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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