Frank Francisco expected to start throwing again Monday

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The Mets have already made plans for what happens if Frank Francisco has to begin the season the disabled list following a setback with his elbow injury, but he’s been cleared to start throwing again.

Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Francisco is scheduled to play catch Monday, which is the first step on his road back to closing for the Mets. Or at least setting up Bobby Parnell if he steals ninth-inning duties in the meantime.

Francisco had surgery in December to remove bone spurs from his elbow and is under contract for $6 million.

Twins sign Michael Pineda to a two-year deal

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The Twins just announced that they have signed pitcher Michael Pineda to a two-year contract.

Pineda, 28, has a 4.05 career ERA and has struck out 9.1 batters per nine innings over 680 career major league innings.

Pineda underwent Tommy John surgery this past July, so the Twins are buying a 2018 filled mostly with rehab and a pitcher for 2019. As such, the deal is probably not too taxing financially, but could pay off pretty well for them if Pineda comes back strong.