The Twins, Blue Jays and Indians are all “strong” in their pursuit of left-handed reliever Craig Breslow, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link). The Dodgers and Mets are also interested in the veteran southpaw.
Breslow is likely to pick his new team once Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan (the top two left-handed relievers available) have signed. The Blue Jays and Mets have been connected to both relievers and the Dodgers have also been linked to Blevins, so it’s quite possible that Breslow could lose a suitor or two once the free agent market thins out.
Breslow has struggled for much of the last three seasons, though an overhaul of his mechanics and a new arm slot has led to renewed intrigue in his services, as almost half the teams in baseball had scouts at Breslow’s recent showcase. With this much apparent interest, Breslow can perhaps afford to be a bit patient in finding an offer, as he could still land a decent contract if as many as three teams will still be looking for lefty relief help.
With Logan and Blevins carrying reported price tags of at least two years and $12MM, Breslow is certainly a less-costly alternative, which has particular appeal to several of his suitors. Cleveland has already gone well above its usual spending limits to sign Edwin Encarnacion, the Mets’ payroll may also be somewhat maxed-out with Jay Bruce’s salary still on the books and the Jays may also be at or near their payroll parameters after re-signing Jose Bautista. The Twins are known to be attempting to wait out the market to score a bargain or two, as the rebuilding club obviously doesn’t intend to overpay for a bullpen signing.
From 2005-13, Breslow posted a 2.82 ERA, 2.1 K/BB rate and 7.4 K/9 over 402 relief innings with six teams (including the Twins and Indians). The 36-year-old has been effective against both left-handed hitters (holding them to a .693 OPS over his career) and right-handed hitters (.705 OPS).