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Mets did not consider themselves in trade mix for Cliff Lee

Starting pitcher Cliff Lee smiles in the dugout

Starting pitcher Cliff Lee smiles in the dugout after coming out of the game against the Texas Rangers. (April 30, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

The Mets were never seriously involved in trade discussions for Cliff Lee, a person familiar with the situation said Friday, and the primary reason was the Mariners' request that they include Ike Davis in any package for the former Cy Young Award winner.

After the Mariners backed off their morning talks with the Yankees, who appeared to come close to acquiring Lee, they ultimately got that Davis-type slugger when the Rangers sent first baseman Justin Smoak to Seattle as part of a package that also included three prospects.

Smoak, 23, is the same age as Davis and was the Rangers' first-round pick, 11th overall, in the 2008 draft. The switch hitter was batting .209 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 70 games for Texas. Davis entered Friday hitting .257 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs in 72 games.

With Lee not really on their radar, the Mets didn't get too worked up Friday about the news that he wound up in Texas.

"We've just got to continue playing," Johan Santana said. "It would have been nice to improve our team with him, but at the same time, we know what we've got and that's what we've got to go with."

The Mets are looking for a significant upgrade to the rotation, which is why Lee would have made sense. That also might force them to wait on the prices for the likes of Roy Oswalt and Ted Lilly as the July 31 non-waivers deadline draws closer.

Igarashi down, Evans up

The Mets sent Ryota Igarashi to Class A St. Lucie and called up Nick Evans from Double-A Binghamton. The Mets could use a righthanded hitter for the weekend. Evans was hitting .290 with 15 home runs for the B-Mets. Igarashi was sent to St. Lucie because it remains in action during the All-Star break. Jerry Manuel hoped to have Igarashi return toward the end of an 11-game road trip that begins Thursday. "We think he can be more effective," Manuel said. "What we've seen on the side in his work and what is seen in the game is somewhat different. What we're trying to do is bridge those two places."

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