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Jon Rauch stands at an intimidating 6'10".
Coming into Opening Day, the Toronto Blue Jays possessed four pitchers who could be the team's closer—Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel, Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch. Of the quartet, Rauch may be the most logical to deal. The tall right-hander has success in the closer role. He has saved 47 games over his career, and his intimidating stature makes him that much more fearsome on the mound.
With the Jays' plethora of late-inning relievers, it seems almost natural that at least one could be dealt this summer. Rauch, who will be a free agent at the end of the 2011 season, would certainly provide a team with a fear factor at the back of the bullpen.
The Jays acquired shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Braves last year, as the Braves had run out of patience with the 28-year old. He came up with the Braves with tons of talent and potential. But aside from a good 2009 season, Escobar has really been more of a bust.
This offseason, the Blue Jays signed a young shortstop out of Cuba by the name of Adeiny Hechavarria. The 21-year old signed a four year deal with Toronto, and the Jays are anxious to see what this kid can do. If Escobar is not able to find his 2009 form soon, his time north of the border could come to an abrupt end, especially with the 21-year old waiting in the wings.
Trades and injuries are both intricate parts of the game. When a player gets injured, another player is called upon to replace him (sometimes temporarily). When the injured player returns, depending on how his replacement fared, a deal could be in order. This very well may be the scenario of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Their ace Brandon Morrow is currently on the disabled list, but is due to return in the coming days. Left-hander Jesse Litsch, coming off injury-shortened 2009 and 2010 seasons, is, as of now, the Jays' fifth starter. But once Morrow returns, it could be time to let the young southpaw pitch every other five days for another club. If Litsch pitches well in Morrow's absence, Jo-Jo Reyes could become a potential trade candidate instead.