12/28/09 1:30 PM EST
Mets sign Escobar to one-year deal
Versatile right-hander to compete for setup role in bullpen
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
Escobar will battle Bobby Parnell and newly acquired Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi for a job setting up closer Francisco Rodriguez in the bullpen.
According to ESPN.com, Escobar will make $1.25 million in base salary next season, in addition to a $125,000 bonus if he makes the Opening Day roster. Escobar can also receive up to $2 million in incentives based on games pitched, and an extra $1 million based on games finished.
Escobar, 33, won 29 games for the Angels in 2006 and '07, before a series of injuries derailed his career. After missing the entire '08 season due to right labrum surgery, Escobar came back to make one start for the Angels in June, only to return to the disabled list shortly thereafter.
Escobar is 101-91 with a 4.15 ERA in 411 career appearances, 202 of them starts. Like his new teammates Rodriguez and Johan Santana, he is a native of Venezuela.
The Mets can certainly use the help that a healthy Escobar could provide. What seemed to be a formidable bullpen disintegrated last season after injuries to setup man J.J. Putz and inconsistency from Parnell and Sean Green.
Earlier this month, the Mets signed the veteran Japanese reliever Igarashi to a two-year deal.
Escobar, who has spent most of his career bouncing between the rotation and bullpen for the Blue Jays and Angels, is one of only five active pitchers to start at least 200 games and save at least 50. Derek Lowe, John Smoltz, Ryan Dempster and Tom Gordon are the others.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.