The Toronto Blue Jays are flush with young, cheap, controllable bullpen arms with much more being developed on the farm
Not only do the Toronto Blue Jays have the best young closer in the game in the form of Roberto Osuna, they have a bullpen which consists of cheap controllable arms.
Here is a breakdown of what I mean by cheap and controllable:
Aaron Loup is the longest serving bullpen arm, thus is eligible to hit the free agent market the quickest. The lefty specialist has one more arbitration year in 2018 before hitting the open market in 2019. Loup has a salary of $1.125M.
Roberto Osuna, the 22-yr-old Blue Jays closer, is the next most senior reliever. Osuna will exhaust his first of three arbitration years in 2018 and will hit the open market in 2021 as a 26-yr-old closer. Roberto is still making peanuts at 552K.
Dominic Leon (25 yrs-old), Ryan Tepera (27 yrs-old), Joe Biagini (27 yrs-old) under team control for 2018 with arbitration years occurring between 2019 to 2021. The trio will become UFA’s in 2022 and are currently making less than $1.8M combined.
Danny Barnes has quickly established himself at the back end of the bullpen. He is under team control in 2018 and 2019; therefore, will continue to make between 500-600K. The 27-yr-old reliever won’t become a free agent until his year 33 season in 2023.
Part-Time Bullpen Arms
Tim Mayza, a power lefty, started his clock when he was called up to Toronto on August 14th. He was returned to Buffalo on August 19th but looked good in his brief time with Toronto and should get a chance to stick in 2018. Mayza won’t become a UFA for many years.
On the Way
The Buffalo Bisons have newly promoted Carlos Ramirez. The former outfielder has made giant strides in 2017 and holds a 0.00 ERA across two levels. Ramirez has found a way to control his plus high 90’s fastball and is quickly making a name for himself.
Buffalo bullpen also has in its possession John Stilson, Chad Girodo, Chris Smith, and Murphy Smith. All four RP are having good seasons and should get a chance at earning a spot in the Blue Jays bullpen in 2018.
Further Down the Ladder
Andrew Case had a cup of coffee with the Bisons but has spent most of 2017 finishing off games for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats after starting the year in Dunedin. Case should start the 2018 season in the Bisons bullpen but could be an option in Toronto by midseason.
The Dunedin Blue Jays have a trio of future major league relievers in the making in Jackson McClelland, Zach Jackson, and Kirby Snead. The trio started the season in Lansing and haven’t missed a beat since joining the D-Jays bullpen.
When this season meets its conclusion, the Blue Jays front office will need to figure out how all these pieces fit together. The Blue Jays now have the freedom to use the surplus of bullpen arms in trades.
Guys like Ryan Tepera, Dominic Leon, Danny Barnes, and even Aaron Loup should garner attention from other clubs looking for bullpen help this offseason.
With guys like Ramirez knocking on the door. The FO should at least consider what can be gained by moving a few BP pieces via trade.
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