Alex Anthopoulos may be looking to add another piece to the Jays rotation this week. (Getty Images)Ever since completing a 12-player deal that changed the landscape of the franchise, the big question surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays has been whether or not general manager Alex Anthopoulos is done dealing.
With the MLB winter meetings underway in Nashville it's likely that should the Jays want to execute another deal, a trade could be completed prior to the conclusion of the meetings Thursday. Toronto may also look to the free agent market to add another piece to their roster.
Reports from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal over the weekend indicated that Toronto might be inclined to add an arm to their already strong rotation. As of now — in no particular order — the Jays starting rotation includes newly acquired pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle along with Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ. Rosenthal has said that the Jays are more likely to add depth to their rotation rather than upgrading for Happ — the projected fifth starter — and that might involve having to move one of their catchers.
The Jays found themselves in serious trouble last season when Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchinson all suffered long-term injuries and the team's lack of depth on the mound was one of the many reasons they faltered in 2012. With the lofty expectations now surrounding the new-look roster, it can't hurt to add another experienced arm to the rotation, as a sort of insurance should the injury bug plague the Jays again in 2013.
"We have bodies, just what's the quality? You're just trying to get as much quality as you can," Anthopoulos told the club's beat writers last week. "If you look at the teams that win, they normally don't have to use 10 or 11 starters, when it comes to that point, something's gone wrong, guys aren't performing or guys are getting hurt. Most teams that win use something in the eight range."
And as Shi Davidi said in a column last week, beyond rookie Chad Jenkins, the Jays options on the mound thin out quickly after the starting five.
Names like Jon Niese and Wade Davis have already been mentioned as pitchers the organization may be interested in. Niese started in 30 games for the New York Mets last season and finished the year with a 13-9 record and 3.40 ERA, while Davis spent the majority of last season coming out of the bullpen appearing in 54 games (70 1/3 innings) but also has experience in a starting role.
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun also pointed out that the Jays could maybe use their depth in the outfield in order to swing another deal and include Colby Rasmus in a package for a pitcher. Should they take that route, speedy youngster Anthony Gose could replace Rasmus in centerfield.
It's anybody's guess as to who the Jays might move or add this week in Nashville and while the team isn't likely to walk out of the winter meetings with another blockbuster addition to their roster, at this point the big pieces are already in place. Now it's just about filling in the gaps.