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The NY Mets writer brings experience to changing culture

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NEW YORK — It was a call from Steve Cohen to Justin Verlander early in free agency that helped ship the future Hall of Fame pitcher to the Mets.

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The conversation had nothing to do with baseball, but it helped expose Cohen’s reliability and honesty toward building the Mets into consistent World Series contenders.

“He gave me such a positive feeling of what his vision of this franchise is and that he wants to make this franchise amazing,” said Verlander. “To follow up on this conversation with Billy (Eppler) and the rest of the staff, they all share the same vision and passion to do whatever is necessary to make this organization championship level again.

“That’s what happened for me is I wanted to be a part of this division going forward and obviously this organization took a giant step forward last year. They had a great season, and I think it will only continue in the right direction.”

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New York Mets pitcher Justin Verlander speaks with reporters at a press conference at Citi Field, Tuesday, December 20, 2022, in New York.  The team introduced Verlander after they agreed to a two-year, $86.7 million contract.  It's part of an unofficial spending spree in which the Mets poured $476.7 million on seven free agents.

At this point in his career, Verlander wants to continue snatching rings.

Fresh from a World Series and a Cy Young Award with the Astros, Verlander hopes to help the Mets take more steps toward building a consistent championship contender as he enters his 40-year-old season.

Jacob deGrom’s replacement?

Three days after Jacob DeGrom left the Mets for the Rangers, Mets and general manager Billy Eppler struck a two-year, $86.66 million deal to bring Verlander from the World Series champion.

Those early conversations with the Mets front office and DeGrom’s departure opened the door for Verlander to come to New York. And the Mets’ desire for a dynamic two-punch one-hit atop their rotation with Verlander and Max Scherzer has dampened.

Assisted by New York Mets General Manager Billy Eppler, right, pitcher Justin Verlander wears his new jersey during a press conference at Citi Field, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, in New York.  The team introduced Verlander after they agreed to a two-year, $86.7 million contract.  It's part of an unofficial spending spree in which the Mets poured $476.7 million on seven free agents.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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“(Last season) was written to be able to help put 2 aces against any club we faced,” said Eppler. “We wanted to try and do the same thing. It was a product of that once Jacob announced himself, we looked at Justin and another pitcher, and we were able to kind of get an interest in (Verlander’s) part as well. I think he wants to be here and he wants a chance to compete for another championship.” “.

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