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.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.