Asdrubal excited to be part of Mets' winning formula
New shortstop praises New York's rotation, double-play partner Walker
NEW YORK -- The Mets' pitch to free agents these days is a simple one, the type of marketing strategy they have been hoping to use for years: Come to Queens to join a winning team.
With shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, that line worked.
"We've got some of the best starting pitching in the league," Cabrera said on an introductory conference call Thursday, not long after his two-year, $18.5 million deal became official. "We can win this year, too."
If the Mets do return to prominence in 2016, they expect Cabrera to be a significant part of it. A nine-year veteran of the Indians, Nationals and Rays, Cabrera hit .265 with 15 homers in 2015 in what was another steady season for the middle infielder. With the Mets, Cabrera figures to play almost exclusively shortstop, across the second-base bag from fellow new acquisition Neil Walker.
"I think [Walker is] a great player," Cabrera said. "He's a great second baseman. He plays hard, plays the ball right, and I'll work with him to try to win the World Series."
Added Walker on his new double-play partner: "I played against him all the way through the Minor Leagues -- obviously a very good player himself. We have a lot of similarities, being middle infielders and being switch-hitters. I think there's a lot we can learn from each other. I'm excited to get to work with him."
And the Mets are excited to see how this all works out. With those two infielders, Bartolo Colon and Jerry Blevins also back on new deals, and of course the rest of that pitching in place, the Mets feel they have a fine chance to play deep into October again. None of their acquisitions this offseason have been big-ticket moves, but New York thinks the path to continued competitiveness lies in improving the margins.
"They're a very good team," Cabrera said of the Mets. "It's a great city to play baseball, and they are winners."