Blue Jays rumors: Team looking for starting pitcher, not discussing Bautista trade

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

The Blue Jays have enquired about starting pitchers around the league as they look to fill a hole in their rotation.

The Toronto Blue Jays have inquired with teams about starting pitchers, but have yet to make an offer, general manager Alex Anthopoulos told ESPN's Jim Bowden on Sirius XM Radio. He also says the team has not put serious thought into trading either Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion.

Anthopoulos was specifically asked about recent rumors that the team had been putting together a package of prospects to acquire Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. He declined to comment on specific rumors, but rather than deny the two sides had talked, Anthopoulos said the team is "definitely exploring starters but ... have not made an offer." He then emphasized that the team was definitely enquiring, however.

The Blue Jays are talking to one other team about a "smaller trade", Anthopoulos says, though he declined to go into further detail. He also says the team has looked into free agent starting pitching as well.

"We've probably talked about all those guys, definitely all the starters," Anthopoulos told Bowden. "Definitely have made calls to all those guys to get a sense what their price might be, whether it's someone like [Matt] Garza or anyone."

Toronto has "ear-marked" most of their offseason money for starting pitching, says Anthopolous, though they are still looking to acquire a new catcher. The team has "not entertained" the notion of trading either Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion to upgrade another position, despite some rumors that Bautista could be moved.

The Blue Jays made big moves last year to upgrade their pitching staff, acquiring Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey in trades. Those moves did not work out quite as well as they hoped with the team stumbling to a 74-88 finish. Johnson recently signed with the Padres as a free agent, leaving Toronto with a hole in their rotation once again.

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