- Associated Press - Monday, April 21, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Bobby Abreu got a quick lesson in the Mets’ many uniform color combinations from an equipment guy, tried on a few belts in the clubhouse and then hugged new teammate Bartolo Colon.

Always smart for 40-year-olds to stick together in the big leagues.

“Good to be back,” Abreu said.

The Mets called up Abreu from the minors on Monday night, hoping the former star outfielder can still provide a few key hits. He wasn’t in New York’s starting lineup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Abreu hasn’t been in the majors since 2012, when he played a combined 100 games for the Dodgers and Angels. He began spring training this year with Philadelphia, was released in late March and signed a minor league deal a few days later with the Mets.

Abreu hit .395 with one homer and nine RBIs in 15 games at Triple-A Las Vegas. He batted .322 with 28 RBIs in 50 games during winter league games last offseason in his native Venezuela.

Even so, he wasn’t certain whether he’d get one more chance to play in the majors at age 40.

“I was hoping,” he said.

Abreu will mostly come off the bench as a left-handed pinch hitter. He’ll likely get some starts soon in the outfield to stay sharp, and could see designated hitter duty in games at AL parks.

“That’s pretty much what it is,” he said.

With the callup to the majors, Abreu’s salary increases from $108,000 to $800,000.

A former two-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner, he is a .290 hitter since beginning his major league career with Houston in 1996. He has also played for the Phillies and Yankees, along with the Angels and Yankees.

Abreu said he’s OK with the prospect of limited time.

“They’ve got a lot of young outfielders here who will play,” he said. “I just want to be prepared, stay ready for my situations and contribute.”

That would be fine with Mets manager Terry Collins.

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