Two nights after losing out on Jose Reyes, Sandy Alderson pulled the trigger on three moves to upgrade the Mets’ bullpen.
- Jon Rauch agreed to a 1 year, $3.5 MM contract. Rauch is a 33 year-old RHP who has been used as a set up man and closer in his career. He went 5-4 with a 4.85 ERA and 11 saves for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011. He has a lifetime 1.25 WHIP and 3.82 ERA. Bonus: The 6′ 10″ Rauch was once referred to by Keith Hernandez as a “wookiee.”
- The Mets acquired OF Andres Torres and RHP Ramon Ramirez from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for OF Angel Pagan. Torres is best known for his 2010 season with the Giants in which he belted 16 HRs and stole 26 bases. Ramirez pitched to a 2.62 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 2011. In his 6-year career, he’s averaged 69 innings per 162 games, and has a lifetime 1.24 WHIP. And of course, Pagan enjoyed a career year for the Mets in 2010, but suffered through mental lapses and inconsistency in 2011. Pagan and Torres share similar career numbers, age, and fielding ability, but the acquisition of Ramirez makes this deal a winner for the Mets.
- RHP Franklin “Frankie” Francisco agreed to a 2-year deal worth $12 MM. Of the three relief pitchers, Francisco is most likely to close, having saved 17 games for Toronto last year, and 44 total the past 3 years with the Jays and the Texas Rangers. Francisco is also famous for flinging a folding chair into the crowd of fans in Arlington, TX, injuring a woman, back in 2004. His record has been clean since then. On the field, he’s been a model of consistency, sporting a lifetime 3.72 ERA and 1.29 WHIP
Alderson has made it clear that he wanted to upgrade the bullpen. He did so in one fell swoop tonight, by acquiring 3 proven veteran relievers. Rumors had it that he would acquire pitchers who could close or set up, and in doing so, avoid paying big bucks for a free agent closer. He did just that.
Francisco and Rauch will make $9.5 MM combined in 2012, while early estimates have Ramirez making $2.3MM and Torres making $2.5 MM. They will avoid paying Pagan approximately $5 MM in arbitration.