Blue Jays with outfielders to spare

The Blue Jays acquired outfielder Ben Francisco from the Phillies on Monday afternoon in what appears to be a minor move but one that could be a precursor for something much bigger.

Toronto already has a plethora of outfielders on its 40-man roster. Travis Snider and Eric Thames have been expected to compete for the starting job in left field while Colby Rasmus and Jose Bautista round out the three positions. The speedy Rajai Davis likely fits in as the club’s fourth outfielder but Francisco and Edwin Encarnacion can be found on the club’s depth chart as well.

That’s too many players for too few positions on the Blue Jays’ roster and it’s possible this now gives the club enough flexibility to make a run at Oakland No. 1 starter Gio Gonzalez. The two sides engaged in trade talks during last week’s Winter Meetings in Dallas but it was not immediately clear whether a trade could be worked out.

Oakland expressed interest in Snider last season but the A’s would also need a package a prospects to pull the trigger on dealing Gonzalez, who is under club control for the next four seasons. 

— Gregor Chisholm

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