The Toronto Blue Jays were one of the preseason favorites to win the World Series going into the 2013 season thanks to two major trades that revamped their roster, only to crash and burn their way to a last-place finish when injuries exposed a lack of depth over the course of a season.
Despite all that disappointment and the prospect cost involved, general manager Alex Anthopoulos is willing to explore the trade market once more this winter. The Jays' GM is looking to acquire some legitimate pitching for a team deep on bats and woefully short on arms, per Sportsnet.
Last season, the Blue Jays' team ERA was only better than the Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the American League, despite acquiring Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, and Josh Johnson in trades. With little quality starting pitching available in the free agent class, Anthopoulos is has been rumored to be going after Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija.
Samardzija had a rough year in 2013, posting an 8-13 record with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP as the follow-up to a breakout, league-average 2012. While he wouldn't fix the rotation all by himself, anything that keeps the Jays from relying on more Ricky Romero is a step in the right direction.