The Braves have signed right-handed reliever David Aardsma to a minor league deal, tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com. He opted out of his contract with the Dodgers on June 1. With Los Angeles’ Triple-A affiliate, Aardsma posted a 2.41 ERA with 11.09 K/9 and 3.38 BB/9 in 18 and two-thirds innings. He will report to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Aardsma last appeared in the majors with the Mets in 2013. Over his career, he has a 4.23 ERA with 8.96 K/9 and 4.97 BB/9. His best seasons came with the Mariners in 2009 through 2010 when he collected 69 saves in 121 innings. A hip injury and Tommy John surgery caused him to miss most of the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
The Braves bullpen is the worst in the majors by conventional measures. Adding Aardsma is a savvy, low risk move for the club. Atlanta has used 16 relievers, and they have contributed a league worst 5.03 ERA. Advanced metrics like SIERA and xFIP rate the club between the second and fifth worst bullpen.
Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson have acquitted themselves nicely in the late innings, but the front end of the bullpen remains in disarray. Given the state of affairs in Atlanta, Aardsma should have an opportunity to rejoin the majors.