Let’s take a look at what is making headlines today:
-Gregor Chisholm at MLB.com isn’t buying the latest Blue Jays pitching rumours and feels GM Alex Anthopoulos is simply performing his normal due dilligence in scouting Joe Blanton and others.
Anthopoulos kicked the tires on right-hander Doug Fister last year and according to a source he also was in on Michael Pineda before the promising righty was dealt to the Yankees for top prospect Jesus Montero. In both cases, the Mariners asking price was too high and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Seattle was after third baseman Brett Lawrie — who isn’t going anywhere — because of his high-ceiling talent and the fact that he grew up in nearby Langley, British Columbia, while his sister became an NCAA softball star in the state of Washington.
The search for a front-line starter continued throughout the offseason as there were multiple reports Toronto had serious interest in the likes of Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos. Ultimately, the club decided to stick with the status quo because of the high demands and now that Spring Training has rolled around there’s no immediate reason to suspect that will change before Opening Day.
The fact that these reports are coming out now should suggest nothing other than that Anthopoulos is once again doing his due diligence.
Read his full story here, it is worth the read.
-Another pitcher rumoured to be available is lefty John Lannan. The Red Sox, Tigers and Astros are watching John Lannan and a deal involving the left-hander is “likely” Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweets. The Mets and Padres had interest, but balked at his $5MM salary.
Lannan doesn’t have a guaranteed rotation spot in Washington after posting a 3.70 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 184 2/3 innings last year, so he’s a potential trade candidate this spring. The Blue Jays, Royals and Tigers are among the teams monitoring the market for starting pitching, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported today.
-Mike Axisa at MLB Trade rumours reports:
Blue Jays hurlers Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek and drawing attention from scouts of other teams, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The team is reluctant to move Drabek while his value is down, however. He was acquired in the Roy Halladay trade and considered one of the game’s 30 best prospects just one year ago by Baseball America.
Cecil, 25, pitched to a 4.73 ERA in 123 2/3 innings for Toronto last season. His velocity had dropped noticeably, and he spent a dozen starts in Triple-A trying to figure things out. Drabek, 24, posted a 6.06 ERA with more walks (55) than strikeouts (51) in 78 2/3 innings last season. He spent another 75 ineffective innings in Triple-A. The left-handed Cecil is under team control through 2015, the right-handed Drabek through 2017.
Earlier today Rosenthal reported that the Jays were in the market to add starting pitching, not necessarily subtract it. They’ve spoken to the White Sox about Gavin Floyd and GM Alex Anthopoulos recently scouted Joe Blanton of the Phillies. Nationals’ left-hander John Lannan is said to be available as well. The Jays could be willing to move either Cecil or Drabek for a more established pitcher with a similar amount of team control years remaining.
-Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the Diamondbacks would have interest in catcher J.P. Arencibia if the Blue Jays made him available. Arencibia isn’t going anywhere just yet, but top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud could force the Blue Jays to make some difficult decisions within the year.
-It doesn’t appear the Blue Jays are close to acquiring White Sox SP Gavin Floyd Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com tweeted this morning. White Sox GM Kenny Williams went on record saying he wasn’t looking to move the right hander.