The Mets signed RHP Kiko Calero to a minor-league contract, as first announced on the SNY broadcast of today's Cardinals-Mets game and confirmed by The Daily News' Adam Rubin. Last season, Calero posted a very impressive 1.95 ERA in 60 innings with the Florida Marlins. His career best numbers resulted from a typically good strikeout-to-walk ratio and just one homerun allowed all season.
The signing of Calero comes on the heels of Mets manager Jerry Manuel announcing Kelvim Escobar, the presumptive leader for the 8th-inning set-up job, will likely start the season on the disabled list. Calero's track record and ability to retire both righties and lefties will likely put him in competition with international-signee Ryota Igarashi to become the main bridge to closer Francisco Rodriguez.
Despite his stellar 2009, injury concerns limited the market for the 35-year-old Calero, forcing him to settle on a minor-league offer. He missed 21 days of the '09 season injured and has a history of complications with his right shoulder. Assuming good health, however, he should start the season in the Mets' bullpen.