Heading into last year, the bullpen was supposed to be the strength of the Toronto Blue Jays. But 25 blown saves later, the bullpen became their biggest weakness. General Manager Alex Anthopoulos has made the bullpen a priority with several key acquisitions.
His first order of business was to get a legitimate closer instead of by committee. He accomplished that by acquiring 30 save man Sergio Santos from the Chicago White Sox. Not only does Santos have good strikeout numbers, but he is young and under team control for the next several years.
Anthopoulos also shored up the lefty-specialist position by inking the ageless Darren Oliver to a one-year deal and signing Aaron Laffey to a minor league deal with an invite to camp. The 41 year-old Oliver has been around and spent the last few years with Texas, where he posted a 2.42 E.R.A. last year. He should be a good veteran presence and a calming influence in the bullpen.
Anthopoulos also re-acquired Jason Frasor from the White Sox. He was the longest-serving Jay until he got traded last year and was solid during his tenure. He will be welcomed back with open arms and will be used a the set-up man to Santos.
Looking at the Jays roster as of today, here is what the Jays bullpen could look like opening day:
Sergio Santos- Closer
Aaron Laffey/ Luis Perez
With an upgraded bullpen and a legitimate closer, the Jays should be able to win 90 plus games and compete for a wild-card spot.