Blue Jays: 5 RH relief pitchers to consider in free agency

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Nov 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays interim general manager Tony LaCava speaks to the media during an introductory conference at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays enter the MLB free agent period in desperate need of some arms. While the starting rotation is getting primary attention thus far, the Blue Jays bullpen could end up having an equal number of holes to fill, if not more.

Gone is LaTroy Hawkins into retirement, and Mark Lowe will be seeking a moderate payday on the open market following a breakout season split between Seattle and Toronto. While Aaron Loup is due for some sort of rebound and arms such as Ryan Tepera or Bo Schultz will return as options to round out the ‘pen, the Jays will need more than just depth. They’ll need impact arms.

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This will become especially apparent if one or both of Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez are moved into a starting role. Doing so would fill a gaping rotation need for a fraction of the salary it might cost on the open market, but as John Gibbons has said several times now, it also creates a new hole in the back end of the bullpen. As the Brett Cecil experiment showed in early 2015, that’s not a role for everybody.

Ahead, we look at five prominent names that the Blue Jays could be linked to in the coming weeks of free agency. Left-handed relief options will be addressed in a similar fashion tomorrow, and these are meant to cover the names that we can expect Toronto to automatically have some level of linkage with, assuming a back-end role is made available.

Note that while I believe there will be interest in returning Mark Lowe, I’ll be exploring candidates that were not on the 2015 roster. Also, Darren O’Day has been left off this list, because, well… First up, we have a 31-year old with a lengthy track record of closer’s experience and over 200 career saves.

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