The Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly aiming for an impact arm at a deep discount. Two things that don’t necessarily
mix in MLB free agency
According to a report from Jerry Crasnick, the Toronto Blue Jays are looking to add an impact arm to the back of their bullpen for “dollar store” prices. We more commonly know those as Dollarama prices on this side of the border, but the point remains. Crasnick was also the man to report earlier in the week that Toronto was prioritizing closer’s experience in their bullpen search, with Ryan Madson potentially on that list.
By combining the two reports, we’re left with a Toronto Blue Jays front office looking for an “impact power bullpen arm”, preferably with closer’s experience, all for a deep discount. Good luck with that.
Now, it’s wise not to jump all-in on a report coming from a player agent as the primary source, as their main objective is to move the maximum amount of money from an organization to their client. There will always be ample motivation for a player agent to stack a market or fan base against an MLB front office, and while that’s not always the case, it’s something to consider nonetheless.
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If we’re to put any stock into these reports, it would clearly remove the Blue Jays from any discussions involving names like Darren O’Day, Joakim Soria or Tyler Clippard. At this point, though, we should have already accepted those ships have sailed.
The worry could be, however, that aiming low financially might eliminate the Blue Jays from the tier that Mark Lowe and similar arms exist on. Power relievers that, while not elite, have either a consistent track record of relative success or are coming off a breakout season. Typically with these arms, a club will be looking at one year plus an option or guaranteed second year with an annual salary of $3.5 to $5.0 million.
This could lead the Jays to veteran ex-closers, minor league signings or reclamation projects, several of which we profiled here earlier this morning. While not the most attractive course of action, there’s always a Steve Delabar or Liam Hendriks to be uncovered along the way. Expect the analytics department to be more heavily involved in unearthing some potential diamonds in the rough, as well.
Tonight’s non-tender deadline should also loosen up the action across Major League Baseball. Not only will trades and re-negotiated contracts give teams greater clarity, but the free agent market will see an influx of non-tendered players.
Toronto could also free up some finances of their own via trade. Perhaps enough to go across the street to Wal-Mart.