NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Injured center fielder Juan Lagares is expected to return to the Mets on Thursday when New York takes on the Pirates.

So who gets sent down — or sent packing?

ESPN reported on Monday that Chris Young — general manager Sandy Alderson’s third-most expensive signing this past offseason — might be cut when Lagares is activated from the disabled list.

According to the website, the Mets are prepared to eat the remainder of the 30-year-old’s salary.

But after ESPN’s report came out, Mike Puma of the New York Post was told by an unnamed team official that the club is not considering parting ways with the embattled outfielder at this time.

Alderson later commented on the matter, and he, too, disputed the initial report.

Alderson signed Young to a one-year, $7.25 million deal in November, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. It hasn’t exactly worked out.

The veteran, who hit 32 home runs in his first full season in the majors in 2007, is batting just .201 with four homers and 17 RBIs. He’s struck out 41 times in 179 at-bats and owns a dreadful .284 on-base percentage.

The signing was widely criticized after Young hit just .200 for Oakland in 2013.

If the Mets don’t cut Young, it’s very likely that Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be sent back down to Triple-A Las Vegas. Nieuwenhuis ripped two doubles in the Mets’ 11-5 win over the Marlins on Sunday.

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