The New York Mets have signed former Athletics and Rangers pitcher A.J. Griffin to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. In all likelihood, Griffin will begin the year in Triple-A and serve as additional pitching depth for the Mets organization.
The 30 year old-right hander was a quality starting pitcher in his first years with the Athletics going 21-11 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.126 WHIP, and a 7.5 K/9. He was a four pitch pitcher whose fastball topped out in the low 90s. Entering the 2014 season, Griffin experienced forearm tightness, which eventually led to Tommy John surgery and eventual release.
Over the past two seasons, Griffin has tried to reclamate his career with the Texas Rangers. The results were quite poor with him posting a 5.41 ERA over the past two seasons. There are a few reasons why Griffin was not able to get back to being the pitcher he once was.
First and foremost, his stuff has not quite returned. His velocity has gone from the low 90s to the high 80s. His reduced velocity and his being a fly ball pitcher was not a good mix for The Ballpark at Arlington. In his career pitching at that ballpark, he has a 5.31 ERA, and he has allowed 21 homers. As an aside, it does make you question how well things will work out for him in Vegas.