MLB Rumors: Blue Jays & Cardinals Talked Trade Over Closer

The Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals have been talking this offseason. The Jays have a catcher for sale, and the Cards were in need. "Were" being the operative word there. St. Louis has since signed three-time All-Star backstop Willson Contreras to a 5-year, $87.5M deal. One reason the talks with Toronto broke down was the Jays' exorbitant ask. 

According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, in return for catcher Danny Jansen, Toronto was asking for Cards' closer Ryan Helsley, which shut down the conversation. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is also reporting that Helsley was discussed.

The 28-year-old Helsley, who regularly blows past 100 mph on the radar gun, had a breakout season in 2022, reaching All-Star status. He posted a 9-1 record with a 1.25 ERA and 19 saves. He also allowed just 28 hits in 64.2 innings pitched for a minuscule WHIP of 0.74, while amassing a ridiculous 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings. 

Granted, the Blue Jays already have a closer of their own in Jordan Romano. The 29-year-old Canadian notched 36 saves this past season, while also earning an All-Star nod, and posting a 2.11 ERA with 10.3 K/9. But imagine a pairing of the two of them at the back end of the bullpen. The Jays were imagining it. The Cardinals were not. 

Toronto was also interested in Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbar (as were a number of teams), as part of their talks with St. Louis. 

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