David Aardsma, who was released by the Yankees in early April and opted out of a minor-league deal with the Marlins last week, has agreed to a new minor-league contract with the Mets.
This will be Aardsma’s fourth organization since the end of 2011, as he tries to prove that he can be healthy and effective again after numerous injury setbacks.
Aardsma is still just 31 years old, but he’s thrown a grand total of one inning in the big leagues since saving 31 games for the Mariners in 2010. He’ll head to Triple-A.
First baseman José Abreu and starter Jake Odorizzi have accepted their $17.8 million qualifying offers from the White Sox and Twins, respectively, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. Reliever Will Smith signed a three-year contract with the Braves ahead of Thursday’s 5 PM ET deadline to accept or reject the qualifying offer.
The remaining seven players — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Josh Donaldson, and Marcell Ozuna — have rejected their qualifying offers, per Passan. They are officially free agents and will have draft pick compensation attached to them, a potential deterrent for some interested teams.
The QO is unlikely to materially affect the fates of Cole, Rendon, and Strasburg, but it could limit the markets for the other four players. Reliever Craig Kimbrel and starter Dallas Keuchel both had draft pick compensation attached to them after the 2018 season and didn’t end up signing until June. It seems unlikely that Wheeler, Bumgarner, Donaldson, and Ozuna would have to wait until June next year to sign but it may take a while for their markets to develop.