On Thursday afternoon, the Mets announced the signing of LHP Aaron Laffey to  a minor-league deal.

Laffey pitched last year in Toronto and made 22 appearances (16 starts) while going 4-6 with a 4.56 ERA.

The Mets are hoping that Laffey can resurrect his once promising career and become a formidable force out of the pen. Perhaps if he has a solid enough spring, he can be a candidate for the rotation and at least have the chance to become the Mets’ long man.

In 148 games with the Indians, Mariners, Yankees and Blue Jays  (65 starts), Laffey has gone 25-29 with a career 4.38 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. In 474.1 innings, Laffey has only struck out 233 batters. Laffey’s problems over the years is that he’s proven to be too hittable, as he has a career .284 BAA.

The Mets, after being burned by overspending on the likes of Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch and-with the power of hindsight -making a bad trade to acquire the services or Ramon Ramirez last year, wanted to make sure their bullpen acquisitions were on the cheap this year. The Mets wanted to spend limited money on the bullpen while gambling on players they still think have some gas left in their tank. This is where the signing of Laffey makes sense.

Laffey is, of course, no banner signing to get excited about, but it’s these little signings that could go a long away. Throwing money at upgrading the bullpen has not exactly worked out for the Mets in years past. The Mets are better served using their allotted money at upgrading the rotation and outfield after trading away R.A. Dickey last week.

With the only lefty relievers on the Mets being a rehabbing Tim Byrdak (who is also on a minor-league deal) and two relatively unproven young prospects in Robert Carson and Josh Edgin, the signing of Laffey does give the Mets some veteran insurance.

So, while it’s hard to get excited about the signing of Laffey, he does fill a need and is a cheap option worth gambling on.

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10 comments on “A quick synopsis on the signing of Aaron Laffey

  • NormE

    Dan, your lst sentence says it all.

    • NormE

      Whoops, my typo. Should read “last sentence.”

  • Chris F

    This signing make perfect sense to me on two fronts. First, as you say Dan, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. Sandy is gun-shy, which does make trolling in the Blue Jay trash heap even more confusing to me, but hey, Im no GM. Second, and I think laying in the weeds is simply that now is not the time. We see another signal that ’13 is a goner before it began. It makes no sense to be shopping for high priced pen arms (though look at what Pitt took in return for Hanrahan—yes, he’s a 1 yr rental, I know) at this point, when there is no reason to spend money for a, shall we say, “rebuilding” team. No sense in slapping on low profile racing tires on a ’72 VW bus for this year or next!

    I figure Sandy has two years to finish his work before a pennant run beginning in ’15. Next year, when contract burdens cease, I expect plans to revamp the OF will emerge in full force. Then ’14 will be the pen, which can be dramatically overhauled with a single piece, or give more time to see if one of our young arms develops into something like a lite version of Chapman or Kimbrel (ok ok, let me dream). At least this is what I see from the murky actions that is the Wizard’s grand plan.

  • JerryGrote

    Not to state the obvious, but I will anyways …

    … any time given to Laffey which might have gone to Carson or Edgin is a waste. Laffey gets a number like 87, pitches if at all in the B games, and unless he comes to camp and simply explodes while both Carson AND Edgin implode … he never sees the light of day.

    Jus’ sayin. Edgin – along with players like (yes!) Lucas Duda, and Captain Kirk need to be given the space to fail utterly.

    • Chris F

      I completely agree JerryGrote.

  • Name

    People are fashioning Laffey to be a LOOGY, but i think his main role will be AAA starting depth. Last year, 3/5 of the Mets Opening day rotation got hurt at some point. You need depth like Laffey to cover those holes.
    While he’s not very good, On a positive note, this guy has never posted a negative WAR in his career

    • JerryGrote


    • Brian Joura

      Good call Name. He’s likely Garret Olson’s replacement.

    • Metsense

      Spot on, Name! Chris and Jerry Grote are also correct but I can’t wait until 2014 let alone 2015 for the promise of a competitive team. (They are selling tickets for 2013, aren’t’ they?). There are spending restraints in 2013 but there are also 35 free agent relief pitchers still on the market. It is a buyers market and the Mets should be looking into at least two for depth.

      • Brian Joura

        If it’s a buyer’s market on December 28th – what’s it going to be on January 15th? There’s no doubt that Alderson is going to add relievers to the mix. Hopefully he learned from last year’s debacle that you don’t sign relievers to inflated contracts in November – you pick up the leftovers on the cheap in January and February.

        A great middle reliever is likely not going to be the difference in making the playoffs in 2013. So look for guys who won’t kill you. Last year the Mets spent $6.15 million on Rauch and Ramirez and got 121.1 IP of 3.94 ERA. Alderson should be able to find two guys in January for half that amount to give the same bullpen production.

        The fact that these relievers aren’t on the roster now is a good thing – it means the Mets didn’t overpay like they did last year.

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