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Blue Jays Renovate Bullpen

January 29, 1985

TORONTO UPI--When Bill Caudill got the word that reliever Gary Lavelle had been obtained by the Toronto Blue Jays, he figured it was just about the best news he had heard.

The best news for Caudill, by far, though, would be that the Blue Jays had come up with the figures necessary to get his signature on a long-term contract.

But when contacted on Monday at his home in Bellevue, Wash., Caudill had to make do with talk about the only Blue Jay he has seniority over--Lavelle.

"I think it's a great trade," Caudill said of Saturday's deal which made Lavelle a Blue Jay and sent right-handed pitcher Jim Gott and minor leaguers Jack McKnight and Augie Schmidt to the San Francisco Giants. "It will make my job a whole lot easier. Working together we should be able to nail down a lot of victories.

"And with Gary around, it will take a lot of the pressure off me. It will be easier for him, too. Mentally it will be a lot easier knowing the other guy is around."

In 1984 Toronto ended the season in second place in the East Division of the American League with a record of 89-73. But 28 of the losses came out of the bullpen, forcing Pat Gillick, the Jays vice president of baseball operations, to make the revamping of the Toronto bullpen his No. 1 off-season project.

In December he acquired Caudill, a 28-year-old right-hander, from the Oakland A's for outfielder Dave Collins, shortstop Alfredo Griffin and cash. Last Thursday he plucked right-hander Tom Henke from the Texas organization in the free agent compensation draft. On Sunday, he shored up the left side of the bullpen with Lavelle.

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