Trevor May decided to leave the Twins and sign a two year, $15 million deal with the New York Mets on Wednesday partly because of new owner Steven Cohen's enthusiasm and partly because of a chance to work with some old friends.

"Just kind of the buzz around Steve and the purchase of the team and the excitement of all the changes happening, my immediate reaction was wanting to be a part of something like that," May said Thursday.

A 31-year-old righthander who spent his previous six big league seasons with the Twins, May also was attracted by the chance to work with Jeremy Hefner, who scouted for the Twins in 2017-18, served as their assistant pitching coach the following year and returned to the Mets as pitching coach last season.

May had Tommy John surgery in 2017 and bonded with Hefner, who twice had the reconstruction operation.

Hefner helped persuade May to give up his curveball, which he struggled to control. He's stuck to a fastball, slider and changeup since and has turned his career around and improved his velocity.

Another tie to the Mets is Neil Allen, who was the Twins pitching coach from 2015-17.