Matt Kemp flies out

Dodgers open to dealing Kemp, not Joc Pederson

The Dodgers are unwilling to trade top OF prospect Joc Pederson, even in a deal for Rays LHP David Price (Jayson Stark, July 24).

Naturally, Pederson, 22, is a player some Mets fans point to as an ideal trade target in an effort to improve Sandy Alderson‘s offense.

Instead, the Dodgers may be shopping OF Matt Kemp, who is due $118 million through 2019 (Gordon Edes, July 27).

So far, five teams, including the Mariners, have shown interest in acquiring Kemp (Jon Heyman, July 26).

There had been rumors this past weekend pointing to a possible Red Sox-Dodgers deal involving Kemp and Jon Lester, but subsequent reports shot it down (MLB Trade Rumors, July 27).

MLB: New York Mets at Seattle Mariners

The latest Bartolo Colon trade rumors: He knows nothing

The Mets are trying hard to trade RHP Bartolo Colon (Knobler, July 22), and the Giants have expressed interest (ESPN Deportes, July 22).

“I don’t know anything about that,” Colon said through an interpreter, when asked about trade rumors (, July 27). “Those are decisions for the upper management, and you can’t control that stuff.”

The Mets are willing to pay some of Colon’s remaining salary this season, (Martino, July 25), but are unwilling to pick up a portion of his $11 million 2015 tab (Carig, July 22), which is exactly what interested teams are asking them to do according to columnist Joel Sherman (NY Post, July 23).

On the other hand, the Mets could choose to let Colon get claimed off waivers in August and, though they’d get nothing back in return for him, they also wouldn’t be on the hook for his salary in 2015, a front office executive told Sherman, predicting that this is exactly what the Mets will try to do.

Cubs and D-Backs will keep evaluating, wait to deal young hitters

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The D-Backs and Cubs are unlikely to deal a young infielder this summer, friends with both teams told me this past weekend. Instead, both organizations will continue to evaluate their collection of shortstops, second and third basemen, and work to acquire under-contract, major-league ready, young, starting pitching this winter.

For instance, from the Mets, the Cubs are going to press for Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. The D-Backs will do the same, plus have been scouting Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki since this past spring.

The D-Backs may move OF Gerrardo Parra, who the Mets could have interest in, but guys infielders, such as Chris Owings, Didi Gregorius and Nick Ahmed, are more likely to part of an offseason package than an in-season scramble. The Cubs, of course, have Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and more…

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies

Yes, I’m sure if a team wants to overpay, Chicago or Arizona would make a deal. But, Sandy Alderson seems to be a guy who loves to come away in a trade with more than people expected, so I can’t see him paying this type of price now, especially given the pitchers mentioned above. Instead, as the Cubs and D-Backs evaluate their players, I’m sure the Mets and others will be watching them as well… so they can all talk again in four months.

The Mets have one of best – if not the best – young pitching staffs in baseball. There is a deal to be made with the Cubs and D-Backs, but I don’t expect either team to make a move just for the sake of doing something. It’s going to take work to find a match. The type of work typically done in the off-season.

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David Wright says Tulowitzki would be perfect for NY

Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki would be perfect for New York, David Wright recently told team reporter Mike Puma (NY Post, July 26).

“I do think in the very near future that we’re going to be to the point where we are a piece or two away,” Wright said. “He’s a competitor and he wants to win, and when you’re talking about a player of that caliber, I don’t think that type of guy gets nervous or intimidated by being on the big stage.”

Earlier this week, the Rockies misspelled Tulowitzki’s name on a t-shirt used for a give-away night at their ballpark. The next day, after traveling to Philadelphia for a doctor’s appointment, Tulowitzki was spotted on camera watching the Yankees face the Blue Jays in the seats at Yankee Stadium.

The Mets have contacted the Rockies to say they’re interested in Tulowitzki and OF Carlos Gonzalez, according to columnist Joel Sherman (NY Post, July 25). However, while Gonzalez can be had now, the Rockies are not likely to trade Tulowitzki this summer, MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone said this week (Twitter, July 28).

Nevertheless, Puma adds, “The Mets are viewed within the industry as a good trade partner for the Rockies,” since Colorado is seeking young pitching.

Lucas Duda is relaxed, confident and has 18 HR

Lucas Duda hit his 18th home run of the season, crushing a slider to right field in the sixth inning for a two-run home run against Jimmy Nelson during Sunday’s win against the Brewers.

Duda has 18 HR and 56 RBI this season. He’s hitting .305 with a .395 OBP since June 15.

