Atkins: Blue Jays ‘focused on’ bullpen help in trade market

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins speaks about he plans to address the bullpen.

The recent struggles of the Blue Jays’ bullpen have made relief pitchers the team’s top priority in the trade market.

“It’s what we’re focused on,” GM Ross Atkins told reporters via Zoom Sunday morning. “We’ll continue working on that.”

While the Blue Jays have yet to make a major move on that front, Atkins said he expects there will be opportunities there. Recently-acquired reliever Jacob Barnes is expected to join the Blue Jays in Miami next week, but the search for further arms continues in discussions with rival teams.

Beyond the bullpen, the Blue Jays are also in the market for rotation upgrades as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. However, there will be lots of demand for those pitchers and at this point there don’t appear to be many of them available.

“We’ll be open to starting pitching as well,” Atkins said. “As you’re probably aware there’s not a ton of it on the market.”

Meanwhile, George Springer will continue his rehab assignment at triple-A Sunday and if all goes well, Atkins said the Blue Jays could look to add him to the big-league roster this coming week.

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