Frank Francisco needed fluid drained from his knee and got a cortisone shot to alleviate the pain, but the Mets closer is expected to be ready for Opening Day.
Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Francisco “felt good” after throwing a bullpen session and an MRI exam showed no major damage, but his lack of velocity and poor performance this spring certainly remains a concern.
His grip on the closer role, however, should be pretty strong thanks to a two-year, $12 million deal and, if healthy, Francisco’s track record as a setup man suggests he’s very capable of getting the job done.
Free agent reliever Bryan Shaw has received two multiyear offers, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The teams in question have not been revealed, but the demand for Shaw is expected to be high as he comes off of a career-best season.
The 30-year-old right-hander went 4-6 in 79 appearances for the Indians, drawing a 3.52 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 in 76 2/3 innings. He ranked 12th among qualified relievers with 1.6 fWAR, his highest mark to date, and proved instrumental in helping the club reach their second consecutive division title in 2017.
The Mets are the last known team to show interest in Shaw, as the New York Post’s Mike Puma reported Wednesday. Nothing has been officially confirmed by the club yet, naturally, but they could still use a couple of arms to round out the bullpen behind Jerry Blevins, AJ Ramos and Jeurys Familia and it’s worth noting that the right-hander has already worked closely with Mets’ skipper and former Indians’ pitching coach Mickey Callaway. While Shaw’s proven consistency and durability should appeal to a wide variety of teams, he’s due for a big payday after making just $4.6 million in his last year with the Indians.