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Closer Report: Blue Jays

The Blue Jays currently have a three-man competition at closer, with Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor, and Scott Downs duking it out.  Gregg is a recent free agent signee, while Frasor and Downs are entering their walk years and are trade candidates.  Since all three pitchers are being drafted in the 26th round or later, Toronto presents a nice fantasy opportunity if you pick right.

Right now all we know is that Gregg signed in part because he'll get a shot at closing, and manager Cito Gaston will make the decision (MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reporting).  According to Mock Draft Central, fantasy owners are currently voting for Downs (311.73), Frasor (323.34), and Gregg (327.29) in that order.

There is reason to believe Downs won't be the guy.  The Toronto Star's Richard Griffin notes that Downs is not the lights-out type for the ninth inning.  That's understandable; Downs is a southpaw who averages about 90 mph on his heater.  Frasor throws harder and he's right-handed.  Downs and Frasor both had better peripherals than Gregg in 2009, though they lack his closing experience.  Of the three, only Downs had a strong groundball rate.

So while you could make a case for any of the three, I'd be surprised to see Downs get the nod with two capable righties also in the mix.  If you're drafting now, take Gregg.  Unlike Frasor, Gregg's not a spring trade candidate.  And I'm guessing Gaston will choose the experienced closer even if Frasor stays.




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