New York officials might want to sign up new Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera for their next “I Love New York” ads.
Cabrera, whom the Mets last week signed to a two-year, $18.5-million free-agent contract with an option for a third season, sang the praises of his new team and city on a conference call on Thursday.
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“They’re a really good team,” Cabrera said. “Great city to play baseball. And they are winning . . . It’s a great city, a big city. I played there when I was in Washington. They have good support of the fans. Right now, they were just in the World Series last year, so they have good support in the city.”
The Mets will be the fourth team for Cabrera, 30. He broke in with Cleveland in 2007, was traded to Washington during the 2014 season and spent last season with Tampa Bay.
Cabrera played second base with the Nationals but returned to his shortstop roots with the Rays and hit .265 with 15 home runs and 68 RBIs.
Cabrera is not seen as a top defender at short, but he should be an upgrade over Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada, both of whom will come into spring training rehabbing broken leg bones.
Of course, the Mets made it to the World Series without a top defender at short, in part because of their strikeout-heavy pitching staff. Cabrera is a fan of that, too.
“Oh, man, they are great,” he said. “Last year, their pitchers, they were the best starting pitchers in the league. I hope they do the same job as they did last year and we will win this year.”
Cabrera also had positive things to say about Neil Walker, his new double-play partner, whom the Mets picked up from Pittsburgh for Jon Niese.
“I think he’s a great player,” Cabrera said. “A great second baseman. He plays hard, plays the ball, he plays the ball right. I am happy to be playing with him and we’ll try to go out and win a World Series.”
Murphy to Nationals? The market for former Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy has been slow to develop, but according to an MLB.com report, the Nationals have interest in signing the free agent.
Washington also is said to be talking to the rebuilding Reds about a trade for second baseman Brandon Phillips, who has full no-trade protection. Phillips played for new Nationals manager Dusty Baker in Cincinnati.
Ryan to Cubs. The Yankees officially sent infielder Brendan Ryan to the Cubs to complete the Dec. 8 trade that brought Starling Castro to the Bronx.
Mets minor-leaguer suspended. Mets minor-league pitcher Connor Buchmann has been suspended 50 games for a positive test for amphetamines, the commissioner’s office announced. Buchmann, an 11th-round pick in 2014, is on the roster of rookie-level Kingsport.