The Mets and Mariners have had "serious talks" about Cliff Lee

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Cliff Lee headshot Mariners.jpgThat report is from Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.  The sticking point: the Mariners want Jon Niese, but Omar is unwilling to trade him.

I think I have to side with Omar here.  Given that Lee is going to hit the market this winter, why not wait it out, be aggressive, and try to get him then, thereby giving the Mets a pretty spectacular rotation heading into 2011? By giving up Niese for him and then extending him you’re basically paying for him twice.

If the answer is that they wouldn’t be willing to pay what Lee would be asking for a long term deal, they shouldn’t be talking to the Mariners about him anyway. They should be sticking with younger, cheaper talent like, say, Jon Niese.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.