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Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Terry Collins elated by moves

By Adam Rubin

Twenty-four hours certainly changed Terry Collins' outlook.

A day after wondering about the composition of his bullpen, the Mets had added three capable right-handed  pieces -- Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez -- while also swapping center fielders/leadoff men in shipping out Angel Pagan for Andres Torres.

"I think our biggest priority when we came to these meetings was to try to strengthen our bullpen," Collins told ESPNNewYork.com. "We knew we had to rebuild it. To get it done the way it happened today, I'm amazed by it. Those were three very, very good arms -- power arms. It's going to give us huge depth down there now. And I think it's going to make a difference."

Collins confirmed Torres would assume center field and the leadoff spot.

"One of the things it's going to do, it's going to allow us to let Ruben (Tejada) hit down in the order a little bit, because it's a different situation for him this year," Collins said. "He's not backing up anybody. He's the guy. And I want him to be a little comfortable and relax. And Torres knows how to lead off. I mean, he did it a couple of years ago.

"Boch (Giants manager Bruce Bochy) told me -- as a matter of fact, it sounded like the same thing that Angel went through -- in 2010 they both had big years. And in 2011 they tried duplicate it and more instead of just doing what they did the year before."

Collins also confirmed Rauch would handle the eighth inning and Francisco would close, with Rauch getting saves when Francisco was unavailable.

With the dollars the Mets committed to Francisco and Rauch -- nearly $10 million in 2012 -- the Mets mostly appear done with retooling the starting lineup and bullpen. The primary areas remaining are starting pitching depth and the bench.

"I think we're getting close," Collins said. "I think there's a couple of more things that Sandy (Alderson) wants to try to do, that he wants to talk about tomorrow. I think this now, the urgency to get some other things done is less.

"I'm telling you, that was our goal. Our goal was to find some relief pitching. I salute the way they did it today. I'm not a general manager. I don't want to be a general manager. And today was why I don't want to be. The manipulations that they had to do, the figuring out where the money is going to come from to do this, to do that move, it's fun to watch and see those guys in action. They did a great job today. We got better."