According to one report, the Toronto Blue Jays are not done shopping for bullpen help.
The Toronto Blue Jays have done a great job of improving their roster for the 2018 season. Gone are the likes of Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney, who no matter how much you like them produced next to nothing offensively. As well, shedding themselves of the 2017 version of Jose Bautista looks to provide an improvement this coming season. Adding Jaime Garcia creates a rotation that will surprise some people.
But, all of the offseason moves have left the bullpen unaddressed. Sort of. Deals with Al Albuquerque, Jake Petricka, Craig Breslow all provide certain options for the bullpen, but really amount to ‘spaghetti’ moves, in that the club will hope something sticks when it is thrown at the wall. They could prove to be good deals, but there is a strong possibility that they don’t.
It is for that reason, that it would behoove the Blue Jays to continue their search for quality bullpen arms. According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Toronto isn’t done looking to add to their relief corps. Chisholm says: “The Blue Jays are still looking to add one final piece to their bullpen, and it will likely come via free agency.” GM, Ross Atkins further the point:
While it is unclear what Atkins means by using guys in a “creative way”, we can guess that they are looking to add someone who could provide one inning outings, as well as longer stints. So, let’s take a look at the free agents (provided by MLBTR), available to get an idea as to what is out there.
Because the list is alphabetical, Brett Anderson leaps off the page. And, I mentioned him a while ago as a decent option, but with the addition of Garcia, it doesn’t seem likely that he is a ‘swingman’ type option for Toronto. Clay Buchholz is an interesting name in that he is a former starter, who is likely looking to establish some value to his name. But, at 33, and coming off a season that saw him pitch just 7 innings for the Phillies, it is tough to see him as anything more than one of those “lightning in a bottle” type deals that aren’t expected to amount to much. That makes it unlikely a move.
Trevor Cahill is another name that the Blue Jays could look into. 2017 saw him toss 84 innings, which is a bit more of a case load than you would see for a typical reliever. He started 14 games, so he has the ability to go multiple innings. His 55.6% GB rate certainly seems to fit into the approach the Blue Jays are taking lately.
Former Blue Jay, Jesse Chavez certainly has the ability to provide multiple innings. Matt Garza is also a former starter, who has seen his stock fall over the last few years. Maybe a move to the bullpen would help.
You know what? Our old friend, Francisco Liriano still sits out there on the open market. He might be the perfect guy for this “creative” approach the Blue Jays are looking to adopt. Now, they don’t have a whole lot of money to work with, and it is unknown how much Liriano would be looking for. But, since pitchers and catchers have reported, maybe he could be convinced to return on an affordable deal. Wouldn’t that be something?
While we could pour over and debate all of the remaining free agents, we could likely find a guy who makes a lot of sense for Toronto. But, we’ve been doing that all offseason and the front office continues to bring in a guy who fits our line of thinking, but is someone we haven’t thought of yet.
So, the Blue Jays’ next target is still out there. We don’t know who it is, but we do know that their offseason overhaul has not finished yet.
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