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Familia, Cabrera haven’t received permission to play in winter league yet

The two want to use winter ball to get ready for the World Baseball Classic in March.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Neither Jeurys Familia nor Asdrubal Cabrera have been allowed to start playing in the Dominican Winter League yet, according to Sandy Alderson said he wants to be “careful” with his closer and shortstop, especially after Juan Lagares suffered a shoulder strain while attempting a diving catch.

The report comes on the heels of a Sunday announcement by winter league team Gigantes del Cibao that Familia would play for them. Familia, who is Dominican, and Cabrera, a native Venezuelan, had been hoping to use the winter league as a way to get ready for the World Baseball Classic in March.

Alderson stressed the difference between allowing Lagares to play and permitting Familia and Cabrera. Because Lagares only played in limited time last season, “the idea of getting him some at-bats in winter ball was valuable,” Alderson told after the Mets’ Christmas party on Tuesday. But Alderson wasn’t ready to commit to letting Familia and Cabrera play solely so they could get ready for the World Baseball Classic.

Familia and Cabrera would make it four Mets who would likely play in the World Baseball Classic—Michael Conforto is on Italy’s provisional roster, while Ty Kelly could play for Team Israel, Alderson said.