Boston Globe writer, Nick Cafardo presents an idea for the Toronto Blue Jays in Addison Reed. And, it isn’t a bad one.
If the Toronto Blue Jays want to compete in 2018, they can’t ignore the bullpen. Yera in and out, we continue to see the importance of a deep bullpen as teams ride them on their hopeful journey to postseason glory. For the Blue Jays, they saw a handful of decent surprises in 2017 that give reason to think there is hope for the relief corps. Guys like Ryan Tepera and Danny Barnes stepped up and solidified their spot for 2018, adding depth along the way. But, how will this front office go about complementing this group?
Well, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, who seems to love throwing the Blue Jays into just about any storyline he can (he caused a bit of a stir Saturday evening when he mentioned Toronto had gone after Jay Bruce this season and thereofre are expected to go after him again this winter) actually had an interesting idea (I know, right?!) that I didn’t dismiss outright as pot stirring. I mean, it very well could be that, but it is a stew I don’t mind sampling. Cafardo says: “Expect up to eight teams to pursue Addison Reed, including the Dodgers, Rangers, Astros, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Rockies, and Cubs”. I mean, when you almost include 1/3 of MLB, you’re not exactly making a bold statement, but it is an idea that intrigues.
The 28 year old righty is coming off a season where he went 2-3 with 19 saves. After putting up 2.6 fWAR in the Mets bullpen in 2016, Reed was traded to the Red Sox this past July for their postseason run. He tossed 76 innings to a 2.89 ERA. It was a season that wasn’t as effective as the previous, which can be pinned on a career high 11 home runs allowed. That might scare some people since Rogers Centre isn’t bound to help that number.
What stands out is Reed’s 24.8 K%, which fits nicely with a 4.9% BB%. He picked up 15 holds last year, but 40 the year before. He’s basically a fastball/slider guy who will mix in the occasional change. His valuable fastball has been complimented by his slider, which wasn’t as effective in 2017. Reed left 86.9% of runners on base last year, which, combined with his holds makes him an intriguing option for Toronto’s bullpen.
Pairing Reed with Roberto Osuna very well could create a formidable 1-2 punch at the back end of this pitching staff. Despite the frustration that some fans felt over the season Osuna had, he did pick up 39 saves and Reed would all but guarantee one inning saves. Having a pair like Reed and Osuna would significantly shorten games and provide much needed stability.
A 2018 bullpen of Reed, Osuna, Tepera, Barnes, Dominic Leone and Joe Biagini (assuming the Blue Jays go after another option for their 5th starter) sounds very good. We have to assume that Aaron Loup will be tendered a contract as he enters his final year of arbitration, which will provide a lefty. Of course, Tony Watson is a free agent option that Toronto could also consider and MLBTR predicts he will sign with the Blue Jays. Admittedly, Watson is not an option I agree with, but if they can add Reed, I will be just fine with it. This group would allow for the Blue Jays to use their emerging youngsters at their leisure, rather than as a necessity. Guys like Carlos Ramirez and Tim Mayza are great to have when the bullpen requires reinforcements, but they aren’t guys that we would like to see Toronto hand a job to because a lack of options.
Who knows how much truth there is in anything Cafardo throws out there about the Blue Jays. This very well could be a case of him speculating or guessing. But, it is an idea we shouldn’t simply dismiss as a writer reaching. He may be, but it is an idea worth reaching for. MLBTR has Reed signing with the Cubs for $36M over 4 years. That is an AAV of $9M, which is the value the Blue Jays put on 1 win. If he can produce a win each year, he would be worth it. He will be 29 when the 2018 season starts, which would make this a reasonable contract to consider.
The link between the Blue Jays and Addison Reed might be tenuous at best. But, if I were working in the front office, I would certainly be considering this idea.
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