Will Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos pull the trigger on a deal at baseball’s trade deadline?

Will Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos pull the trigger on a deal at baseball’s trade deadline?

The Jays may or may not be in the market for Heath Bell (Image: SD Dirk)

With baseball’s trade deadline just around the corner, rumours are flying as to what kind of magic Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos may have up his sleeve. On Thursday, reports emerged that the Bluebirds may be taking a close look at acquiring the San Diego Padres’ coveted closer Heath Bell. Bell is arguably the hottest commodity on the trade market (read: the Yanks, Red Sox and Phillies are all after him), and even if bringing in the 33-year-old doesn’t exactly fit in with the Blue Jays’ current youth movement, there are a number of reasons Anthopoulos might pull the trigger on the deal.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has more:

What are the Jays thinking?

It’s possible they want to acquire a reliever to spin him to another club. Then again, the Jays rank next to last in save percentage in the American League. They might want a genuine closer for next season.

Bell is a potential free agent, but the Jays would stand a better chance of signing him if they acquired him now and began the recruiting process while he was part of their club. At worst, they could offer him arbitration and collect two high draft picks if he left as a Type A free agent, helping replace the players they lost in the trade.

As Dustin Parkes at The Score’s Getting Blanked blog points out, the Blue Jays’ inclusion in the Heath Bell sweepstakes likely has to do with the fact that Anthopolous doesn’t speculate on trades to the media, so he hasn’t gone on record to deny the rumours (which means they must be true, right?). Regardless, if the price is right, we’re all for Anthopoulos trying to bolster a shaky bullpen situation with one of the game’s best.

Also, all this talk of closers—not to mention the induction of Roberto Alomar and arguably the greatest GM of all time, Pat Gillick, to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Sunday—has us feeling more than a little nostalgic for the good ol’ days when the Blue Jays rolled out the best bullpen in baseball. Bringing in Bell certainly won’t change that, but then again, what will?

Blue Jays interested in closer Heath Bell: report [CBC]
Blue Jays selling relievers—and buying, too [FOX Sports]
Just say no to Heath Bell [Getting Blanked]