NEW YORK -- In the end, the Mets found their lefty specialist in a familiar place. The team on Tuesday signed Jerry Blevins to a one-year contract worth a reported $4 million to reprise the bullpen role he played early last season.
Blevins, 32, retired all 15 batters he faced for the Mets last April, including all 14 lefties. But he fractured his left forearm on a Dee Gordon comebacker April 19, refractured it falling off a curb four months later and never appeared in a big league game again.
The Mets originally acquired Blevins in a trade from the Nationals, with whom he posted a 4.87 ERA in 2014. Overall, Blevins owns a 3.53 mark in nine seasons with the A's, Nationals and Mets, holding left-handed batters to a .206 average and a .257 on-base percentage.
Ever since Josh Edgin underwent Tommy John surgery last March, the Mets have struggled to find a reliable lefty specialist. Blevins initially appeared to be the answer, but his fractured forearm ended those hopes. The Mets later turned to Jack Leathersich, Eric O'Flaherty, Dario Alvarez and others, all with minimal success. Edgin could be back as soon as Opening Day, but he likely will need a bit more rehab time before he is ready to contribute.
Should Edgin and Blevins eventually share the Mets' lefty specialist job, that should be fine for Blevins. Already, he is acting like the consummate teammate, offering his longtime uniform No. 13 on Twitter to infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, who has also worn that number for most of his career.
"Dear Santa: You can give my #13 to Asdrubal Cabrera," Blevins wrote. "He signed with the @Mets first. I will figure out what number to wear."
You can give my #13 to Asdrubal Cabrera. He signed with the @Mets first. I will figure out what number to wear.