Morning Briefing: Murph stars in Minny


FIRST PITCH: Daniel Murphy represents the Mets in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at 8 p.m. ET at Target Field in Minneapolis.

“I’ve got my feathers up a little right now,” Murphy told reporters on Monday in Minneapolis. “The Metropolitans are playing well. It was a lot of fun in the homestand. We’ve got some guys in San Diego on the beach right now, relaxing. It’s really nice to go into the break feeling good about the way you’re playing.”

Asked earlier whether the All-Star selection is validation of all the work he has put in, Murphy said: “I don’t know about validation. It’s nice to get recognized. I’m not going to say it’s not. It’s really nice. Validation, for me, seems like it’s the end of the road. There’s still so much work I have to do with my game to try to improve.”

Tuesday’s news reports:

Bartolo Colon is available via trade, sources tell ESPNNewYork.com. In addition, industry insiders suggest the Mets are searching for upgrades at shortstop and left field. Starlin Castro does not appear likely, but Cubs’ Triple-A shortstop Javier Baez appears a realistic target.

An industry source tells David Lennon in Newsday that Castro won’t be available anyway, with the Cubs prepared to shift him to third base. “I’m not even thinking about that,” Castro told Lennon at Monday’s All-Star media session. “I’m here right now.”

• Check out ESPNNewYork.com’s grades for Mets pitchers here and position players and management here. Also read a report card from Mike Puma in the Post.

• Read more on the All-Star Murphy in the Post, Daily News and at MLB.com.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post suggests the Mets have the opportunity to retake the city from the Yankees. Writes Sherman:

In this town, the Yanks have been made men, the Mets Madoff.

Yet, cue familiar music, we are at another moment when the Mets and their disheartened fan base can dream a little -- of better days finally being near, if not here. Meanwhile, the Yankees are trending toward the dreaded Double Bs -- bad and boring. There is nothing a fan in this city loves more than his team being up -- unless if it can coincide with the other New York club being down.

• Mr. Met and some pixelated extras pretending to be Mets players tip their caps to Mr. Met in a Nike commercial saluting retiring Derek Jeter. Watch here.

• Read about the state of the Mets from Matt Ehalt in the Record.

Matt Harvey talks about his road back with Kristie Ackert in the Daily News. It’s now obvious Harvey will not pitch in the majors this season. Scott Boras recently said pitchers rehabbing from Tommy John surgery should wait 14 to 16 months to get into games, and Harvey’s surgery was last Oct. 22. Harvey notes the Mets now will not let him get on a mound at any point in July.

• Darrell Ceciliani homered twice and Binghamton moved a season-high 20 games over .500 with an 11-4 win against Erie. Rehabbing Rafael Montero pitched four scoreless innings in Game 1 and Domingo Tapia pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in the nightcap as St. Lucie swept a doubleheader against Lakeland. Taylor Teagarden caught five innings in the Gulf Coast League as he works back from a left hamstring strain. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Allan Dykstra won the Home Run Derby at the Triple-A festivities in Durham, N.C. He will serve as the Pacific Coast League DH in Wednesday’s All-Star Game.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets thinks the Mets should make a couple of deals to make a playoff push.

BIRTHDAYS: Fernando Nieve, who still cringes whenever Jerry Manuel points, turns 32. ... Wilson Delgado is 42. ... James Baldwin (the pitcher, not the playwright) is 43. ... The late Donn Clendenon was born on this date in 1935.


YOU’RE UP: Do you believe the Cubs will actually trade Starlin Castro?