Tag:David Wright
Posted on: July 22, 2011 3:41 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 3:47 pm
 

Wright done with rehab, returns to Mets

By Matt Snyder

Mets third baseman David Wright has been sidelined since May 15 with a stress fracture in his back, but he will return to the Mets' lineup Friday night against the Marlins. He's listed as the cleanup hitter.

Wright, 28, went on a six-game rehab stint and appeared to have his stroke back. He hit .476 with three doubles and nine runs scored. Before Wright's injury, he was having a sub-par season, at least by his lofty standards. He's hitting .226 with six home runs, 18 RBI and a .741 OPS in 39 games.

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Posted on: June 23, 2011 7:59 pm
 

David Wright cleared to begin rehabbing

By Evan Brunell

WrightThe Mets, who must feel snakebit these days now that Ike Davis could miss the entire season with microfracture surgery, received some good news on Thursday when David Wright was cleared to resume full physical activity, the New York Times reports.

Wright has been out since mid-May with a stress fracture in his back, but general manager Sandy Alderson said Wright will begin a program in Florida to focus on his core, then begin baseball activities. Alderson said that Wright could be back in the majors in less than a month, so his return is not too far off.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 22, 2011 5:12 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Mets' Davis may need surgery

Ike Davis

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ike Davis' season is in jeopardy.

The Mets first baseman hasn't played since May 10 because of a left ankle injury and his rehab hasn't gone well. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters Wednesday that the team would shut Davis down for three weeks and if he doesn't improve, he'll need season-ending surgery.

Davis has been in a  protective boot and was examined again Wednesday when an MRI showed cartilage damage in addition to a bone bruise.

Davis will ditch the boot in an attempt to improve blood flow and allow the cartilage to heal. If he can't run comfortably after three weeks, he'll have to have microfracture surgery.

Davis collided with David Wright on a popup on May 10 in Colorado, suffering a sprained ankle and a bone bruise. At the time, Davis was the Mets' best hitter, hitting .302/.383/.543 with seven home runs.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: June 20, 2011 4:01 pm
 

On Deck: How about a Zito-Soriano swap?


By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Is 80-year-old Jack McKeon the answer for the Marlins? MLB.com's Tom Boorstein joins Scott Braun to talk about the Fish, Albert Pujols and more. Click on the video above to hear about it all.

TRADE IDEA: There's an old saying that you don't trade players, you trade contracts. And there are hardly two contracts worse than those belonging to Giants lefty Barry Zito and Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News suggests those two swap teams -- well, because it wouldn't hurt. Barry Zito would help out the Cubs' awful pitching, while Soriano would help the Gints' offensive worries. Soriano is paid through 2014, while Zito can be bought out before that season. The Giants would end up paying $7.75 million more in the deal, but Soriano is probably that much more valuable than Zito for them, considering the team's pitching depth.

Sure, both players have full no-trade clauses, so there's that, but it could happen. Baggarly notes he's just spitballing and that he hasn't heard anything about this kind of trade -- but it makes some sense. It's not totally unheard of for the Cubs, who made the bad contract swap with the Mariners before the 2010 season sending Milton Bradley to Seattle for Carlos Silva. It's an interesting thought, that's for sure.

MANAGING THROUGH PAIN: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was rushed to a Phoenix hospital Sunday morning where he passed a kidney stone before returning to Chase Field about two hours before the team's 8-2 victory over the Diamondbacks. [Chicago Tribune]

SPEEDY GONZALEZ: Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez legged out a triple Sunday for his 1,000th career hit. It was actually his third triple of the season, two more than Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. "I was telling Jacoby I have more triples than you do. What's going on?" Gonzalez told reporters after the game (via WEEI.com). "He just said, 'Hey, you're faster than me.'" And a better hitter. 

CLEAN PLAYS: Giants fans are sure to disagree, but Yankees catcher Russell Martin said the play in which Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena bowled into him on Saturday clean, and so was the hit that ended the season of Giants catcher Buster Posey. Martin said it's only a dirty play if the catcher is standing in front of the plate and the runner goes out of his way to hit him, which wasn't the case for Posey and the Marlins' Scott Cousins. [MLB.com]

WEBB STRUGGLES: Rangers right-hander Brandon Webb gave up six hits and four runs in two-thirds of an inning at Double-A Frisco on Sunday.

