The Mets have picked up club options for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and reliever Jerry Blevins. But it remains to be seen how aggressive general manager Sandy Alderson will be in beefing up his infield with another big bat and his bullpen with another trusted arm.
Cabrera, 31, batted .280 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs this season. He asked for a trade in June when the Mets refused to meet his request to pick up his team option in exchange for his moving off shortstop, where he had showed diminished range. He later backed off the trade request, then acquiesced to playing second and third base, bringing an element of versatility that the Mets valued.
“Asdrubal can help us all around the infield,” Alderson said in a statement. “The season didn’t end the way we wanted, but that didn’t stop him from playing hard right to the very last out of the season. Asdrubal is a great tutor to our younger players and a leader in the clubhouse. We’re happy to have him back.”
Cabrera’s contract included a $2-million buyout that the Mets would have had to pay to cut ties. By picking up the option for next season, the Mets retain control of the infielder on a one-year deal for an additional $6.5 million.
“This is where I wanted to be,” Cabrera said in a statement. “I experienced the postseason with the Mets in 2016, and that’s where I want to get back to this year. I’m open to playing anywhere. I just want to help.”
Blevins, 34, posted a 2.94 ERA as a lefty specialist.
“Jerry always takes the ball,” Alderson said. “He was a stable force in our bullpen all year long. With Jerry, the addition of AJ Ramos and having Jeurys Familia for the entire season, we feel we have the nucleus for a much improved pen. Getting Jerry back makes me a lot more confident about the late innings as we go forward in 2018.”
Blevins tied for seventh in the majors with a career-high 75 outings.
“I can’t state how excited I am to continue my career as a member of the Mets,” Blevins said in a statement. “This organization has shown it wants nothing more than to win a World Series and has made strides every step of the way to achieve that goal. I’m happy to be a part of that plan and can’t wait to join my teammates in Florida. #LGM.”
Earlier Friday, the Mets announced the signing of infielder Phil Evans to a minor-league deal with an invite to major-league camp. He had been outrighted off the roster last month. Evans, 25, debuted in September and hit .303 in 19 games for the Mets.