MLB Rumour Roundup: Could Blue Jays still add left-handed bat?

Ben Nicholson-Smith joins Evanka Osmak to break down what Matt Chapman brings to the Blue Jays lineup, as well as the trade rumours linking Jose Ramirez to Toronto, and if there are more areas for the team to upgrade.

The Toronto Blue Jays made a massive splash Wednesday morning, acquiring platinum glove third baseman Matt Chapman in a blockbuster with the Athletics.

While the trade drastically improves the Blue Jays in a number of ways, the team is still lacking another impact left-handed batter. Could another trade be in the works?

In addition, the Athletics continue to field offers on two elite starting pitchers, and another California team is jumping into the Freddie Freeman bidding war.

Here are the latest rumours from around MLB:

Could Blue Jays still grab Jose Ramirez from Guardians?

Last season the Blue Jays fielded a roster with an MVP-calibre player manning second base. Could they replace Marcus Semien with a similar talent?

According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have spoken to the Cleveland Guardians about trading for Jose Ramirez and moving him to second base.

Rosenthal adds that the Guardians haven't decided yet whether they want to trade Ramirez — who is under club control for two more seasons.

Although Chapman cost the Blue Jays only one elite prospect — 2021 first-rounder Gunnar Hoglund — the price for Ramirez would be significantly higher. The 29-year-old switch-hitter has been an MVP finalist in three of the last five seasons and finished sixth in voting in 2021 after hitting .266/.355/.538 with 36 home runs and 103 RBIs.

Many of the other best left-hand free-agent bats have come off the market in the past 24 hours, with Anthony Rizzo (Yankees), Kyle Schwarber (Phillies) and Eddie Rosario (Braves) all agreeing to new contracts. Veteran outfielder Michael Conforto remains the best left-handed hitter available as a free agent while outfielder Joc Pederson also remains unsigned.

One other left-handed batter available via trade, according to Rosenthal, is Austin Meadows of the Tampa Bay Rays. The 27-year-old had 27 home runs and 106 RBIs in 2021 and is under club control through 2024.

Speaking Wednesday afternoon, Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins said no moves were imminent but confirmed the team was always listening.

Royals looking at adding pitcher from Athletics

Chapman is the third high-profile player to be traded away for futures by the Athletics, and the team doesn't appear done. Right-handed starters Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea both are being discussed as likely trade candidates before Opening Day.

The Twins and White Sox have been attached to the pitchers, but Rosenthal added another to the mix Wednesday: the Kansas City Royals.

That connection is further solidified by another move Kansas City made Wednesday, acquiring left-handed reliever Amir Garrett from the Reds for Mike Minor, a right-handed starter. The move gives the Royals an extra $8.5 million in payroll cushion, which could be used to accommodate either Montas or Manaea.

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