The Blue Jays have shown at least some offseason interest in free agent right-hander Lance Lynn and center fielder Jarrod Dyson, according to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, who also lists the previously reported Lorenzo Cain and Alex Cobb. Whether they add any of those players, other free agents or go the trade route, the Blue Jays still have the payroll flexibility to make notable moves, Davidi explains. And general manager Ross Atkins suggested to Davidi and other reporters Saturday that the Jays aren’t yet satisfied with their their outfield or starting pitching, adding that they “could go several directions” for help. “We feel like we have one of the better systems in baseball, it’s not the best, we still have work to do, we feel that we’re probably in the top third, but we have plenty of depth to protect us throughout the major-league season, to provide options for us throughout the major-league season and to trade from,” Atkins said. “Whether that’s a bigger deal or a smaller deal, we’ll see, but we are now in a position where we have that option.”
More on a few other American League teams:
- The Rangers are still in touch with free agent right-hander Andrew Cashner, who’s interested in re-signing with the team, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reports. After Cashner joined the Rangers on a $10MM guarantee last winter, the Texas native proceeded to toss 166 2/3 innings of 3.40 ERA ball, but that came with the majors’ worst K/BB ratio among qualified starters. Cashner, 31, is reportedly seeking a three-year contract this time around. If the Rangers ultimately do bring Cashner back, he’d follow Doug Fister, Mike Minor and Matt Moore as the fourth established rotation piece to latch on with them this winter (though Minor hasn’t started a big league game since 2014).
- Earlier this week, Tigers general manager Al Avila discussed the futures of shortstop Jose Iglesias, third baseman/outfielder Nicholas Castellanos and catcher James McCann with Dan Dickerson and Pat Caputo on 97.1’s The Ticket (via Katie Strang of The Athletic; subscription required and strongly recommended). Avila expects Iglesias to be the Tigers’ Opening Day shortstop, but he acknowledged that the 28-year-old’s time with the franchise is likely to conclude in the near future. Iglesias “may well be traded at the trade deadline, if not sooner, depending on the needs that teams have out there for a shortstop,” said Avila. Strang goes on to break down potential replacements within the organization for Iglesias, who’s in his last year of arbitration eligibility (he’ll make a projected $5.6MM). Castellanos is in his penultimate year of arb control, meanwhile, and he’ll collect around $7.6MM. Although the Tigers have come up short in extending Castellanos, “he might be a guy that we stick with,” commented Avila, who noted that the soon-to-be 26-year-old’s stock would increase “quite a bit” if he were to make a successful transition to the outfield. McCann is under control for the next three years, but Avila suggested that he could be a trade candidate, per Strang. (In case you missed it, MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently examined Iglesias, Castellanos, McCann and the rest of Detroit’s potential trade chips.)
- The Diamondbacks “doubled back with renewed interest” in Orioles infielder Manny Machado, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. A deal is not imminent, though, as Kubatko notes that nobody has sent the pitching-needy Orioles an offer good enough to convince them to move Machado. As of December, Arizona reportedly wasn’t willing to part with third baseman Jake Lamb in a Machado package.