Saturday, 12 January 2013

The Toronto Blue Jays Bullpen

Today Alex Anthopolous mentioned on a Saskatoon TV show that the Jays were still interested in upgrading their bullpen.  This really comes as no surprise especially since word on the street is that Darren Oliver will not be returning to the Jays for 2013.

Here is a link to the interview.

Currently without Oliver I think our Bullpen stands as follows.

- Casey Jansen RHP
- Sergio Santos RHP
- Steve Delabar RHP
- Brad Lincoln RHP
- JA Happ LHP
- Aaron Loup LHP
- Brett Cecil LHP
- Esmil Rogers/Jeremy Jeffres RHP

Not bad, but of all my questions about this 2013 Jays team are with the Bullpen. 

Will JA Happ be a good long man out of the pen?
Will Sergio Santos be healthy?
How good can Steve Delabar be?
Will Aaron Loup & Brett Cecil be good enough as Lefty specialists?
Can Brad Lincoln look as dominant as he did with the Pirates?
Was Casey Jansen's surgery more serious then it was let on?
Can Esmil Rogers live up to potential?
Will Evan Crawford and Sam Dyson be in the majors in 2013?

So what do I think needs to happen you may be asking yourself at this very moment?  We'll let me tell you...... They need to add in a notable FA bullpen arm to help stabilize all these questions. Let's say the Jays are willing to spend a little more dough, and to be honest I think they are.  (They were rumored to be in on Jason Grilli for in the range of 4 mil per year and were going to pay Oliver 3,5 mil too) I think the Jays should go after Rafael Soriano! Sure he is going to cost them a lot of $$$ to tie up, but due to him being tied to a draft pick, I don't think you are going to have to shell out much term for him.  

Over the past 4 seasons (Minus the injury during the 2011 season) he has been one of the best closers in the majors, and he's also had to do it in the AL East.  Not an easy thing to do at all. 

Take a look at his numbers over his career.... His ERA, WHIP, SO/9 are all very impressive!

Will the Jays go after him?  I hope so, adding him provides them with a proven closer if by chance Jansen isn't ready to go and this will even supplant the Blue Jays as a true contender in 2013.

So what If they don't get Soriano, who should they get?  I'm a big fan of Brandon Lyon!  He was rock solid last year on two sub par teams.  He was consistent during his time with the Jays and was truly an arm that you could depend on when he came to the mound.  You could probably get him at a team friendly contract too.  

I'm not sold that the Jays need to bring in another LHP.  I think both Loup and Cecil can fill that job until Luis Perez is back from the DL.  I was very impressed with Perez in the 1st part of last year.  He proved that he could defiantly be a part of this team's bullpen success for many years to come. 

Seeing how the bullpen comes together in the next few weeks before spring training will end up being one of the more interesting things for me over the rest of the off-season. 

Go Jays Go!

*Update!  Looks like the Nats signed Soriano!  There goes that bright idea......On to Lyon....maybe Henke 2.0 in Kyle Farnsworth? 

**Update # 2.  Curse you Darren Oliver!  Now I have to go a write a piece how you are a good guy after all!  Go Jays Go.  

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