The Mets may get Cliff Lee, but they won't deal Angel Pagan to do it

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My gut tells me that the Mets are the most likely team to trade for Cliff Lee. They’re seemingly willing to part with Jenrry Mejia, who would be a good pickup for the M’s. They said yesterday that they wouldn’t demand an opportunity to negotiate with Lee on an extension before making a deal, which certainly makes life easier as well.  They’re in a tight damn playoff race.  Getting him would probably aggravate Phillies fans to no end. There’s just a ton going for a Lee-to-the-Mets deal.

What’s not going for it, however, is Angel Pagan. The Mets don’t want to part with him:

Several senior Mets officials said that because of the uncertainty
surrounding Carlos Beltran’s
health, the team does not have the luxury of trading Pagan, who has
greatly enhanced his value with a strong season subbing for Beltran in
center field.

Makes sense to me. You deal Pagan and you’ve merely created another hole while filling the rotation slot. You find a way to keep his bat in the lineup while adding Beltran soon and then snagging someone like Lee and you’ve transformed a frisky-but-flawed team into a serious contender.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.