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Topic-icon Wilson Ramos had a grip on the New York Mets from the mo

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NEW YORK (AP) — ment he walked into their winter meetings suite in Las Vegas last week.“It was his handshake Francisco Cervelli Jersey ,” new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen recalled Tuesday at the catcher’s introductory news conference. “As some of you may get to know, this guy has really big, strong, strong mitts here for hands.”Ramos agreed to a $19 million, two-year contract, the fourth All-Star to join the Mets since Van Wagenen was hired in late October. New York acquired second baseman Robinson Cano and closer Edwin Diaz from Seattle and brought back former closer Jeurys Familia as a setup man.“Internally, we would argue that we’re the favorites in the division right now,” Van Wagenen told the team’s SNY network.Ramos commanded the room, according to Van Wagenen http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-josh-bell-jersey , when he met with the GM, manager Mickey Callaway and other New York executives. Ramos looked at home during the Citi Field news conference, wearing a sports shirt and sneakers as he slipped on a Mets jersey with his No. 40 — pitcher Jason Vargas agreed to switch to No. 44. Ramos maintained he has completely recovered from a tore right ACL in September 2016, which delayed his first game of the following season until late June.“Right now I feel 100 percent,” he said. “I’ve been working really hard, training really good in Florida. That made me feel confident to work in every part of my body, not only my knee.”Ramos has a lengthy injury history. His 2012 season ended May 12 when he tore the medial meniscus in his right knee while running after a passed ball. He went on the disabled list twice the following year after straining his left hamstring while running out a grounder. He broke the hamate bone in his left hand when hit by a foul tip on opening day in 2014, which sidelined him until May 7, then missed two weeks that June due to a strained right hamstring.He tore his ACL in 2016 when he landed awkwardly while catching a throw. He missed another month last summer after straining his right hamstring while running on a grounder.“We did a lot of research on his medical file http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-josh-bell-jersey ,” Van Wagenen said. “We obviously did a physical examination of him, and we were able to get really good detailed video of some of his workouts that he was doing this offseason.”Ramos’ arrival could lead New York to giving Travis d’Arnaud some time at first or third base or in left field. New York also may carry three catchers — Kevin Plawecki is out of options.Ramos’ deal includes a $2 million signing bonus payable next July 1, $6.25 million in 2019 and $9.25 million in 2020. The Mets have a $10 million option for 2021 with a $1.5 million buyout. Ramos would earn a $500,000 bonus in each season he has 100 starts at catcher.New York was seeking offense from the right side of the plate in the absence of Yoenis Cespedes, expected to be sidelined for a significant part of the season while recovering from surgery on both heels. Van Wagenen called the 31-year-old Ramos a “guy that can keep us a little bit above water on that side of the plate until Cespedes comes back.”Ramos hit .306 with 15 home runs and an .845 OPS last season for Tampa Bay and Philadelphia.While back in his home nation of Venezuela, Ramos was kidnapped in November 2011 and rescued after two days. He sidestepped a question about whether he and his family needed special security.“I feel comfortable living here in the States,” he said. “My family’s happy and I’m not putting too much attention on that because. … I want to concentrate on my game, on my job.”Van Wagenen said New York still had the flexibility to add payroll. He made an effort to project confidence, reading from prepared remarks.“We haven’t been shy and we haven’t been bashful Corey Dickerson Jersey ,” he said. “And this action rather than our inaction should demonstrate to the fans that we say what we do and we do what we say.”Notes: OF Brandon Nimmo attended the news conference. Nimmo, who was in New York for a meeting, said he wasn’t bothered by his name being mentioned as trade bait and didn’t call the Mets to inquire. “There’s so many scenarios that come up in the trade talks that it’s really hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction,” he said. BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Corey Dickerson came to the Pittsburgh Pirates with the reputation of being a good hitter and poor defender.The starting designated hitter for the AL in the 2017 All-Star Game while with Tampa Bay, Dickerson was used in the outfield in only 93 games last year.Traded to the Pirates, he committed one error in 266 total chances last year and won a Gold Glove award for his play in left field.“People don’t know the hundreds of hours I put in during the offseason, working on my defense,” Dickerson said at Pirates’ training camp. “I work on weaknesses and my strengths. It’s important mentally to know I can go out there and perform. I knew I could do it and take it to the next level. As the year went on Austin Meadows Jersey , my confidence just grew and grew. It’s about growing and continuing to get better. If you’re not, you may as well hang them up. I’m always trying to get better.”Dickerson made a great first impression in Pittsburgh last season.“He showed us he’s a motivated man,” manager Clint Hurdle said.Dickerson not only wanted to play better defense but also improve his batting average. He hit a career-best .300 though his home runs dropped to 13 from a career-high 27 in 2017.He started spring training 7 for 11 (.636) with a double and a triple.“I pride myself on taking care of business and playing the game the right way,” Dickerson said. “No matter what happens or who you play for, the performance just kind of takes care of itself. I just concern myself with my work ethic and my camaraderie with my teammates. It’s important to get along with those guys. As far as success, I never really worry about it. Results take care of itself.”Dickerson turns 30 in May and is eligible for free agency after the season. He has an $8.5 million salary this year and could be too pricey for the Pirates to retain.“It’s great to be part of this family,” Dickerson said. “It’s a great environment. I love it here. I’d like to stay.”NOTES: RHPs Jesus Liranzo and Aaron Slegers were optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis along with SS Cole Tucker and OF Jason Martin while RHP Alex McRae was reassigned to minor league camp. … RHP Jameson Taillon made his first start of the exhibition season Tuesday after pitching in simulated games so far this spring. He gave up three runs in four innings to the Minnesota Twins. Taillon is scheduled to start the opener March 28 at Cincinnati.

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