David Aardsma Rumors

Quick Hits: Johnson, Dodgers, Aardsma, Padres

Sunday night linkage..


Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.

Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:

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Quick Hits: Garza, Rays, Aardsma, Iwakuma

On this day last year the Rangers agreed to sign Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year, $5MM deal.  In 2011, the veteran continues to look for a home with the Orioles, Angels, and Rays said to be interested.  Let's take a look at the batch of links for tonight..

  • Jamey Newberg of The Newberg Report is glad that the Rangers didn't overpay to land Matt Garza.  The right-hander was shipped to the Cubs in an eight-player deal.
  • Speaking of the Garza deal, Dave Cameron writes in a piece for Fangraphs that there's a good chance that the Rays got better in the short term by making the trade.
  • Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times that David Aardsma's hip surgery was more extensive than first thought and the hurler might not be ready by Opening Day.  The M's were shopping the 29-year-old for quite some time but now they'll wait even longer to move him.
  • In an interview on 1500-ESPN, Twins GM Bill Smith revealed that the club finished a distant second in the bidding for Japanese starter Hisashi Iwakuma (information passed along by Aaron Gleeman).  Minnesota offered $7.7MM for the hurler while the Athletics won the bidding with $19.1MM.  Ultimately, Iwakuma and the A's couldn't agree to terms.


Aardsma To Undergo Hip Surgery

You can strike David Aardsma off of your list of winter trade candidates. The Mariners have announced that the reliever will undergo surgery this Monday to repair a torn labrum in his left hip (Twitter link). The Mariners had been seeking an impact bat for him, but they'll presumably have to delay trade talks for now. Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that the M's expect Aardsma to be ready by Opening Day (Twitter link).

Aardsma will earn a raise from his 2010 salary of $2.75MM when he and the Mariners determine his upcoming salary through the arbitration process. In 49 2/3 innings last year, he posted a 3.44 ERA with 8.9 K/9, 4.5 BB/9 and 31 saves. The 29-year-old is under team control through 2012.


Cafardo’s Latest: Uggla, Pavano, Matsuzaka, Ellsbury

In today's column, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe asked ten baseball people to select the ten most significant moves/non-moves of the offseason. Unsurprisingly, Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, Carl Crawford, and Cliff Lee topped the list. Here are the rest of Cafardo's rumors…

  • Talks between the Braves and Dan Uggla have slowed because he's seeking more money, but an extension should get done during the first week of January. Cafardo reported that the two sides were close to a five-year deal worth $60-61MM about two weeks ago.
  • The Orioles still have interest in Kevin Gregg and the Red Sox still have interest in Brian Fuentes, but other free agent relievers like Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Octavio Dotel, Aaron Heilman, Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Jon Rauch remain in limbo.
  • Carl Pavano is holding out for three years, with the Nationals, Twins, and Rangers still showing interest. Cafardo adds the Mariners to the mix, with the caveat that they free up some money first.
  • The teams considering Pavano could also turn to Joe Blanton, who would certainly come cheaper.
  • The Red Sox "haven’t heard anything close to the value they would need in return" for Daisuke Matsuzaka.
  • The Angels and several other teams made a run at Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason, but the Sox "never heard any offer resembling proper value."
  • Cafardo wonders if Adrian Beltre is looking at a much smaller payday than originally anticipated. Last we heard, the Angels pulled their five-year, $70MM offer to the third baseman, but they remain in the mix to sign him.
  • David Aardsma is still trade bait and the Mariners wouldn't mind moving him for starting pitching depth. Earlier this week we heard Seattle wanted an impact bat for its closer.

Mariners Seek Impact Bat For Aardsma

The Mariners are looking for an "impact bat" in exchange for closer David Aardsma, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. As Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported last week, Aardsma doesn't appear to be a fit with the Rockies, who believe the Mariners are asking for too much. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Mariners are looking to trade Aardsma, who turns 29 next week.

Aardsma will earn a raise from his 2010 salary of $2.75MM when he and the Mariners determine his upcoming salary through the arbitration process. The reliever has posted high strikeout, walk and save totals since joining the Mariners and 2010 was no exception. In 49 2/3 innings last year, he posted a 3.44 ERA with 8.9 K/9, 4.5 BB/9 and 31 saves. Aardsma may have seen his trade value jump because of the rising cost of free agent relievers, as as MLBTR's Mike Axisa explains here.

