The Blue Jays have asked the Athletics about the possibility of trading for reliever Tyler Clippard, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. The Blue Jays are seeking upgrades for both their rotation and their bullpen, Crasnick reports. Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote yesterday that Clippard might become a target for the Blue Jays, who were also interested in Clippard last offseason.
The Jays have gotten good results this year from Roberto Osuna, Liam Hendriks, Steve Delabar and current closer Brett Cecil, but their bullpen has been an area of concern throughout the season, and they’ve recently also had trade discussions with the Phillies regarding Jonathan Papelbon.
The 30-year-old Clippard would be a somewhat lower-wattage addition, but he’s in the midst of an effective season, with a 3.20 ERA and 7.8 K/9. His walk rate is elevated at 4.6 BB/9, however, and he’s allowed fly balls at an alarming 64.9% rate that’s somewhat atypical, even though he’s never been a ground-ball pitcher. He’s saved nine games in his first extended stint as a closer since 2012, when he saved 32 games for the Nationals. He’s making $8.3MM in his last year before free agency.