Livescore Sunday, April 21

Sporting a stylish Mets bomber jacket picked out by his wife, Alex, for his Opening Day news conference, Steve Cohen – now in his fourth season as the owner of the team – spoke about his excitement for the beginning of the season and how he still gets “chills” walking through the stadium.

A similar excitement shot through the team, the organization and, perhaps above all else, the fans when New York signed J.D. Martinez to a one-year deal last week. Because of how late he signed into the preseason due to a market that never really materialized, even with Scott Boras as his agent, Martinez will not be on the Opening Day roster nor take part in the festivities at Citi Field.

However, that doesn’t take away from the team’s level of excitement of having Martinez, a bona fide designated hitter – the Mets’ first since the National League adopted the DH in 2020 – in the organization.

“I knew they’d be excited by it,” Cohen said about his players, some of whom he contacted before the news was made official. “I wanted them to know before it actually broke. And they were [excited] and certainly Pete [Alonso] is. And that’s good.

“We obviously lengthen the lineup with somebody who is a professional, someone who has performed on all levels and just from a locker room presence and a teaching presence, we’re gonna get added benefit.”

Speaking about the deal for the first time in a news conference setting, Cohen was able to explain the thought process and decision-making that went into it.

Not willing to spend big money on free agents to the degree he did in years past in what he described as a “transition” year for the Mets, Cohen said the price for Martinez just kept going down as the offseason went on and that he and David Stearns pounced when the opportunity presented itself.

“They were seeking either a two-year deal or a deal that was much more expensive than what we ended up getting J.D. for and it was one of those things where we keep talking about being opportunistic and I think that was an example of that. It came down to a price that was reasonable.”

Martinez signed a one-year deal worth $12 million and although he’s still getting ready down in extended spring training, when the time comes he figures to be the team’s everyday DH and slot behind Alonso in the fourth spot of the lineup.

In the meantime, or at least for Opening Day, Jeff McNeil is batting cleanup and DJ Stewart is DHing and batting sixth.

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