From T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com comes word that Rangers reliever Frank Francisco has decided that he will accept the club’s offer of salary arbitration.
Francisco could have tested the open market in search of a multi-year contract, but he was labeled as a Type A free agent this fall and that probably scared off potential suitors because the team that signed him would have been required to surrender a first round draft pick.
The Rangers have not fully decided whether they are going to move Neftali Feliz to the starting rotation heading into next season. That all depends on whether they’re able to re-sign left-hander Cliff Lee.
If Feliz remains a ninth-inning guy, Francisco will stick to setup. He posted a 2.84 ERA and held opponents to a .220 batting average between mid-April and the end of August this season in that role.
Francisco earned $3.265 million in 2010 and will get a decent raise through the arbitration process.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.