The Mets acquired third baseman Juan Uribe and infielder-outfielder Kelly Johnson from the Braves on Friday in exchange for two minor league pitchers, but they aren’t done trying to upgrade their weak offense. The biggest name on the market is Padres outfielder Justin Upton, but CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Mets have been turned off by the team’s lofty asking price.
The Mets and Padres are currently at an impasse in talks involving star San Diego outfielder Justin Upton after the Padres asked for at least one high-end prospect back, and possibly two.
The Mets walked away after a suggestion that included a big prospect or two and no payment toward Upton’s $14.5-million salary, though it isn’t known whether they could resume talks at some point.
Upton is due to become a free agent after the season, so this would purely be a rental situation. Getting multiple premium prospects in return is probably unlikely, but the Padres should still be able to do better than the compensatory draft pick they would get if they kept him and made a qualifying offer this fall. Helping cover some of his remaining salary could sweeten a potential match with the Mets and other contenders.
Upton, 27, is batting .248/.326/.420 with 15 home runs, 49 RBI, and 17 steals over 91 games this season. He got off to a strong start in San Diego, but has struggled for the past two months.
In their search for an outfield bat, the Mets have also been linked to Upton’s teammate Will Venable, as well as Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gomez of the Brewers and Jay Bruce and Marlon Byrd of the Reds.
There has been some buzz about the Yankees potentially targeting another late-inning relief arm in advance of next Friday’s trade deadline, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that the club has also called the Phillies to check in on left-handed starter Cole Hamels.
The Phillies are said to like prospect outfielder Aaron Judge. However, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is reluctant to give him up, as well as prospect first baseman Greg Bird and prospect right-hander Luis Severino. There might not be a match here, so perhaps this was just a matter of due diligence on the part of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
The Dodgers still look like the best match given their place in the standings, payroll, and need in their starting rotation, though the Rangers and Cubs have been mentioned as possibilities in recent days. Hamels is set to pitch against the Cubs this afternoon in what could very well be his final start as a member of the Phillies. As of now, the southpaw currently lines up to pitch next Thursday against the Braves, one day before the deadline.
Dustin Pedroia rejoined the Red Sox immediately following the All-Star break after 16 missing games due to a strained right hamstring, but now he’s headed right back to the disabled list with the very same injury.
According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Pedroia didn’t aggravate the hamstring on a specific play. It’s worth noting that he didn’t go on a minor league rehab assignment prior to rejoining the Red Sox last week, though there’s no guarantee that would have made a difference in how things played out. He went 1-for-22 after being activated, which has dropped his batting average from .306 to .287 on the year.
The Red Sox beat the Tigers in 11 innings last night, but still sit at 43-54 on the year, 11 games back in the American League East. And things don’t figure to get much better with another extended absence for one of their most important players.