Well, the Blue Jays have made a move, not one that will help out our lineup, but one that will add some depth to the bullpen and free up more money in the payroll.

They’ve traded their newly acquired C/1B Mike Napoli to the Texas Rangers for RP Frank Francisco and cash.

The Jays followed a trend that is increasing all throughout the Major League ball clubs: Strengthening and adding depth to their bullpen.

If you’re unfamiliar with Frank Francisco, he’s a name you should get to know. Although anytime a team adds a relief pitcher it isn’t the most exciting thing, Francisco is the real deal. He started 2010 closing for the Rangers and was replaced by the AL ROY Neftali Feliz (for obvious reasons) and became the primary set up man.

Francisco may have missed the entire last month of the season and playoffs with a strained side, but he should be good to go in Spring Training and ready to compete.

Let’s do a little comparison with the guy he’ll be competing with for the closing role: Octavio Dotel.


2010 Statistics:

                        W   L   ERA     G    IP       SV     BS    SO

O. Dotel             3    4    4.08   68   64.0     22      6      75

F. Francisco        6    4    3.76   56    52.2      2      4      60


Now, I know that Dotel had an off year last year and was shipped around to three different teams, but Francisco has shown that he can be and has been a legitimate closer and setup man.

Both of these guys have ERAs that need to come down, but Francisco has a fantastic K/9 average the last three years at almost 11. In that same time span, he’s averaging a 1.17 WHIP.

Like I said, it’s not the most exciting move but Francisco will either be our closer or our primary set up man this season, now that Anthopoulos has opened it up for competition.

If you’re a Jays fan, smile and be happy; if you’re a fan of another AL East team, beware because our bullpen just got that much better. 

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