NEW YORK -- The Mets made their one-year deal with reliever Jerry Blevins official on Thursday, bringing their most reliable bullpen southpaw back into the fold. Blevins' contract is worth a reported $5.5 million, with a $7 million team option or a $1 million buyout for 2018. The deal also includes $100,000 in incentives each season.
Upon inking the contract, Blevins tweeted that he is "thrilled to be back in Queens."
Blevins was manager Terry Collins' most trusted left-handed reliever last season by a significant margin. The 33-year-old posted a 2.79 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP over 73 appearances for New York in 2016, striking out 52 and walking 15 batters over 42 innings. Though Blevins actually featured reverse platoon splits last year, holding right-handed batters to a .182/.266/.345 mark and lefties to .255/.313/.324, his career numbers suggest that was an aberration.
One of three free-agent relievers to join the Mets this month, Blevins will join Fernando Salas and Tom Gorzelanny in camp. While Blevins is guaranteed a job as a left-handed specialist, Gorzelanny will compete with fellow lefties Josh Edgin, Josh Smoker and Adam Wilk for spots in Collins' bullpen.
The Mets expect to make Salas' deal official next week, after he reports to camp and undergoes a physical.
To make room for Blevins on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated utilityman Ty Kelly for assignment. A 28-year-old rookie last season, Kelly hit .241 with a .697 OPS in limited time, after hitting .328 in 81 games for Triple-A Las Vegas. Should he clear waivers, Kelly will again serve as a versatile bit of depth in 2017. But by designating Kelly for assignment, the Mets risk losing him to another team.
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.