PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Jerry Blevins hoped from the beginning to wind up back with the Mets. Yet there was a time when such a reunion did not look promising.
Mike Dunn, another lefthanded reliever on the market, signed a three-year, $19-million deal with the Rockies. It established that the price for relief help might be steep, perhaps pricing out the likes of Blevins from the Mets.
But market forces are unpredictable, and when Blevins still was on the market in January, a reunion that made sense from the start became a reality.
“Ultimately, I ended up where I wanted to be. I’m happy and excited to be back,” Blevins said on Sunday, when Mets pitchers and catchers reported to camp. “Obviously, it would have been a little easier for the family and I if we had got the decision a little bit early. But business is business, and ultimately we’re excited to be ready to go. Pumped to be back with the Mets and ready to move on.”
Blevins, 33, signed a one-year deal worth $5.5 million that includes a $7-million team option for 2018 and a $1-million buyout. The guaranteed salary of $6.5 million put Blevins roughly in line with what Dunn is making per year.
“Even the deal that I have, I’m extremely happy with,” Blevins said. “I think it’s fair for both sides. Again, I’m right where I wanted to be, too. So I think it worked out. Hopefully, the Mets feel the same way.”
Indeed, the Mets retained an experienced weapon against lefthanded hitters, one who has grown comfortable with New York since his arrival via a trade in the spring of 2015. Last season, Blevins posted a 2.79 ERA in 73 appearances and held lefthanded hitters to a .255 average.
Said Blevins: “There’s a need for the job that I do here.”