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Bailey could be the answer for Toronto

Updated: November 8, 2011, 12:04 PM ET
By Buster Olney

The Toronto Blue Jays were tied for third in blown saves in 2011 with 25, and in the still of the offseason, club officials will inevitably play the what-if game (and you can't blame them).

What if Toronto's relievers had been just mildly more efficient and had not blown just six leads? Well, rather than finishing the year at 81-81, Toronto would have been within a stone's throw of the wild card. The Jays might've been part of some three-team mix at the end, with the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox.

It stands to reason that in 2012, when the Blue Jays may seemingly take a long stride forward toward contending for their first playoff appearance since 1993, a shutdown closer could make an enormous difference for Toronto. The word is that the Blue Jays are aggressively seeking an experienced closer, either through the free-agent market or in the trade market -- someone who will reward Toronto's developing starting pitchers for their efforts.

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