Gregor Chisholm: Blue Jays have failed at developing bullpen depth and are paying the price for it

The Blue Jays bullpen has been a work in progress since general manager Ross Atkins arrived in 2015 and yet no matter what front office tried over the years, this group always seems to find itself one reliever short.

The market for high-leverage arms is one that teams don’t want to be shopping in right now. The costs in free agency are nearing record highs and acquiring arms through trade has proven to be every bit as prohibitive.

Unfortunately for the Jays, a lack of bullpen depth left them no choice. Whether it’s the off-season, or the trade deadline, the search for upgrades has become a continuous process and one that still has no end in sight.

The reason behind the Jays’ failed approach doesn’t really have anything to do with botched signings or trades. They’ve done a better job at amassing talent than one might think based on perceived weaknesses. These issues are about drafting and player development.

At a time when young, hard-throwing relievers are all the rage, the Jays have Jordan Romano, Tim Mayza and almost nobody else to show for their efforts. Cost-cutting measures aside, it’s why a team like the Jays would trade a two-time Silver Slugger winner in Teoscar Hernández for a reliever like Erik Swanson, who might not top 60 innings next year.

“I think relievers come from a lot of different areas in the game, across the entire industry,” Atkins said when…

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