Mets acquire lefty relievers, Torres and Blevins
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) The New York Mets made two trades Monday to bolster a bullpen lacking in left-handers, acquiring Alex Torres from the San Diego Padres and Jerry Blevins from the Washington Nationals.
The Mets sent minor league right-hander Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named to the Padres and outfielder Matt den Dekker to the Nationals in deals made just hours apart.
''I think the additions we made today are really going to help our bullpen,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said.
New York's bullpen had been without a reputable lefty since Josh Edgin learned in mid-March he needed Tommy John surgery. Sean Gilmartin, taken in the winter meeting draft from the Minnesota Twins, impressed the Mets while he filled in for Edgin.
''The question now is whether we're going to carry three, and we like Gilmartin enough to strongly consider that,'' general manager Sandy Alderson said.
The deal for Blevins was made first, but the Mets waited to announce it.
''These two guys present a little different profile for us,'' Alderson said. ''On the one hand, we have Blevins who is a left-on-left and we think Alex Torres is more of a guy who can go longer.''
Torres made his major league debut in 2012. He was 2-1 with a 3.33 in 70 games for the Padres last season, holding right-handed batters to a .209 average (23 for 110) - lefties hit .256 (23 for 90).
Blevins beat the Nationals in February in an arbitration hearing, winning a $2.4 million salary over the team's $2.2 million offer. He held lefties to a .160 average (17 for 106) in 64 games (57 1-3 innings) last season.
''As we got deeper into the season and our starters started to go deeper in games he was more of a left-handed, lefty-lefty specialist in that regard and he did really well,'' Nationals manager Matt Williams said in Jupiter. ''I view him as a professional.''
The 31-year-old Blevins was out of minor league options. Washington had until Wednesday afternoon to place Blevins on waivers and pay $590,164 in termination money rather than his full salary.
Den Dekker could help the Nationals fill a spot for injured outfielders Jayson Werth and Denard Span, both of whom are likely to start the season on the disabled list.
Den Dekker hit .250 (38 for 152) with seven RBIs in 53 games for the Mets last season.
''His skill set is important to us,'' Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. ''He runs really well. He can play plus defense at all three spots. He gives us another defender that can play above-average center field and we like his left-handed bat.''
The Nationals completed two other moves Monday, a day after Rizzo said he was satisfied with the team's roster.
First they sent backup catcher Sandy Leon to the Boston Red Sox for $25,000. Then, Washington agreed to a minor league contract with 38-year-old outfielder Reed Johnson, who was given his unconditional release by the Miami Marlins earlier in the day.