Frank Francisco’s rough spring training now includes a knee injury.
Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reports that the Mets closer had his left knee drained to reduce swelling yesterday and is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today.
Francisco has allowed 18 hits and four walks in 11 innings this spring, going 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA in 11 appearances while showing diminished fastball velocity.
Francisco’s track record as a setup man suggests he can get the job done as a closer if given the opportunity and the Mets seem pretty committed to letting him sink or swim in the ninth-inning role after giving him a two-year, $12 million deal, but the bum knee and missing miles per hour could make things tough.
The Chicago Cubs are going to acquire Daniel Murphy from the Washington Nationals. Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs will send back prospect Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named later in exchange. Craig Mish of Sirius XM was the first to report that the Cubs were the team that claimed Murphy off of waivers.
Murphy got off to a slow start this year coming off of major surgery but is hitting .300/.341/.442 on the season and has been particularly hot of late. Murphy is primarily a second baseman, of course, but he has played some first base too. The Cubs, at any rate, have a pretty flexible roster so they’ll likely be able to find a good amount of playing time for him at either position and, when he doesn’t start, he’ll be a great option off the bench.
Between this trade and the trade of Matt Adams to the Cardinals, the Nats have officially thrown in the towel on 2018.