In the wake of what was a very busy week for MLB offseason activity, Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is looking to make some noise of his own by acquiring Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs via trade. Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com has heard from sources that Anthopoulos is trying to put together a package to bring the Notre Dame alum to Toronto to strengthen a starting pitching rotation that underachieved in 2013.
If Anthopoulos wants to see Samardzija in a Blue Jays uniform come Spring Training, he’s going to have to act quickly and continue to be aggressive. Other teams such as the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals have been linked to Samardzija, so there’s no time for hesitation on the Blue Jays’ part.
The question is, who is Anthopoulos willing to deal over what should only be the next few days? The longer it takes Anthopoulos to figure out the answer, the worse his chances will be for landing the 6-foot-6 righty.
Although their minor league depth isn’t what it was before last offseason’s blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins, the Blue Jays do have some top-notch hurlers of their own that they could include in a package deal in order to entice Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to part with Samardzija, and perhaps even more.
Top prospects Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman offer a substantial amount of talent that could set the Cubs up for success in the future, but they don’t possess the ability to make the Blue Jays better right now.
There’s no reason to believe that Anthopoulos should wait until the Winter Meetings to make a deal with the Cubs for Samardzija, let alone wait for Sanchez and/or Stroman to be able to pitch effectively in the show. He needs to follow suit in staying active within the market, as numerous teams around the league made it clear that this MLB offseason is going to be a very busy one.
In order to help hold up and support his new-found candidness, Anthopoulos needs to put his money where his mouth is and strengthen his rotation, and strengthen it fast.