With Heath Bell signing for an impressively low 3-year, $27 million deal, it seems there aren’t many options left on the free-agent closer table.
Ryan Madson remains the front-runner among free-agent closers and many would think he would have been signed by now, with the Red Sox and Jays as the two main teams in search of a closer, perhaps the waiting game is going to wind down his price?
Although the Red Sox lost Papelbon to the Phils this offseason, they do have a bona fide capable closer on their team in Daniel Bard. He has been seen as the closer in waiting for the Sox for quite some time. Perhaps the Sox don’t need a closer after all
If that is the case, perhaps it is in A.A.’s best interest to wait out the market, especially for Madson, to make him and his agent sweat a bit to lower the terms of a possible contract.
Especially with the Winter Meetings on the horizon it would make sense for A.A. to see if he can grab Street or Bailey (two of who he has shown interest in acquiring) rather than pay a hefty price in free agency for Madson.
Maybe A.A. is a little worried about making a big free-agency splash for a closer considering what fans remember with B.J Ryan.
Bell’s contract actually helps the Jays, believe it or not. With Bell signing a deal of $9 million per, it would be tough for Madson to try and ask for more than that considering he has only closed for one season in Philadelphia, whereas Bell is the only closer in the league to put up 40-plus saves in the past three seasons.This would lower Madson’s price and his ability to seek a double-digit yearly salary.
Bailey and Street remain solid trade rumours as many have already discussed these possibilities. Personally, I would love to grab Bailey, not so much Street.
The Winter Meetings could also land the Jays a 2B. With Johnson as good as gone with his Type A Free Agency, perhaps 2B could be a top priority during this time.
As stated in my previous piece, we will keep you updated on all Jays developments during the WM.