Blue Jays: Free agent bullpen targets with closer’s experience
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
We could get lost down the rabbit hole with reclamation project and faded stars, but let’s end with a handful of names that, while not fitting the discussion perfectly, are worthy of recognition here. In light of the recent J.A. Happ reunion, let’s start with old friend Casey Janssen.
For starters, Janssen’s departure has been grouped into the shift in team chemistry and clubhouse philosophy. Much like Adam Lind, Janssen often wasn’t the most inspiring player off the field or in interviews, though I still feel he may have gotten a harsher goodbye than he deserved. Regardless, it appears Toronto cut ties at the right time.
In 40.0 innings with the Nationals, Janssen posted a 4.95 ERA, his first mark above 4.00 since 2010, and continued to see his fastball velocity erode. Now down to an average of 88.3 MPH and sinking, it doesn’t appear there’s much value left in the right arm of Janssen.
Next: Some relief arms for the Blue Jays to watch in Rule 5 Draft
Past Janssen, the 41-year old Joe Nathan and his 377 career saves will intrigue some needy MLB team in 2016. Nathan is recovering from Tommy John surgery, an incredibly daunting task for an arm of his age, but he is reportedly leaning towards a return if his health allows. This would amount to little more than a minor league flier deep into 2016, but dare to dream. The 2014 season was unkind to Nathan despite 35 saves, but in 2013 with the Texas Rangers, Nathan saved 43 games with an impressive 1.39 ERA.
Staying in the realm of reclamation projects, Carlos Marmol could be a swing in the dark worth taking on a minor league deal himself. He owns a 5.20 ERA since 2013 at the Major League level, but prior to that, the right-hander saved 107 games from 2009-2012 for the Chicago Cubs. His 2015 was limited to 31.0 successful minor league innings (2.03 ERA) AAA Columbus, an affiliate of Mark Shapiro’s Cleveland Indians.