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Carlos Beltran, Terry Collins and Ramiro Pena

The Mets lost, falling under .500, but they hope to have Carlos Beltran back in the lineup today, after Beltran went down with flu-like symptoms.

As has been reported elsewhere, the Mets appear willing to pay what's left of Beltran's salary (roughly $6 million, come July 31) in a trade, with the idea that would get them better pieces in return.

That's the exact opposite of what a team like the Giants would like to do. San Francisco would prefer to spend money and keep its prospects.

The Braves and Phillies both have a need for Beltran, but there has to be wariness there concerning an "NL East premium." The Mets would need to get a little more in a deal to send Beltran to one of their two division rivals.

So who's left? Detroit. Boston. And as we know, you never can fully rule out the Yankees.

In any case, the priority seems to be bolstering that farm system, rather than getting some payroll relief. Jenrry Mejia's Tommy John surgery really hurt the Mets' talent reserve.

--Good column by David Lennon on Terry Collins, whose job is only going to get more challenging. Once Beltran is gone, even when David Wright back, and it's crystal clear this team isn't making the playoffs, can Collins keep the team somewhat together? That's where Jerry Manuel failed miserably the past two seasons, remember.

--Dillon Gee will try to get his early groove back tonight, when he starts against St. Louis. Alas, at least some of that success resulted from some good luck. When you compare his 19.6 percent line-drive percentage to his .316 batting average on balls in play, you're looking at someone who could be experiencing more pain in the future.

--Chris Capuano didn't have much room for error last night.

--I forgot to mention yesterday that Ramiro Pena underwent an emergency appendectomy early yesterday morning - on his birthday, the poor fellow - and the Yankees recalled Brandon Laird to take his place. Joe Girardi said he'll try to get Laird a start, and I hope he does, as I'm curious to see him. He has more pop in his bat than his brother, Gerald.

--See you at noon for the live chat, and then I'll check in later today from The Trop.

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