The Blue Jays have been quiet on the bullpen market. They saw Joaquin Benoit and Brett Cecil leave and only added rule 5 draft pick Glenn Sparkman. The Jays still need to add a left-handed reliever, but, even if they do, the Jays bullpen can’t afford to lose another arm. As Shi Davidi said that a rival executive told him, if Biagini gets stretched out the Jays bullpen is scary thin.
Without Joe Biagini in the bullpen the depth of the pen just isn’t there. Right now Biagini with Grilli and Osuna will form the 7th, 8th and 9th innings in close games. Take Biagini out of the picture and who replaces him? Glenn Sparkman, Mike Bolsinger, Ryan Tepera? If the Jays do not add another right handed reliever, Biagini needs to be in the bullpen.
The Jays want to stretch Biagini into a starter as they are thin in the rotation as well. Would the Blue Jays want Brett Oberholtzer starting if a major injury happens? Getting a starter makes more sense than leaving a massive hole in the bullpen. MLB teams seem to be making the bullpen a more important part of the team, see 2015 Kansas City Royals, pre-trade deadline 2016 New York Yankees, and 2016 Cleveland Indians, among other teams. The bullpen is a huge part of baseball now, it shows with the salary these relievers are getting, just look at Brett Cecil’s contract who signed for just north of 7.5 million a year.
Don’t Take Away from an Already Depleted Bullpen
If the Blue Jays decide to stretch out Biagini, which in my opinion is the wrong choice, it will take away from an already depleted bullpen for nothing. They would be taking out one of their top 3 relievers out of the pen, just to what strengthen the Buffalo Bisons rotation. I get they are looking towards the future, but now has to be more important. The team should develop starters, not take one of the team’s best relievers to make him a starter. The Jays have Sean Reid-Foley, T.J Zeuch, Jon Harris and others who are slowly progressing through the minor leagues and figure to be ready by 2018 or 2019.
If there does happen to be an injury: Sign a guy, or better yet sign a starter before spring training to a minor league deal or an MLB contract, have him as the long man in the bullpen and let him be that 6th starter that every team needs.
Who Knows if he is an MLB Starter?
Before the Blue Jays selected Joe Biagini in the rule 5 draft, he had been a starter in the Giants organization. He didn’t have the greatest numbers as a minor league starter. In his minor league career had a 4+ ERA as a starter. Compared to a 3.06 ERA, with a as a reliever in the MLB against the best competition. Add in that the most he pitched in a season was 130.1 innings, he will need time to build up to major league workload levels.
Biagini needs to be a reliever in the MLB and for the Toronto Blue Jays, that is what gives them the best chance to win.