Blue Jays in the market for bullpen relief
The Toronto Blue Jays are in the thick of the AL East race, sitting two games back of the leading Tampa Bay Rays, and have won eight out of their last ten games. It only makes sense with the trade deadline looming, possible trade candidates and destinations are swirling around the Jays.
With one of the best lineups in the American League, the Blue Jays are in need of pitching and most importantly an upgrade to their beleaguered bullpen. Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun has reported the Jays have been in contact with the last-place Brewers about their closer Francisco Rodriguez. A trade like this makes sense, K-Rod still holds value despite his age and the Jays have gone to a closer-by-committee approach, with Brett Cecil having the most save chances (seven), but his 4.50 ERA leaves a lot to be desired. Rodriguez is under contract for $5.5 million this season and his contract includes a $6 million option or $4 million buyout for 2016, so the Jays are committing to him and view him other than a rental-type player.
Two other candidates I can see Toronto targeting would be Jonathan Papelbon in Philadelphia and Aroldis Chapman in Cincinnati. Both are superb closers, but come with a higher price tag. If the Jays do not want to give up their entire farm system, K-Rod could be the choice, and could be just what they need to climb to the top of the AL East.
Who do you think the Blue Jays should target at the trade deadline? Let me know in the comments below.
Dan Schalk covers MLB for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @FFSportsTalk
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