Updated 07:48 AM EST, Sat, Feb 27, 2021

MLB Free Agents 2014 Update: Toronto Blue Jays To Add Starting Pitcher, Target Masahiro Tanaka, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana

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Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos recently confirmed his team plans to add another starting pitcher, prompting speculation the Blue Jays might be going after Japanese free agent hurler Masahiro Tanaka.

After making a big splash in last year's free agency period, the Jays remains interested in injecting more firepower into their lineup, particularly in their starting rotation.

The Jays, who also boasts former Cy Young winner R.A Dickey, J.A Happ, and Mark Buehrle, could add another All-Star caliber pitcher this winter, and Tanaka is certainly on the mind of Blue Jays fans.

However, Anthopoulos did not provide any details about their interest in Tanaka, though they are expected to push hard for a serviceable pitcher on the market.

"I have said that we're definitely going to inquire on any free-agent pitchers that are out there," Anthopoulos added vaguely via The Star.

Tanaka in Toronto?

According to sources, the Blue Jays indeed have an interest in getting the sensational Japanese pitcher, though the ballclub is considered a long shot to nab Tanaka.

"So presumably there has been at least some dialogue. But the Jays remain long shots to bag the 25-year-old, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Eagles last season and is easily the top free-agent pitcher available," the Star reported.

The free-spending Yankees are still the favorite to get Tanaka's services while the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs are the wildcards in the sweepstakes.

Anthopoulos viewed Tanaka as a rare talent in his mid-20s with the ability to command a lucrative deal just like Alex Rodriguez when he signed a then record-breaking 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers.

"For one, it's rare to see free agents in their mid-20s," the Jays general manager said in an interview with the Star.

Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Eagles last season, has until 5 p.m on Jan. 25 to make a decision and sign with an MLB team. On the other hand, the Jays still have many options in finding their next starting pitcher with Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez still available on the market.

"The market for the next-best free-agent starters - Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana - has been stalled by Tanaka's status. Regardless of where Tanaka signs, as soon as the ink dries on his contract competition for the others starters should ramp up," via the Star.

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