Signing Cabrera also is clear indication the Mets won’t make a run at free-agent Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier.
“Asdrubal can help us all around the infield,’’ GM Sandy Alderson said in a statement. “The season didn’t end the way we wanted but that didn’t stop him from playing hard right to the very last out of the season. Asdrubal is a great tutor to our younger players and a leader in the clubhouse. We’re happy to have him back.’’
Cabrera, the Mets’ Opening Day shortstop last year, will play third and fill in at second. Cabrera, who asked to be traded last year after manager Terry Collins asked him to play second, has done an about-face.
Being injured, losing a step and your starting job, not to mention getting older will often cause a player re-evaluate his position. The Mets’ inability to trade Cabrera at the deadline also gave him an indication of what the free-agent market could be for him.
“I want to come back here because I feel this team is going to be in the playoffs again really soon,’’ Cabrera told reporters at the end of the season. “We’ve got talent.’’
Despite several stints on the disabled list last season (ligament damage in his right thumb), Cabrera hit .280 with 14 homers in 135 games.
Signing Cabrera doesn’t necessarily preclude the Mets not bringing back Jose Reyes, who is a free agent and can also play second and third, but is a better choice to back-up Rosario.
The Mets also picked up the one-year, $7-million option on lefty reliever Jerry Blevins.
“Jerry always takes the ball,’’ said Alderson. “He was a stable force in our bullpen all year long. With Jerry, the addition of AJ Ramos and having Jeurys Familia for the entire season, we feel we have the nucleus for a much-improved pen. Getting Jerry back makes me a lot more confident about the late innings as we go forward in 2018.’’
Despite the potential of the Mets’ pen, Blevins endorsed bringing back Addison Reed, who was traded to Boston in July but is a free-agent.
“I’d like to see them maybe go out and sign Addison Reed,’’ Blevins said. “We’re going to need some steady, solid arms in the bullpen next year.’’
VEGAS LIKES METS: At least one Las Vegas oddsmaker is banking on the Mets battered pitching staff being healthy next season. Bovada has the Mets at 22-1 to win the World Series, ahead of three 2017 playoff teams: Arizona (28-1), Colorado (40-1) and Minnesota (66-1).
The Mets are listed eighth, behind Houston (5-1), the Dodgers (11-2), Cleveland (15-2), Washington (10-1), Boston, the Cubs and Yankees, all at (11-1).