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MLB Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays Rumors: Will Team Use Casey Janssen as Trade Bait?

Casey Janssen

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Given the solid performance that Toronto Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen gave during the 2013 MLB season, is there any doubt that he will return as the team’s bona fide closer in 2014? Sure, why not?

Although Janssen had yet another solid season for the Blue Jays, posting a 2.56 ERA and racking up 34 saves while striking out 50 batters in 52.2 innings pitched, there’s no reason to believe that GM Alex Anthopoulos won’t shop him around to strengthen his club elsewhere. The Blue Jays bullpen was the most impressive part of the revamped squad from top to bottom in 2013. There is definitely room for some maneuvering.

With a late resurgence made by one-time closer Sergio Santos, the Blue Jays found themselves in a positive situation, something that they hadn’t seen all season long.

After Santos finished the season with an impressive 1.75 ERA in 29 appearances and striking out 28 batters in 25.2 innings pitched, Janssen may have all of a sudden been turned into solid trade bait, something that Anthopoulos will need in his back pocket come the MLB winter meetings if he wants to make another splash of some sort.

Believe it or not, even the hard-throwing Steve Delabar has made a case that he would be willing and most certainly able to pitch deeper into ball games, perhaps in front of Santos as the setup man in 2014.

Delabar finished the season with a 3.22 ERA while striking out an impressive 82 batters in only 58.2 innings pitched. Delabar needed to step up his game, and he did after he was voted into the All-Star game by many vote-happy Blue Jays fans and their computers.

Janssen did help his overall cause by pitching very well throughout this past season, but he has also helped pave the way for GM Anthopoulos to make a move of some sort at the expense of Janssen’s Blue Jays jersey. Both Santos and Delabar are both very much capable of filling the void as the setup man-closer duo if Janssen was moved during the offseason.

The crafty Janssen’s services could be used elsewhere as it is hard to find a consistently solid closer on the market. By shopping Janssen around, the Blue Jays may very well be able to fix that big problem they have behind the plate and at second base as well.

Jonny Adornetto is a Toronto Blue Jays Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonnyrants, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your Google network.