Carlos Beltran could return to the Mets on Monday

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Reports on Carlos Beltran’s return from the disabled list have been hard to keep track of.

First, manager Jerry Manuel said the outfielder might return for the Mets’ series against the Marlins in Puerto Rico.  That, of course, is now over.  Then it was rumored that he would be out until after the All-Star break.  We may be able to call that false now as well.

According to David Lennon of New York’s Newsday, Beltran will play consecutive nine-inning games this weekend at Single-A Port St. Lucie and could return on Monday if he reports no abnormalities in his surgically-repaired knee.  He’s been hitting the ball well down in Florida and should be his old productive self at the plate once he makes his way back into the Mets’ starting lineup.

The 33-year-old hit .325 with a .915 OPS and 10 home runs last season in only 81 games with the Mets.

Yankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash

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The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.

Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.

Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.

This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.