David Aardsma hasn’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues since September 19, 2010. But that could change in the next few days.
After spending the past 14 months rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Aardsma told Erik Boland of the New York Daily News this afternoon that he expects to be activated by the Yankees tomorrow.
Aardsma posted a 2.90 ERA while saving 69 games in 78 chances for the Mariners between 2009-2010, but he began last season on the disabled list following hip surgery and eventually required Tommy John surgery in July. The 30-year-old right-hander was then non-tendered by the Mariners before signing a one-year, $500,000 contract with the Yankees in February. He was originally aiming to return around mid-season, but his timetable was pushed back a bit following a setback in June.
The Yankees are in the middle of a pennant race, so it’s highly unlikely that Aardsma will get more than a couple of appearances in lower-leverage situations, but he could show enough for the club to pick up his option for 2013.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.