Rangers Talking Uehara Deal; Jays, Others Interested

The Rangers are discussing reliever Koji Uehara with several teams, one of whom are the Blue Jays, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).  The Red Sox and Orioles were both involved in talks regarding Uehara earlier this winter, with Uehara himself saying he wished to return to Baltimore.

Uehara posted a 2.35 ERA, an 11.8 K/9 rate and a phenomenal 9.44 K/BB ratio in 65 games last season with the Orioles and Rangers.  Despite his great regular season numbers, he struggled for Texas in the playoffs and was left off the Rangers' World Series roster, leading to speculation that he would be made available by the team in the offseason. 

Uehara, who turns 37 in April, pitched well enough to cause his $4MM option for 2012 to vest.  He also has a limited no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to block deals to six teams, so Uehara has some control over where he would be dealt, if anywhere.

The Jays have already added Sergio Santos, Darren Oliver, Jason Frasor and Aaron Laffey to their bullpen this winter.  In Uehara, Toronto would add to this depth with a right-hander who has enjoyed success in the AL East and some experience (13-of-15 in save opportunities with the O's in 2010) as a closer should Santos struggle.

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