Mets’ Collins: Alderson ‘Rebuilt Our Bullpen In One Day’

DALLAS (WFAN/AP) — Walking across the hotel lobby, Mets manager Terry Collins smiled.

We rebuilt our bullpen in one day,” he said.

In a rapid-fire series of moves at the winter meetings that took 1 1/2 days to put together and 1 1/2 hours to finalize, the Mets agreed to trade center fielder Angel Pagan to San Francisco for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez, and reached agreements with free-agent relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch.

Francisco gets a $12 million, two-year contract while Rauch receives a one-year deal worth $3.5 million. He can earn an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses.

“Good, solid arms,” Collins said. “We’ve got some depth now.”

While the trade had not yet been officially announced and the free-agent deals had not been finalized, Collins was beaming as he headed upstairs to congratulate general manager Sandy Alderson.

“No disrespect to our guys,” Collins said, “but we couldn’t stop some teams. I think we can now.”

“Clearly there is still much work to do,”’s Rich Coutinho wrote Wednesday morning, “but Alderson gets rave reviews from me on a night in which he both reshaped and strengthened the Mets’ bullpen.”

Francisco, the likely closer, spent six seasons with the Texas Rangers before he was traded to Toronto last winter for catcher Mike Napoli. The 32-year-old right-hander had 17 saves in 21 chances for the Blue Jays, going 1-4 with a 3.55 ERA.

Rauch also was with the Blue Jays, and the 33-year-old right-hander was 5-4 with 11 saves in 16 chances and a 4.85 ERA. He has 85 big league saves in a career that includes time with the Chicago White Sox, Montreal-Washington, Arizona and Minnesota, including a career-high 21 for the Twins in 2010.

Ramirez, a 30-year-old right-hander, was 3-3 with a 2.62 ERA this year, holding right-handed hitters to a .203 average and lefties to a .240 mark. He came to the Giants at the trade deadline in 2010 – when general manager Brian Sabean added a band of “castoffs and misfits” as they became known to help the franchise to its first World Series title since moving West in 1958.

“I know one thing: He gets lefties out. He’s got the good sinker,” Collins said. “We’re going to be able to spread out all the workload.”

New York’s bullpen had a 4.33 ERA last season, 28th among the 30 major league teams, ahead of only Minnesota (4.47) and Houston (4.49). Following the trade of Francisco Rodriguez to Milwaukee at the All-Star break, Jason Isringhausen closed until he got his 300th save, then Bobby Parnell took over and faltered. Manny Acosta also got some chances.

“We knew we had to get some bullpen help here,” Collins said. “I was all onboard the way Sandy’s approach was, hey, look, let’s not go spend it all on one guy. Let’s spread it out and get some depth. I’m shocked how he made it all fit.”

The moves were the first for the Mets since All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes agreed Sunday to a $106 million, six-year contract with the Miami Marlins, a deal that could be finalized Wednesday.

It was unclear entering the offseason whether the Mets would offer a 2012 contract to Pagan, who made $3.5 million this year and is eligible for salary arbitration in his final season before free agency.

“We’re going to miss Angel. Played great here,” Collins said. “But again, our target was to rebuild the bullpen and he was a piece that they wanted badly.”

Pagan was a frequent fill-in for mentor Carlos Beltran in recent seasons until taking over the everyday job in center this year. Beltran shifted to right in spring training before he was traded to the Giants in late July.

A switch-hitter with speed, Pagan hit .262 with seven homers and 56 RBIs this year, down from .290 with 11 homers and 69 RBIs in 2010. It’s unclear whether Sabean will continue to pursue bringing back Beltran. The GM called it a “fluid” situation last week.

Torres, who turns 34 next month, batted .221 with four homers and 19 RBIs this year after straining his left Achilles tendon, his production down considerably from the Giants’ World Series championship year of 2010, when he came back quickly from an emergency appendectomy in September to finish at .268 with 16 homers and 63 RBIs. He is not eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season.

“Speed guy, can give us the leadoff spot and a quality defender,” Collins said.

Are you as pleased as Collins with the moves? Let us know in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • VS

    Any Met fan that thinks these moves are an improvement to the ballclub needs a SHRINK! Frank Francisco who was supended from MLB twice is such a need to the pen that the Rangers in 2010 decided in goodwill to let him go to Toronto. Jon Rauch who doesn’t have any more skin left to place another tattoo in his body, other than his ugly face, is going to revert to the form of Baseball America’s pitcher of the year in 2000! Are you Mets fans drunk or what? I always said, Yankees hans in general are pompous arrogant POS. But Mets fans are delusional and need treatment!

    • Avi

      Not delusional at all. They could have been contenders by re-signing Reyes, not they are going to stink and battle for last place. I have been defending them all along but I’ve had enough.

  • dave cee

    folks, we just lost an all star shortstop who hit 334. we got a journeyman set up guy in rausch who stinks, we got francisco who stinks and we got a good 7th inning man in ramirez. to say now we can compete? what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! who will be the starters? johan may not even pitch again. the others are 5th starter bums. we have a crap catcher, we have no second baseman to speak of. we have a guy at first coming off a major injury who is still largly unproven, we have a shortstop who will hit 240 not 334, we have a left fielder who is a shell of himself, we have a cf who hit 221 last year and a rightfielder who has all of 250 ajor leavue at bats. get heads out of butts, we are going to lose 100 games. and we still need to cut payroll on a team which LOST 70 million dollars last year. geez. wake up. No one and I repeat no one with any knowledge of baseball, 1050 espn radio, wfan, the papers expect this team to do anything, contrary, they expect them to be one of the worst teams in baseball.

    • Mark Smith

      exactly the reason for people to not be upset about us not re-signing reyes. this team isnt gonna win now so lets save that money and build for the future. oh and we get draft picks for reyes. hopefully they turn into something. let jose chase the money and we’ll build this team for the future. screw u jose!!

      • Avi

        Why are you angry with Reyes. The Mets did not make an offer when they should have at least done something when they had exlclusive neogitating rights. Even after the deal with the Marlins was firmed up, he gave them an extra day. Prospects are fine but you never know how they will turn out if they end up being good how long it will take. When you have a proven, homegrown superstar you keep him, period. Eventually, they will have to bring in free agents from other teams and you don’t know how that will turn out. Right, Jason Bay.

  • dave Cee

    ok steve m, do you really even watch baseball or know about it or did you just wake up after hybernation. the mets already said their payroll will be around 45K less than last year. thenyou say to trade 23 yr old ike davis who makes no money. duh. then you say, amazingly, to a team who admits they lost 70 million dollars last year and need to desperately cut payroll to go spend 200 million they dont have on fielder or pujols. do us all a favor—–go watch another sport or enroll in education classes. knowledgable ny fans? youre not one of them.

  • Joseph Hernandez

    Alderson just addressed their biggest issues last year. This Mets team is going to score runs without a doubt. Any chances they have to make some noise comes down to their pitching. At least now the bullpen is solidified. Last year the team lost too many games after the 7th inning because the bullpen just could not hold on.

  • Steve M

    Mets finally brought stability back to our bull pen. I think Rauch will have a bounce back season too and pitch like he did in 2008 and 2009. Good job Sandy Alderson.

    Now trade Ike Davis for a quality starter and go sign either Prince FIelder or Albert Pujols!

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