Blue Jays: Anthopoulos speaks on Norris, trades and more!


Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos spoke with the media prior to Toronto’s Canada Day matinee, covering all bases from the club’s trade talks to prospects that could impact the 25-man roster down the stretch. With the starting rotation representing the obvious need, which Anthopoulos openly admits, and the GM will soon have a live look at Daniel Norris in Buffalo. 

This tweet from Arden Zwelling could mean one of two things. The wording of “spot start” could imply that his trip back to the MLB level amounts to nothing more than an added day of rest for the rotation, much like Scott Copeland and Todd Redmond offered earlier this season. There is a chance, however, that a poor outing from Matt Boyd could leave the door open for Norris to reclaim the fifth spot in the rotation and hit the ground running after the All Star break.

Both Shi Davidi and Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet break down the current trade market, which appears to be on the brink of cracking open. Zwelling’s tweet regarding a near-deal in 2014 in striking, however, and should do plenty to fuel speculation around B-level arms this month.

Anthopoulos is clearly a buyer that is desperately seeking arms. Other GMs have taken note of this, and will be quick to ask for stud prospects like Jeff Hoffman, Anthony Alford or Sean Reid-Foley in trade discussions. With the ability to eat some salary when needed, perhaps Toronto could swoop in and relieve a seller of a contract owed to a player experiencing a sub-par season. This level of trade target worked out for the New York Yankees last season with Brandon McCarthy.

Castro’s name has fallen off the Blue Jays radar until recently, as he’s burst back onto the scene during his rehab sting with Advanced-A Dunedin. Castro pitched two clean innings in his last outing, hitting 100 MPH multiple times. If he can recapture the form that generate such huge buzz in April, the Blue Jays could strike gold without spending a dime outside of the organization.

After admitting that the plan was to keep Dalton Pompey at the AA New Hampshire level for the time being, Anthopoulos gave some not-so-reassuring news about left fielder Michael Saunders. Even if Saunders were to return in early August, his timing could be well behind starting pitchers who are finding their mid-season groove. Hopes remain high for the physically talented Canadian to return to a starting role this season, but it’s best to tap the brakes on any expectations we may have for him in 2015.

Lastly, Davidi notes that utility infielder Steve Tolleson has been designated for assignment, removing him from the 40-man roster, after being activated from the DL. The Blue Jays now have 10 days to either return Tolleson to the roster, trade him (good luck with that), release him or outright him to the Minor Leagues. The DFA limbo can be extremely difficult on cusp players like Tolleson, so here’s hoping for a quick resolve.

Next: A Blue Jays Canada Day VIDEO Journey

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