The Mets won’t meet the Padres’ asking price for Justin Upton

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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.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.