NEW YORK -- The Mets' months-long search for right-handed relief depth finally came to an end late Wednesday night, about an hour before the unofficial waiver trade deadline. The team acquired reliever Fernando Salas from the Angels in exchange for pitching prospect Erik Manoah.
Salas, 31, recorded six saves with a 4.47 ERA in 58 appearances for the Angels. His best season came in 2011, when he spent part of the year as St. Louis' full-time closer, saving 24 games with a 2.28 ERA. Since that time, Salas has posted a 4.14 ERA over five seasons for the Cardinals and Angels, holding right-handed hitters to a .288 on-base percentage over his career.
Salas fills a need for a Mets team that has struggled to build a bridge from its starting pitchers to setup man Addison Reed. Hansel Robles, who thrived as the Mets' regular seventh-inning pitcher earlier this season, posted a 9.00 ERA over 13 August appearances. Jim Henderson has also been inconsistent since returning from the disabled list, giving the Mets few reliable right-handed options.
The team looked into trading for a right-handed reliever prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but never consummated a deal. As recently as last week, they were pessimistic they would be able to do so. But general manager Sandy Alderson struck for Salas just prior to midnight.
The timing is significant. Players in an organization prior to Sept. 1 are eligible for postseason rosters, while those acquired after that deadline are not. The Mets acquired Reed from the D-backs last August, for example, using him as a key player in their October bullpen.
To acquire Salas, the Mets gave up Manoah, their 13th-round Draft pick in 2014. Manoah posted a 5.37 ERA as a starting pitcher for Class A Short-Season Brooklyn this year, raising his career Minor League ERA to 5.13.
The Mets will owe Salas the balance of his $2.4 million salary with the Angels. He is eligible to become a free agent after this season.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.