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David Aardsma
David Aardsma on July 28, 2015.jpg
Aardsma with the Atlanta Braves
Relief pitcher
Born: (1981-12-27) December 27, 1981 (age 38)
Denver, Colorado
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 6, 2004, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
August 23, 2015, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record16–18
Earned run average4.27

David Allan Aardsma (/ˈɑːrdzmə/; born December 27, 1981) is an American former professional baseball pitcher, currently serving in the Toronto Blue Jays front office as a coordinator of player development. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, New York Mets, and Atlanta Braves.

Amateur career

Aardsma was born in Denver, Colorado, and attended Cherry Creek High School in Colorado, graduating in 2000. He subsequently attended Pennsylvania State University in his first year of college. He transferred to Rice University in 2001, where he remained for the rest of his college tenure. Playing for the Rice Owls baseball team, Aardsma set school single-season and career records in saves in 2003. In the 2003 College World Series, he earned two wins and a save as the Owls won their first national championship.

In 2002, while playing collegiate summer baseball for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL), Aardsma had a 0.68 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 26.2 innings. In 2010, he was inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame.[1]

Professional career

San Francisco Giants

The right-hander was drafted in the 1st round (22nd overall) of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants.[2] He went to the San Jose Giants (Single-A), where he posted a 1.96 ERA while striking out 28 in about 18 innings. He made the major-league roster in 2004, skipping Double-A and Triple-A, and made his debut in the season's second game. In his major league debut, in front of friends and family at Minute Maid Park, he pitched two innings, allowing three hits and walking one, to earn his first MLB win. In his first six appearances, he had a 1.80 ERA; unfortunately his success did not last as his ERA ballooned to 6.75 after 11 appearances. After giving up two runs in one inning on April 20, he was sent down to Fresno, the Giants Triple-A team, the next day. He was called up six more times throughout the season.

Aardsma's route through professional baseball has been somewhat unusual, given that after making the leap from Single-A to the Giants, he was demoted to Triple-A and then subsequently started the 2005 season in Double-A with the Norwich Navigators.

Chicago Cubs

Along with pitcher Jerome Williams, Aardsma was traded to the Chicago Cubs for veteran pitcher LaTroy Hawkins on May 28, 2005.[3][4] He spent the season in the minor leagues before returning to the big leagues with the Cubs in 2006, posting a 3–0 record and 4.08 ERA in 45 relief appearances, finishing nine games. Aardsma was especially effective against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .190 (12-for-63) batting average against.

Chicago White Sox

After a solid 2006 season with the Cubs, Aardsma, along with minor leaguer Carlos Vásquez, was sent across town to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for reliever Neal Cotts.[5] Aardsma started the 2007 season strong. In April, he posted a 1.72 ERA while recording 23 strikeouts in only 15.2 innings pitched; he struck out at least one batter in each of his first 13 appearances of the season.[6] On April 4, Aardsma matched a career high with five strikeouts against the Cleveland Indians. On April 11, as the White Sox visited the Oakland Athletics, he recorded his first American League win. In May, however, troubles mounted and Aardsma finished the month with a season ERA to that point of 4.73 and an ERA of 9.00 for the month.

Following June 2, Aardsma was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. He was recalled on June 19, but continued to struggle in his last appearances with the team.

Aardsma pitching for the Boston Red Sox in 2008
Aardsma pitching for the Boston Red Sox in 2008

Boston Red Sox

On January 28, 2008, the Boston Red Sox acquired Aardsma from the White Sox for pitching prospects Willy Mota and Miguel Socolovich.[7]

He pitched in 47 games for the team that year, going 4–2 with a 5.55 ERA. He also spent two games in the minors, posting a 0.00 ERA for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.

Alphabetically, Aardsma appears first on the all-time list of Boston Red Sox players.[8]

Seattle Mariners

Less than a year after joining the Red Sox, Aardsma was traded to the Seattle Mariners on January 20, 2009, for minor league pitcher Fabian Williamson.[9] On April 10, he recorded the first save of his career, pitching 2 innings of relief against the Oakland Athletics.

