Aardsma will be 29 next week. He is arbitration-eligible for the second time this season, making $2.75 million in 2010. Aardsma has 69 saves over the last two seasons since the Red Sox traded him to Seattle in exchange for Fabian Williamson before the 2009 season. Aardsma has a 2.90 ERA since joining the Mariners, striking out 129 batters in 121 innings. Last season he had a 3.44 ERA and struck out 49 in 49 2/3 innings.
The Rockies have been looking for a reliever, but with the Mariners' demand, they're not a fit for the a trade. Aardsma went to high school in the Denver area.
Harding writes the Rockies are interested in Grant Balfour, but he's a Type A free agent and Colorado doesn't want to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. Other possibilities for the Rockies include free agents Jon Rauch, Chad Qualls and Todd Coffey.
Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd told Harding the team would offer a multiyear deal to a reliever, but only under the "right circumstances."
As for Aardsma, shopping him makes a ton of sense. Closers are currently overvalued and a good one is certainly a luxury for a team that figures to be as bad as the Mariners. Seattle would be wise to flip him for offensive help and save some money in the deal. To do so, thought, they'll have to find a taker. That could be easier near the trade deadline.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans