The Blue Jays announced that they have signed right-hander David Aardsma to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Aardsma, a client of TWC Sports, will look to force his way into a bullpen that is anchored by Drew Storen, Roberto Osuna and Brett Cecil. The bullpen should also feature two of Aaron Sanchez, Jesse Chavez and Drew Hutchison — each of whom also figures to get a look in the rotation as well. Other candidates include left-hander Aaron Loup and right-handers Bo Schultz and Ryan Tepera.
Last season, Aardsma began the year with the Dodgers but opted out of his contract after a strong showing in Triple-A didn’t yield a promotion to the Majors. The 34-year-old veteran quickly hooked on with the Braves on a minor league deal and saw his contract selected within days of signing. He wound up tossing 30 2/3 innings of relief as a member of the Atlanta bullpen, posting a 4.70 ERA with 10.3 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a 29.5 percent ground-ball rate. Aardsma, who saved 69 games for the Mariners back in 2009-10, has never had a problem missing bats, even as his velocity has dipped down from its mid-90s peak in his late 20s. He has a 4.27 ERA with a 340-to-183 K/BB ratio in 337 innings at the Major League level, although Tommy John surgery and a torn labrum in his left hip in 2011-12 have slowed his career.
If you’re interested in learning more about Aardsma’s background, career path, and approach to the game, be sure to check out his appearance on the MLBTR Podcast last fall.