On the heels of me talking about the upside of acquiring Brett Myers because of his ability to pitch both in the rotation and out of the bullpen, Sandy Alderson has made a different move, as New York signed Aaron Laffey to a minor league deal with an invite to Big League Spring Training.
Michael Baron of MetsBlogsaid the organization is planning on scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to bullpen arms this winter since Alderson’s attempt to rebuild it with higher profile names crashed and burned last season. One would think the result in 2013 can’t be any worse than the performance of the 2012 bullpen. They’ve already improved with the subtraction of Ramon Ramirez and Manny Acosta, although I wouldn’t have minded seeing Jon Rauch returned. Greg Burke, who was signed earlier this winter, could prove to be a solid pick-up once the season starts.
Laffey was with the Blue Jays last season, and the lefty went 4-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 22 appearances (16 starts) with Toronto, while also going 3-5 with a 4.52 ERA in 11 starts in Triple-A Las Vegas. The southpaw has been in the league for six seasons, spending time with the Jays, Indians, Mariners, and Yankees, while accumulating 148 appearances, 65 of which were starts. At the start of the winter, Alderson mentioned he’d like to add a veteran lefty to the ‘pen. Although someone like Randy Choate would have been cool, we’ll see if Laffey pitches well enough to break camp with the Big League club.
After the Diamondbacks surprised everyone with signing outfielder Cody Ross right before the Christmas holiday, it’s rumored they once again will be trading one of their outfielders. Though they would probably rather deal Jason Kubel, an exec has told MLB insider Ken Rosenthal that GM Kevin Towers wouldn’t get a lot for him, specifically because of his poor defense and the huge home/road OPS splits. That means Justin Upton could be back on the market, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. So, let us start dreaming again that it’s possible to see the younger Upton manning right field in Flushing next season. Although, I wouldn’t mind it one bit.
New Batting Practice hats for all MLB teams were released yesterday, and Mets Police has the design for us, which features Mr. Met on a blue background and orange brim. I think the hat will take some getting used to for people who are more traditional and like having the “NY” on the hat (like myself), but who doesn’t love a dosage of Mr. Met?
As for some good reads around the web, MLB Trade Rumors revisited the trade Steve Phillips made to acquire Mo Vaughn on December 27th, 2001. Amazin’ Avenue breaks down each aspect of Ruben Tejada’s game, while Mets 360 takes a look at what kind of value John Buck brings to Flushing next season. Last, but certainly not least, Fred and Jeff Wilpon made ESPN’s 10 most loathed New York sports figures in 2012…I can’t say I’m shocked.