Harrison Bader excited to reunite with Mets slugger, former college teammate Pete Alonso

While the Mets haven’t made the big moves fans are hoping for this offseason, they have added some very solid ball players, one of those being veteran outfielder Harrison Bader.

New President of Baseball Operations David Stearns has emphasized run prevention and Bader certainly helps in that aspect, as he’s been one of the best defensive outfielders since breaking into the league.

After spending the first few years of his career manning center field for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Bronxville, NY native returned home to play for the Yankees for part of the past two seasons.

Bader’s time in the Bronx didn’t quite go as planned, as he was placed on waivers prior to last season’s trade deadline after an injury-plagued campaign, but he’s looking forward to a new opportunity to show what he can do on the other side of town.

“I’m extremely excited to stay in the city I love,” Bader said during a recent appearance on MLB Network. “I’ve always been a fan of New York and New York sports. I’m looking forward to the season coming up, it’s an incredible opportunity for me and I’m extremely thankful.”

Another aspect that Bader says drew him to the Mets is some of the familiar faces around this year’s clubhouse.

Manager Carlos Mendoza, of course, was the bench coach with the Yankees during Bader’s two years there and he was also teammates with star first baseman Pete Alonso during their days at the University of Florida.

Alonso and Bader were close friends and made up a dynamic duo known as the ‘Diesel Bros,’ hitting back-to-back in the Gators lineup his senior year, so the 29-year-old is certainly excited to be reunited.

“Pete’s my guy, I think I’m already locker mates with him in spring training and for the regular season,” Bader said. “His approach, his energy, his focus and just how calm and poised he is at all times are all things I'm going to latch onto.

“I’ve played with some big-time first basemen in my career and he’s reminiscent of all of them, so I’m extremely excited to be back with him.”

Bader is expected to slot in as the starting center fielder for Mendoza’s squad on most days, but no matter his role, the former Gold Glove award winner says he’s ready to do whatever it takes to help push the team into the W column.

“Regardless of if you’re guaranteed the whole world or just a slice of it, you have to show up every day with one intention, and that’s to be the best version of yourself on that field for yourself and your teammates,” he said.

“I’m just taking things day by day. If there’s a game going on I want to be plugged in, help the team win, and do some cool stuff on all sides of the baseball. I’m just focused on that and letting the process take care of itself, and I know it’ll result in me helping this team win.”