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.