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Baseball Winter Meetings: Ronny Paulino, D.J. Carrasco Sign With Mets

With a new manager in Terry Collins and a new general manager in Sandy Alderson, the New York Mets forged a new beginning. They need, however, to upgrade the talent on the field from last season’s 79-win team.

In an effort to begin doing that, the Mets Tuesday announced the free-agent signings of relief pitcher D.J. Carrasco and backup catcher Ronny Paulino.

Here is how framed the signing of the veteran Carrasco:

Carrasco, 33, posted a 3.68 ERA in 63 games split between the Pirates and D-backs last season, striking out 65 batters in 78 1/3 innings. Though he has produced a 4.31 ERA in a six-year career that also included stops in Kansas City and Chicago, Carrasco has improved his ERA for five consecutive seasons.

Having already lost the majority of their bullpen members to free agency, the Mets remain in need of capable arms to slot in front of closer Francisco Rodriguez and setup man Bobby Parnell. One club official expressed optimism Sunday that both Ryota Igarashi and Oliver Perez will win back jobs in the big league bullpen. But beyond those four, the Mets have little of substance.

In the case of Paulino, somebody has to be the backup catcher, and Paulino is an adequate fit there.

Neither of these are earth-shattering signings, but at least Alderson can leave the meetings feeling like he accomplished something.