Before this season, David Aardsma was regarded as a first-round washout journeyman, posting astronomical earned run averages while employed in mop-up duty for the likes

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Best New Mariner

David Aardsma

Before this season, David Aardsma was regarded as a first-round washout journeyman, posting astronomical earned run averages while employed in mop-up duty for the likes of San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston, never sticking with a big-league team for more than one season. This might explain why the Red Sox were willing to part with him for such a low-level minor-league reliever this off-season. Aardsma started the season strong in short relief, but even wizardly Mariner GM Jack Zduriencik couldn't have foreseen what Aardsma has become: an all-star-caliber closer for a scrappy Mariner squad that was supposed to take nothing but lumps in a rebuilding year. Considering how stiff the competition was in this category—Russell Branyan, Franklin Gutierrez—this honor is not bestowed lightly, and Zduriencik deserves a ton of credit for such a sterling field.—Mike Seely

 
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