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Mets' future in Port St. Lucie may hinge on vote Tuesday

County commissioners will decide on whether to approve $25 million for renovations to the team's First Data Field complex.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen walks through

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen walks through an outfield gate in the main stadium at the Mets' spring training facility Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Photo Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets’ future in their longtime spring training home might be on the line at a local government meeting Tuesday.

The St. Lucie County commissioners will vote on a new budget for the long-delayed renovations to the Mets’ First Data Field complex, $25 million on top of the original $55 million committed to the project in 2016, when the Mets agreed to stay in Port St. Lucie for another 25 years.

If the latest version of the project isn’t approved, the Mets, who have held their spring training here since 1988, are threatening to look elsewhere.

“We’re hopeful for a positive outcome on Tuesday,” the Mets said in a statement.

Port St. Lucie is the Mets’ domestic minor-league base and the home of their advanced Class A team, the St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League. It’s convenient from a spring-training travel standpoint, too, with the Marlins and Cardinals based in Jupiter (40 minutes away) and the Nationals and Astros in West Palm Beach (50 minutes).

As the Treasure Coast Newspapers first reported Wednesday, the Mets have agreed to pay $2 million to help with the cost of renovations. This week, the county asked the Mets for an additional $400,000.

First Data Field, which opened in 1988, is owned and operated by St. Lucie County.

Notes & quotes: The Mets’ preferred outfield alignment against righthanded starters — the large majority of games — is Jeff McNeil in left, Brandon Nimmo in center and Michael Conforto in right. That is contingent on McNeil’s outfield transition going smoothly. “I would love to go in against a real tough righty and have three lefthanded-hitting outfielders that can do some damage and put the ball in play,” Mickey Callaway said … In discussing the depth of the Mets’ starting pitching, Callaway specifically mentioned Drew Gagnon, “who I think has way more in the tank than we've seen and he's going to continue to improve.” Gagnon, 28, had a 4.40 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in Triple-A last season.

With David Lennon

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