UPDATE: Joel Sherman contradicts the Burkhardt report, saying that the Mets will not require a negotiating window with Lee if Mejia is involved in a deal.
9:07 A.M.: I said last week that I think the Mets are the frontrunners for Cliff Lee because (a) they have a top young pitcher they are willing to trade in Jenrry Mejia; and (b) they said that they wouldn’t require a window to negotiate a contract extension with Cliff Lee before trading for him. Now all of that seems to be complicated.
For one thing Mejia left his start for Double-A Binghamton yesterday because of an injury. “Shoulder stiffness” is what we’re hearing now. No other details yet and it’s entirely possible that it turns out to be nothing, but when you’re trying to trade a guy as a top prospect, the last thing you want is an injury.
The other complicating factor is that, according to Kevin Burkhardt, the Mets would in fact require a negotiating window with Lee if the player to be traded for him is, in fact, Mejia.
Other outlets are calling the Twins the frontrunners for Lee right now. It’s hard to truly handicap that in the absence of something credible regarding who Minnesota might be willing to offer for Lee and I haven’t seen anything like that yet. But if Mejia is hurt, and if the Mets are going to be more cautious about dealing him to begin with, I can’t really see any reason to stick with them as the frontrunners either.
And now that I put it like that, it’s almost as if all of this talk about the big fish at the trade deadline is, you know, speculation and stuff. And we’ve never ever had that happen before . . .