Anthopoulos: Blue Jays eyeing infield upgrades

June 18, 2014, 11:51 AM

In an ideal world, the Toronto Blue Jays would add an everyday infielder between now and July 31. One day after explaining that the Blue Jays could pursue position players as well as pitchers leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, general manager Alex Anthopoulos joined Baseball Central on Sportsnet 590 The Fan and offered some specifics.

“If there’s a way that we could eliminate that platoon scenario in the infield, and just have one everyday player, that would certainly free things up for the bench and so on,” Anthopoulos told Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker. “That’s probably one area that in a perfect world you have that player.”

For now, the Blue Jays are shuffling Brett Lawrie between second and third base with Juan Francisco or Munenori Kawasaki playing against right-handers and Steve Tolleson playing against left-handers. If the Blue Jays could acquire a second baseman, or even a third baseman, they would have more stability in their lineup and more flexibility on their bench. However, the GM indicated that he’d primarily be interested in pursuing players who’d represent a significant upgrade over the team’s current options.

Anthopoulos also said carrying three catchers compromises the team’s bench depth, and added that “the roster’s still fluid.” The Blue Jays could also be in the market for a right-handed bench bat and would like to carry a true backup centre fielder along with Colby Rasmus.

“The fact that we’re carrying three catchers right now and going with some platoons in the infield, it just really makes for a shorter bench and it’s just not ideal,” Anthopoulos said.

There’s now a small group of two or three teams willing to make deals, but the list of possible trade partners should expand by the beginning of July.

“We’ve absolutely had some dialogue about some position players that could come in and be an improvement or an upgrade over what we have now,” Anthopoulos said.

MORROW THROWS: While Brandon Morrow was expected to resume throwing Friday, he played catch Wednesday afternoon and felt good, according to Anthopoulos, who suggested a return by mid or late July could be realistic. The right-hander has been sidelined  on the 60-day disabled list with a torn tendon sheath in his finger.

STROMAN IMPRESSES: Though Marcus Stroman’s Yankee Stadium debut went poorly, Anthopoulos has been impressed by the rookie right-hander. “I think he’s exceeded expectations with how well he’s done in the rotation,” he said.

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