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Mets to exercise Asdrubal Cabrera’s option for 2018

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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.

Hunter Strickland fractured his hand punching a door after Monday’s poor performance

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Giants closer Hunter Strickland had an ugly top of the ninth inning Monday night against the Marlins. He allowed three runs, serving up a walk, a double, another walk, and two singles. The Marlins overcome a 4-2 deficit and went on to win 5-4.

Unhappy with his performance, Strickland punched a door and fractured his pitching hand. He will undergo surgery and will miss six to eight weeks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

That’s a huge loss for the Giants, as Strickland has been terrific, Monday’s start notwithstanding. He carries a 2.84 ERA with 13 saves and a 29/13 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. Manager Bruce Bochy said Tony Watson or Sam Dyson will fill in at closer while Strickland is out, per Pavlovic.

Bochy said that he is “disappointed” and “crushed” about Strickland’s injury, noting that the right-hander had grown a lot as a pitcher and as a person, Pavlovic adds.

Strickland has a problem with anger, it appears. He exacted revenge on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper last year, throwing a 98 MPH fastball at him, then punched him in the head when the two brawled. Strickland wanted revenge because, in the 2014 playoffs, Harper stared at a home run he hit off of Strickland.