Aardsma deal

Part 1

Part 2

Q.  So what would you do with Aardsma?

A.  Assuming that there was a team that bought into his closing, I'd deal him, and right now.

But if that's not possible, hey. 

Aardsma can close and do an "eehhhhh" job at it.   There's a 75% chance he'll bop along with okay success for a while.  There's another 25% chance that balls will start flying over the fence regularly, and he'll have to be replaced.  Along with the ballclub's confidence at that point.

Going into April 2010, Shandler has him at $16 -- way below the $25 stars of the game, a few bucks ahead of the top closers-in-waiting.  Roto champs won't be betting on Aardsma to last the season in the role, but as long as he's there, they'll participate.


Aardsma has lasting value as a nuke-the-rally wild card, and as a 4th short man who takes pressure off your big three.  

You use Kelley and League one night, and Lowe and Aardsma the next.  Classic Pat Gillick paradigm.   Of the four short relievers, Aardsma is the do-or-die option out there.  That's fine.


Q.  What could you get for a less-than-solid closer, if you wanted to trade him?

A.  Last time, the body count was:

  1. Franklin Gutierrez, a championship-level young franchise pillar
  2. Aaron Heilman, an upper-tier setup man
  3. Jason Vargas, a #5-6 SP who helped the Mariners a LOT
  4. Endy Chavez, a #3-4 outfielder who played a big role in Safeco
  5. Maikel Cleto, a legit live arm in the lower minors
  6. Mike Carp, a legit ML-ready LH first base prospect
  7. Ezequiel Carrera, a lost-in-the-crowd lower minors prospect

The Mariners also gave up two guys they'd have had to cut -- White and Reed - but Luis Valbuena was a hot prospect and is already playing at the Ml level.  Cancel (say) Mike Carp, maybe more, against him.

Supposing you could get that for David Aardsma right now?

A very important starting player, and an 8th-inning stopper, and a #5-6 starter, and a very good bench player, and a couple-three prospects?

I suppose cyber-Seattle wouldn't have much trouble connecting that to Cliff Lee or Brandon League or whoever.  ;- )


Q.  Where would the M's bullpen sit, if they dealt Aardsma?

A.  With three superb, professional relievers -- League, Lowe, and Kelley -- plus the one that Capt. Jack got back in the Aardsma deal.

A LOOGY would be very nice.  Does the Big Unit want a farewell tour?


Q.  Next up?

A.  Mark Lowe.  I'll confess to looking that one up ahead of time.  ;- )



Los Leones de Caracas have a young man pitching exclusively in late-inning lefty situations.  He's faced 9 LH batters so far, and struck out 4 of them (also 2 walks, 2 hits).
Likewise in the Cal League: faced 44 LH batters, fanned 14, and 0 HR yielded to LH (but 10 walks).
Name: Mauricio Robles.
He's got a ways to go to get to the bigs, but maybe someday he's a 3/4 scale model of Arthur Rhodes?  Rhodes was at 5.0 BB/9 as a starter before becoming pure death once Gillick figured out how to use him the right way out of the pen.


Now, if you're talking about Robles as a lefthand specialist on a championship team, all of a sudden I'm very enthused...
LOOGYs do come in, in "hot" situations, so need poise... not sure where Robles ranks on that list....
Not even sure how much he'd be a "poor man's" Rhodes with the arm he's supposed to have, and if he's given mostly LH batters to face.   Am sure they'd like to see him start finding the zone reliably, show the competitiveness, and then... well, here's one guy I wouldn't mind seeing fast-tracked as a RP...


When I said 3/4 version of Rhodes, I meant stature, not stuff! :-)  (5-10, 160 v. 6-2, 220)
Rhodes' minors stats have some gaps, but he was running about 10 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 0.5 HR/9 as a MiLB starter.  Robles: 9.8 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, 0.5 HR/9.  Almost identical. 
As an O (mostly as a starter): 8.4 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9.
Post-Gillick light bulb (5 yrs as an M): 10.0 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9
Not saying Robles would do the same, just that he might.


You make yet another good point -- that Rhodes, and guys like him, don't show 3.0 walk rates in the minors, or as young pitchers in the majors.  Their stuff is too nuclear for that.
And, no reason to force Robles to show 3.0 walks before you use him.  Would agree.


Just to get the convo juices flowing.  Because I expect Hill to come into ST with a real chance to crack the bullpen and because I think his stuff translates better to LOOGY than to starting.

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