The Mets went to work on rounding out their bullpen Friday, bringing back lefthanded specialist Jerry Blevins and righthander Fernando Salas.
Blevins agreed to a one-year deal worth about $6 million, which includes a team option for 2018, multiple sources confirmed Friday. Salas’ contract is worth $3 million with another $350,000 in incentives. Both deals are pending a physical.
Salas, 31, gives the Mets a needed righthanded bullpen arm, especially with closer Jeurys Familia likely to be suspended to begin the season. Salas had a 2.08 ERA in 17 appearances for the Mets after his midseason trade from the Angels.
Blevins, 33, posted a 2.79 ERA in 73 appearances last season, holding lefthanded hitters to a .255 average. He gives the Mets the experienced situational lefty they had been lacking.
Before the agreement with Blevins, the Mets added some veteran bullpen depth Friday, signing lefty Tom Gorzelanny to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. He will make $1 million if he makes the team, according to FanRag, and could earn an additional $1.8 million in incentives.
Gorzelanny, 34, spent all but seven games in the minors last season, posting a 3.65 ERA at Triple-A with the Indians and Orioles. He has held lefties to a .229 average in parts of 12 seasons with six clubs.
His best work came with the Nationals and Brewers from 2012-14, when he posted a 3.13 ERA in 178 1⁄3 innings, mostly in relief. Since then, he has pitched to a 7.02 ERA in the big leagues with the Tigers and Indians.
Still, Gorzelanny brought more experience than the Mets’ lefthanded options at the start of the day: Josh Edgin and Josh Smoker. Edgin had a 5.23 ERA in 16 games in 2016, pitching with diminished velocity in his first year coming off Tommy John surgery. Smoker had a 4.70 ERA in 20 games in his first season in the big leagues.
Blevins was the top lefty reliever remaining in a relief market in which prices have come down with spring training just around the corner.
Earlier in the offseason, lefty Mike Dunn signed a three-year, $19-million deal with the Rockies. This week, lefty Boone Logan reportedly agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.5 million with the Indians, with a club option for 2018 worth $7 million. He also received a $1-million buyout, giving him a guarantee of $6.5 million, slightly above the average annual value of Dunn’s deal.
Blevins commanded roughly the same deal, with the Mets willing to add nearly $10 million to payroll.
The Mets had been conservative since re-signing Yoenis Cespedes. They had expected to create financial flexibility by trading Jay Bruce and shedding his remaining $13 million in salary. But the market for the lefty-hitting outfielder proved weak, and the fallout had been a hesitance to add more payroll.
The additions of Salas and Blevins are the first big-league contracts the Mets have handed out since bringing back Cespedes.
Notes & quotes: Wilmer Flores’ arbitration hearing was held Friday. At stake is the infielder’s salary for 2017. A source confirmed that the Mets filed at $1.8 million and that Flores is seeking $2.2 million.
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