After receiving a sizeable payday after the 2012 season, Eric O’Flaherty suffered an elbow injury and underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2013. Now, O’Flaherty will be looking for a short-term deal to re-establish his status as one of the better bullpen lefties in the game.
O’Flaherty is only 28 years old and a viable left-hander out of the bullpen. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2003 and the Atlanta Braves claimed him off waivers in 2009 and he repaid them with a 1.99 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 249 1/3 innings over the last five seasons.
Tommy John surgery is concerning and his 2014 season will essentially be a lost for O’Flaherty because of the time when he had the surgery. He likely will not be ready to pitch until the middle or late part of the summer, because it often takes some time after that for a pitcher’s velocity to return. He could be an asset for the Braves down the stretch, however, so his worth this year largely depends on the price of his deal.
Javier Lopez just received $13 million over three years from the San Francisco Giants. But coming off a Tommy John surgery and not being able to pitch for the entire season, that’s a high price tag for a pitcher like this.
But is it?