The Mets will not be pursuing big free agents

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From the Department of Not Particularly Surprising Affairs, the Daily News reports that the 2011 Mets are gong to look a lot like the 2010 Mets:

Those
familiar with the team’s thinking say the Mets believe they have too
much money committed to their roster next season – at least $130
million, much of which will go to players who have not performed – to
seriously consider spending heavily on free agents.

Off the table, Andy Martino says, is Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth.

Werth being off the table is no great loss, inasmuch as the Mets did the “sign the corner outfielder on the wrong side of 30” thing last year and found it wanting. Lee and Crawford would be nice additions, though. But again, we’ve suspected that the Mets won’t be playing that game this winter for a while. Having it confirmed like this, however, has to be somewhat deflating.

The Mets are caught in a no-man’s land between being a high-payroll contender and a rebuilding team with a bright future.  If they can’t jack the payroll even higher in an effort to spend their way out of this mess — which, while inadvisable and distasteful could, theoretically, work — then they should tear things down to the foundation as soon as possible and start over.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.