Blue Jays sign left-hander Aaron Laffey to a split contract

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After reportedly inking veteran reliever Darren Oliver to a one-year contract with a club option for 2013, the Blue Jays have added another left-hander to the fold.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Blue Jays have signed Aaron Laffey to a split contract.

Laffey was non-tendered by the Royals earlier this month and actually turned down a pre-tender deal from the club in order to find an opportunity to pitch as a starter. The 26-year-old left-hander posted a 3.88 ERA and 30/21 K/BB ratio over 53 1/3 innings this past season as a reliever between the Mariners and Yankees.

Laffey averages around 87 mph on his fastball and has a pretty awful 185/149 K/BB ratio over 373 2/3 innings in the big leagues, so he likely wouldn’t fare very well as a starter in the American League East. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Jays will give the soft-tossing southpaw an opportunity to compete for a spot in the rotation during spring training, but if he actually makes a start for Toronto in 2012, something probably went very wrong.

Sean Manaea pitches first no-hitter of 2018

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Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.