The Mariners gave Aardsma a chance to close a game behind Brandon Morrow. Afterward, he became the team's official closer.[10]

Aardsma during his tenure with the Seattle Mariners in 2009
Aardsma during his tenure with the Seattle Mariners in 2009

Aardsma was a projected pick for the All-Star Game, but failed to make both the starting and the reserve roster.[11] He followed an outstanding 2009 season with an excellent 2010. Converting 31 of 35 save opportunities, he finished the year 19-for-20 in saves with a 1.80 ERA from June 13 to September 19.

After having Tommy John surgery in July 2011, Aardsma was not offered arbitration by the Mariners and became a free agent after the season.[12]

New York Yankees

On February 22, 2012, Aardsma signed a contract with the New York Yankees worth one year and $500,000 with a club option for 2013. The General Manager was quoted as saying, "The move could help us in 2012, but it has a lot more eyes toward 2013."[13] Aardsma was activated from the disabled list on September 25, 2012 after Steve Pearce and Justin Thomas were designated for assignment. He pitched in just one game for the Yankees, on September 27, and allowed one run in one inning.

On October 29, the Yankees elected to exercise Aardsma's incentive-laden $500,000 club option for 2013.[14] However, they designated him for assignment before the start of the 2013 season. When no other team claimed him off waivers, he was released.[15]

Miami Marlins/New York Mets

Desiring the best opportunity for playing time, Aardsma signed with the Miami Marlins, and was assigned to their Class AAA team.[16] He opted out of his contract on May 15, 2013 after pitching in ten games for the New Orleans Zephyrs.[17][18]

Aardsma pitching for the New York Mets in 2013
Aardsma pitching for the New York Mets in 2013

On May 20, 2013, Aardsma signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets.[19] After pitching in eight games for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, he was promoted to the Mets on June 8, 2013.[20] He appeared in 43 games for the Mets with a 4.31 ERA and a 2–2 record.

Cleveland Indians/St. Louis Cardinals

Aardsma signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians on January 23, 2014.[21] He was released on March 21, 2014 after not making the team in spring training.[22]

Aardsma promptly signed another minor league deal, this time with the St. Louis Cardinals on March 26, 2014.[23] He played in 35 games in the Cardinals farm system, mostly with the AAA Memphis Redbirds and was 4–1 with a 1.46 ERA and 11 saves.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Aardsma signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on February 15, 2015, and was invited to spring training.[24][25] He did not make the Dodgers opening day roster, and was instead assigned to the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers.[26] In 20 games in AAA he had a 2.41 ERA and 18 saves.[27] He opted out of his contract on June 4 and became a free agent.[28]

Atlanta Braves

On June 6, 2015, Aardsma signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves.[29] He was added to the Major League roster on June 9.[30] He was designated for assignment on August 24.[31] He was released on September 1.

Toronto Blue Jays

On February 5, 2016, Aardsma signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Toronto Blue Jays.[32] He was assigned to minor league camp on March 25.[33] On May 23, Aardsma opted out of his contract.[34]

Long Island Ducks

On April 3, 2017, Aardsma signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.[35]


Aardsma announced his retirement on February 5, 2018, and joined the Blue Jays front office as a coordinator of player development.[36]

Personal life

Aardsma is of Dutch descent, with all of his great-great grandparents coming from the Netherlands. Because of this, he was slated to play for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, but was ruled ineligible and did not play.[37] Of all baseball players in history, the surname 'Aardsma' ranks first alphabetically; his major league debut displaced Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.[38][39] Aardsma's sister is American actress and beauty pageant contestant Amanda Aardsma.[40]

Aardsma and his wife Andrea have a son, born on June 26, 2010.[41]


