Frank Francisco cleared for opener after cortisone shot

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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.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.