The New York Mets entered Monday with only four Spring Training games left to play, and a giant question mark surrounding the left-handers in their bullpen. Now, they’ll finish the day with only three more contests, but a serious competition for lefty relief.
Mere hours after sending minor league pitcher Cory Mazzoni to the San Diego Padres for two-year veteran lefty Alex Torres, the Mets acquired southpaw Jerry Blevins from the Washington Nationals in exchange for outfielder Matt den Dekker, the team announced Monday afternoon.
Blevins, 31, is entering his ninth major league season, the majority of which was spent in Oakland, before the Oakland Athletics sent him to Washington for outfield prospect Billy Burns. Last season, Blevins pitched 57.1 innings over 64 games, and had a 4.87 ERA while allowing three home runs. Left handed batters hit a mere .160 off him.
den Dekker, now 27, has played 80 games over two seasons with the Mets, hitting .238 with one home run. Once considered a top prospect, den Dekker broke his wrist diving for a ball in 2013 during Spring Training.
While the crop of lefties is certainly thicker than it had been for the last few weeks, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports that both acquisitions, along with Rule V pick Sean Gilmartin, are all likely to break camp with the team.
Sandy Alderson said both new acquisitions "definitely" in pen — Blevins and Torres. Could carry 3 with Gilmartin. "strongly" considering.
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) March 30, 2015
Blevins made his Nationals debut on Opening Day 2014 at Citi Field against the Mets, serving up an extra inning home run to David Wright, in a 9-7 Nationals victory.
The Mets now have four left-handed relievers in big league camp (Torres, Blevins, Gilmartin, and Dario Alvarez) after Scott Rice had been demoted last week. Alvarez made his major league debut last season, pitching in four games, but is unlikely to see a major role this season.