Mets morning briefing 7.27.11

The Mets won again Tuesday night, 8-6 over the Cincinnati Reds. They're a game over .500. And they're only 7½ games behind Atlanta in the wild card, even with the Braves being gifted a 19-inning win against the Pirates (watch video here). So it's time to hold Carlos Beltran and make a run, right? Not quite. ESPN's Buster Olney reports the Mets are making progress with the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants on a trade, with the Braves also in the mix.

Wednesday's news reports:

Johan Santana will begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Class A St. Lucie against the Daytona Cubs. He is due to throw 45 pitches. Barring setbacks, that signals Santana should be back with the major league team within 30 days, in late August. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Post and Record.

Tim Byrdak now has four career saves ... with four different teams. Read game stories in the Record, Star-Ledger, Times, Daily News, Post and Newsday.

• Beltran is taking the waiting game in stride. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Record.

• Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff says no to retaining Beltran rather than dealing him in the next few days. Writes Davidoff:

Longshot playoff runs are fun, but you know what isn't fun? Prioritizing fantasy over practicality. Going for it, falling well short and therefore failing to build your organizational depth through trades. The Mets already were yielding to their bad recent history and their unhappy fan base by not trading the likes of Jason Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak, nor seriously entertaining trade offers for Jose Reyes. They want to stay somewhat competitive. Not that Isringhausen or Byrdak are bringing back anything huge, but more than anything, the Mets need that organizational depth, which cost them so dearly in the 2007 and 2008 seasons (and, to a lesser extent, 2006).

Angel Pagan's bloodwork came back without issue and he is due to return to the lineup Wednesday, after a two-start absence. Pagan pinch-hit on Tuesday night and delivered an RBI single. Read more in the Times.

• The Times' Richard Sandomir examines trustee Irving Picard's Friday night federal court filing in his $1 billion-plus lawsuit against Fred Wilpon and family. He finds that Picard's new submission asserts a common person would have been alarmed by alleged red flags from Bernard Madoff's behavior. Writes Sandomir:

While not abandoning his theory that the team’s owners are more sophisticated than the average investor, Picard argued they should be tested by a somewhat lesser standard: what would a “reasonable person” of “ordinary intelligence” have done when presented with what he calls a “mountain” of warnings about Madoff’s operation? “At some level, he is trying to line up his arguments with actionable legal theories,” said Joel Seligman, the president of the University of Rochester and an expert on securities law who has not studied the case. At a minimum, Picard asserts that Wilpon and Katz should have conducted some kind of inquiry into the details and probity of Madoff’s operations. They never did, but instead continued to invest, and to profit, for years.

The lawsuit recently was shifted from bankruptcy court, which is being portrayed as Picard's turf, to federal court. Judge Jed S. Rakoff will hear arguments Aug. 17 in the Wilpons' attorneys motion to toss the case, or to rule in their favor on a summary judgment.

BIRTHDAYS: No players to appear for the Mets were born on this date, but Alex Rodriguez -- who wanted to play for the organization -- turns 36.