Quick: name all the Blue Jays pitchers who recorded a save in 2014.
In descending order by the number of saves: Casey Janssen (25), Brett Cecil (5), Sergio Santos (5), Aaron Loup (4), Aaron Sanchez (3), Dustin McGowan (1), Todd Redmond (1), and Marcus Stroman (1). For those good at math, that's eight different pitchers recording the 45 total saves last season, which happened to be the most in the major leagues last year, as well as the most in franchise history. That is more-or-less just party trivia, but it does give you the general idea that the bullpen wasn't very stable, especially in the beginning of the season when closer Casey Janssen was on the disabled list and in the second half of the season after Janssen's literally ill-fated vacation to the Dominican Republic.
The Toronto Blue Jays' bullpen had the major's fifth-worst bullpen FIP in 2014 at 4.05, and an eighth-worst shutdown-meltdown ratio (1.638). Casey Janssen, Brandon Morrow, Dustin McGowan, and Sergio Santos are free agents. Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin are gone in trades. Clearly, the state of the bullpen is less of a pen and more of a gigantic hole ready for the foundation to be poured in.
This evening, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post tells us that the Blue Jays are smitten with righty David Robertson, having "engaged in dialogue" with his agent. Robertson did an admirable job closing for the Yankees in the first year of the post-Mariano Rivera era. In 64 innings over 63 appearances, he struck out 96 batters (13.4%) and walked 19 (3.22%), finishing with a 3.08 ERA / 2.68 FIP / and 2.13 xFIP. But the bullpen in the Bronx is a little bit more crowded now that Andrew Miller is now a Yankee.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Robertson has a $39-million, three-year offer from the Mystery Team, but with Miller signing for four years (though at a lower average annual value), Robertson is likely going to hold off putting his pen to the paper until he gets that extra year. Davidoff believes that the asking figure is $50 million--which is what the Phillies guaranteed to Jonathan Papelbon back in 2011 (there is also a vesting option for $16 million in 2016).
That is a lot of money to spend on a single reliever, even for one of the best in the game, and it just doesn't seem to fit in the style of general manager Alex Anthopoulos. On signing a big-ticket free-agent reliever, Anthopoulos has said that he "wouldn't necessarily completely rule it out", which is as close to a "no, we aren't going to do it" as you will get from him. The money will be better spent getting someone like Luke Gregerson, who was profiled by Noah Sherman earlier this offseason, and also somehow acquire someone who can sort of play second base as well as sort of be able to hit baseballs. Yes, the bullpen needs a rebuild, but getting Robertson will mean the other holes will have to remain unfilled.
I believe that the Blue Jays love David Robertson--I'm sure all 29 other teams do as well--but I don't think they will be willing to pay him as much as he wants. And the only way of loving him, baby, is to pay his lovely fee.