Mets make two smart trades acquiring Alex Torres and Jerry Blevins

Posted: March 31, 2015 in Hot Stove, News, Opinion
Tags: , , , , ,

By Steven Inman

Alex Torres was the first pitcher to wear this padded hat. He elected towear it after former teammate Alex Cobb cgot a concussion from a comebacker

Alex Torres was the first pitcher to wear this padded hat. He elected to wear it after former teammate Alex Cobb got a concussion from a comebacker

The New York Mets made a pair of shrewd moves Monday, acquiring LHP Alex Torres and LHP Jerry Blevins. The Mets were set to enter the regular season with zero lefties with a track record, instead they picked up two solid ones in a few hours.

The first move the Mets made was acquiring Alex Torres in exchange for pitching prospect RHP Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later. Torres will be under Met control through the 2019 season. Torres is expected to wear # 53 in New York. He is not yet arbitration eligible.

Mazzoni, 25, was one of Sandy Alderson’s first draft picks as Met general manager. Mazzoni’s prospect status faded significantly after a rough 2014 that included more injury problems. The Padres will probably move the young right-hander to the bullpen where he will have a much better chance of helping a major league club. The PTBNL is most likely a 2014 Met draft pick. Those guys can’t be traded until a year after signing their draft contracts.

Torres, 27, first came up with the Rays in 2011. He had a very effective season in Tampa in 2013 before being shipped in a trade to the Padres. Torres was still a useful reliever in his lone season in San Diego but struggled mightily with his control. Torres is more effective against right-handed bats than left-handed bats thanks to a quality changeup so he isn’t a guy you bring in for a batter to get one lefty out.

That’s why the club then acquired Jerry Blevins.

Newest Met Jerry Blevins

Newest Met Jerry Blevins

Blevins, 31, is more of the lefty specialist that Terry Collins is looking for. Blevins held LHB to a .160 average in 2014. (.290 vs. RHB) Bob Geren, the Mets bench coach, used to manage Blevins when both were in Oakland. The familiarity was certainly a factor in the move. Blevins will wear #13.

Blevins was traded straight up to the Mets for 27-year old Matt den DekkerThe outfielder hit .238 with a homer and 13 RBI in 237 career plate appearances with the Mets. Despite his age, he still had value because of his elite glove and speed. With Juan Lagares in center and Kirk Nieuwenhuis on the team as a lefty bench bat there was no room for den Dekker here.

Washington will likely put the former Florida Gator on their major league roster with Denard Span, Jayson Werth and Nate McLouth all likely to begin the season on the disabled list. With the Mets opening the season in Washington they will see their old friend very soon.

One of the reasons Blevins was available was a reported dispute between player and team during the club’s arbitration hearing with the lefty. Blevins won his case and will be making $2.4 million in 2015 before becoming a free agent after the season. The deal puts the Mets payroll over $100 million.

Both relievers will help the Mets bullpen significantly. Yes they are both lefties but they will have very different roles in Terry Collins’ suddenly reloaded bullpen. Terrific job by Sandy Alderson and his staff handling this issue.

  1. Mike Young says:

    Steve – I am pleased that Sandy Alderson was able to acquire two LH relievers this week. I seem to recall that of all the Nats relievers that Blevins was the one that the Mets had the best chance of getting a hit off of when they needed one. In addition, I hope that den Dekker doesn’t help the Nats beat the Mets. Thanks, Mike

  2. Steven Inman says:

    Mike with the release of Kevin Frandsen and the injuries listed above it appears liely that den Dekker will see playing time against the Mets in that first series in Washington next week.

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