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Mets Trade Rumors: Cubs are again shopping Starlin Castro

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Cubs are aggressively shopping SS Starlin Castro (July 30, 2:26 pm), despite Cubs manager Joe Maddon recently telling him he would not be dealt before Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

In early July, a person connected to the Mets said they weren’t enamored with Castro, as well as Brewers SS Jean Segura or Dodgers SS Jimmy Rollins, according to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman (July 10, 10:45 am).

Castro will earn roughly $2-3 million between now and the end of 2015, after which he is due $37 million through 2019.

The Phillies and Padres have reportedly shown interest in Castro, as well as other shortstops from the Cubs.


cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone: I know it’s hard to believe, but Ruben Tejada is having a much better season than Castro. This may not be the case next season, but right now it is. And, I would rather run Ruben or Kelly Johnson out there than give up young talent to get Castro, who will almost certainly be available again this winter if the Mets have a change of heart.


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Jack Leathersich had Tommy John surgery

LHP Jack Leathersich underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday, according to Adam Rubin (July 30).

Leathersich, who was sent down by the Mets on June 28, has not pitched since throwing 57 pitches on June 29.

His previous season-high pitch count had been 31 on April 18, while typically throwing around 15 pitches per appearance.

In 17 appearances this season for the Mets, Leathersich, 25, had a 2.31 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in 11 2/3 innings.


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Blue Jays have mild interest in Jon Niese

The Blue Jays have mild interest in Mets LHP Jon Niese, an organizational source told Chris Cotillo of SBNation.com (July 30, 2:28 pm).

Last week, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark said, in order to trade Niese, the Mets told teams they would need to get back a player under contract beyond next season (July 23, 2015), specifically a slugging outfielder (July 23, 2015). The day before, it was said the Mets were not eager to move Niese, believing they could eventually secure a trade using just minor leaguers (July 21, 2015).

In early July, the Mets looked in to Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar, according to MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone (July 30, 2:30 pm).

Pillar, 26, is batting .271 with a .306 OBP, seven HR and 20 doubles in 101 games for Toronto. He will earn $500,000 this season and is not eligible to be a free agent until 2020.

According to multiple reports, the Jays expressed interest in Niese before acquiring R.A. Dickey from the Mets in 2013 (March, 2013).


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In case you missed it: Trade news and rumors from around the N.L. East

The Nationals acquired Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies for RHP Nick Pivetta and $4.5 million. As part of the deal, Papelbon was told he’d be the closer for Washington, with Drew Storen becoming his setup man.

The Phillies finally agreed to trade Cole Hamels, as well as Jake Diekman, to the Rangers for LHP Matt Harrison, C Jorge Alfaro, OF Nick Williams, and pitching prospects Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff and Jake Thompson. The Phillies will also send $9.5 million to Texas (July 29, 2015).

In a three-team with the Dodgers and Marlins, the Braves are reportedly set to deal Bronson Arroyo, infield prospect Jose Peraza and pitchers Alex Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan, while getting back Hector Olivera, LHP Paco Rodriguez and minor league RHP Zachary Bird (July 30, 2:20 pm). The Braves would also acquire Miami’s Competitive Balance Round A pick (No. 35 overall) in next year’s draft (July 30, 2015). The Marlins would  then ship RHP Mat Latos and 1B Michael Morse to the Dodgers and get back minor league pitchers Kevin Gauzman, Jeff Brigham and Victor Araujo (July 30, 2015).


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Milwaukee reporter says Mets backed off Gomez deal due to money, not medicals

Brewers beat reporter Tom Haudricourt says the Mets backed out of the deal for OF Carlos Gomez because the Brewers refused to kick in money, not because of a medical issue (July 30, 10:54 am).

“It’s hard to tell where truth lies, but if that source has ties to Brewers or Gomez and agent, there’s serious incentive to minimize any hip issue,” ESPN NY’s Adam Rubin later tweeted (July 30, 11:48 am).

It was reported last night that the Mets backed out over specific concerns about Gomez’s hip, realized after seeing his medical report (July 29, 2015). However, the Brewers and Gomez’s agent, Scott Boras, said the player’s hip is not an issue.

In early June, Gomez expressed concern around running flat out due to his hip (July 19, 2015), saying: “I’ve been afraid to run like I can because I’ve been apprehensive. I don’t want to aggravate it. So, the trainers have been trying to take care of it. They want to see me play, enjoy the game, run and make things happen.”

According to Haudricourt’s sources, the Mets asked the Brewers to include money to help offset Gomez’s $9 million salary for 2016. And, at that point, not at the point of medical reports, the Mets backed off the trade.

“It is in best interest of Brewers and Boras for it to be about money more than hips, but there are specific details that make you believe money was a factor,” ESPN’s Andrew Marchand tweeted (July 30, 11:30 am).

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Matthew Cerrone

July 30, 12:04 pm: Isn’t it possible the truth is in the middle, that it’s a mix of both? Looking at this, it reads like the two sides agreed to the deal in principle, at which point it is customary for teams to swap medical information. For what it’s worth, financial terms are almost always agreed to BEFORE the post of medical reports being exchanged. So, once they saw the medical report, I’m guessing the Mets saw something that concerned them about Gomez’s ability to play in 2016. They asked the Brewers to cover part of his salary, amending the agreed upon deal. Milwaukee said no, and the deal fell apart. This makes sense to me, as a possible timeline…

For what it’s worth, in the above scenario, it would make total sense for these two teams to circle back and revisit the deal. I know everyone is reporting that it’s dead, but why? If the Mets believe Gomez can help this season, but have concerns about 2016, it seems to me there are ways to restructure the trade to make it work for both sides. The Mets still need someone to hit and play center field, so I’m interested to see if Gomez rumors again pop up later in the day or tomorrow…


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What Terry Collins said before Thursday’s game…