Brian Cashman‘s trolling of the “they’d win the World Series if this was 2003!” crowd continued today, with the team signing righty reliever Luis Ayala to a minor league contract. Ayala, 33, last appeared in the big leagues with the Twins and Marlins in 2009. He spent last season in Triple-A with the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers, and like Bartolo Colon, he pitched pretty well in winter ball this year (40.2 IP, 37 H, 9 R, 7 BB, 25 K). He’s always been a ground ball guy (47.3% career with several years over 50%), so strikeouts aren’t his forte (5.88 K/9).
Ayala made his name with the Expos back in the day, running off three straight seasons with at least 65 appearances and a sub-3.00 ERA, but he’s perhaps most famous for becoming the first casualty of the World Baseball Classic. He blew out his elbow during the 2006 event and needed Tommy John surgery. I really have no idea where he and some of these other non-roster invitees are headed, the Triple-A bullpen is full as it is.