Mets: A.J. Griffin signed to minor league deal

By Christina Cola

The Mets have signed veteran right-hander A.J. Griffin to a minor league deal.

This adds some nice depth to the pitching options down on the farm. (And another sweet long flowing mane to the Mets pitching staff).  The Mets will hopefully avoid dipping into that depth this year, but it’s comforting to know that there is at least a bit more of a stable option available. As opposed to seeing Tommy Milone on the mound once again.

Griffin spent the majority of his career with the Athletics and the Ranges. Bouncing back and forth between the majors and triple-A. Posting a 4.34 ERA overall, he’s a solid back end of the rotation option should the Mets need him. Much like Vargas, he knows how to stay on the field. He started 15 games for the Rangers last season and pitched 77 innings. The year before, in 2016, Griffin made 23 starts and went 119 innings.

I would note that his ERA has risen significantly since his season best in 2012 of 3.06. But the Mets don’t need him to be the lights out guy. They need that depth. Griffin is more of an affordable insurance policy more than anything else.

Griffin’s never had too much fire in his fastball. It tops out at about 87mph. However, in the past year, he seems to have switched off to favoring his curveball a bit more which is more than enough to get those swing and misses when he needs them. Even at this stage in his career, Griffin still manages to put up about 8 strikeouts per nine innings.

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If the Mets feel that Griffin is excelling in Triple-A, they also have the option to bring him up to pitch out of the bullpen. Overall, however, he’s the safety net option. If we’re seeing him start a major league game, it’s only because something else has gone wrong.