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Mets Give Franco Two-Year Extension


The New York Mets made a commitment to John Franco Tuesday, giving the veteran closer who has appeared in more games than any pitcher in team history a two-year contract extension.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Franco was in the final year of a two-year contract that is paying him $2.6 million this season.

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The Mets agreed to give Franco a multi-year deal even though the left-hander will turn 38 next month and has blown save opportunities in two of his last three outings. His most recent appearance was Friday against Los Angeles, when he allowed three ninth-inning runs.

Franco has converted 21 of 26 opportunities this season and is 0-6 with a 4.35 ERA in 38 games, a span of 41 1/3 innings. The Brooklyn native has appeared in 416 career games for the Mets and broke Tom Seaver's club record of 401 on June 19th against Florida.

Despite his advancing years, the Mets have yet to groom a closer to replace Franco, who is baseball's all-time saves leader among left-handers with 380, good for third overall behind Lee Smith and Dennis Eckersley.

Franco is in his 14th major league season and ninth with the Mets. He made his debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 1984 before being acquired by New York in a multi-player deal in December 1989. The two-time All-Star is 77-66 with a 2.64 ERA in 809 career games.

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