Blue Jays rumors: Not close with Lowe, Salazar available?


The Blue Jays weren’t close with relief pitcher Mark Lowe, according to the man himself. In other news, Cleveland seems to be engaging in talks regarding Danny Salazar

Chatter over the past two weeks has loosely linked the Blue Jays back to 2015 deadline addition Mark Lowe, but that possibility met a hard stop on Tuesday when he reached a two-year, $11 million contract with the Detroit Tigers. The $5.5 million annual salary is just north of what Lowe was projected to earn entering the free agent market, but given the price of pitching this week, it’s no shock.

Even with a 3.80 ERA over 10 career MLB seasons, Lowe’s career has suffered through the swings of inconsistency. He peaked in early 2015 with the Mariners, tossing up a 1.00 ERA and 11.8 K/9 over his first 36.0 innings before being traded to Toronto for three minor league pitchers. With the Jays, he’d post a 3.86 ERA and see his K/9 drop to 6.6 over 19.0 regular season innings.

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Lowe joined the Jeff Blair Show with Blair and Stephen Brunt on The Fan 590 this morning, and according to the undeniably likeable Texan, he and the Jays weren’t close. Lowe admitted that he and Toronto had “some contact”, but that Toronto’s offers were not “anywhere in the same range” of the interest that he received from other teams. “You want to go to the team that wants you the most,” Lowe said.

It’s certainly not an issue of market fit, either, which is something Toronto still runs in to. Lowe seemed to genuinely love his time in the city and the teammates that remain, musing that he hopes to have another opportunity to wear a Blue Jays jersey in the future.

Roster fit could be at play on a very small level here, as Detroit can offer Lowe the guarantee of a late-inning role, but at the end of the day, we’re looking at another financial decision. Truth be told, a $5.5 million annual salary for Lowe could quickly turn sour if his pendulum swings back in the other direction. But, if Toronto isn’t in the same ballpark as Lowe here, they’re going to be left scraping the bottom of the barrel in free agency. Again, this makes trades, waivers and even the Rule 5 Draft more important.

One piece of news from elsewhere in the league worth mentioning is in regards to Cleveland Indians starter Danny Salazar.

That Shelby Miller deal, which seems to lack logic and/or sobriety, has set the bar sky-high on the trade market, so an arm like Salazar would be a significant transaction. There’s been speculation over the past month that Mark Shapiro (and now Ross Atkins) could look to deal with their old team, and with this Nightengale tweet, there’s at least reason to believe Salazar is available.

Perhaps a more logical takeaway is that Cleveland is listening on their pitchers, period, and Toronto could attack at a lower price point. Atkins claimed last night that the Blue Jays are getting closer on some additions to the MLB roster, but unless the trade market develops, it’s most likely going to be affordable depth.