GOOD NEWS FOR Astros: An MRI revealed no structural damage in the elbow of right fielder Hunter Pence, who has a sprain in his left elbow. He is listed as day-to-day, but manager Brad Mills said he is "questionable" for the Astros' upcoming series against the Rangers. [Houston Chronicle]

NATS PLANS UNCHANGED: You may not have noticed the Washington Nationals are one of baseball's hottest teams, winning eight in a row before Sunday's loss and are now just 4 1/2 games out of first place in the National League Wild Card standings. That doesn't change Mike Rizzo's plans for the future. The biggest decision may be whether to deal starter Jason Marquis at the deadline. If the Nats go into another funk before the end of July, they'll likely deal him. [Washington Post]

GOOD IDEA: Orioles reliever Chris Jakubauskas picked up his first big league hit on Sunday and with that came his first play at the plate when third base coach John Russell waved him home on J.J. Hardy's double in the fifth inning. He was out by a mile. "My main thing was don't fall down, because when I hit third my legs got Jello-ey," Jakubauskas told MASNSports.com.

Mets HEALING: David Wright played catch and took ground balls on his knees Sunday and is expected to ride an exercise bike on Monday as he rehabs from a stress fracture in his lower back. He's expected to have more news after an evaluation later this week. Meanwhile, lefty Johan Santana is still long-tossing and hopes to return to the mound later this week. [Star-Ledger and ESPNNewYork.com]

SMOKELESS Rays: Tampa Bay will be wearing the uniform of the Tampa Smokers on July 2 for their yearly Turn Back the Clock game, but when they released the pictures of the jersey, the team isn't staying true to the team's old logo. The Rays are omitting the cigar pictured on the original jersey, which is just a shame. We all know smoking is bad for you, but if you're not going to actually want to show a cigar, you probably should honor a team called the "Smokers." [JoeRaysFan.com]

THE YANKEE STRIPPER: Need a gift idea for the Yankee fan who has everything? Well, how about a photo of a showering Joe DiMaggio?

A photo from a postage shower us up for auction at Lelands.com if you're interested in that sort of thing. [San Francisco Chronicle]

FATHERLY ADVICE: When the Blue Jays demoted Kyle Drabek to Triple-A, he made a call to his dad for some advice. That's a pretty good idea when your dad has 155 career victories and a Cy Young Award on his mantle. [The Canadian Press]

HEFTY BILL: I'm not sure how aware most casual fans are of this unwritten rule of baseball, but when a big league star has a rehab appearance at the minor-league level, the tradition is the big leaguer buys the postgame meal for the team. Zito says his four rehab starts have cost him $4,500. Somehow, I think he can afford it. [San Francisco Chronicle]

ANOTHER GOOD BAUTISTA FEATURE: Last week Jeff Passan of Yahoo! wrote a great feature looking at the backstory of Jose Bautista. This weekend the Toronto Star's Vinay Menon wrote another good look at the guy who may be baseball's best player right now.

ANOTHER FATHER'S DAY STORY: Former Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu tells the Toronto Star about his father and grandfather, who were in a Japanese-American internment camp in California during World War II.

HARPER RESTS: Bryce Harper sat out his second consecutive game on Sunday, as the Nationals determined he needed to rest more than play at this point. The Hagerstown Suns had been eliminated from winning the South Atlantic League first-half title, so they gave Harper some time off. Harper finished his first half of professional ball hitting .330/.429/.586 with 14 homers, 45 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 227 at-bats. He will certainly play at the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday and may then be promoted to high-Class A Potomac for the start of the second-half of the Carolina League season starting on Thursday. [Washington Post]

BAD TRAVEL DAY: Tacoma Rainers broadcaster Mike Curto has the details on the Triple-A team's rough travel day on Friday that saw the team get to the park at 6:45 p.m. for a game that was scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.

DOES BASEBALL NEED TO BE CHANGED?: The Los Angeles Times asked various people -- including a filmmaker, an actor, an artist and a physics professor -- about how to improve the game. Some of the suggestions are benign, some ridiculous and few give easy answers. But it's an interesting read, anyway.

