We’ve already talked about it here at Jays Journal recently, but that’s because the Blue Jays still have quite a bit of work to do when it comes to building their bullpen.
They do have leftover veterans like Ken Giles, Ryan Tepera, Danny Barnes, Sam Gaviglio, and Joe Biagini, and a bevy of young options like Tim Mayza, or Rule 5 pick Elvis Luciano. While the Blue Jays could add a few other arms once they sort out their starting rotation, it feels like the work here is far from complete.
Chances are Atkins is waiting for the market to bottom out as spring training gets closer to getting underway, and that worked out fairly well for them last year. They were able to get Tyler Clippard and John Axford on MiLB contracts, and Seunghwan Oh was acquired for a bargain deal. It’s hard to say how the market will play out this year, but there is still plenty of talent to consider.
The other option is the Blue Jays could spend some money on a reliever or two with the goal of flipping them before the trade deadline. Depending on how the market works out for someone like Cody Allen, he could be had on a relatively cheap contract, and is a pretty solid bounce back candidate. Chances are there are other teams thinking the same about Allen, but there are plenty of others who could fit the description to a lesser degree.
Regardless of how much they end up spending on it, look for Atkins to add at least one or two more arms to the bullpen picture. At this point there isn’t a lot of urgency unless they are truly interested in some of the higher end arms. I don’t expect that to be the case, but you never know, especially if they’re looking to build trade capital for the summer.