfielder Michael Cuddyer and catcher Johnny Monell. (The fourth, outfield prospect Brandon Nimmo, is in Minor League camp.) But Harvey's celebration did not linger. At age 26, there was much work to do.

It certainly seemed like business as usual later in the day, when Harvey waited out a brief rain delay before setting a spring high of 80 pitches in his 4 1/3-inning, one-run outing against the Cardinals in the Mets' 5-4 loss. Though Harvey was less efficient than he would have liked, the most remarkable aspect of his afternoon was how unremarkable it all seemed. He was just plain old Harvey, hitting 97 mph on a notoriously slow Roger Dean Stadium radar gun while keeping the Cardinals largely off the basepaths.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets fear Murphy could miss Opening Day

Second baseman will rest unless club is certain he can play in season opener

Mets fear Murphy could miss Opening Day

JUPITER, Fla. -- Daniel Murphy's sluggish progression back from a strained right hamstring has the Mets questioning his readiness for Opening Day, increasing the odds that either Matt Reynolds or Danny Muno will make the team.

Murphy, who has not played since March 19, continued hitting and running on Friday at the Mets' Spring Training complex. But with only six Grapefruit League games remaining before the Mets head to Texas for a pair of exhibitions, manager Terry Collins is growing concerned about Murphy's ability to work his legs into game shape.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets hope Familia, and his pitches, keep rising

Sinker part of reliever's success, but club sees potential elsewhere in zone

Mets hope Familia, and his pitches, keep rising

JUPITER, Fla. -- The key to Jeurys Familia's success has always been his ability to throw sinkers low in the strike zone, thereby generating ground balls. No National League pitcher with at least 75 innings last season induced grounders at a higher rate than Familia, who by most statistical measures was the Mets' best reliever.

But the Mets want more out of Familia, who has taken on additional importance with Josh Edgin out for the season, Bobby Parnell set to miss at least another month and Vic Black nursing a right shoulder injury that may sideline him on Opening Day. Pitching coach Dan Warthen has spent time this spring teaching Familia how to pitch up in the zone, going as far as to tweak the right-hander's delivery. The result, the Mets hope, will be a more complete pitcher, capable of putting away left-handers as easily as he does same-sided hitters.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.