VENTURA PAIN-FREE: There have been few baseball injuries as grotesque as the one former White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura suffered in a spring training game against Boston in 1997, when Ventura ran slid into Red Sox catcher Bill Haselman and then Ventura held his leg up with a dangling ankle. Today, he's pain-free after an ankle transplant. [Los Angeles Times]

PINGLESS: If you watched any of the College World Series this weekend, you noticed the ping of aluminum bats has been replaced by more of a thud sound. That's because college baseball changed to bats that perform more like wood this season. The results have been dramatic. [New York Times]

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Agents says Ramirez wants to stay in Chicago

Aramis Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Aramis Ramirez is still a Cub and he wants to keep it that way.

Ramirez's agent, Paul Kinzer, told the Chicago Tribune that his client doesn't want to be traded and is unlikely to OK a trade if the team asked. Ramirez has a full no-trade clause and is also a 10-and-5 player, meaning he must OK any trade because of his 10 years of Major League service time, inclujding the last five with the same team.

"He doesn't event want to take a trade. He took less years and less money to stay in Chicago [in 2006], so that is definitely his first option," Kinzer told the paper.

Ramirez makes $14.6 million this season and the Cubs have a club option for 2012 worth $15 million, one they'll no doubt decline and pay a $2 million buyout.

Ramirez is hitting a solid .288 with a .343 on-base percentage, but his slugging is down to just .394 with two homers in 216 plate appearances. Ramirez has a career slugging percentage of .495, but it has dipped each of the last seven seasons since he slugged a career-best .578 in 2004. Since then his slugging has decreased, sometimes gradually (.568 in 2005) and sometimes drastically, from .516 in in 2009 to .452 last season.

As I was watching the Cubs-Reds for a bit last night, they flashed some of Ramirez's career stats -- in his 14th season -- and ninth in Chicago, Ramirez has accumulated 291 home runs and 1,050 RBIs, all the while hitting .282/.340/.495. Even playing for the Cubs, I'm not so sure Ramirez has ever gotten his due for just how good of a player he's been over the years. He has earned just two All-Star nods.

Perhaps he has been overlooked among National League third basemen because he played in the time of Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen, as well as during the rise of David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman

Ramirez will turn 33 later this month and his power seems to be diminishing. Also, he has been at best an average defender. There's no way he makes $15 million next season and it appears his career is on its downside. Desppite that, there are teams that could use him for even his current skills. That said, it's unlikely to be the Cubs, unless he likes the team so much he'll take a huge paycut to stay in Wrigley.

By the way, Kinzer is also the agent for Geovany Soto, Starlin Castro and John Grabow. Kinzer told the Tribune he doesn't expect the Cubs to jettison Soto or Castro (duh), but it's possible Grabow could be on the market when the trade market begins to heat up. 

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Posted on: June 4, 2011 9:52 pm
Edited on: June 5, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Best first-round picks of the last decade



By C. Trent Rosecrans

With the MLB Draft beginning Monday night at 7 p.m. ET, the Eye on Baseball crew is going to look at the best -- and worst -- first-round draft picks by each team in the last 10 years. 

With the way the baseball draft goes, there are plenty of busts in the first round every year, but there are a lot of great players in the game that were drafted in the first round and the supplemental first round. Tomorrow we'll look at the misses, but for today, here are the hits.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Most first overall picks make the majors and many (Alex Rodrgiuez, Ken Griffey, Chipper Jones) find their way to superstardom. Justin Upton may not be a superstar yet, but the first overall pick of the 2005 draft already has one All-Star appearance under his belt and will probably have more to come.

Atlanta Braves: With the 14th pick in the 2007 draft, the Braves took a local kid, outfielder Jason Heyward. Nice pick.

MLB Draft

Baltimore Orioles: Matt Wieters is close to taking this spot, but for now it's still Nick Markakis, who was taken with the seventh overall pick of the 2003 draft out of Young Harris College in Georgia.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox had five picks in the first round and the supplemental first round in 2005, and as good as Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie are, the pick here is right-hander Clay Buchholz, taken 42nd overall out of Angelina College.

Chicago Cubs: While his name is now a cautionary tale, it's easy to forget just how good Mark Prior was before arm trouble. Drafted with the second pick of the 2001 draft, he won six games in 2002 and 18 in 2003, his best season. Overall, Prior was 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA.

Gordon BeckhamChicago White Sox: Even with his struggles last year and this season, Gordon Beckham has been a productive player for the White Sox after he was taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft.

Cincinnati Reds: Taken out of high school with the 12th overall pick in 2005, Jay Bruce is the reigning National League Player of the Month and only seems to be getting better at 24. He already has 85 homers in his career, including a National League-best 17 this season.

