Aardsma the Mariner

Padres sign Henry Blanco (1/750k)

The Cubs interest in acquiring a southpaw bat left Blanco in the cold, although not for too long. On a team with a good catcher, Blanco is a mighty fine reserve, on the Padres Blanco represents the best backstop option. Nick Hundley will get most of the at-bats as the Padres try to figure out whether he is an option heading forward or simply a stopgap. Thus, Blanco is casted as the “mentor” type who starts in day games. Since his starting stint with the Twins 2004 Blanco has been worth 1.5 wins in a similar role.

Brewers sign Craig Counsell (1/1 mil)

When the Royals signed Willie Bloomquist for two years and three million, general manager Dayton Moore described Bloomquist as a “Craig Counsell” type. Naturally, the actual Counsell would sign for one year and for a third of the money. This is a nifty signing for the Brewers thanks to Counsell’s still worthwhile glove. Over the last three years Counsell has average a win per season, suggesting he’s going to make the Brewers a profit this season.

Plus his batting stance is the most unique in this post-Tony Batista league.

Mariners acquire David Aardsma for Fabian Williamson

Williamson is a 20-year old lefty who spent 2008 in rookie ball, pitching pretty well, although having some issues with walks. Williams sits in the high-80’s, and apparently the new Seattle brass felt his ceiling wasn’t much higher than a situational type, and thus sent him to Boston.

Is Aardsma the next Grant Balfour or Matt Thornton? Probably not, but they do have some things in common; impressive strikeout totals, a reliance on a mid-90’s fastball, and issuing high rates of free passes. If nothing else, the following graphs are pretty to look at, and for Mariner fans, fun to imagine.

Aardsma is out of options, so expect him to get a look in the Mariners pen.

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The Ancient Mariner
The Ancient Mariner

Not quite so fun when you remember that Thornton suddenly turned into a good pitcher after the M’s dealt him for Joe Borchard . . .