Originally posted on PRO Rumors  |  Last updated 11/8/11
The Toronto Blue Jays are looking to become contenders next season, and according to Buster Olney of ESPN, they would have to add a “shutdown” closer to do so. Olney points out that the Blue Jays were tied for third in blown saves in 2011 with 25. This winter, the closer market has a lot of interesting choices, like Heath Bell, Matt Capps, Joe Nathan, Ryan Madson, Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Rodriguez. Olney says Bell, Papelbon and Nathan have come up in the conversations. Another name that has been mentioned is Andrew Bailey, although they would have to trade for him because he's not a free agent. If they decide to go after a free agent they would have to pay a “premium salary” and surrender a draft pick. If they decide to trade for Bailey the would have to surrender prospects, but they would have control over Bailey through the 2014 season. According to Olney, Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos, places a “very high value on player control,” giving the edge of this competition to Bailey. He also adds that it would make sense for the Athletics to trade Bailey now. They won't be contenders in 2012 and they would get a better deal in return now before Bailey becomes pricey through arbitration. Bailey was 0-4 with a 3.24 ERA and 24 saves in 41.2 innings for the Athletics in 2011. Image by mwlguide under the Creative Commons License.
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