Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Looking ahead to the 2021 free agent crop

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 15: Ross Atkins, Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations & General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays presents Shun Yamaguchi #1 his jersey and hat during a press conference at Rogers Centre on January 15, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 15: Ross Atkins, Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations & General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays presents Shun Yamaguchi #1 his jersey and hat during a press conference at Rogers Centre on January 15, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 17: Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 17, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 17: Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 17, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Relief Pitchers/Closers

Just like almost any other season, the Blue Jays will have some work to do when it comes to rebuilding their bullpen next winter. The most important piece could be locked down from their own roster, but it remains to be seen if Ken Giles will be extended, remain a Blue Jay for just 2020, or even get traded before the deadline, whenever that may be.

Giles could be a solid fit for the Blue Jays going forward, but if they aren’t sold on his prospects for the long-term then there are other options coming available. In fact, could be quite a few pitchers with closing experience available next winter including Kirby Yates, Liam Hendriks, Alex Colome, Sean Doolittle, Hansel Robles, Brandon Workman and more. There are other closers who will be under a club option for 2021 that could come available as well such as Brad Hand and Hector Neris.

There’s also the possibility that the Blue Jays could be hoping to develop an in-house closer to take the reigns from Giles after he’s gone. For example, someone like Jordan Romano was talked about as a potential late-inning reliever last year, and could have the arsenal to pitch well in the role as he gains experience. Another could be Sean Reid-Foley, who has an elite fastball, but the Blue Jays are still committed to using him as a starter, at least for now.

The Blue Jays might not pony up on a multi-year pact for someone like Giles or Yates, but don’t be surprised if they spend a bit of money on the position on a shorter deal. If they could bring Giles back on a three year contract, I’m confident they would do it (assuming he’s healthy in 2020), but it’s hard to say if that will get it done. The front office should have plenty of payroll space to work with though, so I expect they’ll be busy in the relief market one way or another.

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