From ESPN New York beat reporter Adam Rubin comes word that Mets closer Frank Francisco underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. The procedure was deemed an intial success and the right-hander is expected to begin a throwing program in six weeks.
He should be fine for the start of spring training.
Francisco posted an ugly 5.53 ERA and 1.61 WHIP across 42 1/3 frames this past season for New York, but the 33-year-old converted 23 saves in 26 chances and he’s owed a $6.5 million salary in 2013 so he’s pretty much locked into that ninth-inning role.
If “Frank Frank” can get off to a hot start in 2013, the Mets may find a trade market for him in July.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.