Posted February 22, 2012 on AP on Fox
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell has one less decision to make this season. He knew before spring training even started how the back of the Blue Jays' bullpen would look: Sergio Santos will be his closer and Francisco Cordero the setup man. The starting rotation? He's far less certain about that. Coming into camp, Farrell envisions a starting rotation of Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Henderson Alvarez and Dustin McGowan. But he said, ''That doesn't mean that starters Kyle Drabek, Aaron Laffey, guys that are in camp here, (don't) have an opportunity to maker this club.'' Farrell added: ''We're also looking forward to the exposure that (minor league prospects Drew) Hutchison, (Chad) Jenkins, (Deck) McGuire are going to get to make an impression.'' The blue Jays acquired Santos in a trade with the White Sox after he saved 30 games in his first season as closer for Chicago and second in the big leagues over all. Cordero had 37 saves for Cincinnati in 2011 but he signed a one-year, $4.5 million free agent contract to pitch the eighth inning for the Blue Jays. ''When you look at the acquisition of Sergio, he gives us that one guy to really go back to that's a little more clear cut today going into 2012,'' Farrell said Wednesday after half the Blue Jays' pitchers went through their first workout. The other half will do it Thursday. ''Nothing against the group that was here a year ago, but it's just a more defined closer to let everyone slot in prior to getting to him,'' Farrell said about Frank Francisco, who had 17 of Toronto's 33 saves, and Jon Rauch (11). The setup man doesn't have the cachet that goes with being a closer. But Farrell said baseball people who have worked with Cordero call him ''a complete team player. And the fact that he's been a very good closer in his career (327 saves, 3.17 ERA over 13 seasons), he knew the situation he was coming into. ''He's accepting of that eighth-inning role and I think that speaks more about him as a person,'' Farrell said'' You can look at the numbers and clearly see the success he's had late in the game.'' Farrell said because he has been a closer the Blue Jays will try to give Cordero ''a clean inning,'' meaning he would start it, rather than have him enter after runners were on base.

Dutch RHP Rick VandenHurk agrees with Blue Jays

Dutch right-hander Rick VandenHurk has agreed to a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. The 26-year-old had no decisions and an 8.00 ERA in four games and eight innings for Baltimore last year and was 9-13 with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts for the Orioles' Triple-A farm team at Norfolk. In the minors he held hitters to a .239 average. VandenHurk, who agreed to a non-guaranteed...

DOs And DONTs: Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays have a pretty good young team.  The problem for them is that they play in the American League East.  They have to compete with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays.  It isn’t easy being the Blue Jays.  The Jays were an 81 win team and can be even better.  I am going to take a look at their 40-man roster here as it pertains to fantasy...

Vizquel looking to stick with Blue Jays

Veteran infielder Omar Vizquel arrived at the Blue Jays' Spring Training facility on Wednesday morning to start preparing for his attempt to crack the club's big league roster.

Santos starting over with Jays -- as closer

Sergio Santos, a converted infielder, now makes his living on the mound and will take over as the Blue Jays' undisputed closer just three years removed from his days as a position player.

Healthy, focused Bautista ready to tee off in '12

Slugger Jose Bautista is back to full strength and arrived at the Blue Jays' Spring Training facility with the hope of putting his previous injury woes -- and offseason distractions -- behind him.

Blue Jays' rotation looks to rebound in 2012

Ricky Romero aside, Toronto's starters must elevate their performances this year with the Blue Jays talking openly about their aspirations for the postseason.

Blue Jays sign VandenHurk

The Toronto Blue Jays signed right-hander Rick VandenHurk to a split major league contract on Wednesday.

Toronto Blue Jays try to climb to top of American League East

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Jays face difficult task contending in AL East

The American League East is once again a banquet of riches in 2012 and the Toronto Blue Jays are trying to narrow the gap between themselves and the Big Three of New York, Tampa and Boston.

Watch out, here come the Jays

Mailbag: With a talented young roster showing signs of emerging and a top-notch minor league system already in place, it's not hard to see the Toronto Blue Jays being one of the game's top-10 franchises again in the very near future.
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