The Mets have signed right-handers Vance Worley and Scott Copeland to minor league contracts, as first reported at MetsMinors.net. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com adds (via Twitter) that the Mets have released fellow righty A.J. Griffin, who’d been pitching for their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.
The 30-year-old Worley, a Wasserman client, turned in solid numbers from 2014-16 when he worked to a combined 3.38 ERA and 3.98 FIP with 6.2 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 in 269 innings between the Pirates and the Orioles. However, a 2017 stint with the Marlins yielded catastrophic results, as Worley was hammered at a .339/.408/.534 clip en route to a 6.91 ERA and 4.90 FIP in 71 1/3 innings of work. Worley had his share of misfortune in 2017, as evidenced by a career-worst .378 average on balls in play, but he also surrendered a career-worst 36 percent hard-contact rate.
Copeland is also 30 and was also with the Marlins in 2017, though unlike Worley, he spent the entirety of last season pitching at the Triple-A level and didn’t reach the Majors. Last year in New Orleans, Copeland made 26 starts and totaled 137 1/3 frames of 4.97 ERA ball, averaging 7.7 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 in that time. Copeland induced plenty of grounders (54.8 percent) but also watched 20 percent of the fly-balls he allowed clear the fence for home runs (1.31 HR/9). He does have 15 1/3 innings of work at the big league level under his belt — all coming with the Blue Jays back in 2015.
Adding Worley and Copeland to the minor league ranks will replace some of the depth the Mets lost by cutting ties with Griffin. The Mets added Griffin on a minor league pact back in February, but the 30-year-old veteran was clobbered for 16 runs on 13 hits (three homers) and six walks in just three innings of work in Las Vegas. Over the past two seasons, Griffin has made 38 starts and 41 total appearances for the Rangers but limped to a 5.41 ERA and an even more troublesome 5.95 FIP in 196 2/3 innings of work.