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Deadline passes for Lucas Duda deal; are the sides still talking?

Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets

Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets rounds first after hitting a two-run homer in the sixth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on Sept. 19, 2014 in Atlanta. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin C. Cox

This much is clear: Opening Day has arrived and the Mets have yet to agree on a long-term extension with first baseman Lucas Duda.

What's less clear, however, is if the sides remain in active talks.

Both set Opening Day as a deadline for discussions, and on Sunday, Duda's agent told ESPN.com that talks had been tabled.

"No agreement was reached, so talks have concluded and Lucas will focus on the upcoming season," agent Dan Horwits said.

Multiple sources said, however, that although no agreement has been reached, talks have yet to be suspended. Horwits did not respond to a request for comment.

General manager Sandy Alderson said last week that he hoped to have a resolution by Monday, when the Nationals and Mets square off in the season opener.

Duda, 29, hit .253 last season and led the Mets in home runs (30) and RBIs (92). He will not be eligible for free agency until 2018.

The Mets hoped to lock in costs for Duda, even at the risk that his performance tails off. They made a similar calculation by giving Juan Lagares a four-year, $23-million extension. Alderson handed out a similar deal in 2012 to Jonathon Niese, who signed a long-term contract before reaching free agency.

Colon on deck

The reason for the Mets' optimism stems from their impressive collection of electric young arms. To begin the season, though, they will turn to Bartolo Colon, the oldest in the bunch.

"He's been there so many times before," manager Terry Collins said this past week. "And again, I think he earned that right. If you look at what he did last year, he earned it."

Colon led the Mets in wins (15) and innings (2021/3) in 2014, posting a 4.09 ERA in 31 starts.

At 41 years, 317 days old, Colon will be the oldest Opening Day starter in franchise history. It will be the seventh Opening Day assignment of his career and his first since 2006.

New York Sports