NEW YORK — Carlos Carrasco got a call from the Mets’ new owner, Stephen Cohen.
He was so excited. He can’t wait to meet me. I can’t wait to meet him too, the pitcher said on Tuesday. The way he talked, the way he said everything… he seemed like a really nice guy.
New York has blown up since Cohen’s election on the 6th. In November, the Mets’ $2.4 billion purchase of the Wilpon and Katz families was completed. Carrasco expects to be a postseason candidate.
I’m so happy now. I want to start spring training next week to get to know everyone and wear the jersey, Carrasco said at a press conference. It’s something very important to me, I’m wearing this shirt now.
Last week, Carrasco and All-Star Francisco Lindor shorts were purchased from Cleveland for players Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, as well as two minor league hopefuls : Right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Green.
The right-hander, who turned 34 in March, missed Carrasco three months of the 2019 season while battling leukemia. He overcame a coronavirus pandemic by going 3-4 in 12 starts with an ERA of 2.91, his career best ERA of 2.55, when he split the rotation between Cleveland and the pen in 2014.
When I found out I had leukemia, I only thought about it for 10 seconds, the worst he could remember. But then I always had a wife, and she told me: You’ll be fine. From the first day until this morning, everything is fine, you have nothing. And that’s what I needed to hear.
Carrasco is a positive thinker and said it was key to his return to health.
He just gave it, just gave it hard, he said. I never feel depressed. I always imagine it differently. I have children. I have a wife. My parents, my friends, I don’t want them to see me sad. I’ve always been strong, and that’s how I feel now. It’s very important to me.
Carrasco joins Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman, two-time NL Cy Young award winners, in a rotation that could also include David Peterson, Steven Matz and Seth Lugo. Noah Syndergaard will likely return from Tommy John surgery by the end of the season in June.
After an 88-73 season with a 3.73 ERA in 11 seasons with the Indians, Carrasco joins a team looking for its first world championship title since 1986 and feels able to compete for its pitching and core offense group that also includes Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto.
Carrasco retains his number 59 in New York and Lindor retains his number 12. Carrasco, who received Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award in 2019 for his excellence in baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and contribution to his team, is looking forward to starting his community service in the New York area.
In the offseason in New York City, Stroman accepted an $18.9 million bid, as well as contracts for right tackle Trevor May ($15.5 million over two years), receiver James McCann ($40.6 million over four years) and Syndergaard ($9.7 million over one season).
The potential is to reach the playoffs and the World Series, Carrasco said. We have a very good team. If true, Lindor would be very, very good, very nice. We’ve got some very good players, some first-timers, some substitutes, I think we’re going to do well.