Blue Jays focus first on rotation help; but keep an eye on 2B and Cs
Toronto is meeting with the agents for all the best free-agent starters.
ORLANDO -- The Blue Jays are making appointments with all the top free-agent starters, including Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez, and are said to be dedicating their winter to improving their rotation. Which makes sense considering that as a rotation, they ranked 29th of 30 teams.
Toronto will also look for a second baseman, though it appears top free agent Robinson Cano is well out of their financial reach. Too bad, because Cano and Jays shortstop Jose Reyes teamed up to help the Dominican Republic win the WBC. They like Cano of course (what's not to like?), but a person familiar with Toronto's thinking suggested its money is almost sure to be spent on starters, saying of Cano, "Too bad he's not in the discount rack."
The Blue Jays haven't said it, but competing executives believe they'll look at catcher, too, after J.P. Arencibia's rough year. He hit 21 home runs and had 55 RBI, but batted .194 with a .227 on-base percentage. "He's supposed to be an offensive catcher, too," one rival executive noted.
The Blue Jays traditionally are willing to listen on anyone, so there's been speculation they could even move Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion. That speculation hasn't reached Reyes yet, who they like very much, and one Blue Jays connected person said he has a hard time envisioning the team better by trading Reyes.
The big focus, though, is on starters. It'll help that Brandon Morrow appears to be back to full health. But they know they still need help. Toronto's 4.81 rotation ERA was second worst to Minnesota's 5.26.