Report: Mets interested in trading for Justin Upton

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We heard earlier today that the Mets are looking at free agent Scott Hairston as a “fallback option” and will only sign him if they can’t find someone better for their outfield. It’s not a surprise who they have on their wish list.

Sources tell Marc Carig of New York Newsday that the Mets are again interested in trading for Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton. It’s viewed as a longshot, though, as it’s unlikely they’ll give up enough prospects to make a deal. One would think that Zack Wheeler wouldn’t be on the table, so names like Noah Syndergaard and Wilmer Flores probably won’t get it done.

It was reported yesterday that Upton rejected a trade that would have sent him to the Mariners for a package which included prospect right-hander Taijuan Walker and prospect infielder Nick Franklin. The Blue Jays, Red Sox and Cubs are the other clubs on Upton’s no-trade list, so the D-Backs would not need his approval to send him to the Mets.

The Rangers have reportedly “moved on” from Upton, so many have pegged the Braves as the favorites, where he could play with his brother, B.J. Upton.

 

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.