UPDATE: Mets and Francisco Rodriguez cancel hearing, close to settlement

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UPDATE: The Mets confirmed to Steve Popper of the Bergen Record that Monday’s hearing with Francisco Rodriguez has been canceled and that the two sides are nearing a settlement.

10:50 AM: According to Dan Martin and Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets and Francisco Rodriguez are close to a negotiated settlement and may avoid Monday’s scheduled arbitration hearing.

According to the report, there is “belief between the parties” that an agreement could be announced by a soon as Monday or Tuesday.

A settlement likely means that the Mets will not be able to avoid paying the remainder of Rodriguez’s contract, which includes $11.5 million next season and a $17.5 million vesting option for 2012. As we’ve said all along, the most realistic scenario is that the team would be able to recoup some or all of the salary from the time K-Rod missed due to his thumb injury.

In other words, barring picking up a significant portion of his salary in a trade — or jail time, which will likely be avoided with a plea agreement — Rodriguez will be back with the Mets next season.

Report: Nationals sign reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year deal

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Both a Kinsler and a Kintzler made headlines at the Winter Meetings. After the Angels acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals have inked reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Kintzler, 33, spent the latter half of his 2017 campaign with the Nationals after the Twins traded him. Between both clubs, he put up an aggregate 3.03 ERA with 29 saves and a 39/16 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.

Sean Doolittle will handle save situations for the Nationals. Kintzler and Ryan Madson will bridge the gap to him in the seventh and eighth innings.