White Sox ship Aardsma off to Boston
Reliever exchanged for two Minor League right-handers
CHICAGO -- Through May 12 of last season, David Aardsma's numbers on the mound for the White Sox stood up against any reliever in baseball.
Aardsma allowed three earned runs over 20 2/3 innings, for a minuscule 1.31 ERA, striking out 26 and yielding 13 hits. But following a trip to Triple-A Charlotte and eight months behind him, Aardsma no longer finds himself playing any part with the South Side baseball organization.
After trading Neal Cotts to the Cubs in exchange for Aardsma during the offseason prior to the 2007 campaign, Aardsma was shipped on Monday to the Red Sox in exchange for two Minor Leaguers. Aardsma was designated for assignment last Tuesday in order to make room for Octavio Dotel on the 40-man roster.
The White Sox obtained right-handed pitchers Willy Mota and Miguel Socolovich in exchange for Aardsma. Mota, 22, went 5-3 with a 2.60 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 17 relief appearances with Class A Lowell in 2007, his first season as a pitcher. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, limited opponents to a .225 (23-for-102) average and averaged 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
Mota, a converted outfielder, worked in relief for Lowell. According to White Sox director of baseball operations Dan Fabian, Mota possesses a power arm, with a live fastball in the 92-to-95 mph range.
Socolovich, 21, split the 2007 season between Class A Greenville in the South Atlantic League and Lowell in the New York-Penn League. The native of Caracas, Venezuela, was 2-2 with a 6.65 ERA in 11 relief appearances with Greenville and 5-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) with Lowell. He has 115 strikeouts in 56 games over three Minor League seasons.
"He's more of a polished pitcher, with good pitchability," said Fabian of Socolovich, whose fastball falls in the 88-to-93 mph range. "We liked the upside on both."
After the great start for Aardsma, 26, he allowed 26 hits and 20 earned runs over his final 11 2/3 innings pitched (15.43 ERA), fanning 10 and walking eight. Aardsma finished with a 2-1 record and 6.40 ERA in 25 games, serving as a prime example of the team's 2007 bullpen meltdown.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.