UPDATE: Mets and Francisco Rodriguez cancel hearing, close to settlement

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UPDATE: The Mets confirmed to Steve Popper of the Bergen Record that Monday’s hearing with Francisco Rodriguez has been canceled and that the two sides are nearing a settlement.

10:50 AM: According to Dan Martin and Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets and Francisco Rodriguez are close to a negotiated settlement and may avoid Monday’s scheduled arbitration hearing.

According to the report, there is “belief between the parties” that an agreement could be announced by a soon as Monday or Tuesday.

A settlement likely means that the Mets will not be able to avoid paying the remainder of Rodriguez’s contract, which includes $11.5 million next season and a $17.5 million vesting option for 2012. As we’ve said all along, the most realistic scenario is that the team would be able to recoup some or all of the salary from the time K-Rod missed due to his thumb injury.

In other words, barring picking up a significant portion of his salary in a trade — or jail time, which will likely be avoided with a plea agreement — Rodriguez will be back with the Mets next season.

Angels acquire Jabari Blash from the Yankees

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The Yankees announced on Wednesday that the club traded outfielder Jabari Blash to the Angels in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Blash, 28, was acquired by the Yankees from the Padres back in December in the Chase Headley trade. In trading Blash to the Angels, the Yankees were able to free up a spot on the 40-man roster for Brandon Drury, the infielder they acquired as part of a three-team trade with the Diamondbacks and Rays on Tuesday.

Over parts of two seasons in the majors, Blash has hit an underwhelming .200/.323/.336 in 279 plate appearances. He will try to play his way into a bench role for the Angels this spring.