NEW YORK -- By the middle of the 2017 regular season, Mets infielder Asdrubal Cabrera was disgruntled enough to ask publicly for a trade, unhappy with his move off shortstop. But as they actively shopped the other veterans on their team, trading away five of them, the Mets never dealt Cabrera.
Now, they have extended their relationship with the veteran infielder. The Mets picked up Cabrera's $8.5 million contract option for 2018 on Friday. Because there was a $2 million buyout on Cabrera's deal, the move effectively costs the Mets $6.5 million.
The Mets also picked up reliever Jerry Blevins' $7 million option.
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"Asdrubal can help us all around the infield," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement. "The season didn't end the way we wanted, but that didn't stop him from playing hard right to the very last out of the season. Asdrubal is a great tutor to our younger players and a leader in the clubhouse. We're happy to have him back."
Since making his trade request, Cabrera has come to peace with the fact that he will likely spend the rest of his career at a defensive position other than shortstop. The Mets will use him either at second or third base, depending on whom they sign this offseason. Cabrera, 31, batted .280 with 14 home runs and a .785 OPS in 135 games this season.
"This is where I wanted to be," Cabrera said in a statement. "I experienced the postseason with the Mets in 2016, and that's where I want to get back to this year. I'm open to playing anywhere. I just want to help."
The move does not preclude the Mets from re-signing infielder Jose Reyes, their lone free agent. That decision will come at a later date.
There was little debate regarding Blevins, a lock to return after posting a 2.94 ERA and holding left-handed batters to a .197 average in 2017. He will remain at the back of New York's bullpen alongside closer Jeurys Familia and setup man AJ Ramos.
"I can't state how excited I am to continue my career as a member of the Mets," Blevins said in a statement. "This organization has shown it wants nothing more than to win a World Series and has made strides every step of the way to achieve that goal. I'm happy to be a part of that plan and can't wait to join my teammates in Florida."
• Roughly a week after outrighting him off their 40-man roster, the Mets re-signed infielder Phillip Evans to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Evans, the 2016 Eastern League batting champion at Double-A Binghamton, hit .303 with a .758 OPS in 19 September games for the Mets.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.