Mets acquire Mota from Indians
Veteran right-hander adds depth to bullpen for stretch run
NEW YORK -- Hoping to bolster their bullpen for September and beyond, the Mets acquired right-handed reliever Guillermo Mota from the Cleveland Indians on Sunday in exchange for a player to be named later.
The 33-year-old Mota had struggled this season, posting a 1-3 record with a 6.21 ERA in 34 appearances for Cleveland. He has not pitched since July 24 and was designated for assignment on Aug. 11.
"Our scouts say the velocity is good, he's healthy," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. "Hopefully a change of scenery and change of leagues will help him produce better results."
A 6-foot-4, 210-pound reliever, Mota is expected to join the Mets in time for Tuesday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, at which time Minaya said the Mets would make a corresponding roster move.
"To me, the bullpen is something that's very critical, and it's an area you should always protect yourself," Minaya said. "Being able to get Mota gives us another arm in the bullpen that can hopefully protect leads."
Minaya said he felt confident that members of the Mets' coaching staff, particularly pitching coach Rick Peterson and bullpen coach Guy Conti, might be able to help Mota's performance.
In recent years, Mota was one of the National League's better setup men for the Los Angeles Dodgers, posting a 1.97 ERA in 76 appearances in 2003 and a 2.14 mark in 52 appearances in 2004 before being traded to the Florida Marlins.
Minaya cited the impact that Conti and Peterson had on right-handed reliever Jorge Julio, who was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in May for starter Orlando Hernandez. After struggling to open the season, Julio has recorded 15 saves in 18 opportunities for Arizona, with a 3.31 ERA.
"We feel comfortable with our coaches and our staff to be able to turn Guillermo Mota around," Minaya said.
The Mets also received cash considerations in the transaction to help cover most of Mota's remaining salary. Mota was due to make $3 million for the 2006 season.
Minaya said he consulted with catcher Paul Lo Duca, a batterymate of Mota's in Los Angeles and Florida, for feedback on the transaction.
"We think it's a move that has some potential upside and is not going to cost us that much," Minaya said.
Bryan Hoch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.