Heartened by the improved play of Asdrubal Cabrera at third base and the versatility it adds to his repertoire, the Mets are “warming” to the idea of exercising Cabrera’s 2018 club option, reports Newsday’s Marc Carig. As Carig points out, Cabrera’s $8.5MM option comes with a relatively notable $2MM buyout, so the decision on him effectively comes down to a one-year, $6.5MM call. The Mets had been shopping Cabrera more aggressively earlier in July but actually backed off a bit leading up to the non-waiver deadline, according to Carig. New York is hardly closed off to the idea of trading Cabrera, but with the possibility of receiving only a marginal return in an August deal, the Mets may also simply elect to plan for him to play multiple positions at a reasonable rate in 2018. Cabrera, 32 in November, is hitting .262/.338/.405 with nine homers in 2017.
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- Carig also reports that the Mets have “explored” the possibility of keeping Jay Bruce beyond the 2017 season — an arrangement that would leave Michael Conforto as the team’s primary center fielder at least for a few years. GM Sandy Alderson has expressed growing confidence that Conforto could handle that spot, however, Carig continues. The two sides have yet to discuss an extension, per Carig, but the Mets could make Bruce a qualifying offer and/or pursue a reunion in free agency. The 30-year-old Bruce is hitting .265/.329/.538 with 29 homers and vastly improved defensive ratings in 2017. The New York Post’s Mike Puma, meanwhile, wrote yesterday that Bruce seems intent on exploring the free agent market but also wouldn’t rule out a return to the Mets. “I’m not in the bridge-burning business,” said Bruce before explaining that he’ll consider all opportunities and scenarios.
- Third baseman David Wright has been cleared to resume “light baseball activities” after finishing extensive rehab work with an orthopedic specialist, writes Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Wright has played catch and begun some light fielding drills, per Ackert, who notes that throwing was the biggest difficulty for Wright when he was shut down back in Spring Training. With the team’s 2018 outlook at third base currently murky — Ackert explores the options at greater length — Wright’s ability or inability to show progress between now and season’s end will be an important factor as the Mets determine their offseason plans.