Tuesday, January 25, 2011

80 Jillion Right Handed Relievers

Well, If last year's bullpen gave you indigestion, this year... Well, it will probably still give you indigestion. But the Blue Jays will have lots of fall back options.

Let me start by saying: I DO NOT LIKE this move. I had made it clear, long before he even got here, that Napoli was a perfect insurance policy for a young team with question marks at C and 1B defensively. I finally thought someone was listening to me (Especially since the Jays fron office took my advice and brought Encarnacion back.) I was starting a post about this, when Anthopoulos must have realized I was onto him. He quickly made a sideways move to throw me off, and cut the safety net out from some of the team's higher-risk positions.

We now have 4 former Closers (Frasor, Rauch, Dotel and Francisco) in a 'pen that will likely have 7 pitchers. Purcey is the only for sure lefty, and there are at least a half-dozen options for the last 2 spots (Not the least of which is Shawn Camp.)

Why? This surplus of Righty Relievers add's ammo to my thought that a Jason Frasor trade will happen almost immediately after his arbitration settlement. The Dodgers were interested before he accepted arbitration, I would assume that they would still like to get him on a 1-year deal. Especially with the way the Relief market played out over the offseason. I could probably come up with at least 4 or 5 more teams that could use a player like Frasor, so I'm certain something is brewing.

As for Francisco, I see the logic in protecting a young group of starters with veteran relievers. He's low-risk, and may even qualify as a type-A if he closes for any amount of time this season. So there's that. A useful arm to have, but I'm underwhelmed.

Further to that, I'm concerned about where the offense will come from to support this entire cast of pitchers. Bautista is due for regression. Hill and Lind are wild cards at this point. Rajai Davis has ONE good season. Snider needs to re-create his minor league success. I'm worried that an over-emphasis on defense and pitching will turn this Jays team into the 2010 Mariners, who also ignored offense.

There needs to be another move here. Frasor+Rivera to the Dodgers for Casey Blake and Jon Broxton? That's my fantasy-league proposal. Dodgers need a RP and corner OF, Jays need a 3B. Any other teams need relievers and Corner OF? I'll look around and speculate on Twitter tonight (@5thStarter)

Until then.

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