While the Toronto Blue Jays are not buyers in the traditional sense, they are looking at ways of addressing needs for 2013 and beyond as the non-waiver trade deadline draws closer.
In recent days, the Blue Jays have expressed genuine interest in second baseman Howie Kendrick of the Los Angeles Angels, Sportsnet has learned.
Kendrick is an established player in the midst of a strong season, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos may simply be doing his due diligence on a capable player known to be available in trade talks.
Kendrick is hitting .301 with a .344 on-base percentage and 11 home runs as the Angels’ primary second baseman in 2013. He has recent experience at first base and in left field, but has spent the vast majority of his eight-year MLB career at second base.
The 30-year-old will earn $8.75 million in 2013. He is set to earn $9.35 million in 2014 and $9.5 million in 2015 before hitting free agency.
The Angels have a 48-57 record and appear to be willing to consider trading established players. They sent left-handed reliever Scott Downs to the Atlanta Braves for Cory Rasmus Monday.
The Blue Jays recently moved Brett Lawrie to second base, but they have since shifted him back to third. Anthopoulos said last Wednesday that the Blue Jays would consider adding second basemen or third basemen in potential trades.
The 49-57 Blue Jays have a number of relievers that are sure to draw interest as Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline approaches. Position players such as Emilio Bonifacio and Mark DeRosa could also be viewed as trade candidates.