Let's Talk Closers

Ok seriously. We need a closer. With the exception of the Phillies and maybe the Rays, all the good teams have a highly effective closer that they can call on in the 9th. Yankees have Rivera, Bosox have Papelbon (who sucks but is at least established) Texas has Feliz, LA has Walden, and that's not even counting all the NL teams. I can go on and on. I think it's obvious that there are three options for the Jays:

1. Sign a closer via free-agency

2. Trade for a closer

3. Develop a closer from within their system


Let's talk about the #1 option first. There are lots of excellent closers that will be free agents this offseason. Of course, any team who signs a closer from the free agent pool is drastically overpaying. Plus, high-payed free agent closers rarely seem to work out well. BJ Ryan, Rafael Soriano and K-rod are some examples. I don't like this option, because all of the closers on the free agent market are great guys in their prime. The Jays don't have guys in their prime. They are a young team, and should have a closer that fits in with their image. I think that this option could only end with disaster, so I don't like it.

Option #2, I like better. I think that the Jays should go after one of the young closers who still have time to develop. Guys like Neftali Feliz, Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Bailey or Jordan Walden come to mind. I have a feeling that Feliz and Kimbrel are pretty much untouchable, but I think that AA could pry Bailey or Walden away from their current clubs. It would come at a price, but it could be worth it. 

Option #3 is definitely the cheapest option, and I think that it could actually work out quite well. Casey Janssen seems like a great set-up man, so we should definitely keep him at that spot. Francisco and Rauch seem like placeholders to keep the bullpen from completely falling apart this year, but don't really fit into long term plans. There are a few guys in the minors that could be groomed into good MLB closers, and I think that's what the Jays will do. Carreno could fit into the closer role, and probably develop into a pretty good closer. The one guy that sticks out in my mind is Wes Etheridge. He's having a great year, and is already in AA so he could get to the bigs soon. He's definitely not a prototypical closer, but I think that his sinker could become a HUGE out pitch. He is already 26 years old, so we can't wait too much longer for him, but I think that he seems like a good option for the Jays.

I personally think that options 2 and 3 are the best roads to take, but share your opinion and tell me what you think. Talk it up!!

Also, this is my first post on this site, so any comments, suggestions or criticisms would be greatly appreciated.

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