The Mets have cleared closer Jeurys Familia and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to play winter baseball, allowing both to prepare for the World Baseball Classic, a source said on Friday.
General manager Sandy Alderson expressed some hesitance on the subject earlier this week, citing the injury risks involved with winter ball while noting that it was still possible for the Mets to deny the players permission.
Cabrera dealt with a knee issue for much of last season and Familia had a heavy workload out of the bullpen, giving the Mets some pause about winter ball.
However, Cabrera played his first winter league game on Thursday in his native Venezuela. And Familia — who has not yet been disciplined under baseball’s domestic violence policy — has plans to play in his native Dominican Republic.
Mets righty Seth Lugo appears to be in line to represent Puerto Rico. Though he has yet to be officially added to the team, he is interested in pitching. The Mets have indicated they are willing to let him participate, and Puerto Rico is hoping to have him on the staff.
Brandon Nimmo (Italy), Michael Conforto (Italy) and Ty Kelly (Israel) are included on preliminary rosters, thought it’s unclear if they will play in the tournament.