The Blue Jays addition of Drew Storen will give the club the opportunity to stretch out Aaron Sanchez or Roberto Osuna as a starter, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. Toronto turned to both Sanchez and Osuna as relievers out of necessity in 2015, but they have previously been viewed as starting pitcher prospects. As GM Ross Atkins notes, there aren’t many success stories of players transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation (Carlos Carrasco comes to mind). Atkins hypothesizes that differences in how pitches are used and developed in a one-inning role are to be blamed. While Storen does give the Blue Jays some depth in the bullpen, they probably can’t afford to remove both Sanchez and Osuna from the bullpen.
Here’s more from Toronto and their division rival Yankees:
- Even after adding Storen, Atkins continues to hunt for help in the bullpen and elsewhere on the roster, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. “We haven’t let up for one second,” said Atkins. Acquiring additional bullpen depth would make it easier for the club to move one or both of Sanchez and Osuna out of the major league bullpen. They were linked to Fernando Rodney prior to the Storen trade.
- Chad Jennings of LoHud profiles three Yankees who have spent the offseason on the trade block. New York wanted to trade outfielder Brett Gardner for starting pitching. Gardner’s role with the club is largely redundant. However, the exorbitant price of pitching and slow developing free agent outfield market have made it difficult for GM Brian Cashman to line up a trade. Jennings figures the Yankees should hang onto Gardner unless he can return a “good, cost-controlled starter.”
- After high profile trades involving Craig Kimbrel and Ken Giles, the Yankees had some hope of receiving starting pitcher reinforcements for Andrew Miller. At this point, it appears as if the demand for elite closers via trade consisted of just two teams. While Kimbrel and Giles were dealt mostly for prospects, the Yankees had more interest in established talent. To me, this smells like a doomed proposition. Any team willing to pay top dollar for elite relief probably doesn’t want to trade away quality starting pitching. Now that the Yankees have added Aroldis Chapman, the plan may be to simply survive the early innings and let the bullpen slam the door. As such, Miller will probably stay put.
- The Yankees have also shopped Ivan Nova without finding a match. Nova is coming off a lousy, injury-addled season in which he posted a 5.08 ERA in 94 innings. He’s also in his final season of club control. Jennings views Nova as the best sixth starter on the roster, making him valuable depth. However, Jennings would happily trade Nova with a second player for a better pitcher.