Blue Jays add Aardsma to front office

Former MLB reliever hired as coordinator of player development

February 6th, 2018

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays decided to bring back a familiar face to the organization on Tuesday afternoon by hiring former right-hander to become their new coordinator of player development.

Aardsma spent parts of nine seasons in the big leagues from 2004-15. He signed a Minor League deal with Toronto in 2016 and participated in Spring Training before a brief stint with Triple-A Buffalo.

The 36-year-old went 16-18 with a 4.27 ERA over 337 career innings in the Major Leagues. His best season came in 2009, when he picked up 38 saves while posting a 2.52 ERA over 71 1/3 innings for the Mariners. He also served as Seattle's closer in 2010, finishing with 31 saves.

Aardsma announced his new position during his weekly podcast entitled "The Bullpen with DA." The Denver native revealed the news at the same time he officially announced his retirement from baseball. Aardsma spent part of last season pitching for the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.

"I'm officially, officially official, retiring as a professional baseball player after 15 years," Aardsma said during the final edition of his podcast. "I'm officially hanging up the spikes for a suit jacket, whatever you want to say, slacks and Dockers. ... I have accepted a position with the Toronto Blue Jays. Everything about it is wonderful."

Aardsma joins Joe Sclafani as Toronto's coordinators of player development. Both men report to Gil Kim, who is the director of player development. Megan Evans also works out of that department as an assistant.

"I'm really excited about this role with the Blue Jays," Aardsma said. "Really excited about the people there, what they're building, and I think it's one of the organizations, the people you want to be around. This is an opportunity I couldn't pass up. This is essentially my dream role."