  1. ^ "Former Owl David Aardsma Inducted Into Cape Cod League Hall of Fame". Rise Owls Baseball website. November 20, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  2. ^ "David Aardsma agrees to minor league contract with Blue Jays". Associated Press. February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  3. ^ Bloom, Barry M. (May 28, 2005). "Giants acquire setup man Hawkins". Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  4. ^ Thesier, Kelly (May 28, 2005). "Cubs send Hawkins to Giants". Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  5. ^ "White Sox send Cotts to Cubs for pair of pitchers". November 16, 2006. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ van Dyck, Dave (January 29, 2008). "Sox get 2 Boston pitchers for Aardsma". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  8. ^ "The Official Site of The Boston Red Sox: History: Red Sox All-Time Players". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Mariners acquire RHP David Aardsma from the Boston Red Sox" (Press release). January 20, 2009. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  10. ^ Street, Jim (May 2, 2009). "Mariners closer Morrow lands on DL". Seattle Mariners. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
  11. ^ "MLB News, Videos, Scores, Standings, Stats, Teams, Players". FOX Sports. MSN. Archived from the original on July 4, 2009. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  12. ^ Johns, Greg (October 31, 2011). "Injured Aardsma becomes free agent". Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  13. ^ Hoch, Bryan (February 22, 2012). "Yanks add reliever Aardsma to bullpen". Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  14. ^ Martin, Dan (October 29, 2012). "Yankees pick up options on Cano, Granderson, Aardsma". New York Post. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  15. ^ Barbarisi, Daniel (April 16, 2013). "What It's Like When a Player Loses His Job". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on May 20, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  16. ^ Rodriguez, Juan C. (April 13, 2013). "Miami Marlins sign ex-Mariners closer David Aardsma to minor league deal". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  17. ^ Terrell, Katherine (May 15, 2013). "Miami Marlins release pitcher David Aardsma on Wednesday". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  18. ^ Davis, Craig (May 15, 2013). "Marlins pitchers stay positive despite lack of run support". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  19. ^ "Mets sign RHP David Aardsma to minor league deal". The Wall Street Journal. May 20, 2013. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  20. ^ "David Aardsma joins Mets". ESPN New York. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  21. ^ Hoynes, Paul (January 23, 2014). "David Aardsma latest Mets reliever to sign with Cleveland Indians". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  22. ^ Bastian, Jordan (March 21, 2014). "Veteran Aardsma granted release from Indians". Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  23. ^ "Cardinals sign reliever David Aardsma". Associated Press. March 26, 2014. Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  24. ^ "David Aardsma agrees to minor league deal with Dodgers". Associated Press. February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  25. ^ Gurnick, Ken (February 15, 2015). "Reliever Aardsma added as non-roster invitee". Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  26. ^ "CCBL Hall of Famer Aardsma will start 2015 season in Oklahoma City". April 5, 2015.
  27. ^ "David Aardsma minor league statistics & history". Baseball Reference. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  28. ^ Adams, Steve (June 4, 2015). "David Aardsma Opts Out Of Dodgers Contract". mlb trade rumors. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  29. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 6, 2015). "Aardsma signed to Minor League deal". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  30. ^ Collazo, Carlos (June 9, 2015). "Aardsma joins Braves to give 'pen a boost". Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  31. ^ Cooper, Jon (August 24, 2015). "Bethancourt recalled, will see playing time". Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  32. ^ Nicholson-Smith, Ben (February 5, 2016). "Blue Jays sign reliever Aardsma to minor league deal". Sportsnet. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  33. ^ Liddell, MacKenzie (March 25, 2016). "Blue Jays assign three to minor-league camp". Sportsnet. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  34. ^ Adams, Steve (May 23, 2016). "David Aardsma Opts Out Of Blue Jays Contract". Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  35. ^ "Nolan Reimold, David Aardsma Sign With Atlantic League's Long Island Ducks". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  36. ^ Todd, Jeff (February 5, 2018). "Quick Hits: Aardsma, Coke, Market Analysis". Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  37. ^ Meyers, Matt (February 21, 2006). "WBC "Carpetbaggers" Create Complaints". Baseball America. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  38. ^ McNichol, Tom (2004-04-18). "Page Two: April 11–17; The Man Who Displaced Hammerin' Hank Aaron". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  39. ^ " – Baseball Players with Last Names Starting with A". Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  40. ^ Stone, Larry (March 18, 2009). "Mariners' David Aardsma hoping it's finally his time". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  41. ^ Stone, Larry (June 29, 2010). "Game thread, Mariners vs. Yankees, Tuesday, June 29: M's win 7-4". Seattle Times. Retrieved January 23, 2014.

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