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Carrasco: Mets Primed For Playoffs, Can Compete For Title

Carrasco: Mets Primed For Playoffs, Can Compete For Title

Carlos Carrasco got a welcome call from new Mets owner Steven Cohen.

NEW YORK: Carlos Carrasco got a welcome call from new Mets owner Steven Cohen.

He was so excited. He cant wait to meet me. I cant wait to meet him, too, the pitcher said Tuesday. The way he talked, the way he said everything is he looked like a really nice guy.

New York has bulked up since Cohen completed his $2.4 billion purchase of New York from the Wilpon and Katz families on Nov. 6. Carrasco is expecting a postseason contender.

Im so happy right now. I wish spring training started next week, to meet everyone and start wearing this jersey, Carrasco said during a news conference. Its something really important for me, just wearing this jersey right now.

Carrasco and All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor were acquired from Cleveland last week for infielders Andrs Gimnez and Amed Rosario plus a pair of minor league prospects: right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene.

A right-hander who turns 34 in March, Carrasco missed three months of the 2019 season while fighting leukemia. He pitched through the coronavirus pandemic, going 3-4 in 12 starts with a 2.91 ERA, his best since a career-best 2.55 ERA when he split 2014 between Clevelands rotation and bullpen.

The first time that I found out that I had leukemia, I just think about it for 10 seconds, the worst thing, he recalled. But after that, I just always had my wife on my side and she told me, `Youre going to be fine. From day one to even now this morning, your fine, you dont have anything. And thats what I needed to hear.

A positive thinker, Carrasco said that has been a key to his return to health.

Just given to the simple, of just being strong, he said. “I never feel down. I always think about it a different way. I have kids. I have a wife. My parents, friends, I dont want them to see me sad. I always be strong and thats what Ive been feeling right now. Im feeling really strong about that.

Carrasco joins two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman in the rotation, which also may include from among David Peterson, Steven Matz and Seth Lugo. Noah Syndergaard is likely to return from Tommy John surgery at some point from June until the seasons end.

After going 88-73 with a 3.73 ERA over 11 seasons with the Indians, joins a team seeking its first World Series title since 1986, one that feels it is positioned to contend around its pitching and a core offensive group that includes Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto.

Carrasco will keep his No. 59 in New York and Lindor his No. 12. Winner of Major League Baseballs 2019 Roberto Clemente Award for best exemplifying baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the contribution to his team, Carrasco is looking forward to starting community work in the New York area.

New Yorks offseason has included Stroman accepting an $18.9 million qualifying offer and deals for right-handed reliever Trevor May ($15.5 million for two-years), catcher James McCann ($40.6 million for four years) and Syndergaard ($9.7 million for one season).

The potential is to make it to the playoffs and to the World Series, too, Carrasco said. We have a really good team. Adding myself, Lindor is going to be really, really good, really nice. We have really good players, starting pitchers, relievers, I think were going to be fine.

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