Breslow among left-handed relievers on Blue Jays’ radar

MLB insider Shi Davidi joins Jeff Blair to discuss whether the Blue Jays should spend money on the bullpen, preferably a lefty specialist, or should they look to get a left-handed outfielder to platoon with Melvin Upton Jr.?

TORONTO – As the Toronto Blue Jays continue exploring the market for left-handed relievers, veteran southpaw Craig Breslow has emerged on their radar, according to an industry source.

The sides have been in touch in recent days and, as Rob Bradford of WEEI first reported, the Blue Jays were among the teams in attendance when Breslow worked out for scouts Monday.

Like Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who agreed to a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays Tuesday, Breslow played on the 2013 Red Sox team that won the World Series. Ben Cherington, the GM of that Red Sox team, now works for the Blue Jays as their vice president of baseball operations.

Along with Breslow, the market features some higher-profile left-handed options. Jerry Blevins, an excellent fit on paper, remains in contact with the Blue Jays, according to a source. Beyond that there’s Travis Wood, who’s believed to be seeking a starting job, and Boone Logan. While Blevins and Logan seem well-positioned to land multi-year deals, Breslow would be available more affordably on a one-year contract or perhaps a minor-league deal with incentives.

Finding a reliable left-handed reliever represents one of the Blue Jays’ biggest remaining challenges. A shutdown lefty can positively impact every series a team plays, as the Blue Jays experienced first-hand during Brett Cecil’s best stretches. Conversely, opening the season without a capable left-hander would leave manager John Gibbons short-handed in late-game situations against top bats like Chris Davis.

Breslow pitched for the Marlins in 2016, posting a 4.50 ERA with seven strikeouts in 14 innings. Miami released the 36-year-old in July, at which point he signed with the Texas Rangers. Over the course of 11 MLB seasons, he has a 3.35 ERA in 539 appearances.

Breslow’s recent workout was well-attended, with the Mets, Reds, Rockies, Indians and Giants also among those on hand. He has changed his arm slot in preparation for the 2017 season, one reason many teams attended.

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