Frank Francisco ready to begin rehab assignment

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Mets right-hander Frank Francisco will begin a minor-league rehab assignment today at Single-A, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Francisco underwent minor elbow surgery in December and began the season on the disabled list after some setbacks in his recovery during spring training, opening the door for Bobby Parnell to serve as the Mets’ closer.

Parnell has converted his lone save chance so far, with five strikeouts in 3.1 innings overall, and seems likely to hang onto ninth-inning duties unless he falters in a major way. There’s no timetable yet for Francisco’s return, but beginning the rehab stint starts a 30-day clock that can only be reset if he suffers a setback or another injury.

Marlins sign Brandon Kintzler to one-year, $3.25 million deal

Brandon Kintzler
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Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.

The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.