Cleveland Indians: How bad have the Indians' first-round picks been the last decade? The 18 players taken by Cleveland in the first round and the supplemental first round over the last 10 years have collected just 506 games in the majors, 334 for Cleveland. Lonnie Chisenhall (29th overall in 2008) may eventually be their best in this list, but for right now it's the Orioles' Jeremy Guthrie, who at least has 40 big-league wins.

Colorado Rockies: While the Indians' choice was tough, the Rockies' wasn't -- Troy Tulowitzki was taken with the seventh overall pick in 2005.

Detroit Tigers: With the second pick in 2004, the Tigers took Justin Verlander.

Florida Marlins: The team's best pick of the last decade came in the fourth round of the 2002 draft when it took high school pitcher Josh Johnson, but as far as first-round picks, their best is right-hander Chris Volstad, taken with the 16th pick of the 2005 draft.

Chris BurkeHouston Astros: The Astros didn't have first-round picks in 2003, 2004 and 2007 and haven't had much production from any of them. There's really just two choices, Chris Burke (10th overall, 2001) and Jason Castro (10th overall, 2008). Castro has potential, but is out this season and has played in just 67 big league games, so the pick is Burke, who played in parts of six seasons with three teams, but his 18th-inning walk-off homer (left) to clinch the 2005 NLDS against the Braves is one of the franchise's signature moments.

Kansas City Royals: This choice could be much more difficult in five years, but for now it's pretty easy -- Zack Greinke. The Royals selected him sixth overall in the 2002 draft and he won the American League Cy Young Award in 2009.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Jered Weaver was the 12th pick of the 2004 draft.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers took lefty Clayton Kershaw with the seventh pick of the 2006 draft out of a Texas high school.

Milwaukee Brewers: This could change in a couple of years, but for now, Prince Fielder (seventh overall, 2002) leads Ryan Braun (fifth overall, 2005). Fielder is a free agent this offseason, while Braun is under contract through 2020.

Minnesota Twins: There were those who questioned the pick of hometown boy Joe Mauer with the first pick in the 2001 draft instead of Prior. Not anymore.

New York Mets: Fred Wilpon may not think he's a franchise player, but David Wright is the team's best first-round pick in the last decade, taken with the 38th overall pick in 2001.

New York Yankees: The Yankees have plenty of first-round picks on their roster, although few were their picks. Two key pitchers, starter Phil Hughes (23rd overall in 2004) and reliever Joba Chamberlain (41st overall in 2006), were Yankee picks. The pick here is Chamberlain, who has allowed fewer runs in a similar number of innings and is currently pitching.

Oakland Athletics: A chapter of the book Moneyball focuses on the 2002 MLB Draft and Billy Beane's distaste of drafting high school players. In the book, the team is excited the Brewers take a player they won't touch (Fielder), and the team also doesn't want Zack Greinke, Scott Kazmir, Cole Hamels or Matt Cain -- all high school player. But they get the man they want the most, Nick Swisher at No. 16. It's a good pick, as is Joe Blanton at 24 -- but it's hardly Greinke, Fielder, Hamels or Cain. The team also picked Jeremy Brown, a catcher out of Alabama, and Mark Teahen in the supplemental round. 

Philadelphia Phillies: Another pick from the Moneyball draft, the pick after the A's took Swisher, the Phillies snatched up Hamels, the left-hander from a California high school with the 17th pick.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The 2005 draft featured six players listed as center fielders taken in the first round -- and all six have made the big leagues. The second one taken was the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen with the 11th overall pick. The others were Cameron Maybin (10), Bruce (12), Trevor Crowe (14), Ellsbury (23) and Colby Rasmus (28).

San Diego Padres: The Padres may have had one of the biggest busts of the last decade in Matt Bush, the first overall pick in 2004 draft, but he's not been their only bad pick. The best of the lot was Khalil Greene, taken No. 13 in 2002, who had a promising start of his career, but his troubles with social anxiety disorder drove him from the game. Still, he's the Padres' career leader in homers by a shortstop with 84.

San Francisco Giants: Nine teams passed on the right-hander out of Washington, some scared off by his funky motion and small stature. Tim Lincecum proved them wrong.

Evan LongoriaSeattle Mariners: Adam Jones (37th pick in 2003) played in just 73 games for the Mariners, but was named an All-Star and won a Gold Glove with the Orioles in 2009.

