The Toronto Blue Jays are in the midst of playing some of their best baseball of the season. Just today they defeated the Boston Red Sox by a score of 5-4 in extra innings to give them their 10th straight win. Their latest win now puts them at 33-30 and are now just 1 game back of the AL East division lead that is currently shared by the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. With their offense clicking they are looking for some upgrades in their bullpen and have checked in with the Oakland Athletics on the availability of right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard as reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
The Blue Jays’ bullpen has been efficient enough this season, but have only gotten production from a handful of relievers leaving a couple of guys in there with some question marks. They have tabbed their bullpen to be one of their weakest points and have been scouring the trade market looking for bullpen upgrades as they have recently been connected to Philadelphia Phillies‘ closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Clippard represents a cheaper option to upgrade their bullpen as he is set to hit the free agent market after this season which makes his trade value not as steep at Papelbon’s. He is also one of Oakland’s more valuable trade assets as they are not expected to contend this year. The righty is having a solid season pitching to a tune of 3.20 ERA across 25.1 innings of relief. There are some areas of concern with him since holds a rather high 4.6 BB/9 ratio and has a 64.9% fly ball rate. It’s not a surprising number since he’s never been a ground ball pitcher throughout his career, however a fly ball rate that high doesn’t exactly play well in homer friendly Rogers Centre. As the season wears on and gets closer to the deadline, keep an eye out for the Blue Jays to swing a deal for some relief help.