Feb. 27: Griffin would earn $750K in the Majors and have the opportunity to earn another $500K via incentives, tweets FanRag’s Jon Heyman. His contract also comes with opt-out dates in the event that he’s unlikely to make the big league roster.
Feb. 26: The Mets are in agreement with free-agent right-hander A.J. Griffin on a minor league deal, tweets James Wagner of the New York Times. He’ll report to Major League camp with the team shortly. Griffin is represented by the Legacy Agency.
Grffin, 30, has spent the past two seasons in the Rangers organization, where he’s soaked up 196 1/3 innings over the course of 41 games (38 starts) for an oft-injured Texas staff. While he’s turned in passable K/BB numbers in that time (7.7 K/9, 3.4 BB/9), however, Griffin has been baseball’s most homer-prone pitcher over the past two seasons, averaging 2.2 long balls per nine innings pitched. Griffin has posted just a 29 percent ground-ball rate in that time, and his extreme penchant for fly-balls is magnified by the fact that 15.6 percent of flies against him have cleared the fence for homers.
At one point, Griffin looked to be emerging as a solid long-term piece for the A’s. He debuted in Oakland as a 24-year-old back in 2012 and went on to post a 3.60 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 across 282 1/3 innings from 2012-13. However, he underwent Tommy John surgery the following spring and was away from a big league mound for two full seasons as a result.
Griffin doesn’t seem especially likely to crack the Mets’ Opening Day rotation, but he could remain on hand as a valuable depth option early in the season. Jacob deGrom had a terrific season atop the Mets’ rotation in 2017, but Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo all missed significant time on the disabled list last season.