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February 4, 2017
Free-agent reliever Jerry Blevins is returning to Queens after signing a deal with the New York Mets, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Ken Davidoff of the New York Post later confirmed Heyman’s reports and added that the deal is worth $6 million guaranteed.
The 33-year-old veteran is coming off one of his finest MLB seasons with the Mets as their seventh-inning man in front of Addison Reed and closer Jeurys Familia and at times, a lefty specialist in the eighth and ninth innings.
Blevins appeared in a career-high 73 games, going 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA, 16 holds and two saves as a big part of the Mets bullpen:
It was a triumphant return for a player who was forced to miss most of the 2015 season after fracturing his forearm in April.
Blevins provided a change of pace on a Mets team that was made up mostly of flamethrowers like Noah Syndergaard, Jacob DeGrom and Familia. Relying on just two pitches, Blevins’ fastball had an average of 89 mph in 2016, per FanGraphs, before going to a curveball that would come in at around 70 mph.
He also has an 82 mph changeup, but he used it less than seven percent of the time last season.
His return to the Mets ensures that the back end of their bullpen remains unchanged alongside Reed and Familia, though the closer is facing disciplinary charges from Major League Baseball due to a domestic violence incident, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
This is also a rotation that is going to get back injured starters Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler come 2017 to recreate one of the most imposing staffs in all of baseball. If Blevins can carry over his 2016 success into the spring, then the Mets will be able to hold on to and win plenty of low-scoring games.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.