In a New York Post “exclusive,” Kevin Kernan reports that Terry Collins has proclaimed that Frank Francisco is the Mets’ closer.
“We saw last year when he is right, he is good,’’ Collins said. “I think he looks good. He is in the right frame of mind.’’
It’s a slow news day for baseball writers, unless they want to play armchair lawyer with the unraveling Biogenesis clinic story, but the only reason this even looks like a story is thanks to Sandy Alderson.
The Mets GM Monday repeated comments that questioned Francisco’s role on the team.
“I think a lot will depend on what we see over the course of February and into March,” Alderson said. “I think that’s something that will be determined in the course of spring training. Health is an issue. Performance is an issue.”
I’m no more enthused about Francisco than Alderson is, but I didn’t hand him a two-year, $12 million contract.
More to the point, who else is on the Mets roster that you’d rather see closing games?
Bobby Parnell, with his 14 career saves in five seasons, most of which did not come in anything resembling pressure situations?
Brandon Lyon has experience closing with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros – but he’s not on the roster yet. (Edit: Yes he is, almost. The news of the signing broke this morning after I hit the “publish” button. But Lyon still has to pass a physical before the deal is official.)
If the Mets wanted to hand Parnell the closer’s job to see what he could do with it, that’s one thing. The 2013 Mets are probably a 70 win team, so they should experiment. But if that’s the case, why worry about what Francisco does in February and March?
And if Alderson’s comments over the past week were intended to improve his negotiating position with Lyon, his manager just sabotaged that effort. (Edit: Or not, since the Lyon deal has already been agreed to. Still, it would be nice to see Collins and Alderson on the same page.)
Nothing like a little silliness from the Mets’ brass to start the spring… at least we’re not worrying about when Ruben Tejada is going to get to camp this year.