Hanshin Tigers Pursuing David Aardsma

David Aardsma, who requested his release from the Marlins earlier in the week, is being pursued by Japan's Hanshin Tigers, according to a Sanspo report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (Twitter link).

Aardsma pitched fairly well in his 14-inning stint with the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans, but has appeared in just one Major League inning since 2010. Surgery to repair the labrum in his left hip followed by Tommy John surgery have stalled the 31-year-old's career, but he was a solid ninth inning option for Seattle from 2009-10. Aardsma picked up 69 saves in that time, posting a 2.90 ERA, 9.6 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 121 innings.

I imagine that Aardsma's track record would allow him to get a Major League opportunity with a team in need of bullpen help at some point, but if not, Japan has served as a stepping stone back to the big leagues for many pitchers in the past. Colby Lewis, Scott Atchison and Ryan Vogelsong are recent examples of pitchers who experienced varying degrees of success in Nippon Professional Baseball before working their way back to Major League rosters.

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