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Professional athletes typically boast of paying no attention to trade rumors. Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez exemplified how dramatically the absence of such rumors can jar the senses.
Rosario and Gimenez, the two Mets major leaguers traded to the Indians (along with two minor leaguers) for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco on Jan. 7, held their introductory Zoom news conferences for the Cleveland media on Thursday. The infielders, speaking separately, offered matching sentiments to the baseball offseason’s biggest trade, which the two participating clubs kept under wraps until minutes before the announcement.
“Obviously, at the time, it was a little bit of a big shock,” Rosario said through an interpreter. “I froze when I heard the news. I was having lunch when I heard the information.”
“When I received the call, I was a little shocked,” Gimenez echoed through an interpreter. “It was a surprise.”
The two men nevertheless declared their optimism over their new workplace setting, where the Indians are leaving open the issue of who will play where in the field — they both said they prefer shortstop. Rosario, who slashed a poor .252/.272/.371 in 46 games for the 2020 Mets, losing his starting shortstop job to Gimenez in the process, said, “The player that I think I am is closest to the version that I showed in ‘19 [when he slashed .287/.323/.432]. It wasn’t enough time to develop and get the timing that I normally get in a long season.”
After the 2020 season, Rosario worked in Southern California with hitting guru Doug Latta, who helped former Met Justin Turner become an All-Star with the Dodgers.
The Mets have hired Kevin Howard as their farm director, an industry source said, confirming a report from the MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Howard, 39, spent the previous five-plus years as the Indians’ hitting coordinator. He played professionally (in the minor leagues) from 2003-14, including the 2006 season with the Yankees’ Double-A Trenton affiliate.