The Mets' "cynical ploy"

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On Wednesday, I waxed cynical on the Mets’ reported interest in big fish like Jason Bay:


Here’s a theory
of my own: if the Mets are suddenly thinking bigger, it’s because the
Yankees have been going hog wild (relatively speaking) this week, and
they don’t want to get blown the hell off the back pages of the
tabloids.

Today The Post’s Joel Sherman echoes the sentiment:


Ticket sales are lagging and fans are screaming for the Mets to make a meaningful acquisition. And, poof, they suddenly were acknowledging making an offer yesterday to Jason Bay.

So was this merely a ploy to change the subject or was this a clear change of course this offseason?

I mostly went with my gut In coming to that conclusion. Sherman’s evidence: the fact that the “offer” the Mets reportedly made to Jason Bay was surprisingly similar to one that everyone knows he rejected from the Red Sox, with the thinking being that it was offered precisely because they knew he’d reject it. Sherman goes on to call it a “cynical ploy.” I think Sherman has a good point.

The Yankees have a plan. The Red Sox have a plan. Lots of other teams have a plan. The Mets seem to lurch from idea to idea with no coherent strategy in place. Sure-loser offers to players in whom they had not previously shown an interest is evidence of that.  To date, I’ve seen no evidence to the contrary.

Dave Roberts: Clayton Kershaw could be activated on Tuesday

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers heads to the dugout at the end of the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on May 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that there is a possibility that starter Clayton Kershaw will be activated after throwing a simulated game on Tuesday, Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA reports. Kershaw threw a 60-pitch bullpen session on Friday. His activation depends on how he feels coming out of the simulated game.

Kershaw, 28, has been out since late June with mild disk herniation in his lower back. There was some consternation last month that the lefty might need back surgery, but he seems to have moved past that worry.

At the time he hit the disabled list, Kershaw was a front-runner for the National League Cy Young Award, owning an 11-2 record with a 1.79 ERA and a 145/9 K/BB ratio in 121 innings.

The Dodgers entered play Monday with a two-game lead over the Giants in the NL West. Needless to say, getting Kershaw back bolsters their odds of winning the division.

Pirates place Gerrit Cole on the disabled list with elbow inflammation

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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Starter Gerrit Cole has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 25, with posterior inflammation of his right elbow, the Pirates announced. Pitcher Steven Brault has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis for Monday night’s start against the Cubs.

Cole was scratched from Monday’s start on Sunday and instead traveled to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The right-hander previously underwent an MRI which ruled out structural damage.

Cole hits the shelf with a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio over 114 innings. The Pirates entered play Monday a half game out of the second National League Wild Card slot, so losing him for at least two more weeks will sting.