On Friday, middle reliever Jason Frasor and the Texas Rangers agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million with another $250,000 in incentives based on number of appearances.
“It’s just nice to know at this point. The World Series isn’t even over and one of the best teams in baseball wants you back,” Frasor said.
These deals are somewhat uncommon because of the lure of free agency, assistant general manager Thad Levine said, but the team was certainly pleased with the reunion and locking up one of the more reliable arms in the bullpen for another season.
“He was a huge part of the bullpen,” Levine said. “We want to keep as many of those pitchers intact as we can.
“Jason probably left some money on the table to sign here, but I think he looked at it from a quality of life and stability standpoint. He can be with a manager who knows him, and a bullpen coach and pitching coach he likes as well.”
Frasor, 36, went 4-3 with a 2.57 ERA over 49 innings in 61 appearances with the Rangers last season, his first with the organization. The right-hander held opposing batters to a career-low .203 average in what was arguably his best season in the majors.
The 10-year veteran, who spent the majority of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, has a 3.67 ERA in 586 lifetime appearances, the 10th most appearances among active right-handed pitchers.
It got me to wondering about our own LaTroy Hawkins, who had himself a solid season that was somewhat identical to Marcum’s in many ways.
Hawkins, 40, went 3-2 for the Mets this season with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.146 WHIP in 70.2 innings pitched while striking out 55 and walking just 10 batters.
When the Mets lost Bobby Parnell for the season due to a neck injury, Hawkins stepped into the closer role and made it look easy, notching 13 saves and racking up 72 appearances.
The Mets signed Hawkins to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training in January and earned $1 million with a few incentives in 2013.
The veteran reliever achieved a couple of significant milestones while pitching for the Mets this season. In July, he passed Hall of Famer Cy Young on the all-time list with 943 appearances, ranking 20th in MLB history. He is second in appearances among all active pitchers. Hawkins also collected his 100th career save during the final month of the season.
Hawkins would like to pitch at least another season and has made no secret of the fact he’d prefer to re-sign with the Mets. According to one report, the feeling appears to be mutual as the Mets have contacted the righthander about a return engagement in 2014.
The $1.75 million deal that Frasor signed seems like a good starting point to getting a deal done, and I speculate that whether it’s with the Mets or some other team, Hawkins should get a deal in the $2.5 – 3.0 million range.