St. Louis Cardinals: With a compensation pick for the Red Sox signing Edgar Renteria, the Cardinals used the 28th pick of the 2005 draft to take Rasmus out of an Alabama High School.

Tampa Bay Rays: Were Luke Hochevar and Greg Reynolds better than Evan Longoria? The Royals and Rockies took those two right-handers with the first two picks of the 2006 draft, leaving Longoria (left) for the Rays.

Texas Rangers: Funny story here -- in 2001 I was working at the Athens Banner-Herald in Georgia and was covering the NCAA Regional in Athens when a Teixeira-led Georgia Tech squad was bounced from the tournament. After his last game, a kid from the student radio station asked Teixeira if he thought his poor showing in the regional would hurt his draft status. The Georgia Tech coach, Danny Hall, took the microphone before Teixeira could answer and said, "No." So did the Rangers, who took him fifth overall.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays took lefty Ricky Romero out of Cal State Fullerton with the sixth pick in the 2005 draft.

Washington Nationals: Another pick that could change with the emergence of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, but that's still several years away because of the fourth pick of the 2005 draft,  Ryan Zimmerman.

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 9:55 am
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:40 am
 

Pepper: Sabean over the top in his comments



By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

BASEBALL TODAY: CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss the chances of the Marlins, Brewers and Diamondbacks sticking around all season.

SABEAN OUT OF LINE: Buster Posey's injury is the story that just won't die -- and it flared up again on Thursday when Giants general manager Brian Sabean ripped Scott Cousins on a San Francisco radio station.

Sabean intimated there would be some sort of retaliation the next time the Giants saw the Marlins' Cousins. For a general manager to imply his team would be looking to hurt another player is irresponsible and reprehensible -- especially when Cousins played within the rules. You can bet Bud Selig will be making a call to Sabean and there will plenty of eyes on the Giants when they head to Florida Aug. 12-14.

Not only were Sabean's comments unprofessional, they're also hypocritical. Baseball Prospectus' Larry Granillo takes a look at Pablo Sandoval's similar play last season against the Pirates, and also a play from 2006 which was worse that happened to the Giants' Todd Greene, but caused no public outrage from Sabean.

Cousins' agent, Matt Sosnick, answered, saying his client has already gotten death threats, which probably won't be helped with Sabean flaming the fire. He also noted Cousins feels terrible about hurting Posey.

"The fact that Posey got hurt is terrible and everyone feels terribly about it," Sosnick told Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News. "No one feels worse, outside of Posey, than Scott did. But it's over. The play was within the rules; it was a fair, legitimate play. There’s no way Scott could know in the heat of the moment if there was a sliding lane of not.

"It was legal in baseball. He helped his team. The fact someone got injured on the play stinks.

"I understand Sabean is upset about it. Based on the fact that I know he’s a good guy, I am really hoping that he was speaking in the heat of the moment and out of emotion. Because if he wasn't, he took a bad situation and certainly made it a lot worse."

WEBB SHUT DOWN: Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb felt discomfort in his right shoulder in a bullpen session on Thursday and is being shut down. He has been prescribed anti-inflammatories and will be shut down for a minimum of seven days. (MLB.com)

9 TEAMS VIOLATE DEBT RULES: We all knew the Dodgers and Mets were in financial trouble, but they're apparently not alone. According to a Los Angeles Times report, a total of nine of the 30 teams are in violation of the MLB debt service rules which limit team's debt levels to 10 times its annual earnings. The guilty teams are a mix of big and small market teams -- the Mets, Dodgers, Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, Marlins, Phillies, Rangers and Nationals.

DRAFT BONANZA: While the Rays may have more picks than anyone else in next week's draft, the Diamondbacks have the most valuable picks. In one of the deepest drafts in years, Arizona has a chance to pick up two impact players, drafting No. 3 and No. 7 overall. (Arizona Republic)

Yankees' MISSED OPPORTUNITY: UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole may be the top pick (or at least in the top three) next week, but it won't be the first time he's drafted in the first round. The Yankees took him in 2008, but he decided to go to UCLA instead. (New York Daily News)

WRIGHT, WILPON OK: David Wright finally spoke to Mets owner (for now) Fred Wilpon and said "all is well." Wright is one of the players Wilpon criticized in a New Yorker article. (New York Post)

Things should continue to be good with Wright and Wilpon, because it's unlikely he's going anywhere. Earlier this week there were rumors Wright may be moved, but the New York Daily News reports Wright's option for 2013 is team-specific, meaning only the Mets could exercise it. Any other team would risk losing Wright to free agency following the 2012 season. Anyway, it doesn't make much sense to sell low on Wright right now anyway, so expect him to stay with the Mets.

