Blue Jays Trade Rumors: Toronto in heavy on pitching market


Say this for Alex Anthopoulos, he’s no fool. He knows his team is a contender, but a flawed one and he hoped to fix that while Toronto Blue Jays still have a shot at the American League East crown.

Speaking with Jeff Blair of Sportsnet 590 The Fan, Anthopoulos opened up about Toronto’s need to improve the team’s pitching. And he’s not being coy about it, his intentions are to go out and find upgrades in both the starting rotation and the relief corps.

"“We still need to make upgrades in the rotation and the bullpen, that goes without saying,” Anthopoulos told Jeff Blair. “Clearly we’re looking to be active. We’re looking to add and make the club a lot better.”"

Those are some pretty brave words and some very welcome words to the ears of Blue Jays fans who have not been happy with the team’s efforts during the trade deadline in previous years. Of course, Anthopoulos isn’t going to go gung-ho either; his intention is to improve the team but to do so within the philosophies that have helped to build the Blue Jays’ farm system over the years.

"“The ability to not deviate from that (plan) and sticks to your philosophy and not bend, as much as you have needs and stuff like that, I think I’m starting to learn that is the right way to go.”"

It’s a bit of the double-talk contradiction that we’ve become accustomed to hearing from Anthopoulos over the years. It comes down to saying that the team will pursue upgrades, but they won’t be handcuffed into giving up their future  by over-spending on a trade target. That likely means that Toronto is not going to be heavily involved in the trade markets for Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto, or Aroldis Chapman. Additionally, the pick-up of an arm like Jonathan Papelbon will have to come at a price the team deems necessary.

Whether that means we’re resigned to secondary targets like Mike Leake or Aaron Harang in the rotation, or the Tyler Clippard-type reliever as a bullpen help remains to be seen. Then again, Anthopoulos also discusses the possibility that an arm like Aaron Sanchez could end up in the bullpen if the trade deadline pushes him out of the rotation.

The Blue Jays also have the luxury of not necessarily needing to pursue a long-term arm, at least in regards to the rotation. With a plethora of young talent coming up through the system, the return of Marcus Stroman undoubtedly making the team much better in the rotation in 2016, and a decidedly deep free agent market this winter, the Blue Jays could take the risk on an impending free agent that improves them short-term but doesn’t necessarily represent a return candidate either.

But that deal still needs to come at the right price.

Regardless, the 2015 MLB Trade Deadline promises to be very interesting and both the fans and the media will be following each and every Blue Jays rumor and uttering with increased intensity. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope that means the Blue Jays make some noise this summer, both on the field and in the transaction columns.

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