Aardsma remains one of the biggest coups of Jack Zduriencik’s tenure as Mariners GM. Aardsma was traded for Fabian Williamson, who is presently getting his shit kicked in pitching for Oakland’s farm system. Aardsma was the Mariners closer for most of two seasons, compiling 69 saves and 9.6 K/9.
Aardsma was expected to be one of the Mariners top trade chips last offseason, but Tommy John surgery derailed that. The Mariners have Brandon League in their closer role now, and have worked to improve their bullpen this offseason. Since Aardsma won’t be available until mid-season, he makes more sense for a team like the Yankees, who figure to be in contention in July, while the Mariners future is more uncertain.
For Aardsma the move makes a ton of sense. In the wake of Mariano Rivera at least entertaining the thought of retirement (but who really knows with that guy), someone will have to replace him. Joba Chamberlain was expected to be that guy, but a mid-season Tommy John surgery may have derailed his chances also.
Interesting fact: Aardsma was injured during or prior to spring training, Chamberlain was injured mid-season, yet Chamberlain had Tommy John surgery (June 8) more than a month before Aardsma.