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Sunday reading: Cliff Lee, Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, John Maine and Jason Phillips

Sorry for the delay. Off Subway Series II Game 2 (if the game had been suspended, we could have called it Part 1), I wrote about the Mets and Cliff Lee. The Mets had a scout watching Lee Friday night, as he pitched a gem against the Reds at Safeco Field.

These Lee sweepstakes will be fascinating, as we've discussed previously, because money won't be a huge deterrent. There will be plenty of teams willing and able to pay what's left of Lee's salary (about $5.3 million, at the moment).

The sense I got yesterday, from reporting, was that the Mets would not give up Jenrry Mejia for Lee. It is interesting, though, that whatever teams gets Lee will receive two compensatory draft picks when Lee signs with the Yankees over the offseason. We'll see how this Mets season evolves. Maybe the equation will change.

How close are the Mariners to actually trading Lee? Here's how one person involved in discussions put it yesterday: "Guys aren't being made available yet, but we're starting to get signals that they'll be made available soon."

--In my Sunday Insider, I noted how different the trade market looks because of the Phillies' mind-boggling decision to trade Lee last winter.

I also wrote about Dylan Brown, the Mets' 37th-round draft pick who has reported to Port St. Lucie. As a 37th-round pick, Brown comes in with the bar set pretty low, obviously. But I thought he was worth mentioning because of his bloodlines - he's the younger brother of A's prospect Corey Brown - and because he spoke with the Mets four years ago about going considerably higher in the draft. He instead opted to go to Oklahoma State University, and wound up transferring to the University of Tampa.

I spoke with Jason Riley about Brown. Riley is the trainer credited with helping Derek Jeter to improve his defense last year.

Riley worked with Brown this spring, to get him ready for professional ball. Riley said of Brown: "He's got the work ethic to get there." Brown is a long shot, but we'll see if he can surprise us.

The accompanying video features a Brown homer from this past season.

--Jeter, meanwhile, missed yesterday's game, but he's in today's starting lineup for the Yankees.

--Jim Baumbach wrote about Curtis Granderson, who's still trying to get comfortable as a Yankee.

--Phil Hughes was not satisifed with his stuff, but he still deserved his win.

--Joba Chamberlain had a good, easy day.

--Ah, John Maine. We have an update from this story. Jerry Manuel just announced, moments ago, that Maine has been shut down after complaining of discomfort from his last start for Triple-A. He'll be examined again shortly.

Surgery? That's what we naturally anticipate. No matter what, though, it's exceedingly to envision Maine throwing another pitch for the Mets this year. As you can see in the linked story, Manuel has no use for Maine whatsoever. With Maine out of options, if he actually did get healthy again, he'd probably get designated for assignment.

And this development really a shock? Couldn't the Mets have saved themselves the aggravation and $3.3 million by non-tendering Maine back in December?

--Jose Reyes seems to be all the way back, as David Lennon wrote. Also in this Mets notebook is the news that both Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez are eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list. Has the phrase "Take your time" ever been more relevant?

--Here's more on Wally Backman.

--Great Father's Day story here by Hunter Atkins about Johan Santana and his dad.

--Great story here about former Mets catcher Jason Phillips, who met his wife while working his current job as the Mariners' bullpen catcher. I found out about this story thanks to Twitter.

--Did you see any of the Rays-Marlins game last night? Insanity. Something tells me no other team will be giving out "toy horns," or whatever you want to call the vuvuzela sound-alikes.

--Self-promotion alert: I'll be on "Sports Extra" on Fox 5, tonight at 10:30, with Duke Castiglione.

--Tomorrow afternoon, we'll have a book giveaway contest.

--And finally, Happy Father's Day to Steve from South Amboy and all of the other dads out there. Enjoy your day.


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