The New York Mets added more depth to their bullpen Tuesday night with the acquisition of left-handed pitcher Eric O’Flaherty from the Oakland Athletics.

The team’s official Twitter page noted “the Mets have acquired LHP Eric O’Flaherty and cash from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a player to be named later,” while Adam Rubin of pointed out that New York designated Alex Torres for assignment in the corresponding roster move.

O’Flaherty boasts a 5.91 overall ERA on the season, but his numbers are much more impressive against left-handed hitters. In fact, O’Flaherty has only allowed eight hits in 43 chances against lefties this year (.186 batting average against) and will likely be used as a left-handed specialist at the back end of the bullpen. 

Anthony DiComo of provided some insight on the Mets’ thought process:

New York sits atop the National League East standings as of Tuesday night (thanks largely to a recent sweep of the Washington Nationals), and this move was clearly made with an eye toward a pennant chase. Torres has struggled in July with a 4.82 ERA, and lefty Jerry Blevins fractured his forearm earlier in the season and is yet to return. 

Rubin provided even more encouraging news for Mets fans in the aftermath of the trade:

New York also made sure to do its homework before acquiring the lefty and even talked to pitcher Tyler Clippard (who was O’Flaherty’s teammate in Oakland earlier in the year), per Rubin:

One of baseball’s biggest cliches is that a team can never have too much pitching, but it is absolutely true heading down the stretch of the season.

The pitching staff has been the strength of New York’s team for most of 2015 (third in the National League in ERA) and is now even better with a lefty specialist set to join the bullpen before critical games with the National League East title on the line.

It is not difficult to envision a September scenario where critical positioning is at stake in the division and the Mets need an out against a formidable lefty such as Bryce Harper of the division rival Nationals. New York now has an additional piece in the bullpen in O’Flaherty who will help it do just that. 

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