JETER WATCH: Derek Jeter currently has 2,984 hits and he acknowledges he feels a bit of a "responsibility" to reach 3,000 at Yankee Stadium. At his current pace, he'd get hit 3,000 at Wrigley Field in Chicago against the Cubs on June 18. Oddly enough, another Yankee had a chance at a milestone at Wrigley Field recently -- Roger Clemens' third shot at his 300th win was at Wrigley Field in June, 2003, but he lost that game. He won in his next start -- at Yankee Stadium against the Cardinals. The Yankees have a 10-game homestead from June 7-16 before going to Chicago for three and Cincinnati for three, returning home on June 24. Selfishly, I'd love to see Jeter go for 3,000 in Cincinnati, just so I could see it in person. It'd be more fitting for him to get it in New York, though. (New York Daily News)

DISAPPOINTMENTS: What do Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Carpenter, Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols and Carl Crawford have in common? Well, they're all rich. Besides that, they're also on SI.com's Joe Sheehan's All-Disappointment Team. I'd take all five of those guys in a heartbeat. They're a discappointment because they haven't lived up to their own high standards so far, all five have the ability to turn it around in a heartbeat.

GRITTY AND GUTTY: Sure, these gifts are a little too prized by old-timers and not prized enough by new-school thinkers. Whatever their worth, those kind of players are fun to watch -- and the Padres have one in Chris Denorfia. As a personal note, Denorfia is one of the really good guys in the game and I'm glad to see him doing well. (San Diego Tribune-Review)

HARPER SHINES, STRUGGLES: In one game, Bryce Harper showed exactly why he's too good for the South Atlantic League, but also not quite ready to be called up to the next level. In addition to a walk-off homer, Harper fell victim to the old fake-to-third-throw-to-first move and was also caught in a rundown. (Washington Post)

CURE FOR THE CURSE? The Cubs are 5-0 in throwback uniforms -- now if they'd just wear them all the time… (BleedCubbieBlue.com)

FOR THE SNEAKERHEADS: Move over Brian Wilson, Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie has the coolest spikes on the planet. Guthrie has a pair of Air Jordan I spikes that are just plain awesome. (NikeBlog.com)

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Posted on: June 1, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Beltran enters rumor mill with other Mets

By Matt Snyder

Not surprisingly, the trade rumors are beginning build up all around baseball as we enter June and surpass the 1/3 mark of the season. Even less surprising is how often the New York Mets are involved in the rumors, what with their payroll issues and being more than eight games out in the tough NL East already.

While there obviously might be more players included in the rumors by the end of July, things will likely center around four big-name guys. A while back, I said we should brace for "The Summer of Reyes." Of course, Jose Reyes has been playing so well, there are some calling for the Mets to give him a nice-sized contract and instead trade David Wright. Don't expect to stop hearing about Francisco Rodriguez being moved to someone for setup help, but CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler makes a good case why it won't happen. Now, let us enter Carlos Beltran into the rumor mill.

In fact, Beltran is the most likely Mets player to be traded by the July 31st trade deadline, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

It makes sense, because Beltran is a free agent after the season. Morosi also mentions a clause in Beltran's contract that guards against the Mets receiving draft-pick compensation should he walk as a free agent -- meaning: If Beltran leaves as a free agent, the Mets get nothing back.

Thus, Beltran fits the mold of a rental quite well, considering he's also proven that he's healthy enough to swing the bat with authority again. Entering Wednesday, Beltran is hitting .279 with 16 doubles, eight home runs, 28 RBI, 25 runs and an .875 OPS.

Oh, and then there's the whole thing about Mets owner Fred Wilpon talking about what a big mistake the Beltran contract was. With that in mind, don't expect any resistance to a trade from Beltran, even though he's a 10-and-5 guy.

Beltran does make about $3 million per month, so the Mets might have to pick up some of the tab in order to move him, but there's probably a deal attractive enough for all parties involved to help make that happen.

Regardless of what actually will happen, it's going to be a fun rumor season as always. And we won't be able to ignore the Mets.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com