The Blue Jays tried to sign Jonathan Papelbon, but lost him to the Phillies.
Now the Jays are targeting another free-agent closer – Heath Bell.
The Jays, Marlins and one other club are pursuing Bell, according to major-league sources.
And, as my colleague Jon Paul Morosi wrote in this column, the Jays are a sleeping giant in the free-agent market.
Club president Paul Beeston said before last season began that the team’s payroll could jump to $120 million in 2012, an increase of $50 million from Opening Day '11.
The Jays’ need for a closer is evident – they had 25 blown saves last season, tied for the third highest total in the majors.
Bell, 34, has averaged 44 saves the past seasons with the Padres, converting 90 percent of his opportunities in that span.
He might not be as effective if he left Petco Park and the NL West for the AL East. But his recent sustained success sets him apart from the remaining closers on the free-agent market – a group that includes Ryan Madson, Francisco Rodriguez and Francisco Cordero.