The Union has no concerns about the Mets. For now.

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Michael Weiner’s spring training tour took him to Port St. Lucie today, where he met the Mets. Adam Rubin reports on the  two Met-specific issues that are likely on Weiner’s radar screen:

  • Weiner said he has been assured by the commissioner’s office that players’ guaranteed contracts will not be affected by the Wilpons’ legal issues; and
  • He has “every expectation” that the Mets aren’t going to mess around with Francisco Rodriguez’s playing time this year in an effort to keep his $17.5 million option from vesting.

It’s not likely that Weiner would have any worries about the guaranteed contracts. Major League Baseball showed with the Rangers last year that it will step in with a line of credit of that’s threatened.  Players are going to be paid.

Weiner was more interested, it seems, talking about the Mets as players in the free agency market.  He probably realizes, though, that even if the Mets didn’t have Madoff problems, they’re not exactly in a position — competitively speaking — to be leading the market right this moment, so there would be no upside to him complaining about it now. The union wants the Mets as big bidders for players, but it’s not like the union can do anything about it at the moment.

As for the K-Rod option, the Mets know that the union is watching the matter closely, so there’s no need to shoot anything across the team’s bow with respect to the issue. Such a thing is not Weiner’s style anyway.  He makes references at the end of Rubin’s article to “arbitration precedent” for a team messing with playing time to save money, and that’s probably enough.  Come August, there’s a great chance that the only thing worth talking about the Mets will be K-Rod’s option, so it’s not like the issue is going to fly under the radar.  The union will be watching. As will the media.

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.