Atkins: Blue Jays open to acquiring ‘super high impact’ player in offseason



The Toronto Blue Jays are fresh off completing their most successful season in four years after being eliminated from the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Rays, and general manager Ross Atkins already has his eye on the future.

Toronto’s general manager recently expressed a desire to add an impact pitcher in free agency during the offseason.

“I think we are in a position where we could add to this team with talent that is condensed in one player and super high impact,” Atkins said Friday, according to MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson.

“We’re going to continue to think about how we can build upon this group, and hopefully it’s both complementary as well as making a really high impact.”

Atkins didn’t mention specific names he’s targeting, but trade-deadline additions Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray are free agents and could return.

Chase Anderson is also an option, although he struggled this season. The right-hander has a $9.5-million club option for 2021.

2020 stats w/ Blue Jays

PITCHER IP ERA WHIP FIP SO
Chase Anderson 33.2 7.22 1.63 6.16 38
Robbie Ray 20.2 4.79 1.74 5.32 25
Taijuan Walker 26.1 1.37 1.25 4.14 25

Some other pitchers who are free agents and could classify as “high impact” include starters Trevor Bauer, James Paxton, and Marcus Stroman, as well as relievers Liam Hendriks, Alex Colome, and Kirby Yates.

If free agency doesn’t provide the Blue Jays with something worthwhile, Atkins mentioned seeking upgrades via trade.

“As always, one of the biggest variables in this pursuit will be dollars and cents. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the finances of different clubs in different ways, creating an extremely uncertain outlook as we eventually approach free agency,” Atkins said.

“Some believe this could open up the trade market, with teams more willing to use prospects over cash to acquire talent entering 2021.”



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