Some interesting stuff here from Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, who has tweeted out a statement from Alex Anthopoulos. Which appears to be just the tip of the iceberg from the GM’s main media session for the day– in which case, more updates may be to follow (not looking a whole lot like it though).
Here’s what Ben has given us so far:
Blue Jays still more likely to pursue trades than free agent signings per AA. Could pursue FA starters in January if prices drop.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) December 9, 2013
This is not exactly surprising for a couple of reasons: first, the market for free agent pitchers just hasn’t heated up yet, as clubs continue to wait on the status of Masahiro Tanaka– who Ben indicates in another tweet the Jays may bid on. Anthopoulos wouldn’t say for sure, “but he made it clear that they’d have dialogue about all top arms.”
Secondly, two of the remaining top pitching targets– Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana– have draft picks tied to them that could really hurt their markets. And since the Jays would only have to give up a second-rounder– neither of their two first-round picks– in order to sign one, they have an advantage, and a reason to think they may be able to keep waiting out the market. I don’t think we’ll be talking full-on Kyle Lohse situation here, but I could definitely see those players getting a little bit desperate if the interest doesn’t pick up the way they’d like in January, and the Jays potentially being able to swoop in and make a deal. It’s just that much more palatable to them to do so than it would be for a team giving up a first.
Then again, they may not have room for those guys by then, because the trade market sure is simmering– even if, as Ben tells us, Anthopoulos says he hasn’t had to cast a terribly wide net in his search for a top quality starter, because there just aren’t that many available.