PORT ST. LUCIE — David Wright wants his agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, to clear their names against allegations of cheating by former employee Juan Carlos Nunez. The heads of the ACES agency, which has represented the Mets captain for 17 years, are accused in a new lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court last week of urging Nunez to engage in misconduct and actively procure performance-enhancing drugs for their clients.
“I’ve known these guys for almost half my life. They have certainly done right by me and I’ve never seen I guess what is being accused of them,” Wright said Saturday at Mets spring training camp. “I just hope that for their sake they get the due process. They deserve to be able to tell their side of it, set the record straight, or whatever the right way is to put it.
“I answered to the way they have treated me and what I have seen from them personally the last 17 years,” Wright said. “I have never seen that or heard that and they have always treated me great and been very good, in my opinion, been a good representation of me.”
Nunez took full responsibility and was fired by the Levinsons in 2012 when ACES client Melky Cabrera tested positive for testosterone and it was discovered the agency attempted to exonerate Cabrera by concocting a phony web site and product that it claimed led to Cabrera’s positive test.
Mickey Callaway met with Zack Wheeler one day after the rehabbing righty had publicly bristled over his rotation status — and potential bullpen demotion — following Jason Vargas’ free-agent signing on Friday.
“I talked to Zack today. Not about that, but about the things we would talk about on a normal basis even if we didn’t sign another pitcher yesterday,” Callaway said on Saturday at First Data Field. “It’s about him being prepared, things about recovery.
“He’s taking steps to make sure he is going to be the best pitcher he can be. The things he said and talking to him, it’s like he’s stepping up for a battle, a challenge to go out there and win a spot. And he knows when he is healthy he can be one of the best pitchers on this team. I saw fire in his eyes that he was going to go out there on the mound.”
Wheeler, who had missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons following Tommy John surgery, made 17 starts last year before being shut down with a stress reaction in his right arm.
“I’m just here to be a starting pitcher,” Wheeler had said on Friday. “That’s what I’ve always been. That’s what I’m gonna be. When I’m healthy, I know I’m just as good as anybody out there. So that’s what I’m concentrating on.”
ON SECOND THOUGHT
Asdrubal Cabrera requested a trade — and then rescinded it — after the Mets moved him off of shortstop last season. But the veteran infielder is on board with a shift from third base to second base due to Todd Frazier’s free-agent signing earlier this month.
“It’s good news for us. Todd Frazier’s a very good player and I think he’s going to help the team,” said Cabrera, whose $ 8.5 million option was exercised by the Mets. “I’ve played second before, so it’s not a problem.”
Wright appreciated newly minted Hall of Famer Chipper Jones’ comments from last month in which the longtime Met nemesis said he believed Wright was on track to join him in Cooperstown until serious injuries derailed his career.
“That’s very nice of Chipper. Chipper and I have become fairly close over the years and it was a ridiculous, probably undeserved compliment from Chipper,” Wright said. “But I’ve never thought about, you know, those things. Maybe it would be fun after I’m done playing to sit back and maybe go through a highlight video, but I’ve never thought about what it’s going to be like, I guess, after I’m done playing. But very nice words from Chipper and I appreciate that.”
New bench coach Gary DiSarcina referred to former Mets manager Terry Collins as “my mentor” from their days together with the Angels, but added that he felt “connected” immediately with Callaway and the front office over the winter. DiSarcina served in that same role last season in Boston.
“I felt we were on the same wavelength on a lot of things,” DiSarcina said. “I know it’s Mickey’s first year doing it, but he’s been in the game a long time and was blessed to sit next to Brad Mills and Terry Francona. Talk baseball with Mickey for a half-hour and you feel pretty connected.”