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Mets to exercise Asdrubal Cabrera’s option for 2018


Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets are ‘almost certain’ to pick up Asdrubal Cabrera‘s $8.5 million option for 2018. Cabrera has been vocal about his desire to return to the team next season, too. “I love this team,” he told reporters back in August. “We’ve got good talent now, young guys and they’re learning a little bit. It’s going to be a good team next year if everybody stays healthy.”

Cabrera, 31, didn’t always feel so fortunate to be on the Mets. He reportedly asked for a trade back in June and was dissatisfied with his role as a utility infielder, playing backup to talented young players like Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini. Nevertheless, he managed to carve out a place for himself in the lineup with a .280/.351/.434 batting line, 14 home runs and 1.3 fWAR in 540 PA. While he didn’t get the same surge in power that he enjoyed back in 2016, his steady contributions and defensive flexibility appear to be convincing enough for the Mets to take another chance on him in 2018.

The Mets could still decline his option, of course, in which case they’d owe him a $2 million buyout. That doesn’t seem likely, however, even with Rosario firmly entrenched at shortstop next season. Cabrera will likely be relegated to second or third base, where he’ll presumably split duties with Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera and any offseason acquisitions the Mets pursue.

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

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While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”