NEW YORK -- With days to spare until the waiver Trade Deadline, the first-place Mets have addressed their most glaring weakness heading into the stretch run. The club officially acquired right-handed reliever Addison Reed from the D-backs on Sunday in exchange for two Minor Leaguers in a move that could bridge a widening gap between their starting pitchers and back-end relievers.
The D-backs received right-handed pitchers Matt Koch and Miller Diaz in the deal.
Reed, 26, posted a 4.20 ERA in 38 appearances with the D-backs, including a 1.65 ERA with no homers in 16 1/3 innings since returning from a Minor League option in late July. He is a strong candidate to become the go-to seventh-inning setup man the Mets have lacked for most of this season, supplanting Hansel Robles, who gave up a home run in Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Red Sox. Beyond their back-end combination of Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia, the Mets have struggled to find consistency lately in their bullpen.
"If he gets outs, it means a lot to the team," manager Terry Collins said of Reed, who is expected to join the Mets for Monday's series opener against the Phillies. "We're tired. Our bullpen is out of gas. When you add good people and get experience, it helps. It's going to help."
A third-round Draft pick of the White Sox in 2010, Reed saved 101 games from 2012-14 with Chicago and Arizona, but scuffled early this season. The D-backs optioned him to Triple-A Reno, where he put up sparkling numbers before returning and doing the same in Phoenix.
Under team control for two more seasons, Reed will cost the Mets more than $900,000 in September and October. He is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter, and is a good bet to earn an increase at that time over the $4.875 million he earned this year. The Mets can either pay or non-tender him at that time.
For now, they are interested in what Reed can provide down the stretch and into October. Beyond Clippard and Familia, the Mets have largely mixed and matched in the seventh inning, using some combination of Robles, Eric O'Flaherty, Logan Verrett and Sean Gilmartin. Of those four, only O'Flaherty is not a rookie, but he owns a 12.86 ERA since the Mets acquired him earlier this month.
"I think everybody plays to go to the World Series and to ultimately get a ring," Reed said late Saturday night, before the deal was official. "I don't think there's anybody that plays the game of baseball that doesn't want to get to the World Series, so obviously that'd be awesome. I love it [in Arizona], don't get me wrong, but ... [the Mets] are in first place."
Yet the first-place Mets have struggled in relief lately, posting a 4.28 ERA over their last 14 games. Before that, their 3.18 bullpen ERA ranked second in the Majors. Reed, ultimately, could become a primary weapon for them against left-handed hitters, considering his career reverse platoon splits. Lefties have hit him at a .242 clip this season, compared to .310 for righties.
The Mets claimed "lots of" relievers on waivers this week, according to a source, but are unlikely to complete any additional deals between now and the Sept. 1 waiver Trade Deadline. They have 4 1/2 weeks left to evaluate Reed, O'Flaherty and others as they try to construct the best playoff roster possible. Even Bartolo Colon, who pitched in relief Saturday for the first time in four years, could ultimately become a candidate.
To make room for Reed on their 40-man roster, the Mets recalled infielder Wilfredo Tovar from Triple-A Las Vegas and placed him on the 60-Day disabled list. After Sunday's 5-4 win over the Red Sox, the Mets also optioned Logan Verrett to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the active roster. Verrett should only be in the Minors for 10 days before returning to the big league club.
Koch, a reliever, owned a 3.46 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 88 1/3 innings for Double-A Binghamton. He ranked No. 27 on MLB.com's Mets Top Prospects list. Diaz, a starter, was 5-12 with a 4.71 ERA at Class A Advanced St. Lucie.