The Blue Jays have added a veteran reliever… as a new player development coordinator. David Aardsma, who went to Spring Training with the Jays in 2016, and pitched a handful of innings with Buffalo that year, has decided to hang up his cleats after nine years in the big leagues. On this week’s edition of his podcast, the Bullpen with DA, he announced that he’s accepted a position as a coordinator of player development. He also had old friend LaTroy Hawkins on! (Hat tip to @KeeganMatheson on this.)
According to the Jays’ front office directory, he’ll join Joe Sclafani in that role, reporting — I assume — director of player development Gil Kim.
You can listen to Aardsma talking about it here, but as you’d expect, he’s got some great words for the Blue Jays’ front office.
As you’d also expect, Aardsma knows what he’s talking about — as you may have seen last last summer, when I included the following video in my post on the Jays signing of 16-year-old Brazilian phenom Eric Pardinho:
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When John Lott was writing for us back during the 2016 season, he spoke to Aardsma at Spring Training, as he tried to make the Opening Day roster, and in that piece you can see some of the things that would have made the Jays’ current regime think that he was going to be a fit for them:
“What is comes down to is the 23rd, 24th, 25th guys on those rosters that make good teams great and make bad teams worse. Those are the guys you need down the road for some really important innings,” he told John. But he later went even farther than that. “A major-league team is never just 25 guys,” he says. “There’s a heck of a lot more guys that go into that over a season. Good teams make sure they have a great support group.”
Aardsma now is part of the Jays’ support group, in a way. And part of helping to mold the next generation of young Jays players. Seems to me he’s a guy who knows his stuff, and he’s certainly a guy who has seen a number of different organizations — how other teams do things, what works, what doesn’t work.
I mean… I dunno. Hard for us to really have much of an opinion on what he’ll be doing within the Jays’ player development structure, or how well he might do it, but…. sure. Seems like a pretty good hire. (Sad that this is the end of his podcast, though!)