- Doug Mittler, ESPN Insider
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The New York Mets wake up this morning in first place in the National League East, and they can thank Yoenis Cespedes, who hit three doubles and drove in four runs Monday in a 12-1 win over the Miami Marlins.
The Mets obtained Cespedes from Detroit right before Friday's trade deadline, but how long will he last in Queens? Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com writes that Cespedes, a free agent after the season, has a clause in his contract that stipulates that he must be released after the World Series if an extension is not completed by then.
“So unless the Mets pony up before Cespedes can test the market -- which seems doubtful -- Cespedes will play elsewhere next season,” Rubin writes.
For Mets fans starved for a playoff berth, that is a problem for another day. In the meantime, here are more rumors around the majors:
Justin Upton: Did the Padres’ set too high a price tag for the veteran outfielder last week? ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that in the Padres’ discussions about Upton, the Mets dangled Michael Fulmer, the talented pitcher they wound up dealing for Cespedes. San Diego said no, and the Mets moved on to Detroit.
A.J. Burnett: The Pirates are hoping that Burnett, who has a flexor tendon strain in his right elbow, will be able to return in approximately four weeks. The Pirates made a deadline deal for J.A. Happ, who went 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA for the Mariners. The Pirates also have two power arms in the Triple-A rotation in top prospect Tyler Glasnow and Radhames Liz, says Travis Sawchik of the Tribune-Review.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Manager Chip Hale is weighing the idea of shifting to a six-man rotation, as per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Zack Godley made his case to remain in the rotation after pitching six scoreless innings against Washington Monday in his third major league start. Arizona may decide to activate righthander Chase Anderson (triceps inflammation) after just one rehab start.
Matt Williams: The Nationals’ manager is facing some tough questions over his handling of his pitching staff, opines Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post. The latest example came Saturday night, when rookie starter Joe Ross remained in the game in the seventh inning with a one-run lead and Mets’ slugger Lucas Duda up next. Williams faced plenty of heat last October for his handling of the bullpen in a Division Series loss to San Francisco.
Danny Valencia: The Oakland Athletics acquired the veteran infielder on waivers after he had been designated for assignment by the Blue Jays following the acquisition of Ben Revere. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle says Valencia’s arrival could mean more time at second base for Brett Lawrie. The A’s also activated Pat Venditte and optioned him to Triple-A Nashville, but the switch pitcher is expected to be back in Oakland soon given he was unscored upon in his first four games.
Steven Matz: The New York Mets are eying an early-September return for the rookie left-hander who made just two starts before landing on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle. As Rubin points out, the return of Matz would allow the Mets to spread out the September starts of Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, keeping their innings down in advance of a possible postseason berth.
Dave Dombrowski: Last week was a busy one for the president and GM of the Tigers, who traded away David Price, Joakim Soria, and Cespedes. Over the weekend, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe asked if Dombrowski might soon sign an extension, given he could be of interest to the Angels, who are looking for a GM.