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.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.