Posted: Wednesday June 2, 2010 2:23PM ; Updated: Wednesday June 9, 2010 3:32PM
Jon Heyman

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Mets decline Boras' suggestion to retract Beltran letter

Oliver Perez
Oliver Perez has been a major disappointment for the Mets ever since signing a three-year, $36 million contract before the 2009 season.
John Iacono/SI

The Mets rejected a request by Carlos Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, to withdraw the letter sent this winter by Mets COO Jeff Wilpon threatening to void Beltran's contract. So the battle over Beltran's January knee surgery continues.

Beltran had arthroscopic surgery on his right this winter after the recommendation of noted knee surgeon Richard Steadman and verbal OK from Mets doctor David Altchek. However, Wilpon has maintained there was an agreement to get a third opinion before going ahead with surgery that was expected to keep him out into May. Beltran's new target date to return is late June, even after an upbeat recent report, so the frustration over this issue continues. Beltran has a $119-million contract that runs through next season.

While Beltran suggested upon arriving at spring training that he is putting the dispute behind him, that appears to be a rather hopeful assessment. Things continue to be tense. And once Beltran proves his knee is better, it wouldn't be surprising to see him leaving the Mets one way or another.

Ollie needs to accept invitation to the minors

The Mets have made every attempt to try to convince struggling left-hander Oliver Perez to accept an assignment to the minors but so far Perez is insisting on staying with the Mets and taking up a roster spot. The Mets have gone so far as to tell Perez he doesn't have to go to Triple-A Buffalo and can report instead to Florida, where he could work on his own terms under pitching guru Phil Regan. But so far, the only terms that are acceptable to Perez are the ones that keep him in New York.

The Perez situation is separate from what's happening with Beltran except that both players have the same agent. Mets people say in this case they have spoken to Boras and the agent isn't opposed to a minor-league assignment for Perez (Boras didn't return a text). A Mets official said they won't consider releasing Perez because they don't want to eat the remainder of his $36 million contract.

In any case, Perez, who is 0-3 with a 6.28 ERA, needs to put his ego aside. It is high time for him to go to the minors and work out his problems. Far more consistent Mets pitchers over the years such as Bobby Jones and Steve Trachsel have done so in the past to resurrect their careers, and it worked for them. There is no shame in doing what's right for the team. It also happens to be what's right for the player.

Around the Majors

Brandon Webb has been spending a lot of time in Alabama with Dr. James Andrews, who's been monitoring Webb's slow progress from shoulder surgery he underwent in 2009, and Diamondbacks people are becoming discouraged about his timetable as he has been unable to move to the next step of throwing off a mound. The date of his return remains uncertain. Once he gets on a mound, he will still be at least a month away, but is still unclear when that's happening.

Dontrelle Willis, acquired via trade from the Detroit Tigers, is worth a flier for the D-backs. Perhaps a switch back to the National League, where he pitched with much success for the Florida Marlins from 2003-07, will help him.

• The Angels' Kendry Morales is expected to miss 10-12 weeks after his freakish ankle area break during the celebration of his walkoff grand slam last Saturday. The celebration wasn't over the top, so there's no blame here.

• Astros star Roy Oswalt never should have been ejected for yelling "I ain't talking to you,'' to umpire Bill Hohn. Some umpires have to remember that the players are the stars, not them.

• The Yankees have determined that they will likely pursue a reliever and a hitter at the deadline. They are concerned about reliever Chan Ho Park, whose velocity isn't what they expected and are unsure whether Alfredo Aceves can avoid back surgery to repair a disc issue.

• Just asking: Is Alan Embree's goal to be DFA'ed or released by every team?

• Congrats to Mark McGwire, who's certainly had an interesting life and is someone I've grown to like; his wife had triplets.

• The Dodgers have played superbly ever since GM Ned Colletti went on the radio and mentioned Matt Kemp's underperformance in the areas of baserunning and defense. Maybe there's a connection.

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