For the Toronto Blue Jays, the 2022 season, like so many before it, ended in disappointment.
While the Jays are always contenders in the AL East, it's been proven to be a tough task for the boys in blue to find success in October when it matters most.
After a heartbreaking two-game sweep by the Seattle Mariners in the AL Wild Card Series, the Jays found themselves eliminated from the postseason once again.
Ross Atkins and Co. got to work once the regular season was over, though. Since the conclusion of the World Series, Teoscar Hernández was turned into a well-above-average relief arm to pair with Jordan Romano at the back end of the 'pen, Kevin Kiermaier was signed to a one-year deal, Chris Bassitt was brought aboard on a three-year pact and the Jays acquired Daulton Varsho in a huge trade for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Gabriel Moreno.
Yes, the season did not end the way Blue Jays would've liked it to. However, the year as a whole was not a total loss. Here are the three best things to happen to the Jays in 2022.
3.) Jordan Groshans turns into two important relief pitchers
Say what you will about this deal but I am of the belief that Groshans was never going to turn into much for the Jays. Not only was he blocked by a multitude of other young and exciting infielders, but he had never done enough to warrant any sort of real disappointment when he was dealt away.
Plus, the two arms the Jays got from the Marlins for him, Zach Pop and Anthony Bass, went on to be key contributors to this club's bullpen and both helped out immensely down the stretch.
Pop, 26, is from Canada and excelled in his second-half stint with his hometown Jays. In 17 appearances for the club, he posted a sparkling 1.89 ERA and 209 ERA+. In 19 innings he only walked two batters and allowed a single home run. He will be back again in 2023 although he is not a lock to make the Opening Day bullpen with the addition of Erik Swanson.
Bass, 35, re-joined the Jays for his second tenure and like Pop, excelled. In his last stint with Toronto, he was just beginning to find his way as an oft-used relief pitcher after failing to turn into much as a starter all the way back in 2012. This time around, he looked more like a relief ace.
In 28 appearances for the Jays down the stretch, Bass posted a 1.75 ERA and 225 ERA+, functioning as a heavily-relied on arm for the club. He, like Pop, will be returning for another year in the upcoming campaign and will serve an important role.