Former Mets reliever John Franco has agreed to a
one-year, $700,000 contract with the Houston Astros.
The 44-year-old lefthander, entering his 22nd season, was 2-7 with a 5.28
ERA last year with the Mets.
"Change is good sometimes," Franco said. "I've been [with the Mets] for 15
Most popular sports stories
years. It's not going to kill me to be there for 81 days."
A four-time All-Star, Franco has 424 saves, second only to Lee Smith's 478.
Franco's 1,088 appearances trail only Jesse Orosco (1,252). Overall, Franco is
90-86 with a 2.84 ERA.
Arizona, Baltimore, Florida and Minnesota also inquired, according to
decision Saturday night. "They were the best offer," Franco said.
Wheeler and Jose Vizcaino. "I just like the guys," Franco said.
Houston is in need of bullpen help, especially after shaky relief pitching
cost them three games in the National League Championship Series and five
overall in the postseason.
Franco has a 0.00 ERA in five games and 5 1/3 innings at hitter-friendly
Minute Maid Park, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"It's like when you go to Wrigley Field and the wind is blowing out. You
can't worry about it," he said.
He has looked at the schedule to figure out when he can get back to New
York during the season and when his family can get to Houston.
"My son didn't want me to retire. My wife didn't want me to retire," Franco
said. "They've all been pushing for it: go one more year, go somewhere where