Mets balk at price for Upton; Rangers remain interested in Hamels
By Cash Kruth and Austin Laymance
Rumors continue to swirl leading up to Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Here's what's floating around Saturday.
• The Royals appeared close to a deal for Reds ace Johnny Cueto, but the proposed trade reportedly fell through because of medical concerns regarding Kansas City players.
Cueto, who tossed eight scoreless innings in a win over the Rockies on Saturday night, was under the impression he was going to be traded in the moments leading up to his start, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
"I was warming up and [Michael Lorenzen] was there in the bullpen, and I told him, 'What are you doing here?' He told me, 'I'm going to pitch because you're going to get traded.' That happened 10 minutes before the game," Cueto said through translator Tomas Vera.
• The Mets have talked to the Padres about free-agent-to-be Justin Upton, but they don't seem to be interested in the outfielder for the price San Diego is seeking, according to CBSSports.com.
The Padres, per CBSSports.com, are asking for at least one high-end prospect back, and may be looking for two. Upton is owed what's remaining of his $14.5 million this season before he walks as a free agent. The team that acquires Upton, if he's traded, will not be able to extend a qualifying offer.
Upton entered Saturday hitting .248 with 15 home runs, 17 stolen bases and 49 RBIs.
The Mets certainly remain unlikely to move Wheeler, who is 25 and not a free agent until 2020, but it's worth noting New York is willing to make a deal as it looks to contend for the National League East crown and an NL Wild Card spot.
• Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been a lightning rod of both criticism and compliments since he made his Major League debut. The outfielder, who is under contract through 2019, has not been told by the club that he won't be traded, a baseball source tells Ken Gurnick.
Puig entered Saturday hitting .259/.434/769 with six homers in 51 games, but manager Don Mattingly said Puig was out of the lineup for a normal night off before a day game.
• The Rangers aren't out of the Cole Hamels sweepstakes yet, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Texas is back in the hunt for the 31-year-old lefty, who has a vesting option for 2019 worth $24 million if he logs 400 innings in 2017 and '18 and doesn't suffer an arm injury by the end of 2018. If the option doesn't vest, it's a $20 million club option with a $6 million buyout.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.