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News Roundup: Mets Sign Tony Armas

-P- The Mets have signed Tony Armas to a minor-league deal.

-P- This Spring Training preview is interesting:

Now, with the players set to report to camp in Bradenton, Fla., on Thursday, the Pirates have a difficult selling job as they try to stop their string of 15 straight losing seasons. They must convince their fans and, perhaps, their own players, that they can be a lot better with only a new manager...

"I think they have more faith in the team we have now,'' said Snell, a 14-game winner last season. "Sometimes you wish that they do make changes, but maybe they see something we don't."

No, they don't, Ian. And if they think they do, we're all in trouble.

-P- The Twins have signed Livan Hernandez, who'll impersonate Carlos Silva in the rotation while costing about $40 million less. The Twins probably won't contend this year, but with a number of youngsters in the rotation (including the rehabbing Francisco Liriano, they can use Hernandez, who's as good a bet as anyone to pitch 220 innings this year.