The Mets signed Kelvim Escobar to an incentive-laden one-year deal this week in the hopes that the former closer can become a force in Jerry Manuel's bullpen. Escobar and the Mets agreed to a major league contract with a base salary of $1.25MM.
Francisco Blavia of Lider en Deportes originally tweeted the deal and John Harper of the New York Daily News reported that the Mets were nearing an agreement with Escobar soon afterwards. Blavia said (via Twitter) that Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Milwaukee had also made Escobar offers.
Between 2004 and 2007, Escobar posted a 3.60 ERA and a 2.63 K-BB ratio as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. He missed the entire 2008 season with shoulder problems, and his July 2008 labrum surgery limited him to just five innings of major league work last year.
That kind of injury history limited the amount of money the Mets would guarantee the righty, but Escobar can earn more if he's healthy in 2010. As ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported, the 33-year-old earns a $125K bonus for making the Mets' Opening Day roster, can make $2MM in incentives based on games pitched and $1MM more based on games finished.
Between Escobar and Ryota Igarashi, the Mets have added a high-upside pair of potential late-inning relievers for less than $5MM guaranteed.
Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post.