UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Padres left-hander Marc Rzepczynski is the reliever who was claimed off revocable waivers by the Mets. It’s unclear how long the two sides have to complete a deal.
Rzepczynski was just acquired from the Indians last month. The 29-year-old owns a mediocre 4.88 ERA in 60 appearances this season, but he has 33 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings and the highest ground ball rate of his career. With his history of keeping left-handed batters in check, you can see why the Mets would consider taking a chance on him. He’s making $2.4 million this season and will be arbitration-eligible for the fourth and final time this winter.
3:10 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the Mets have put in a waiver claim on a reliever. The team with the reliever can either let him go to the Mets, negotiate a trade, or pull him back off waivers.
2:59 p.m. ET: MLB’s waiver trade deadline is coming up on Tuesday and Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the first-place Mets are “making progress” on acquiring a reliever.
While it’s no sure thing that a deal will ultimately come together, Rubin hears that the Mets are having “tangible talks.” The team has already added Tyler Clippard and Eric O’Flaherty in separate deals with the Athletics over the past month. While Clippard has settled in as the primary set-up man for closer Jeurys Familia, O’Flaherty has allowed 10 runs on 13 hits and one walk over six innings with his new club. The Mets have gotten next to nothing out of the likes of Jenrry Mejia, Jerry Blevins, Bobby Parnell, and Vic Black this season, so the bridge to the late innings is a bit shaky at the moment.
Acquiring a left-handed specialist would be ideal, but it will be interesting to see if a quality arm makes it to them through waivers. There’s incentive for other teams to put in a claim first, either out of legitimate need or to block.
The Athletics sent lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty to the Mets on Tuesday for a player to be named later. Now is later, and that player’s name is Darwin Frias, the club announced on Twitter.
Frias is a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic. A veteran of seven seasons in the minor leagues, he has battled control issues and has yet to progress beyond A-ball. Splitting the season between short-season Brooklyn and Single-A Savannah, Frias posted a 7.22 ERA with a 32/20 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings.
O’Flaherty, 30, made his Mets debut on Wednesday, allowing four runs and recording only two outs as the bullpen nearly forked over an eight-run lead in the ninth inning to the Marlins.
Brutal news for Mets left-hander Jerry Blevins.
Blevins was making enough progress in his recovery from a distal radius fracture in his left arm suffered in April that the Mets were hoping to have him as a bullpen option in September.
Instead he’ll miss the remainder of the season and will require surgery after slipping while stepping off a curb Monday and re-fracturing the same bone.
Blevins tossed five scoreless innings for the Mets prior to the injury and has a 3.53 ERA with 309 strikeouts in 329 career innings as a big leaguer. He was acquired from the Nationals this offseason in exchange for outfielder Matt den Dekker.
New York added to its southpaw reliever depth by getting Eric O’Flaherty from Oakland prior to knowing the severity of the Blevins news, so he’ll join Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin as the Mets’ primary lefties.
The Athletics announced on Twitter that reliever Eric O’Flaherty has been designated for assignment. Pitcher Aaron Brooks, acquired from the Royals in the Ben Zobrist trade, has been recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take the vacant spot on the roster.
O’Flaherty, 30, struggled in 21 1/3 innings with the A’s, posting a 5.91 ERA with a 15/13 K/BB ratio. The lefty spent some time on the disabled list between May 1 and June 4 due to inflammation in his left shoulder. O’Flaherty is owed the remainder of his $5.5 million salary for the year.
Manager Bob Melvin said it was a tough call to cut O’Flaherty, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Via Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News …
The Mets have gotten as far as discussing pieces with the A’s for a possible deal for Ben Zobrist, a source told the News Tuesday afternoon.
The A’s have identified the prospects they would need to send the veteran utility man to New York, but nothing is imminent, the source said.
Zobrist is also reportedly drawing interest from the Yankees, Giants, and Nationals, but the Mets are said to be willing to overpay to get him from the A’s because how desperate they are for an upgrade on offense. Zobrist is capable of playing just about anywhere on the diamond defensively, which makes him a fit for any and every contending team.
The versatile 34-year-old has a .768 OPS (114 OPS+) in 61 games this season for the A’s, who stand just 43-51 and should be one of the more active sellers ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Scott Kazmir, Josh Reddick, and Eric O’Flaherty are some of the other Oakland players who could be on the move.