Top of the 49th: Molina as Jays closer?

November 28, 2011, 10:01 PM

John Farrell appeared on the Jeff Blair Show Monday on Sportsnet Radio Fan 590, and the Toronto Blue Jays skipper discussed a number of topics ranging from his future with the team to his personal off-season wish list.

Not surprisingly, Farrell was coy when asked about the Red Sox’s interest in him.

Surprising however was Farrell’s admission that the Blue Jays have discussed internally the possibility of grooming highly-touted, double-A starter Nestor Molina as a potential closer.

Here’s what else we learned Monday from Farrell…

The Jays love Molina’s makeup

"Nestor Molina is a guy who we’ve had some internal discussions about who might fit that role, for multiple reasons," said Farrell. "No. 1, emotionally he seems to have handled everything that’s been thrown his way. He’s got exceptional command of his fastball and he’s got a split-finger that’s a put-away pitch.

"So whether or not we look to make that decision this winter is probably premature, but he’s a guy that we’ve had discussions about in that role going forward."

He wasn’t surprised that Jose Molina signed with the Rays

"Not completely," he said. "He did a great job for us not only last year, but the two years he was here. And we have some other options that we’ve talked about internally."

One option might Brian Jeroloman, but not Travis d’Arnuad

"We’re all in agreement that time spent in Las Veags and possibly a good majority of next year would do (d’Arnaud’s) personal development a world of good," said Farrell.

Sportsnet Audio: John Farrell on Jeff Blair Show

A closer is at the top of Farrell’s off-season shopping list

"The list remains consistent with what was discussed at the end of the season," he explained. "We need to upgrade our pitching. We’d like to settle in on one closer rather than multiple options late in the game. I think it’s important to be able to build back to one defined guy in that role in the closer’s spot. Where that guy comes from, whether it’s a free agent that we sign, a trade that’s made, or whether we look to turn that over to some guy internally…I think closer is No. 1."

Don’t expect any juicy replies regarding Red Sox rumours

"At the uniform unveiling, the question was raised and I am completely and very happy to be part of the Blue Jays organization," said Farrell. "I love what I’m doing. I don’t view any other opportunities or rumours about openings as a distraction from what I’m currently doing, so in my mind, I’m a Toronto Blue Jay.

"I have no idea what’s going on in Boston. I’m totally committed to the Blue Jays and focused on 2012. That has not changed. When rumours come up, sure it’s flattering, but at the same time I completely enjoy working with the coaches that are here on this staff, the front office that is in place and the players we have."

He doesn’t believe the Jays should react to AL East team’s moves

"Do we have needs? No doubt about it. We’ve got four areas that, I feel, have to be addressed in some form or fashion and I know Alex is working his butt off to put the best team together that he possibly can," he said. "Whatever happens in New York or Boston or Tampa or Baltimore, we have no control over that. You start to get in trouble when you pay attention to others and lose focus on what your needs are."


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