The Toronto Blue Jays are continuing their search for bullpen help, per FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, who reports that the club has been "in contract" with representatives for a number of relievers including Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano, and Burke Badenhop.
The Blue Jays' search for relievers has been long noted, and the club added right-hander Ronald Belisario earlier today, though he only received a minor league deal. The Blue Jays also lost longtime closer Casey Janssen to the Washington Nationals yesterday, and as Sportsnet.ca's Ben Nicholson-Smith notes, the club currently has about $5 or $6 million available in payroll flexibility.
Rodriguez, Soriano, and Badenhop seem to be the clear top relief arms still available on the open market, with Badenhop representing the only one of the trio without closing experience. However, he has posted a 2.90 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 2.88 K/BB, and a 2.0 WAR over the past three years with the Rays, Brewers, and Red Sox
While Toronto seems to be mostly exploring the free agent market, they may also be a possible landing spot for Phillies' closer Jonathan Papelbon. However, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal pointed out earlier today, the club's interest is "extremely limited" unless Philadelphia would be willing to take on a significant amount of money.
The Blue Jays are currently slated to head into the season with a rather young bullpen crop led by southpaw Brett Cecil and right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who seem to be the two frontrunners to take over for Janssen as Toronto's closer. However, the team would prefer to keep Cecil in a set-up capacity, while Sanchez is likely a starter long-term.
The bullpen should also include some combination of Belisario, Aaron Loup, Marco Estrada, Kyle Drabek, Steve Delabar, Chad Jenkins, and Todd Redmond. In 2014, the Blue Jays bullpen struggled, finishing 22nd in the league in WAR (1.3) and 26th in FIP (4.05).