10 relief pitchers the Blue Jays should target at the trade deadline

What relief help is available to the Jays as the deadline draws near in less than a month's time?
Seattle Mariners v San Diego Padres, Josh Hader
Seattle Mariners v San Diego Padres, Josh Hader / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals

Jordan Hicks represents one of the rare Cardinals’ bullpen arms that have somehow managed to have some success this year, despite the entire team’s struggles in their disappointing 2023 season. With regular closer Ryan Helsley on the IL, Hicks has taken over the role and has flourished in it ever since. For the season, Hicks has posted a respectable 4.04 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, notching six saves while giving up 16 earned runs, 23 walks and a whopping 54 strikeouts over just 35.2 innings.

Hicks strikeout ability would certainly come in handy for the Jays, who don’t really feature many relievers with a high punchout rate other than Trevor Richards and Jordan Romano currently. In addition, the cost for Hicks will definitely be more economical for the Jays compared to someone like Hader mentioned above, and could be the best fallback plan if the Jays intend to do more than one upgrade for the team.

Seth Lugo, San Diego Padres

The name Seth Lugo certainly doesn’t jump off the page in terms of attractive potential trade targets, but Lugo has quietly put together a solid season so far in 2023 with the Padres. More importantly, he has shown to have the versatility to work effectively both as a reliever and a starter for the past five years. For 2023, he has pitched to a 3.39 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, giving up 24 earned runs including six home runs, 13 walks and 59 strikeouts in 63.2 innings of work.

He may have been used mainly as a starter this year with the Padres, but with his great work strictly in the bullpen as he had demonstrated the past couple of years, he should be fine in taking on either role if acquired by the Jays. This could be advantageous to the Jays because they could potentially slot Lugo into whatever role that they need help with the most, similar to the swingman role that Ross Stripling played so effectively in the past for the team.