Toronto Blue Jays Looking To Add Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain To Bullpen
Guerrier was not offered arbitration by the Twins, so he is now a free agent. In 2010, a campaign where he made $3.15 million, experts peg him to make no more than four to five million next season.
In 74 appearances, The 32-year-old Guerrier went 5-7 with a 3.17 ERA, 5.3 K/9, and 2.8 BB/9. The addition of Guerrier would add to an already changing Blue Jays bullpen that will see Brian Tallet (Cardinals), Scott Downs, and more than likely Kevin Gregg depart from the organization.
The Jays are also believed to have interest in signing Canadian Jesse Crain to add to the bullpen as well.
The 29-year-old Crain enjoyed a career year last year with the Twins, following off-season shoulder surgery. Despite his terrible one inning effort against the Jays in his last appearance last year, Crain appears to be right in the Blue Jays sight-lines.
Crain went 1-1 last season with a 3.04 ERA in 68 innings, while posting career highs in strikeouts (62) and holds (21).
If the Jays can add both Guerrier and Crain to their bullpen, they will definitely improve themselves from a year ago, at least in terms of right handed pitchers.
Both pitchers are not the type-A free agents, so the Jays will not have to give up draft picks to sign them. The downside is that as many as nine teams could be interested in both players, so a bidding war could commence and force the Jays out of contention.
With news coming today that the Jays have resigned Dustin McGowan to a new one-year contract worth $500,000, they could get yet another shot in the arm to their depleted bullpen here too.
McGowan, who has not pitched since 2008, has always had massive potential. The Jays don't want to lose out on that if he goes to another club. For example, Chris Carpenter struggled with injuries with the Jays, but when he was let go and went to St. Louis, his career skyrocketed.
In keeping McGowan, the Jays are hoping for a Carpenter-like resurgence. Although extremely unlikely, McGowan still figures prominently in the Jays future plans.
With a torn labrum now behind him, McGowan has begun a throwing program that he hopes will help him get healthy in time for Spring Training in February. If McGowan does return, look for him to come out of the bullpen from now on. Already with experience out of the pen, he could conceivably close games for the Blue Jays and, at a $500,000 dollar price tag, could be among the best bang for your buck closers in the majors.
Thoughts on the Jays adding these three to the bullpen?
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