Teams in need of bullpen help are contacting the Blue Jays about their wide array of setup types.
Turns out the Jays are looking for relievers, too.
The Jays have inquired about the Padres’ available bullpen parts, including closer Heath Bell, according to major league sources.
What are the Jays thinking?
It’s possible they want to acquire a reliever to spin him to another club. Then again, the Jays rank next to last in save percentage in the American League. They might want a genuine closer for next season.
Bell is a potential free agent, but the Jays would stand a better chance of signing him if they acquired him now and began the recruiting process while he was part of their club. At worst, they could offer him arbitration and collect two high draft picks if he left as a Type A free agent, helping replace the players they lost in the trade.
Padres setup man Mike Adams also could close, and he is not eligible for free agency until after next season. Padres owner Jeff Moorad told Adams last week that he was “not going anywhere,” according to Yahoo! Sports. But Adams, too, would fit for the Jays.
Of course, the Jays’ pursuits of the Padres relievers might prove nothing more than exercises in futility – the Cardinals, Reds, Rangers, Yankees and Phillies are among the other teams bidding for Bell and Adams, sources say.
As for the Jays trading their own relievers, don’t count on it. Right-handers Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor and Octavio Dotel all signed one-year deals with club options last offseason. The options enhance their respective values – and actually make them more difficult to move.
Rauch, Frasor and Dotel are likely Type B free agents. A team that trades for one of the three could exercise his option and keep him for next season. Or, the team could decline the option, offer arbitration and gain a supplemental draft pick if the pitcher leaves as a free agent.
The Jays were in similar positions last offseason with Frasor and two other relievers, lefty Scott Downs and righty Kevin Gregg. The team offered arbitration to all three. Downs and Gregg left as free agents. Frasor accepted arbitration and signed his new deal.
— Ken Rosenthal