Blue Jays stand pat
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos opted not to make another move prior to the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline on Sunday afternoon. The club was linked to Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez and Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta but ultimately decided to stand pat.
That doesn’t mean the team is done trading for the year. The Blue Jays still have until the end of August to reach deals and it’s likely that Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Edwin Encarnacion will remain available as Anthopoulos looks to continue to improve his organization from top to bottom. The difference with the next deadline is that each player must clear waivers before they can be traded to another team. That complicates matters and Anthopoulos’ asking price will still be high but the door hasn’t been completely closed on any deals.
Toronto made its big splash earlier in the week when it acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, Mark Teahan and P.J. Walters in a three-team trade with St. Louis and the Chicago White Sox. The addition of Rasmus provides the Blue Jays with another core piece and all of a sudden the off-season wish list is likely limited to additions to the pitching staff and deciding what to do at second base.
That blockbuster deal also took away most of the pressure from the current 25 men on the Toronto roster because they knew it was unlikely another major move was on the horizon.
“We’re where we are today,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said following Sunday’s victory over Texas. “Whether or not we make changes going forward, any player that comes from outside the organization is going to have to go through waivers but Alex is obviously very in tune with that.
“We’re getting three new players (Rasmus, Miller and Teahan) comfortable here. That’s probably the first and foremost focus and not worried about people coming from outside. The biggest thing is the deadline has past and we’re about going to Tampa and getting ready for that series.”
Catcher J.P. Arencibia is also someone that said the deadline didn’t have much of an impact once the Rasmus trade went through and those players started to settle in.
“It didn’t matter for us,” Arencibia said of the deadline. “At least for me I know that it’s something that I’ve really learned early in the game, you can only control what you can control. So that’s definitely something that I can’t control so why ever bother to have it as a thought in your mind.”
On increased competition for playing time…
“We’re closing in on a point where your performance is going to weigh heavily, which I think is a good thing. I think competition brings out the best in players and yes we’re at the point of performance is weighed into the equation of spots in the lineup and playing time.
“You have young players come to the Major Leagues, you have to provide opportunity to not only transition but to get to the point of being established. But when you bring in multiple guys that have similar skills and similar abilities ultimately performance wins out.”
On his 11-strikeout performance…
“I had a rough one last time out and like I said I wasn’t going to change anything. I’ve been throwing the ball well. I was locating the fastball down and away to lefties and to the righties real well. That was kind of my get ahead pitch all day and then my slider was there for me.
On the soldout crowd…
“It’s awesome when they fill this place up. The crowd really gets into it and I think the guys on the field it adds that level of energy that you can’t really seem to get sometimes. This place is so big, that when it’s 15,000 or even 20,000 it still feels empty because it’s such a large building. With that extra energy it’s fun to play.”
On improved performance of rotation…
I think we’ve been throwing the ball well for awhile now. I think everybody in the rotation has found their stride, it’s great to have Cecil back and throwing the ball like he can. Villanueva has been great and Mills was awesome yesterday. Everybody is throwing good, it’s kind of one of those things where you pass the baton and you want to keep going.
On trade deadline…
It didn’t really concern me too much. It was kind of just looking to see what the other teams do and I thought we made a good trade for our team. We’re excited to have Colby.
On whether pre-game ceremony caused a distraction…
“Not really, up until it went over time. I think we were supposed to start at 1:34 and we ended up starting at 1:42, 1:43. You just kind of think, in your head, of when an hour or so is, and then you usually start getting stretched and then go from there. The over time affects you a little bit, you don’t want to wait too long.”