Source: Blue Jays & Phillies in Bidding War Over Closer


The Pittsburgh Pirates are ready to deal closer Richard Rodriguez, and from reports, it looks as though the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies—two teams with bullpen dumpster fires—are in a bidding war. 

One factor that could sway this in Toronto's favor, as pointed out by MLB insider Jon Morosi, is that the Pirates' current GM, Ben Cherington, formerly held the same role with the Blue Jays, and is very familiar with their farm system. 

The 31-year-old Rodriguez is having a strong season as the Pirates closer, with a 2.82 ERA and 14 saves, and his walk rate (0.99 per 9 innings) is at a career low.

Additionally, and this is a crucial point for the "team control" conscious front office of the Blue Jays, Rodriguez is under team control through 2023, a huge bonus for Toronto GM Ross Atkins and team president Mark Shapiro. It's something they'd be willing to pay a little extra for. 

Both the Jays and Phillies are desperate for relief help; bullpen breakdowns have cost each team many victories this season, as they each cling to the outer edges of the playoff race.

If the Jays or Phillies falter in the race for RichRod, the Braves, A's, and Astros are thought to be ready to swoop in.  

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