The overhaul of the Blue Jays’ bullpen seemingly is complete, thanks to two trades with the White Sox and an agreement with an ageless free agent.
Right-hander Sergio Santos will close. Righty Jason Frasor again will play a prominent setup role. Lefty Darren Oliver, 41, will try to produce his fifth straight sub-2.90 ERA.
Now what about the rotation?
The Jays were thwarted in their attempts to trade for right-hander Mat Latos and lefty Gio Gonzalez and obtain the rights to Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish. They still could sign a free agent, but are unlikely to acquire righty Matt Garza from the Cubs, major-league sources say.
Latos and Gonzalez both are under club control for four more years. Garza is under club control for only two more, and the Jays aren’t as willing to give up top prospects for a relatively short-term addition, sources say.
A free agent on a short-term deal would be more desirable, but the Jays do not appear especially interested in righties Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Oswalt. They also are unlikely to pursue righty Edwin Jackson, who reportedly is seeking a five-year, $60 million deal.
The Jays are in position to show restraint, given the starting-pitching depth throughout their organization.
Their major-league rotation currently is set with five pitchers who are 29 and under — left-handers Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil and righties Brandon Morrow, Henderson Alvarez and Dustin McGowan.
The Jays also expect to consider at least four youngsters for major-league promotions in 2012 — righties Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Deck McGuire and Chad Jenkins.
Below that group are five other pitchers who cracked their top 10 prospects for 2012, according to Baseball America — left-handers Daniel Norris and Justin Nicolino and righties Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard and Asher Wojciechowski.
— Ken Rosenthal