Blue Jays sign David Aardsma to minor league deal
The Toronto Blue Jays have signed free agent pitcher David Aardsma to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training
Another day, another depth arm for the Toronto Blue Jays. After adding longtime starter Gavin Floyd late Thursday night, the club has announced the signing of 34-year-old right handed relief pitcher David Aardsma.
Like the many depth signings that have come before him this offseason, Aardsma’s deal comes with a ticket to major league spring training. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a small link to the Cleveland Indians.
In early 2014, Aardsma signed a deal with Cleveland but was released just prior to the season on March 21st.
The 2003 first-round pick has bounced around the major leagues, spending the majority of his 2015 at the big league level with the Atlanta Braves. In 30.2 innings there, Aardsma posted a 4.70 ERA with 10.3 K/9.
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The year prior, across 35.0 innings spent with triple-A Memphis of the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Aardsma pitched to a very strong 1.29 ERA.
Aardsma consistently threw his fastball in the mid-90s from 2008 to 2010, but that velocity has since crept back to the lower-90s. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given Aardsma’s age and the fact that he underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-2011.
His two most appealing seasons to Toronto would be in 2009 and 2010, where he combined to save 69 games with a 2.90 ERA as a member of the Seattle Mariners. The Blue Jays have been reported to be seeking closer’s experience on the open market this offseason, and while Aardsma is no threat to steal back-end at the major league levels, he does come with that on the resume.
Depth continues to be the name of the game for Toronto, and in an ideal scenario, Aardsma performs well in camp and stays healthy, aligning him with a steady role in the bullpen for the triple-A Bisons.