The Blue Jays are still interested in acquiring a starting pitcher, but won't say how interested they are in Masahiro Tanaka, the Toronto Star's Brendan Kennedy reports. "I have said that we’re definitely going to inquire on any free-agent pitchers that are out there," is about as specific as GM Alex Anthopoulos is willing to get.
If they don't sign Tanaka (and with the Yankees, Dodgers and other big-payroll teams interested, that might be a tall order), the Jays could pursue pitchers like Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Garza, whose markets have been slow to develop due to the uncertainty over Tanaka's status. Kennedy suggests that the Blue Jays would be in an especially favorable position with regard to Santana and Jimenez, who declined qualifying offers, because the Jays' first-round picks in 2014, ninth and 11th overall, are both protected.
It's still possible, also, that the Blue Jays could acquire a starting pitcher via trade, but Anthopoulos isn't sure whether a trade or free agency will be the best route. "I would say it’s 50-50 at this point," says Anthopoulos. "Free-agent prices tend to change as the winter goes along. I don’t know that I’d say one is more likely than the other at this point."