As if signing Russell Martin wasn’t enough, the Blue Jays are also looking to address their rotation and bullpen. Toronto is one of the six teams in the market for southpaw Jon Lester, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reports. The Jays have also been “very aggressive” in courting Andrew Miller, Sportsnet’s Jeff Blair (Twitter link) hears from a source on another team in pursuit of the free agent reliever.
As a durable top-of-the-rotation arm with a lot of AL East familiarity, Lester makes sense for the Jays, though they already have six starters (Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada) in play for their 2015 rotation. Starting pitching isn’t an obvious need, though since the Blue Jays will probably have to move at least one starter to address other needs anyway, they could package two arms in one deal or make multiple trades. The Martin signing indicates that Toronto is willing to spend and be players in free agency, though meeting Lester’s projected six-year/$150MM price tag would take things to another level for the Jays.
The Red Sox are known to be one of Lester’s other five suitors, and it’s safe to assume that the Cubs are another given how they’re meeting with him this week and have been so often linked in rumors.
Miller recently met with the Jays, and it’s probably no surprise that Toronto is being aggressive given that they’re one of a whopping 22 teams who have reportedly checked in with agent Mark Rodgers about Miller’s services. Miller is looking for a four-year deal at minimum, and he’ll likely find it with such a healthy market. The Blue Jays could offer Miller a closing role, as Casey Janssen is likely to depart in free agency and Toronto has no clear in-house replacement for the ninth inning job.