The Mets made one of the best under-the-radar improvements this offseason by upgrading their outfield defense, ESPN's Mike Petriello writes (Insider-only). With Juan Lagares starting in center field for the entire season, and Curtis Granderson and Chris Young on either side of him, the Mets should be much better off defensively than they were with Lucas Duda and others last season. Petriello also lists the Cardinals' defense, in both the infield and the outfield, as one that should be dramatically improved as a result of this offseason's moves. The Cardinals acquired Peter Bourjos for David Freese, improving their outfield while allowing Matt Carpenter to shift back to third. Another new addition, Mark Ellis, figures to help at second base. Here are more notes from the National League.
- Speaking of the Cardinals, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says in a slideshow that the 2014 Cards should be even better than the 97-game-winning 2013 edition, and their defense is a key part of the reason why.
- It will be tough for the Braves to sign Jason Heyward to a long-term deal, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. With Heyward just two years away from being eligible for free agency, he has less incentive to accept the security of an extension, and therefore won't be inclined to give the Braves much of a discount. It might be better for the Braves to focus their efforts on signing Andrelton Simmons and/or Freddie Freeman, O'Brien suggests.