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D-backs bolster 'pen by acquiring lefty Reynolds

D-backs bolster 'pen by acquiring lefty Reynolds

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D-backs bolster 'pen by acquiring lefty Reynolds
PHOENIX -- You can cross another item off D-backs general manager Kevin Towers' offseason to-do list.

The D-backs on Tuesday picked up the left-handed reliever they were looking for, as they acquired Matt Reynolds from the Rockies in exchange for infielder Ryan Wheeler.

"We are excited to add a versatile and experienced left-handed reliever to the bullpen," Towers said in a statement. "He's very familiar with our division and has been a workhorse for the last couple seasons, so we expect he can continue to do that for us."

After struggles last season by southpaws Joe Paterson and Mike Zagurski, the D-backs went into the offseason looking for a lefty in the bullpen.

After acquiring shortstop Cliff Pennington and reliever Heath Bell in October, Towers said that if the D-backs did not make another move this offseason he would feel comfortable starting the year. The only exception, he added, was that he would really like to add a left-hander in the bullpen.

The D-backs have gotten to see plenty of Reynolds over his three seasons with the Rockies. The 28-year-old appeared in 165 games for Colorado, compiling a 5-3 record and a 3.93 ERA.

Reynolds' numbers indicate that he is not a true left-handed specialist in that he has had equal success against righties and lefties in his career. Lefties have hit .262 against him while righties have a .259 mark.

Over his three seasons, Reynolds has a 120 ERA+, which is a weighted statistic that takes into account ballpark effects, among other things. Reynolds' ERA+ is better than what is considered to be the league average of 100.

Cincinnati's Sean Marshall and Atlanta's Jonny Venters are the only left-handers to make more appearances than Reynolds over the past two seasons.

Wheeler tore up Triple-A last season, hitting .351 with 15 homers and 90 RBIs before being called up to the big leagues in late July.

The 24-year-old appeared in 50 games at third and first base and hit .239 with one homer and 10 RBIs.

The D-backs had a surplus of infielders with Chris Johnson the presumptive starter at third base heading into Spring Training unless the team makes a deal for someone else. Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald can also play the position and Arizona has the highly regarded Matt Davidson, ranked No. 4 among the team's top prospects, knocking on the door as well.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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