Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (audio link) that he’s zeroing in on fixing the starting five before addressing the relief situation. “That’s probably more our priority,” Anthopoulos said. “We could use both, but if I did have to prioritize it I’d say rotation first, bullpen would be next.” Pitcher Aaron Sanchez is expected to join the rotation upon returning from a lat strain, but the GM went on to say that he wouldn’t rule out using Sanchez in the bullpen if he were able to acquire two superior starters via trade. Here’s more out of the AL East..
- It doesn’t sound like we should expect the Blue Jays to pull off any deals anytime soon. “Very few teams are willing to do anything early…Really we might be the only one willing to do anything now,” Anthopoulos said (via SiriusXM on Twitter).
- Red Sox hurler Justin Masterson won’t specifically say that he’ll ask for a trade, but he did acknowledge the possibility, as Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald writes. “I dont know if it’s in my nature to do that, to say, ‘Beat it guys, trade me or put me in [the rotation],’” he said. “No, I don’t think that’s the time right now. Especially the way I see this team going and the way I believe in this team too.” Masterson, who is signed to a one-year, $9.5MM deal, could conceivably draw interest from a team in need of a starter. For his part, Masterson would much rather start than pitch in relief.
- The Yankees announced that reliever Sergio Santos will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, as Grace Raynor of MLB.com writes. Santos made two appearances with the Yankees after signing a minor league pact earlier this month. Over parts of six MLB seasons, Santos owns a career 3.98 ERA with 11.2 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi suspects that Ivan Nova’s next start will be in the big leagues, Ryan Hatch of The Star-Ledger writes. Nova last pitched in the majors in April 2014 and underwent surgery on his elbow shortly afterward.
- Tim Britton of The Providence Journal looked at why the Red Sox have been underperforming their projections despite an active offseason.