Carlos Beltran goes 3-for-4 in Single-A rehab game

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Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored on Saturday during a rehab game with Single-A Port St. Lucie.  He also played seven full innings of center field and had two put-outs, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Beltran went 2-for-3 on Friday night and is beginning to show that his timing at the plate is nearly back to full strength.  He has been on the 15-day disabled list since late March and the 60-day disabled list since late May.  Now it appears that he is around two weeks from returning to the Mets’ big-league starting lineup.

Manager Jerry Manuel hinted to reporters last week that Beltran might return Monday for the Mets’ three-game series against the Marlins in Puerto Rico, but that has already been debunked.  Instead, it appears that the outfielder will continue to climb his way through the Mets’ minor league system, boosting ticket sales and facing increasingly competitive pitching at every stop. 

The boys at the Star-Ledger believe that he will not return to the starting lineup in New York until after the All-Star break, which runs from July 12-14.  It’s certainly possible.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.