The Blue Jays bullpen now ranks 21st in the majors on ERA at 4.21, with the 23rd ranked FIP at 4.18. Their 11 blown saves and 13 bullpen losses also rank them in the bottom third in baseball. With Stripling now a starter, and Kikuchi averaging less than 4 1/3 innings per start, the risk of taxing the bullpen increases as MLB rosters are only allowed 13 pitchers from today.
A former starter and 2016 Rookie of the Year, the right-handed Fulmer, 29, is having an outstanding season as a reliever on a bad Tigers team, with a 3.10 FIP and 2.16 ERA, two wins, 10 holds and a save over 25 innings. Along with lefty Andrew Chafin (32 years old, 24 K’s in 17.1 innings, with 8 holds and a save), he’s been setting up Tigers closer Gregory Soto.
Righty Colomé is on a $4.1 million, one-year deal with Colorado, and has two wins, four holds and three saves in four opportunities this season, with a 2.86 FIP and 2.13 ERA over 25.1 innings, including a 1.88 ERA over 14.1 innings at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Or could 36-year-old pending free agent Steve Cishek from the Nationals be part of that blockbuster trade idea above?
Along the same lines, could the Blue Jays pry their former top prospect Jeff Hoffman or Luis Cessa from the Reds as pieces in a blockbuster trade for starter Luis Castillo? Hoffman, 29, has been a pleasant surprise for the Reds this year, with a 2.78 ERA and 34 K’s in 32.1 innings, including a win and a hold.
Or could the Jays front office swing a bigger deal with their former colleague Ben Cherington for Pirates righty closer David Bednar to be a set-up man for Jordan Romano. Bednar is under team control until 2027, so that would likely be an expensive acquisition. But Bednar has been outstanding on a bad Pirates team, winning three games and saving 11 more, with a 1.34 ERA over 33.2 innings, with 46 K’s versus only 8 walks. And the Pirates definitely need catching help.