PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Most of the Mets’ veterans will skip Friday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, manager Terry Collins said.
Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores and Travis d’Arnaud will be among the higher-profile names on the trip. Righthander Seth Lugo will start and top prospect Amed Rosario is expected to play, though he won’t start.
“We’ve got to get guys out there and start them playing,” Collins said.
Most of the Mets’ starting lineup is expected to play in Saturday’s home opener. Neil Walker likely will make his debut on Sunday. David Wright could serve as the designated hitter at some point this weekend.
Wright continued his throwing program Thursday, again doing his work where he couldn’t be seen. The third baseman is throwing every other day, and Collins said Wright will increase his workload as he builds up arm strength.
<SB235,90,120><CW-15>Collins said there still is “plenty” of time for Wright to play at third base in exhibition games, though that likely won’t come until the middle of March.
Status quo on Walker
There has been no communication between the Mets and Walker’s representatives since contract extension talks stalled earlier this week, according to a source. Both sides remain open to restarting talks, sources said, though it appears there is little desire to negotiate into the regular season.
<SB235,90,120><CW-15>At issue is how much to reduce the $17.2 million Walker is due to make this season after accepting the Mets’ qualifying offer.
End of Tradition
The Mets’ spring training home was renamed First Data Field as part of a new naming-rights deal, the club announced.
Shortly after workers took down references to the facility’s former name, Tradition Field, the team held a news conference to reveal the new 10-year agreement with the Atlanta-based payment technology company.