Rumors: Blue Jays Speak with Farnsworth, RP Dominos Begin to Fall
The Toronto Blue Jays entered the MLB Winter Meetings hoping to bolster their bullpen, with the ideal scenario looking to be the addition of two MLB arms. With the Winter Meetings settling into their second day and the Rule 5 Draft on deck tomorrow, some of the Blue Jays targets are beginning to come into focus.
As noted in this morning’s update by Shaun Doyle on the Blue Jays status at the Winter Meetings, Bob Elliot reported that Toronto had talked to Relief Pitchers Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek, but before those rumors could go any further, both options have been taken off the table.
Luke Gregerson has signed a 3-year, $18.5M contract with the Houston Astros, and reports indicate that Pat Neshek could be following suit.
Pat Neshek was rumored to be nearing a contract at some point today, with the Houston Astros as one of three teams involved. My initial reaction to the Gregerson deal was that Houston would be satisfied with just one, but Neshek is on the verge of joining the Astros revamped bullpen, as well, on a 2-year deal.
(Jon Heyman of CBS has since confirmed Pat Neshek signing with the Houston Astros)
The full extent of the Toronto Blue Jays’ involvement in these negotiations is unknown (Jon Heyman reports that the Blue Jays were “in” on Gregerson), but each of these players would have been attractive option at some level, based on need alone.
These deals are still of great importance to the Blue Jays. With David Robertson, Andrew Miller, Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek signed, the Relief Pitcher market has been set, and now it’s time to play ball.
While some fans will be disappointed with the Blue Jays failure to lock up one of the bigger arms early in Free Agency, I do not see this as a failure in any way. Paying such prices for a Relief Pitcher is a risk, one which Alex Anthopoulos may not be comfortable taking with a limited payroll and issues elsewhere on the roster. As always, the trade route could present a better opportunity for the Blue Jays. The bullpen is a unit that can be stronger than the sum of it’s parts if a General Manager builds it intelligently, and it looks like Anthopoloulos will need to get creative.
More from Toronto Blue Jays Rumors
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- Blue Jays: Could a 12-year old be the franchise’s future star shortstop?
- Blue Jays: Potential replacements for Marcus Semien
- Blue Jays: Time for an Old-Fashioned MLB Player for Player Trade?
- Are The Blue Jays Looking To Add Another Power Bat?
There are still dozens of quality relief options, and in many cases, today’s deals will set a “ceiling” for the rest of the market’s negotiating leverage. The Toronto Blue Jays would be wise to enter negotiations at this point, but don’t forget about returning options from 2013 such as Casey Janssen and Dustin McGowan.
Lastly, on to a name that is newer to the Toronto Blue Jays rumor mill: Kyle Farnsworth. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports that the Blue Jays are one of three teams who have talked to the 38-year old, who has appeared in games for the Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets and Houston Astros over the past two seasons. If this were the 35-year old Kyle Farnsworth who put up a 2.18 ERA and 25 saves for the Rays in 2011, then I could see the appeal. Given his recent performance, though, there is very little reason to expect that he is the answer at this point in his career.
With the dominos now falling, do you think that it is time for Alex Anthopoulos to strike quickly, or should he practice patience, and allow the market to come to him at a more comfortable price point?