New York Mets: Robinson Cano talks his health, Melky Cabrera, Amed Rosario

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano is entering his second season with the New York Mets. The team acquired Cano and reliever Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners in December 2018 for prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn, pitchers Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista and outfielder Jay Bruce.

Major League Baseball is prepping for a 60-game regular season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, Cano expressed how the situation is “really hard” (quotes per Mike Puma of the New York Post).

“It’s really hard right now, but I’ve also got to understand the situation,” Cano said Thursday. “I was home training, do some biking every day and try to keep myself in shape, because it was like a week or two weeks before the season starts.”

Despite an eight-day absence from Mets’ summer camp, Cano feels good “physically.”

“I don’t want to say that I feel behind,” Cano said. “But I think we have got a week left, and I think I can get some at-bats, 20-25, and for me the main thing right now is I feel good physically and was able to keep myself in shape.”

The Mets recently signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to their 60-player pool. Cabrera and Cano were teammates on the New York Yankees from 2005-09.

Cano says Cabrera “means a lot” to him.

“[Cabrera] means a lot to me,” Cano said. “We came over here with the Yankees and created a good relationship, won a championship together and it’s good to have him here. I know what he can bring to the table and also he’s a guy with experience that can help the team from both sides of the plate, in the outfield. He can help this team to win games.”

Cano has high praise for his double-play partner, Amed Rosario.

“After the second half last year, the way he improved and the numbers he was able to put up, he was better than the year before,” Cano said. “He came into spring training in shape and he’s a guy, he can still grow. He will be one of the best shortstops in this game. It’s just a matter of time and some guys take longer than the other ones.”

Cano was limited to 107 games last season due to injuries. He hit .256, posted a .736 OPS, and totaled 13 home runs and 39 RBIs.

New York Mets’ Melky Cabrera ready to give it his all to make team

If there is a player in the New York Mets camp who is eager to make an impression, that’s Melky Cabrera. The veteran outfielder had been out of a job for months before the Mets came knocking on his door a couple of weeks ago, most precisely on June 29.

His best years are obviously behind him, since he’s 35 years old. The Mets had him for a workout in February, even asking him to take some ground balls at first base, but an offer never came. Then, the pandemic struck. Thankfully, with teams looking for veteran depth and guile, there was an offer this time around.

“What they did tell me was to just come in and work hard,” Cabrera said through an interpreter. “You just never know what happens. So I’m coming here to work hard and give it my all.”

The Mets are very deep

At this point, Cabrera knows the drill. He is familiarized with the fact that it isn’t certain that he will make the New York Mets’ final roster. After all, the team has plenty of outfielders, including Brandon Nimmo, Yoenis Cespedes, J.D. Davis, Jake Marisnick, Michael Conforto, and Dom Smith.

For his career, Cabrera, who is close friends with Mets’ second baseman Robinson Cano, has slashed .285/.334/.417 with 144 home runs and 101 stolen bases in 1887 games. He has a 101 wRC+, which is essentially average production. However, last season he had an 85 wRC+ mark and a rather mediocre .280/.313/.399 line with the Pirates.

His ability to switch-hit would give manager Luis Rojas a bit of versatility at the time of writing the lineup.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Cabrera said remembering his time with the Yankees. “This is where I first started my career. And I’m grateful to the team for giving me this new opportunity to continue playing here.”

New York Mets ink outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

The New York Mets have taken the veteran free agent market by storm since they published their 60-man player pool on Sunday evening. Kidding aside, they have made a few depth signings that will sure come in handy during the shortened calendar and in the event that injuries strike.

Earlier on Monday, the Mets announced the return of right-handed jack-of-all-trades pitcher Erasmo Ramirez, who pitched the spring training with them; and deals with pitcher Hunter Strickland and infielder Gordon Beckham. Now, they are also reinforcing the outfield corps with veteran Melky Cabrera.

Cabrera, who started his career with the New York Yankees and then played for the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates, is now a 35-year old veteran who is capable of hitting for average, but not much else.

The Mets are betting on Cabrera’s contact ability

For his career, he has slashed .285/.334/.417 with 144 home runs and 101 stolen bases in 1887 games. He has a 101 wRC+, which is essentially average production. However, last season he had an 85 wRC+ mark and a rather mediocre .280/.313/.399 line with the Pirates.

He didn’t play the spring training with any team this year and is hoping to earn some at-bats in a crowded New York Mets offense.

Cabrera’s best asset at this point is probably his ability to make contact. In his career, he has a very low 11.8 K%, and last season, it was 10.3. However, it comes at the expense of his power, as evidenced by his .119 ISO in 2019.

The Mets’ outfield corps are very deep this season, as they have Brandon Nimmo, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Jake Marisnick, Ryan Cordell, Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis and now Cabrera under contract. Johneshwy Fargas and Jarret Parker are also in the 60-man player pool, which means that the team has the position covered by at least 10 players.