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Mets Souring On Available Pitchers?

A new report says the New York Mets are apparently not thrilled with the pitching options available on this year’s trade market.

Cliff Lee is a Texas Ranger and R.A. Dickey a revelation in New York. Because of those two factors, the Mets are less likely to trade for a pitcher than they were last month, according to people familiar with the team’s thinking. They do, however, retain some interest in Ted Lilly, Brett Myers, Jake Westbrook and—if he becomes significantly less expensive—Roy Oswalt.

The Mets also view the market for available relievers as underwhelming, and are not optimistic about adding high-impact bullpen help.

The Mets were enamored of Lee, but unwilling to part with Ike Davis, so Seattle sent its ace to Texas for first baseman Justin Smoak and other prospects. Beyond Lee, there is no starter that the Mets consider a hands-down difference-maker. Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese are obviously secure in their jobs at the top of the rotation, and the team believes that Dickey’s success—and, to a lesser extent, Hisanori Takahashi’s—has reduced significantly the need to make a trade. Dickey and Niese’s performances in San Francisco this week reiterated that the rotation is not the Mets most significant problem.

The Mets do, however, remain interested to some degree in several starters, and are still open to completing a deal. They have scouted Chicago lefthander Lilly, and have received reports that the Lilly’s velocity is down. Still, the 34-year-old struck out 10 Friday in a win over Philadelphia.

Could this just be a smokescreen by the Mets, hoping they can drive the market price down?