Blue Jays rumors: Hutchison interest and Shapiro notes


Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro spoke with the media this evening in Nashville, covering several important bases. For starters, Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell is reporting that the Blue Jays have taken calls on the availability of pitcher Drew Hutchison. The 25-year old right hander struggled through a down season in 2015, and is expected to compete for the final spot in the rotation this coming spring.

It’s so easy to get caught up in labelling arms as buy-low candidates from a distance that we often forget one thing: MLB front offices aren’t stupid. Well, most aren’t. The value of Drew Hutchison has not completely vanished after 2015, and in this market, he probably holds more value than you’d think. Still, the Blue Jays would be dealing from a position of need, not depth, and with the high ceiling that Hutchison still possesses, it would take an awfully creative deal to make that logical.

The recent signing of Darwin Barney takes care of a small depth need in Toronto’s middle infield, especially with Devon Travis potentially missing the start of 2016 while recovering from shoulder surgery. Wilner also reports that Shapiro indicated Toronto is closing in on another target, believed to be Yusmeiro Petit. Shapiro also was quoted as saying they’d been targeting mid-level arms for the bullpen, so that match makes further sense.

Shapiro also made some comments on the current exchange rate and how it effects the Blue Jays. It’s mostly something he danced around, using his go-to line of “a unique set of circumstances” to describe the situation, but did offer up some optimism on the state of Toronto’s budget entering 2016.

If I never heard another word about the Blue Jays / Rogers payroll it would still be too soon, so I won’t hold it against you if you’re not buying this. But at the same time, it’s something, and I don’t believe that Shapiro is desperate to set himself up for even more backlash here.

This final note is an intriguing one, too, as the Blue Jays hold the 26th pick in the Rule 5 draft. Five teams ahead of them enter with full 40-man rosters, essentially making Toronto’s pick the 21st. Any player selected by Toronto in the Rule 5 would need to stay on the roster throughout the season or be offered back to their original franchise, so keep an eye on high-upside arms that could fit Toronto’s bullpen picture.

There’s a lot to digest here, so feel free to take this in whichever direction you please. Is the Barney signing and rumor of a Petit signing doing anything for your Blue Jays Blues? How about this payroll chatter?