David Freese coming off DL for Cardinals’ home opener

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On the disabled list with a lower back injury, David Freese will be activated before this afternoon’s Cardinals home opener against the Reds.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch notes that Freese finished a brief minor-league rehab assignment yesterday at Triple-A by going 3-for-5 while playing all nine innings defensively. So he’s ready to go.

Matt Carpenter has been filling in at third base for Freese, so he’ll shift over to second base and Daniel Descalso will slide back into a part-time role.

Report: Mets sign Wilson Ramos to two-year, $19 million deal

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The Mets have signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, SNY’s Andy Martino reports. The total value of the contract is $19 million, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

Ramos, 31, split last season between the Rays and Phillies, putting up one of the best offensive seasons among catchers. In 416 total plate appearances, he hit .306/.358/.487 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI.

Ramos will presumably get the lion’s share of plate appearances behind the plate with Travis d'Arnaud backing him up. Grandal was made a qualifying offer, so the Mets would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. And, of course, Realmuto would have cost prospects. Ramos simply costs money.

The Mets were aggressively pursuing a catching upgrade, having been involved in rumors surrounding J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal, but ultimately settled on Ramos. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made a significant impact on the team already, having also added second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from a trade with the Mariners.