Mets, Cubs talked Geovany Soto

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It’s no secret that the Mets have been looking for a right-handed complement to Josh Thole behind the plate. That search led to talks with the Cubs regarding Geovany Soto this past week.

Andy Martino broke the news today, but he said a deal was unlikely. Following up on it, the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers said talks were dead. The Cubs are open to moving Soto and going with Steve Clevenger and Welington Castillo as a catching tandem, but Soto’s salary was probably more than the Mets were interested in taking on, particularly since they’re now looking more towards 2013.

The Mets have also engaged in talks for Colorado’s Ramon Hernandez and Boston’s Kelly Shoppach in the past without coming away with either. Those players could both come at discounts after Tuesday’s trade deadline, assuming they clear waivers.

Soto, 29, has hit just .195/.278/.345 this season, and given that he’s making $4.3 million, he’s looking like a top non-tender candidate this winter. The Mets could again look at him then. Unless he comes through with a big finish here, he’s probably looking at a salary closer to $2 million in 2013, making him more palatable as a backup.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.