Blue Jays: 2017 Free Agent Bullpen Targets To Consider
By Jason Lee
Why Not Closers?
The discussion of relievers brings up an intriguing topic: should the Blue Jays take a look at closers this offseason? The gut reaction for Blue Jays fans will likely be a strong NO due to the presence of Roberto Osuna. However, upon closer examination, the addition of a closer may actually be a good idea. Consider these three points:
- Roberto Osuna’s inconsistencies in 2017
- The Blue Jays rotation filled with question marks
- Andrew Miller
One reason to add another closer this offseason is to provide insurance for Roberto Osuna. There’s no question that Roberto Osuna is an elite closer. However, Osuna was inconsistent in 2017 due to multiple factors including off-field issues (anxiety) and pitch selection (heavy reliance on the cutter). Adding an established closer like Greg Holland or Wade Davis would give Osuna a valuable mentor and relieve the pressure that comes with closing games at the MLB level.
Another benefit that comes with the addition of another closer is that it significantly relieves the load on the pitching staff. Any elite closer would deepen the bullpen significantly, and starters like Biagini (inconsistency) and Sanchez (blister problems) would only have to pitch 5 or 6 innings, with the rest being covered by a very deep bullpen.
And finally, Blue Jays fans have to look no further than the 2016 ALCS to know the benefits of having two elite options at the back of the pen. The Cleveland Indians shut down the Blue Jays’ offense late in games with just two relievers: Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.
Signing a traditional closer this offseason would allow the Jays to put Osuna in a Miller-esque role. Osuna could become a multi-inning, high-leverage reliever like Miller is today. As fans all around the MLB know, a player like Miller is arguably more valuable than the typical one-inning closer. With the addition of a Greg Holland or a Wade Davis, the Blue Jays could have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball.