Baseball Winners of five straight and holding down first place in the NL East in August, the Mets are attempting to swoon-proof their roster. Late Tuesday they traded for situational left-handed reliever Eric O'Flaherty, agreeing to send cash and a player to be determined to the Athletics, the teams announced. MORE: Trade deadline winners and losers | Playoff panic: teams scrambling to contendO'Flahert
y's 5.91 ERA in 25 games for the A's belies his effectiveness against left-handed hitters, who are batting .186 (.495 OPS) against him. According to .com, the Mets designated for assignment lefty reliever Alex Torres to make room on their roster for O'Flaherty, who is seen as an upgrade over Torres and gives the Mets the type of classic left-on-left specialist they haven't had since Jerry Blevins (broken arm) went on the disabled list April 21. "We're in a position now where we're trying to win every day," assistant general manager John Ricco said Tuesday after the Mets' 5-1 win over the Marlins. "It was an opportunity to get a veteran lefty. We saw a lot of him over the years with the Braves. He's having a real good year against left-handed hitters, so he kind of checked all the boxes to make a deal."Given Torres' ineffectiveness against lefties, the uncertainty of Blevins' return date (he's only just started throwing again) and lefty Sean Gilmartin's reliance on a changeup that's more effective against right-handed hitters, the Mets saw a need moving into the pennant race. Enter O'Flaherty, 30, a 10-year veteran who has a career 2.99 ERA with the Mariners, Braves and A's.This, Mets fans, is what a playoff push looks like."Given the way this club has played and where we are right now," Ricco said, "we want to make sure we're in position to win as many games as we can."