Sportsnet’s Barry Davis reports that the Blue Jays have taken reliever Sergio Santos out of the closer’s role and will rely on a closer-by-committee until Casey Janssen returns from the disabled list. Santos has allowed three runs in his two most recent outings, blowing saves both times. Santos currently owns a 10.61 ERA with a 17/9 K/BB ratio and three home runs allowed in 9 1/3 innings.
With Janssen still on the disabled list with an oblique injury, Aaron Loup and Brett Cecil are expected to be the top two candidates for save opportunities in the meantime.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.