In earth shattering news, Jon Morosi is reporting that the Jays scouted two potential candidates for their 2013 rotation in the A’s Brett Anderson who left the game with a strained oblique and Anibal Sanchez, the Tigers’ deadline acquisition and soon-to-be free agent.
While the Anderson rumours first surfaced around the non-waiver deadline, no deal was done as he made his return to the A’s rotation after returning from Tommy John surgery. While it was widely rumoured that Yunel Escobar would be the centerpiece of any trade forly the young, cheap and controllable left-hander. The A’s were in need of offense at the time and the Jays had a young defensive phenom in Las Vegas waiting to step into his shoes. It was also rumoured at the time that the A’s asking price was too steep and the Jays were unwilling to pay it. Though Tommy John surgery is pretty routine at this point, it is possible that Anthopolous was a bit wary of making a major decision without a bigger body of work on which to judge Anderson’s return.
Considering the recent incident involving Yunel and eye black, the Jays may be more than willing to trade their former 4 WAR shortstop with a team-friendly contract in a package for Anderson. However, Billy Beane is undoubtedly aware of the dark cloud following Yunel and the effect that has upon his market value. If Beane was unwilling to do Anderson for Yunel without legitimate prospects in July, he may up his demands this offseason from what might have been the C+/B- range into the B/B+ range that Aaron Sanchez/Syndergaard occupy.
Anibal Sanchez seems like another case of AA doing his homework on a major pending free agent in case there’s a bargain to be had. Considering that Sanchez represents the silver medal in the Greinke sweepstakes, it would seem very unlikely that the Jays would get into a bidding war in drought conditions on the free agent market. Using the Jays’ wealth of prospects to acquire a young and controllable piece for the rotation seems to fit better with the team’s stated philosophy and its activity under Anthopolous’ rule.
In Getting Blanked’s recent interview with AA, the Jays GM reiterated that he has a range to work within but has the ability to increase payroll given the right conditions. Those conditions don’t seem like they’re compatible with a serious run for Anibal Sanchez this offseason but anything for the right price.