Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/25/14
When the Toronto Blue Jays’ disappointing 2013 season came to an end, general manager Alex Anthopoulos made it clear that he intended to bolster his rotation, but four months later the starting staff consists of the same pitchers. There aren’t as many options now that Masahiro Tanaka has signed and Matt Garza appears to be nearing a deal with the Brewers, but Anthopoulos hasn’t run out of time or options. Speaking to reporters in Vancouver Friday, he suggested that the Blue Jays are ‘not done yet.’ “We’ve had a lot of dialogue, there are still a lot of players out there,” he said. “We just haven’t been able to line up with respect to a price whether it’s trade or free agent costs. We do have the ability on some trade fronts to just say ‘yes.’ We do know what the asking prices are, we’re just not ready to pay the price. “From a free agent standpoint with some of the remaining free agents that are out there, we have been given a price and we just don’t necessarily see the value right now. We’re going to continue to have dialogue. We’re certainly not done yet. Hopefully we’ll be able to add a little bit more, but at the same time we’re not going to force anything.” If the season were to open today, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ would likely form four fifths of the Toronto rotation. Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond, Drew Hutchison, Sean Nolin and Marcus Stroman would be among the candidates in competition to become the club’s fifth starter. With Hutchison, Morrow and Kyle Drabek returning from various injuries, the Blue Jays have more depth than they did a year ago. “We’re still having dialogue and trying to upgrade, but we do have some upside to some of the guys that are coming back,” Anthopoulos said, noting that Morrow could give the team a particularly “huge boost.” With Tanaka and Garza off of the market, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez are the top available starters. While both Santana and Jimenez are attached to draft pick compensation after declining qualifying offers, there’s reason to believe they’ll both draw plenty of interest. Though many expect the free agents to sign soon, Anthopoulos isn’t counting on quick resolution.
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