Right-hander David Aardsma has signed with the Dodgers, the pitcher himself tweeted today. As MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes, Aardsma will be in Major League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee looking to secure a spot in the team’s bullpen. Aardsma is represented by TWC Sports.
Aardsma, formerly the closer for the Mariners (he saved 69 games in Seattle from 2009-10), spent the 2014 season with the Cardinals, working to an excellent 1.46 ERA with 38 strikeouts against 18 walks in 37 minor league innings. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports recently noted, Aardsma has re-worked his mechanics and seen improved velocity as a result. Last week, I tweeted that Aardsma’s velocity reached 92 mph in his final bullpen session, which was attended by 18 scouts.
A groin injury ultimately ended Aardsma’s 2014 campaign and halted his chances of making an impact with the Cardinals’ bullpen, but 33-year-old does bring some upside to L.A. if healthy. Over his past 161 2/3 innings in the Majors, Aardsma has a 3.28 ERA with 166 strikeouts against 79 walks. He’ll look to force his way into a mix of arms that includes closer Kenley Jansen as well as setup men J.P. Howell, Brandon League and Joel Peralta. Other candidates for the Dodger ’pen include Paco Rodriguez, Carlos Frias, Pedro Baez, Juan Nicasio and Chris Hatcher.