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Mets changing approach at trade deadline: Willing to pay more if it nets better return

Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets takes batting practice

Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets takes batting practice prior to a game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Friday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Looking to trade their spare parts in another lost season, the Mets are willing to pay more money if it means a better return, assistant general manager John Ricco said.

That approach, if it becomes reality, would be the opposite of their routine last summer, when they traded Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda and others — as well as the rest of the salaries owed to them.

“We ended up not [eating money] last year,” Ricco said. “We’re looking to maximize value coming back, and we have the ability to carry some of the money in order to increase the return.

“It doesn’t mean we’re going to do that. We’re still going to look at the totality of the deal. If it means moving the money plus the talent is better than what we’re going to get for eating the money, then you might see us do deals where we do move all the money.”

Trade talks are picking up, Ricco said, but it’s possible negotiations drag past the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera remain the most likely Mets to go.

“We’re having plenty of dialogue,” Ricco said. “A lot of activity, a lot of phone calls, a lot of people checking in.”

Injury updates

Bruce (strained right hip) isn’t swinging yet, but hopes to start a hitting progression in the coming days. “We’re getting closer,” Bruce said. “It has not been fun. This has been a pretty helpless feeling for me.”

T.J. Rivera, who had Tommy John surgery last September, was diagnosed with a sprained right elbow after exiting his sixth rehab game with soreness. Ricco said Rivera received an injection of platelet-rich plasma and is about halfway through a 10-day shutdown.

Jason Vargas (strained right calf) will come off the DL and start Tuesday. The Mets had considered sticking with Corey Oswalt, but manager Mickey Callaway said the team is better off with Vargas.

“Oswalt made it a little difficult, there’s no doubt about that,” Callaway said. “We are a better team when we have Vargas pitching the way Vargas is capable of and have a solid sixth starter down at Triple A ready to come up.”

Extra bases

Three minority owners are selling a combined at least 10 percent of the Mets, Bloomberg reported. Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc., who are also investors in SNY, are among the sellers . . . The Mets optioned Oswalt and recalled reliever Drew Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas.


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