MLB: New York Mets at Milwaukee Brewers

“Lucas looks unbelievable at the plate,” Daniel Murphy told SNY after the game. “He’s taking the discipline we always knew he had at the plate and when he swings, man, he’s making some loud noises. He’s just been fun to watch.”

According to Murphy, Duda’s recent success appears to be giving him confidence that he can be in the big leagues, which is helping him relax and be even more productive at the plate.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The Brewers adjusted and started throwing him a bunch of sliders and he eventually timed it right. Duda has always been a good hitter, but in the last month or so, he has proven he’s capable of being an every-day bat in the heart of big-league order. He looks incredibly confident and comfortable in the batter’s box. His timing at the plate is near perfect and he’s no longer reacting, but looking for a specific pitch and doing damage with it. It’s great to see.

DeGrom coasts into August

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom held the Brewers to four hits, no runs over 6 1/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.79 with a 5-5 record.

DeGrom is 4-1 in July and has given up five runs in 32 1/3 innings in July with a 1.77 ERA. In his last four starts, he’s given up two runs in 27 1/3 innings.

MLB: New York Mets at Milwaukee Brewers

“He’s been very good,” manager Terry Collins told reporters after the win. “We keep talking about it. I guess he has to go out each time and prove it. He’s been very good. He was very good today.”

DeGrom threw 109 pitches, a season-high, as Collins tried to stretch out the rookie right-hander.

Collins said he consulted with pitching coach Dan Warthen before deGrom was sent back out to pitch with over 100 pitches. Collins and Warthen chose to keep him in the game knowing deGrom will get extra day of rest – due to a team off day.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

He didn’t get as many swings-and-misses as he had been getting in previous starts, but he still looked great. His slider is so strong. I think what I like most is that he is really mature, ‘wise beyond his years,’ so to speak. He has a deep repertoire and runs effective sequences throughout the game, even Sunday when the Brewers were making him work.

The opposition is never comfortable in the box against him. They were fouling balls off, going deep in counts, but he never gave in. He kept working to find the out. The Mets have brought up so many young pitchers over the years, guys they kept trying and trying and trying, who could never figure out how to battle and deGrom already does it so well.

It’s also worth noting he is a pretty good fielder, as well. He may be tall and lanky, with funky hair, but he’s very athletic as well…

What’s on Tap for Monday, July 28

The Mets (50-55) open a three-game series with the Phillies (46-59) on Monday at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m.

Bartolo Colon (9-8, 4.03 ERA) gets the start for the Mets, opposed by A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.86 ERA) for Philadelphia.

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Weekend Review…

The Mets finished their 10-game road trip with a 5-5 record after defeating the Brewers, 2-0, on Sunday >> Read more at MetsBlog

Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right elbow. Buddy Carlyle was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Matsuzaka’s spot on the roster.

The Mets continue to shop Bartolo Colon, and are willing to absorb some of his salary in order to facilitate a deal >> Read more at MetsBlog

The Mets were among the teams who attended a showcase for Cuban OF Rusney Castillo on Saturday.

Game Recap: Mets 2 – Brewers 0

Result: The Mets blanked the Brewers, 2-0, on Sunday in Milwaukee on the back of another strong pitching performance by Jacob deGrom.

MLB: New York Mets at Milwaukee Brewers

Need to Know: deGrom impressed again for the Mets as he shut out the Brewers over 6 1/3 innings Sunday afternoon. The right-hander struck out four and allowed four hits to pick up the fifth win of his career. Offense was hard to come by at Miller Park, with Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson matching deGrom pitch for pitch until Lucas Duda broke up the scoreless tie with a two-run home run in the sixth inning. The blast, Duda’s 18th on the season, scored Daniel Murphy, who led off the inning with a double. Chris Young chipped in two doubles as well, and Jenrry Mejia came on in the ninth inning to slam the door, recording his 15th save of 2014.

Game Ball: deGrom, who has now allowed just two earned runs over his last four starts for the Mets.

Links: AP Recap | Box Score

What’s Next: The Mets travel back to New York to begin a seven-game home stand as they host the Phillies at Citi Field on Monday night. Bartolo Colon (9-8, 4.03) will get the start against Philadelphia’s A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.86).

Sunday’s minor league recaps…

Las Vegas right-hander Noah Syndergaard followed up his outstanding performance from July 22 with five more terrific innings Sunday. The 21-year-old limited the Bees to two runs (one earned) on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks (one intentional).

He’s allowed one earned run in his last 11 1/3 innings of work.

Read more at SNY’s Mets Minors…