The Mets have signed left-handed relief pitcher Jerry Blevins, according to Jon Heyman, who indirectly notes that it’s a one-year deal. Ken Rosenthal notes that the contract will pay Blevins $6.5 million in 2017 with a team option that could make the deal worth $12.5 million through 2018, including $100,000 in incentives in both years. It’s the second time today that the team signed a relief pitcher to a major league contract, following the Fernando Salas deal.
The 33-year-old Blevins had been a free agent for months despite coming off a very strong 2016 season with the Mets. He had a 2.79 ERA and 3.05 FIP in 42.0 innings over 73 appearances last year and struck out 11.14 opposing batters per nine innings.
Reading too much into single-season splits isn’t the best way to analyze a player, but it was encouraging that Blevins fared well against right-handed hitters last year. Over the course of his career, he’s been quite a bit better against lefties, but if anything he did against righties last year is repeatable, it makes him that much more valuable.
With the signing, the Mets’ bullpen depth chart now looks quite a bit better than it did twenty-four hours ago. That’s not a knock on any of the team’s cadre of potentially-above-average relievers who were in house before the signings. But those pitchers are now depth rather than the Mets’ Plan A in the bullpen.