Mets get lefties Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres

By on March 31, 2015

Reliever Jerry Blevins (r.) is now with the Mets.Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports

Reliever Jerry Blevins (r.) is now with the Mets.

PORT ST. LUCIE — Suddenly the Mets are talking about carrying three lefthanders in the bullpen.

After trading for Alex Torres from the Padres and Jerry Blevins from the Nationals on Monday, the Mets went from the possibility of no lefty relievers to two locks to make the team. They are also considering a third in Sean Gilmartin, a Rule-5 draft pick who has to be on the 25-man roster or offered back to the Twins and put through waivers.

“I think the additions we just made today are really going to help our bullpen,” Terry Collins said. “So I thought today was very big for us,” Collins said.

Blevins was 2-3 with a 4.87 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 64 games for the Nationals last year. He held lefthanded hitters to a .160 average in 2014 and they have hit .212 off him in the eight years of his career with the A’s and Nats.

Blevins, 31, stranded 31 of 35 inherited runners last year and was credited with nine holds.

Blevins faced the Mets with the Nationals last week and struck out lefty-hitting Curtis Granderson, but then gave up a long triple to lumbering lefty Lucas Duda. One evaluator said Blevins “at least gives them a veteran lefthanded reliever who does know how to get lefties out.”

Torres went 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 70 games with the Padres in 2014. He held righties to a .209 batting average, while lefties hit .256 against him last year. In 113 major-league appearances over parts of three seasons, left-handers have hit .216 off Torres.

A scout said that Torres was impressive with the Rays in 2013, but lost the strike zone in 2014. The Mets gave up righthanded prospect Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later for Torres.

They sent outfielder Matt den Dekker to the Nationals for Blevins. Sandy Alderson said that he felt that the moves took “what was something of a glaring weakness, could now become a strength.”

The Mets had to act after lone lefty reliever Josh Edgin, who was showing signs of elbow problems last August, needed season-ending Tommy John surgery earlier this month. Gilmartin, a starter converting to the bullpen, is now fighting with Dario Alvarez for that third lefty spot.

Alderson said Monday they talked to six or seven teams about lefty relievers. Sources said the Mets were very interested in the Orioles’ Brian Matusz, but could not get the Orioles to pay any part of his $ 3.2 million salary, which was a breaking point for the Mets. Blevins is owed $ 2.4 million this season, while Torres is pre-arbitration eligible.

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jerry blevins ,
matt den dekker

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