As an apparent late Christmas present for fans, the Mets have signed left-handed pitcher Aaron Laffey to a minor league deal. The 27-year-old Laffey split time last season between the Blue Jays and their Triple-A affiliate — now the Mets' highest affiliate — in Las Vegas. He had a 4.56 ERA over sixteen starts and six relief appearances with the Jays, and I'm afraid there's no silver lining in his peripheral stats. His strikeout (4.3 per nine innings), walk (3.3 per nine innings), and home run (1.5 per nine innings) rates paint the portrait of someone who was lucky just to have an ERA in the mid-fours.
Originally a 16th-round pick of the Indians in 2003, Laffey's minor league track record isn't particularly encouraging, either. In 262 Triple-A innings he has a 4.16 ERA and has allowed nearly thirteen baserunners every nine innings. There is one bright spot: Laffey has historically been a ground ball pitcher and has been particularly stingy with respect to allowing home runs as a minor leaguer.
His ceiling for the Mets would seem to be as a spot starter or occasional swing man/mop-up specialist. Nevertheless, Toronto gave him nearly a half-season's worth of starts last year and they were basically as good (or bad) as the Mets, so I suppose an extended sojourn in Queens isn't out of the question.