Two weeks ago the Mets signed reliever Frank Francisco to a two-year, $12 million contract.
Today they finally announced the move, officially adding Francisco to the 40-man roster.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News joked that perhaps Francisco’s physical exam took 14 days to administer. He does have a pretty lengthy injury history, but realistically the Mets probably just delayed things so a 40-man roster move wasn’t immediately forced upon them.
In years past the Yankees have delayed numerous signings, sometimes for so long it becomes laughable, but if MLB isn’t going to do anything about it the Mets are smart to take advantage. When it comes to marginal players and 40-man roster spots timing often plays as big a role as talent in deciding whether or not they’re snatched up by other teams.
Francisco, who’s expected to be the Mets’ closer, saved 17 games with a 3.55 ERA and 53/18 K/BB ratio in 51 innings for the Blue Jays this past season. He doesn’t fit the “proven closer” mold as much as some other free agents, but that mostly just served to keep his price tag in check and he was one of the best relievers on the market this offseason.
After drubbing the Angels 10-0 on Wednesday, the Athletics stayed hot, scoring 21 runs to once again rout the Angels on Thursday afternoon. Edwin Jackson got the start, yielding two earned runs on three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.
The offense started in the bottom of the third inning, when the A’s plated five runs. That featured a two-run double from Matt Chapman and a three-run home run from Stephen Piscotty. In the fourth, the A’s scored seven more on RBI singles from Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, Matt Olson, and Stephen Piscotty, which were followed up with an RBI double from Ramon Laureano and an RBI single from Marcus Semien. In the sixth, the A’s bolstered their lead to 18-2 when Laureano hit a bases-loaded single, Semien hit a bases-clearing double, Josh Phegley hit an RBI single, and Franklin Barreto knocked in a run with a double play. The following inning, with position player Francisco Arcia pitching, Nick Martini hit a two-run homer and Chad Pinder made it back-to-back jacks with a solo shot of his own, pushing the score to 21-2.
Arcia hit a solo homer for the Angels in the top of the ninth to make it 21-3, then Kaleb Cowart popped out to end the game. It’s the sixth time a team has scored 20-plus runs this season and the first since the Mets won 24-4 over the Phillies on August 16. The other occurrences: Dodgers 21-5 over the Brewers on August 2, Nationals 25-4 over the Mets on July 31, Diamondbacks 20-5 over the Padres on July 7, and Phillies 20-1 over the Marlins on April 7.
Notables in the box score for the A’s: Martini had three hits and three runs scored, Piscotty had four RBI, Semien had three hits and five RBI, and Phegley had three hits with three runs scored.
With Thursday’s win, the A’s cut their deficit to 3.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West. They have a six-game lead over the A’s for the second Wild Card and trail the Yankees by two games for the first Wild Card. Nine games remain in the regular season for the A’s.