Bobby Jenks burst on the scene during the magical 2005 season for the White Sox. The 6' 3" 275 pound fireballer wasn't heralded in the minor league. His arrival wasn't meant with a thunderous standing ovation like what Gordon Beckham received this season. Instead, he created his ovation by closing out six games during the regular season, and then becoming the full-time closer during the run to the World Series.
So other than taking you on a trip down memory lane what's my point? My point is closer's can come out of nowhere. And as valuable as they aren't, they are easily found and developed. This is why when there were trade rumors before the season of possibly trading Jenks to a team like the Mets if they didn't land K-Rod—I was shocked when fans reacted so negatively.
"We can't trade our closer!"
"He's the glue of the bullpen!"
"He's the best closer in baseball!" <-- I'm friends with some homers.
I appreciate what Bobby Jenks has done for the Sox and I like knowing that if the Sox have a lead going into the ninth, as it's likely over (unitl recently).
However by all reports the Sox could have received two or three top flight prospects along with an everyday player for a guy they got for nothing five short seasons ago. If they could develop him after the Angels gave up on him, who's to say they couldn't have found another Bobby Jenks?
David Aardsma was nearly out of baseball before this year. He had bounced around the league more than Alyssa Milano (she doesn't wear that Dodgers shirt for nothing). He even spent some time with the Sox where he sported a 6.40 ERA and three blown saves. Yet this cast off has 25 saves in 27 appearances for the Mariners this season. Those are better numbers than Jenks.
And what did the Mariners pay for this guy? The league minimum.
There are worse sins for a GM to commit than holding on to his All-Star closer, but my hope is that a lesson has been learned from this. And if a team comes calling for Jenks in the future and is willing to give up serious talent for him, hopefully Kenny Williams still has David Aardsma's number in his phone.