The Mets have trepidation heading to spring training without a proven lefty reliever and remain interested in a reunion with Jerry Blevins. But with the Mets limited in payroll flexibility after failing to find a taker for Jay Bruce this offseason, the two sides may have to get creative. To that end, the Mets are open to a deal with Blevins, according to industry sources.
Blevins, 33, went with a 2. 79 ERA in 73 appearances last season for the Mets. He had been seeking a deal similar to the package worth $19 million that Mike Dunn received from the Rockies.
With Bruce and Curtis Granderson, among others, set to come off the books after the 2017 season, the Mets would be in position to pay Blevins significantly more in the second year of a contract. As it stands, the Mets have about $150 million in payroll obligations for the upcoming season. The earlier plan had been to trade Bruce — whose $13 million option was picked up following the World Series as insurance against Yoenis Cespedes leaving — and use the money to address the bullpen.
But after Cespedes returned on a contract worth $110 million in late November, a market never developed for Bruce, who was among the numerous power bats available, either through free agency or trade. Josh Smoker and Josh Edgin are the Mets’ primary lefty relief options heading to spring training, but neither has much of a track record. On the right side, the Mets may have enough, with Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman in play to join Hansel Robles, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia.
But Familia is facing a likely suspension from MLB after his October arrest on domestic violence charges. Reed would assume closing duties during a Familia suspension, leaving the Mets vulnerable in the setup role. But the potential Familia suspension aside, the Mets like Blevins as an option to face the likes of NL East lefty standouts Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Freddie Freeman in the late innings.
But Blevins also has proven he can handle righties, who hit only . 182 against him last season. The Mets announced their tickets are available at or at (718) .