UPDATE (March 30, 9:50 a.m. PT): According to Ken Rostenthal of FOX Sports, the New York Mets acquired left-handed reliever Alex Torres from the San Diego Padres:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 30, 2015
The trade likely brings to an end on the possibility of the Mets trading one of the Dodgers’ lefties.
With the bullpen woes in the 2014 postseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers new front office made a lot of changes to the bullpen. The main focus was to add depth to the bullpen, and judging by Spring Training so far, they have succeeded in doing so.
One of the strengths of the Dodger bullpen this season will be left-handers, although according to ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon, it is uncertain what left-handers will remain in Los Angeles, as the New York Mets may have interest in a deal:
The Mets are keeping an eye on the Dodgers three lefty relievers — Howell, Paco and Liberatore– in case one becomes available
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) March 26, 2015
The Dodgers will be returning J.P. Howell and Paco Rodriguez from last year’s bullpen, and added 28-year-old Adam Liberatore, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, to the mix.
Howell has been very successful in his two years with the Dodgers. In 2013, he threw 62 innings yielding a 2.03 ERA, which earned him a two-year, $11.25 million to return to LA. He followed that up in 2014 with another impressive season, tossing 49 innings with a 2.39 ERA.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, it is unlikely the Mets would trade for Howell because of his contract:
J.P. Howell is pricey with L.A. He is owed $4 million this season. There is a $6.25 million clause for 2016 that could become a player option if Howell reaches certain appearance thresholds.”
Rodriguez and Liberatore have both been impressive so far this spring. They have both thrown seven scoreless innings. Rodriguez has struck out nine and Liberatore has struck out six. While it is possible for one or both to make the Major League club out of Spring Training, both have options remaining, so it is also unlikely that either of them will be traded:
The Dodgers are under little pressure to trade a left-handed reliever because Adam Liberatore and Paco Rodriguez have options remaining and can be sent to the minors without passing through waivers.”
The Mets are also looking at possible left-handed relief help from the Colorado Rockies.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Paco Rodriguez