Morning News: Mets future in PSL could be up in the air

In January, Laurel Phahler for the St. Lucie News reported that, in exchange for $2.5 million worth of renovations to Digital Domain Par by the city of St. Lucie, “The Mets have agreed to extend their lease from 2018 to 2023.”

At that time, Phahler said improvements could help with efforts to bring in a second team to the facility. However, last month, Phahler said adding a second team is looking unlikely, since the Nationals are now considering a move to the west coast of Florida or Arizona.

In the event the Nationals leave Viera, it will leave the Mets with only two teams — the Cardinals and Marlins — on the east coast of Florida, both of whom already share a complex in Jupiter, which is roughly one hour from St. Lucie.

If this happens, Barry Meier reports in today’s New York Times, the Mets (under their contract) may be able to walk away from Digital Domain Park if another team does not relocate to their stadium or somewhere reasonably close, according to Chad Dzadovsky, the chairman of the board of commissioners in St. Lucie County.

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Matthew Cerrone: As it stands, half of the Mets spring games are against the same three teams. They can stretch to play the Tigers, who play in Lakeland, but they are close to two hours away. The team traveled to Lakeland Monday and they will travel there again today, accounting for 10 hours of bus travel in the last three days. Basically, the current structure means the Mets end up spending way too much time on buses, when they should probably be on field; and when they are on field, they’re playing the same people over and over again, meaning they all see and face less hitters and pitchers throughout the Spring. What’s more, since the team’s elite players rarely travel, it means they’re playing together in less games as well. It’s not the end of the world, but something no other team really has to deal with…

In either case, I’d love to see all of these teams get closer together (in distance), to form a sort-of Florida version of what goes on Arizona for Spring Training, which looks like a lot of fun for fans.