Leiter 'privileged, excited' to join Mets as adviser

The New York Mets have hired Al Leiter as a baseball operations adviser, hoping that the former star left-hander will help their talented pitchers with their mental preparation.

The Mets announced Monday that Leiter will "focus on scouting and player development with an emphasis on mental preparation for pitchers." He will work with players at all levels of the Mets' organization, including the majors.

Leiter spent parts of 19 seasons in the majors, including seven with the Mets, and helped lead the club to the National League pennant and a World Series appearance in 2000. He worked as a television analyst since his retirement in 2005.

"Al is one of the most memorable pitchers in club history and we are thrilled to welcome him back into the organization," executive vice president and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. "Al's passion for the game is infectious. His unique ability to communicate his knowledge to players, coaches and the front office will immediately make us better."

Leiter said in a statement that he is "thrilled to be reunited with the Mets organization, which I hold so near and dear to my heart."

"I grew up a fan of the team and then was fortunate enough to realize my childhood dream of pitching for the Mets," Leiter said. "Now, thanks to the Wilpon family and to Brodie, I'm privileged to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the future of the organization. I couldn't be more appreciative or more excited."

The Mets also announced that John Franco, another former star pitcher, will join Leiter in the role of baseball operations adviser.

Franco, who has served as a club ambassador for the Mets since 2010, will also work with pitchers at every level of the organization.