Yes, Starling Marte had 78,000,000 reasons to pick the Mets.
A long-held desire to unite with another Dominican Republic star was also present.
“I always said that I wanted to be his teammate,” Marte said of Robinson Cano on Wednesday. “And now that I had the opportunity to do so, I decided to take it.”
Steve Cohen offered to make the $4 million in a 4-year deal for the Mets’ center fielder.
But Marte clearly will enjoy the return of the infielder, who was suspended last season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Marte stated that the two had been talking about joining forces for years, but they hadn’t discussed it this offseason. After Marte was signed by the Mets, they connected.
“He sent me a message and we spoke a little bit,” Marte said through interpreter Alan Suriel. “I always look forward to having conversations with him and just to continue learning from him.”
Marte, who will move around the outfield and projects to be the Mets’ leadoff hitter, said he was happy about the many Latinos in the Mets’ clubhouse.
While it wasn’t a friend, but rather a visitor that helped Mark Canha.
Sandy Alderson, a local Canha recruiter, jumped onto a plane to fly from Florida to Phoenix on Nov. 22. This was Canha’s first in-person encounter with an entire team.
“Nobody else did that, so that was big for me,” said Canha, a former Oakland A who overlapped with Alderson. “I didn’t think much of it at the time. But then after the meeting, I was like, ‘Man, I’m really glad they did that.’ ”
Somehow, none of the seven-year pro’s 645 games have come against the Mets. He stated that he did not have much information about the club.
“The Mets may not have been the favorite before that meeting,” Canha said. “And then after that meeting, they were one of the favorites.”
Canha’s former team in Oakland has a current 2022 projected payroll of about $71 million, which is less than Marte will make in his four seasons with the Mets.
“I’m used to a little bit less exciting offseasons as well with my previous team, so it was kind of crazy,” he said about the millions the Mets have doled out. “It was all very new for me and very exciting.”