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

5 Comments

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.

Japanese outfielder Yoshida to negotiate with MLB teams

Masataka Yoshida
Yukihito Taguchi/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SAN DIEGO — Outfielder Masataka Yoshida will be able to negotiate with Major League Baseball teams starting Wednesday under the posting system with the Japanese big leagues.

A member of Japan’s Olympic team last year, Yoshida will be posted at 8 a.m. EST on Wednesday and MLB teams have until 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 20 to reach an agreement, the commissioner’s office said Tuesday.

The 29-year-old hit .335 with 21 homers and 88 RBIs in 119 games this year for the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League. A left-handed batter, he has a .327 average with 133 homers and 467 RBIs over seven seasons in the Japanese majors.

Yoshida hit .350 with two RBIs as Japan won last year’s Olympic gold medal.

Under 2017 changes to the posting system, the posting fee will be 20% of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. The percentage drops to 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any amount over $50 million. There would be a supplemental fee of 15% of any earned bonuses, salary escalators and exercised options.

Hard-throwing right-hander Kodai Senga, another member of the Olympic team, is a free agent and does not have to go through the posting system because he has 11 seasons of service time in the Japanese major leagues.

Senga, who turns 30 in January, was 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA in 22 starts for the Pacific League’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He pitched three scoreless innings in two outings against the U.S. in the Olympics, allowing one hit and striking out six with two walks.