Blue Jays sign reliever Aardsma to minor league deal


David Aardsma. (Mike Carlson/AP)

The Toronto Blue Jays added an experienced arm to their bullpen mix Friday, signing right-hander David Aardsma to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to MLB spring training.

Aardsma spent the 2015 season with the Atlanta Braves, making 33 relief appearances. The 34-year-old posted a 4.70 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 14 walks in 30.2 innings with Atlanta. His fastball averaged just 91.5 mph last year, but he still managed to generate swings and misses on 14.8 percent of pitches.

The Giants originally selected Aardsma with the 22nd overall pick of the 2003 draft and he debuted with San Francisco the following season. In parts of nine years at the MLB level, he has a 4.27 ERA with slightly more than one strikeout per inning and an inflated walk rate of 4.9 per nine innings.

The Blue Jays’ bullpen will definitely include Drew Storen, Roberto Osuna and Brett Cecil. Aaron Sanchez would also pitch in relief unless he cracks the Blue Jays rotation, leaving three or four spots up for grabs. Aaron Loup figures to take one of those jobs as the club’s second left-hander and Jesse Chavez could serve as the long reliever. That means Aardsma joins the likes of Steve Delabar, Bo Schultz, Ryan Tepera, Joe Biagini and Arnold Leon in competition for remaining bullpen roles.

The Blue Jays agreed to sign Gavin Floyd to a minor league deal Thursday, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reported. While Ross Atkins declined to confirm the move in conversation with Jeff Blair on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, the GM expressed interest in Floyd as a starter or reliever.

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