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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Mets tidbits: Piazza, Wells, Flores

By Adam Rubin

Mike Piazza, whose autobiography "Long Shot" is due to be released Feb. 12, will deny steroid use in the book.

"Anybody who's looking for Mike's answer to PED questions will find it there. ... I believe he's clean," co-author Lonnie Wheeler told Newsday.

• Right-hander Kip Wells has drawn interest from the Mets on a minor league deal, MLB.com reported. Wells, 35, went 2-4 with a 4.58 ERA in seven starts last season with the San Diego Padres after un-retiring. He made five starts for the Long Island Ducks in 2010, then did not pitch in 2011.

• During a Twitter Q&A, Mets executives indicated prospect Wilmer Flores will not be moved to the outfield and instead will continue to play third base and second base. Flores obviously is, in all likelihood, precluded from reaching the majors at third base now that David Wright is locked up for eight years.

Flores, 21, hit a combined .300 with 18 homers and 75 RBIs in 493 at-bats bewteen Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton in 2012 -- in his first year away from his natural shortstop position.

With Maragarita in his native Venezuela this winter, Flores hit .272 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 195 at-bats while primarily playing third base.

• The Triple-A Las Vegas 51s this week confirmed Wally Backman will be joined by Randy St. Claire as pitching coach and George Greer as hitting coach. St. Claire formerly served as pitching coach for the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos. Pedro Lopez is expected to continue managing Double-A Binghamton, while Rich Donnelly is likely to again manage Brooklyn.