Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos showed interest in Pablo Sandoval earlier in the off-season, but as bidding for the free agent third baseman intensifies, the Blue Jays are remaining on the sidelines.
There’s been no contact between the Blue Jays and Sandoval’s agent, Gustavo Vasquez, in the last 48 hours, according to an industry source. Negotiations can theoretically be re-started quickly, but at this stage it doesn’t appear that the Blue Jays are in the mix for Sandoval any longer.
The Blue Jays met with Vasquez at the GM Meetings, where groundwork for deals is often established. But the Blue Jays left Phoenix with designs on signing Russell Martin and they’ve spent much of their energy pursuing and signing the catcher to a five-year, $82 million deal in recent days.
Anthopoulos said Thursday that he did not have offers out to free agents or immediate plans to make any.
“We’re not close to anything,” Anthopoulos said. “We’re not ‘being aggressive’ with anybody. Our focus was on Martin and that just took a lot of energy. We don’t have five balls in the air.”
The Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres are serious suitors for Sandoval, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The bidding for the switch-hitter could reach the five-year, $95 million range.
Sandoval declined a qualifying offer from San Francisco after hitting 16 home runs with a .279/.324/.415 batting line in 2014. The 28-year-old is a three-time World Series winner who's particularly effective against right-handed pitching.
The Blue Jays' starting infield currently includes Brett Lawrie at third base and some combination of Devon Travis, Maicer Izturis and Ryan Goins at second.