In an excellent interview with Sportsnet.ca’s Prime Time Sports (video link), Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos addressed a number of topics. A full listen is highly recommended, but here are some of the highlights:
- Young righty Marcus Stroman will get a chance to hold down a rotation spot, Anthopoulos said. The GM hopes that Stroman will benefit from the fact that he has already worked through the nerves of receiving his first call-up.
- It was a tough decision, but the club will demote Liam Hendriks to clear away an excess starter from the active roster. Though he could have taken a bullpen role, the team decided it wanted to keep him stretched out in the minors, MLB.com’s Jamie Ross reports.
- After a few extra days off, Drew Hutchison tossed a nice game tonight upon returning to the rotation. Anthopoulos explained that the team is just looking to “be preemptive” with finding rest early in the season for the 23-year-old. While there are no hard inning limits, the GM said that the club wants to take advantage now of opportunities to keep the staff fresh.
- The Jays will face touch choices with two outfielders set to hit the free agent market in Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera. Anthopoulos said that he would not rule out the possibility of in-season extension talks with either of those two players, though he said that his preference is always to avoid the distraction that comes with talking during the year.
- More generally, Anthopoulos emphasized that the Blue Jays’ flexible and substantial payroll capacity gave the team an advantage in extension scenarios. Because it can afford to wait to decide whether to attempt a new deal without being quite as concerned with rising prices, he said, the team is better able to limit risk and avoid sunk costs on the roster.