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Mets Acquire Pitching Help

From Associated Press

The New York Mets bolstered their pitching staff, acquiring starter John Thomson from the Colorado Rockies and reliever Steve Reed from the San Diego Padres before Wednesday’s nonwaiver deadline.

The Mets got Thomson and outfielder Mark Little from the Rockies for outfielder Jay Payton, right-hander Mark Corey and minor league outfielder Robert Stratton.

“I’m surprised we got a starter,” Met General Manager Steve Phillips said. “I wasn’t very confident we would. Thomson is one of the guys we had identified that if the price was right we thought he would help us. But we weren’t sure the price would be right.”

The Mets acquired Reed and right-hander Jason Middlebrook from San Diego for left-hander Bobby M. Jones, right-hander Josh Reynolds and outfielder Jay Bay.

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“We’ve addressed our pitching needs,” Phillips said. “Steve Reed is not the sexiest name out there among the relief corps, but he’s probably the guy pitching the best.”

Reed went 2-4 with a 1.98 earned-run average in 40 relief appearances for San Diego this season, holding opponents to a .228 batting average.

Thomson will replace the struggling Jeff D’Amico in New York’s rotation as the Mets try to make a playoff run.

D’Amico gave up five runs in three innings of a 16-3 loss to Houston on Tuesday night. After spending parts of the last five seasons on the disabled list, D’Amico is finally sound, but he has struggled, going 5-9 with a 5.09 ERA.

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“I’ve never felt this good and pitched this bad,” he said. “Everything feels great. I’m just not getting the job done out there.”

Thomson has also pitched poorly of late, going 1-6 with a 5.74 ERA in his last 11 starts. He was 7-8 with a 4.88 ERA for Colorado but should benefit from a move from hitter-friendly Coors Field.

Thomson said that a few years ago he thought there wasn’t enough money that would make playing in New York worth it. But he is looking forward to joining a playoff race after languishing in Colorado.

“I haven’t been in this situation before,” Thomson said. “It’s something I’m looking forward to. I think I’m going to like it.”

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Payton, once a top prospect for the Mets, overcame a slew of injuries early in his career and is hitting .284 with eight homers and 31 runs batted in this season. Payton has a .365 average in his last 18 games.

“It’s going to be a good situation for me,” said Payton, who is eight for 13 in his career at Coors. “Some of those fly ball outs to the warning track at Shea might go for round-trippers. That won’t be a bad thing.”

The Rockies also sent outfielder Todd Hollandsworth and left-hander Dennys Reyes to the Texas Rangers for Gabe Kapler and infield-outfield prospect Jason Romano.

Corey was 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 relief appearances for the Mets this season. He had a seizure on June 26 shortly after smoking marijuana.

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Little will provide outfield depth for the Mets. He batted .200 with no home runs and five RBIs in 105 at-bats for the Rockies this season.

In other deals, the Boston Red Sox acquired right-handed reliever Bob Howry from the Chicago White Sox for two minor league pitchers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates finally gave up on one-time top prospect Chad Hermansen, sending the outfielder to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Darren Lewis.


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