Seattle just made a trade with the Cleveland Indians, acquiring left-handed pitcher Aaron Laffey in exchange for minor league infielder Matt Lawson. You’ll remember that Lawson was one of the players picked up from Texas in the Cliff Lee deal.
To make room on the 40-man roster, Seattle put reliever Shawn Kelley on the 60-day disabled list.
I spoke to Mariner GM Jack Zduriencik moments ago and he told me Laffey, 25, will have a shot to compete for both a rotation and bullpen job.
One important thing to consider: he does have a minor league option left.
So, the team can send him to Class AAA for more seasoning if it comes down to a question of wanting to keep a non-roster guy over him.
“Anytime you can get a left-handed pitcher who can start and has experience in the bullpen, I think it’s something that adds to your talent pool and your versatility,” he said. “He gives us more versatility.”
Zduriencik said the two sides had been discussing a deal for “a couple of weeks” and that it finally came together.
“We’ll bring him in and see what we’ve got,” Zduriencik said.
Photo Credit: AP
Laffey appeared in 29 games last season — five of them starts — and went 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA. His strikeouts-to-walks ratio was a less-than-stellar 1:1, with 28 on each side.
He’d primarily been a starter prior to last season. In 49 career starts and 30 relief outings, he’s 18-21 with a 4.41 ERA, with 155 strikeouts versus 128 walks.
So, nothing to write home about.
Laffey has been trending downward for a while now, so there’s no guarantee he makes the squad, especially with one year of AAA options left. So, you can throw him “in the mix” for now and see what happens. But if anything similar to last season happens, he’s probably starting the year at Tacoma.
Then again, Lawson, 25, wasn’t much to write home about either. He did post an .811 OPS in Class AA but the M’s have since added to their infield depth and have others well ahead of him at the majors and AAA. Lawson was made available in the Rule 5 draft back in December and nobody took him.
So, well see what happens the rest of spring training.