Morning Mets Notes: Mets Start Grapefruit League Action vs. Nationals Today

By Matt Musico

The day has finally come; after watching over beloved Metsies engage in daily workouts down in Port St. Lucie for about two weeks, we’re finally going to be able to see some actual baseball today! New York will kick off their Grapefruit League schedule today at 12:10pm against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals. Be sure to check back here before the first pitch is thrown to get a preview of the game.

There has been plenty of talk over the past week or so about Bobby Bonilla and how he’s getting paid more by the Mets this season than any of the current outfielders on the roster. Today, we mention him again because he turns 50; Adam Rubin of ESPN New York breaks down some of the specifics behind this deal Bobby Bo has with Fred Wilpon and the Mets. He will continue getting just over $1 million per year until he’s 72 years old, taking him until the year 2035. The amount he’s getting in 2013 means only nine current Mets are getting paid more than him this season, and the $27.4 million he’s do over the duration of this agreement is more than any player over the life of their current contract, except for David Wright and Johan Santana.

June 14, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A detail view of the bat of New York Mets center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (not pictured) on deck against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This situation just seems ridiculous, but it’s really worked out for both parties, and Dan Haefeli broke it down himself earlier on Rising Apple as well. At the end of the day, this shouldn’t be a big deal for the Mets since Wilpon told us the organization is able to spend whatever they need to acquire the players they want at Citi Field, but after a winter of failed attempts to improve the outfield, it’s humorous to say the two highest paid outfielders are Bobby Bo and Jason Bay. Either way, happy birthday, Bobby!!Danny Abriano kept us current yesterday as the Mets engaged in an intrasquad game before today’s game with the Nats. The biggest news to come out of PSL concerned Johan Santana, as New York decided to push back his first Grapefruit League start from the first week in March to the 10th or 12th. Obviously, everyone is starting to freak out about his availability for Opening Day, but both Santana and Sandy Alderson have confirmed he’s not injured, and just needs some extra time to build up his arm strength. The southpaw is still confident he’ll be ready for April 1st, and Terry Collins said he still aims to give his ace four Spring Training starts. For right now, everyone needs to chill because it doesn’t look like a big deal, yet.

Wilmer Flores was the standout performer from yesterday’s intrasquad game, as he hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs during his team’s 6-2 victory. The disappointment from the contest was LaTroy Hawkins, who gave up the bomb to Flores, and surrendered a total of five runs in 0.2 IP. You can find a quick recap from Rising Apple right here.

To finish off the week at Rising Apple yesterday, there were plenty of articles to keep you busy and get you through those last few hours of work. Michael Lecolant put together a solid piece detailing the current age of the Mets starting pitchers (and rest of their roster), compared to other successful New York teams (’69, ’73, ’86, ’99, ’00, ’06). On Thursday afternoon, the staff had some fun in creating some #MattHarveyFacts after we found out he told a twitter follower his expecations are to throw 200+ innings and bring back a World Series trophy to Flushing. Sam Maxwell took a vote and published the top ten facts for us. I’m happy to say I wrote my last Rising Apple off-season player of the week post yesterday (in advance of games actually starting again), and put the spotlight on former Met outfielder, Benny Agbayani.

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