Aaron Laffey Rumors

Jesse Litsch Elects Free Agency

Right-hander Jesse Litsch has elected free agency instead of accepting an outright assignment to the minor leagues, the Blue Jays announced. The team reinstated Litsch from the 60-day disabled list today at which point he elected free agency.

Left-hander Aaron Laffey and right-handers Shawn Hill, Bobby Korecky and Scott Richmond also elected free agency, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The Blue Jays had outrighted Hill, Korecky and Laffey last week.

Litsch missed the entire 2012 season due to injuries. He experienced a "career threatening" shoulder infection early in the year and underwent biceps surgery in June. The 27-year-old pitched 75 innings in 2011, posting a 4.44 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. In five MLB seasons he has a 4.16 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Litsch earned $975K in 2012 and would have been under team control through 2013.

Blue Jays Outright Laffey, Hill, Korecky

Today’s outright assignments..

  • The Blue Jays announced that they have outrighted left-hander Aaron Laffey, right-hander Shawn Hill, and right-hander Bobby Korecky off of the 40-man roster.  The move leaves Toronto with 37 players on the 40-man roster.  Laffey, 27, would have been arbitration-eligible this offseason.  That leaves Colby Rasmus, Jesse Litsch, J.A. Happ, and Rajai Davis (if his club option is declined) as the remaining arb eligible cases in Toronto.

AL East Notes: Yankees, Pettitte, Rays, Blue Jays

The last time the Yankees and Red Sox both started the season 0-3 was all the way back in 1966.  Boston finished 9th in the AL while New York wound up 10th.  The World Series champions that year? – the Orioles.  Here's a look at what's happening in the AL East today..

Contract Details: Tejeda, Blue Jays, Phillies, Pirates

MLB.com's beat reporters have been digging up details on some recent minor league deals. Here are the latest updates:

AL East Notes: Yankees, Kuroda, Laffey

The Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Orioles could use rotation upgrades and the Rays could use a first baseman and/or designated hitter. Here’s the latest on the American League East as the 2012 portion of the offseason continues and Spring Training draws a little closer…

Blue Jays Sign Aaron Laffey

The Blue Jays have signed left-hander Aaron Laffey to a split contract, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned.  The Royals non-tendered Laffey earlier this month.    

Laffey, 26, turned down a pre-tender deal with the Royals in order to find an opportunity to pitch as a starter.  Three teams told Laffey that he could compete for a spot in the rotation and ultimately the pitcher decided that the Blue Jays presented him with the best opportunity to do that. 

Laffey made 47 appearances for the Yankees and Mariners in 2011, posting a 3.88 ERA with 5.1 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.  In 49 major league starts, Laffey owns a 4.35 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.

American League Non-Tenders

Today's American League non-tenders are below, but you can keep track of all teams in our non-tender tracker.

  • The Mariners announced that they non-tendered Dan Cortes and Chris Gimenez.
  • The Orioles announced that they non-tendered Willie Eyre, the right-handed reliever who was designated for assignment last week. They non-tendered Jo-Jo Reyes, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). The Orioles also non-tendered Luke Scotttweets Connolly. Scott, who battled a shoulder injury in 2011 and underwent surgery this summer, projected to earn $6MM through arbitration. 
  • The Rays non-tendered Andy Sonnanstine, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (Twitter link).
  • The Rangers non-tendered right-hander Fabio Castillo, according to Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com (Twitter link).
  • The Red Sox announced that they non-tendered Rich Hill.
  • The Royals announced that they will non-tender left-hander Aaron Laffey.
  • The Twins announced that they've non-tendered left-hander Jose Mijares (Twitter link).
  • The Tigers non-tendered second baseman Will Rhymes, announced the team.  Rhymes is not yet close to being arbitration eligible, as he has less than one year of big league service time.  Rhymes, 28, hit .306/.377/.390 at Triple-A this year.

Royals Claim Laffey, Designate Chavez

The Royals announced today they've claimed lefty Aaron Laffey off outright waivers from the Yankees and designated reliever Jesse Chavez to create a 40-man roster spot.

Laffey, 26, posted a 3.88 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.18 HR/9, and 48.1% groundball rate in 53 1/3 innings for the Mariners and Yankees this year.  He wasn't any better against left-handed hitters.  Earlier today, Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues wrote that Laffey was an expected victim of the Yankees' upcoming 40-man roster crunch.

Chavez, 28, had joined the Royals at last year's trade deadline in the Rick Ankiel/Kyle Farnsworth deal.  He struggled mightily in the Majors this year but had a 3.75 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 in 57 2/3 Triple-A innings.  Chavez averaged 94.5 miles per hour on his fastball the last few years, but that dropped a full two miles per hour this year in the Majors.

Yankees Designate Aaron Laffey For Assignment

The Yankees designated lefty Aaron Laffey for assignment, tweets Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger.  They'd claimed him off waivers from the Mariners on Friday.  Carig notes that Laffey was placed on optional waivers, meaning he remains on the 40-man roster and can be pulled back if claimed.

Laffey, 26, posted a 4.14 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.4 HR/9, and 50.9% groundball rate in 45 2/3 innings for the Mariners and Yankees this year.

Yankees Claim Laffey, Designate Gustavo Molina

The Yankees claimed left-hander Aaron Laffey off of waivers from the Mariners and designated catcher Gustavo Molina for assignment, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). It's the second time this week that the Yankees have claimed a left-hander; they picked up Raul Valdes on Tuesday.

The Mariners designated Laffey for assignment to create roster space for Chance Ruffin earlier in the week. Laffey appeared in 36 games for Seattle this year, posting a 4.01 ERA with 5.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 42 2/3 innings of work. The Mariners acquired the 26-year-old from Cleveland this March for cash and Double-A infielder Matt Lawson.

To create room for Laffey on their full 40-man roster, the Yankees designated Molina, who wasn't with the Major League team. The 29-year-old has spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he has a .239/.273/.310 line in 152 plate appearances. He also appeared in three Yankees games this year and has previous experience with four other MLB teams.