The Rockies are considering a number of alternatives, including Grant Balfour, Todd Coffey, Jon Rauch, Chad Qualls and Joe Beimel. GM Dan O'Dowd told Harding that he would sign certain relievers to multiyear deals, but would generally prefer to make short-term commitments.

Teams have handed out 12 multiyear deals to relievers so far this winter, as MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows.


Rockies Notes: Francis, Aardsma, Heilman

Let's take a look at some Rockies news..

  • Jeff Francis will decide on whether he will return to the Rockies soon, writes Jim Armstrong of The Denver Post.  Colorado turned down a $7.5MM club option on the pitcher this offseason, making him a free agent.  The Rockies are probably offering the left-hander a deal with about $1MM guaranteed.
  • The Rockies believe that the Mariners are asking too much for David Aardsma, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.  It was reported last night that the Rockies had interest in the veteran pitcher.
  • A new name to keep in mind for the Rockies is free agent reliever Aaron Heilman, Renck tweets.  Colorado has tried to land the 32-year-old multiple times in recent years.

Rockies Looking At Aardsma, Balfour, Coffey

The Rockies have spoken to the Mariners about a possible David Aardsma trade, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link).  Colorado has also shown interest in right-handers Grant Balfour and Todd Coffey, though Renck tweets that Balfour would have to be acquired in a "sign-and-trade" arrangment since the Rockies don't want to lose their first round draft pick as compensation for signing the Type A free agent.

Aardsma, who is known to be on the market, would be used in a set-up role with the Rockies since Huston Street is established as Colorado's closer.  Balfour's Type-A status isn't the only hindrance to a possible signing, as he reportedly wants a three-year contract.  The Rockies may be hesitant to give a middle reliever that kind of long-term commitment, though Joaquin Benoit, Jesse Crain, Scott Downs and Matt Guerrier have all signed three-year deals this winter.

Coffey, non-tendered by the Brewers earlier this month, comes with the smallest price tag but is also coming off the least-accomplished season (4.76 ERA, 9.4 H/9 rate) of the three pitchers.  Renck adds that Colorado's "wish list" also includes Jon Rauch and Chad Qualls (Twitter link).


Mariners Looking To Trade David Aardsma

The Mariners are trying to trade David Aardsma, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. As Rosenthal points out, the reliever will earn a raise from his 2010 salary of $2.75MM when he and the Mariners determine his upcoming salary through the arbitration process.

The Red Sox have missed out on a number of free agent relievers, so it would not be surprising to see them try to reacquire Aardsma, who turns 29 later this month. Kevin Gregg, who has drawn interest from a number of clubs, such as the Orioles and Red Sox, is among the possible replacements for Aardsma, Rosenthal reports.

Like Gregg, Aardsma generally posts high strikeout, walk and save totals. In 49 2/3 innings last year, he posted a 3.44 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9. Aardsma has likely seen his trade value jump because of the rising cost of free agent relievers, as MLBTR's Mike Axisa explains here.


Relievers On Boston’s Radar

4:23pm: The Red Sox are having ongoing discussions with Dan Wheeler about a possible deal, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. One of Speier's sources is optimistic about the negotiations.

1:16pm: The Red Sox liked Matt Guerrier well enough to offer him a two-year deal, but the Dodgers offered a third guaranteed year and the right-hander has agreed to play for Los Angeles. The Red Sox will have to move on to other targets as they look to round out their 'pen. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has the details on what he says is the biggest challenge of the offseason for GM Theo Epstein.

Two former Twins, right-hander Jesse Crain and left-hander Brian Fuentes are the team’s priorities now. The Red Sox are also considering trades and would “love” to reacquire Justin Masterson, according to Cafardo. The Indians have been reluctant to part with Masterson, whom they acquired in the 2009 Victor Martinez trade.

There are a number of alternatives for Epstein to pursue, including Indians relievers Joe Smith and Rafael Perez, who “could be on Boston’s radar.” The A’s are likely willing to listen on their relievers and the Mariners would listen on David Aardsma, Cafardo writes.