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Terry Collins anxious to get preseason games started

Mets manager Terry Collins, left, laughs while talking

Mets manager Terry Collins, left, laughs while talking to non-roster invitee pitcher Scott Atchison, right, during spring training baseball in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2013) Credit: AP

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- By the end of camp, Terry Collins must mold a functional outfield from a handful of mostly unproven players. His to-do list also includes piecing together a revamped bullpen and finding the right mix for his bench.

Indeed, the Mets' manager has plenty of tasks to complete, which is why he's looking forward to playing exhibition games.

"In our particular situation . . . we've got decisions to make," Collins said. "I've got to start seeing people play. And I'm anxious to see them play . . . to get started."

The Mets will get their first taste of action Friday during a noon intrasquad game at Tradition Field. On Saturday, Grapefruit League play will begin against the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg.

Weiner praises Wright

David Wright may have left money on the table by signing an eight-year, $138- million extension when he still was one year removed from free agency, but players' union chief Michael Weiner praised it.

"It's a great thing from a competitive basis that David is an anchor of the [Mets] for the future," Weiner said. "But I also think it shows the basic agreement working the way it's supposed to work [in] that David made that choice."

Francisco to throw

Frank Francisco will begin a throwing program on Monday, Collins said. The former closer has been shut down since early in camp with recurring inflammation in his right elbow.

Identity crisis resolved

Jenrry Mejia is expected to arrive in camp Friday after having his identity cleared. The righthander had encountered issues acquiring his visa and was subjected to a random identity verification.

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