Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays were left dangerously exposed against left-handed hitters late in their 2015 playoff run. With Brett Cecil lost to injury and Aaron Loup unavailable as he dealt with a personal matter, the Blue Jays were left to face their non-existent left-handed bullpen depth. With free agency on the horizon, this is something that Mark Shapiro and Tony LaCava will need to address.
In our look yesterday at the five right-handed bullpen options the Blue Jays could explore on the open market, we discussed that the potential shift of Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez into starting roles could leave the bullpen as an area of great need. Those moves will remain relevant to the southpaws, as the increased importance of Brett Cecil would leave Loup as the only true “lefty specialist” ready to impact the MLB bullpen. Given his 2015 struggles, that’s not all that reassuring.
After three seasons of quality and consistent performances from Loup, his dominant splits eroded in 2015 and eventually landed him in AAA Buffalo. His track record and 2015 metrics suggest a bounce back season, but even if that does happen, given the unique dominance of Cecil, there’s more than enough room for a third left-hander.
Ahead, we look at five names to monitor in relation to the Blue Jays over the coming weeks. While they don’t represent a one-to-five talent ranking, they do offer Toronto some effective arms at varying price points.
First up is a longtime member of the Philadelphia Phillies who continued his strong career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015…
Next: The top option can be a real Bastardo...