Updated 07:42 AM EDT, Sun, Sep 20, 2020

MLB Trade & Free Agents Rumors 2014: Toronto Blue Jays Still Interested In Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez

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The Toronto Blue Jays have yet to address their need for another pitcher to complete their starting rotation, but the club is expected to sign a marquee player before spring training.

Fox Sports reported that the Blue Jays are remaining mum about their free agency plans after failing to acquire Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, but the club has strong interest in acquiring either Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez, who are still unsigned at this point of the offseason.

Sources said that the Blue Jays have yet to tender offers to Santana or Jimenez, but their executives are already performing "extensive background checks" on both pitchers, checking their previous contracts and medical records.

Several teams have also expressed their intentions to acquire Santana and Jimenez, but previous reports indicated that teams are shying away from signing both pitchers because they previously turned down qualifying offers from their previous teams.

The teams that sign either Jimenez or Santana will be forced to give up a high draft pick as compensation, but sources said that the Blue Jays are willing to forfeit a pick just to bolster their starting rotation.

"Both Jimenez, 30, and Santana, 31, received qualifying offers from their previous clubs, forcing any other team that signs them to forfeit a high draft pick. The Jays, however, are in better position than most teams to sign one of the two - they hold "protected" picks at Nos. 9 and 11, and the first selection they could lose is No. 49 overall," Fox Sports noted.

Either Santana or Jimenez is expected to provide a huge boost to the Blue Jays' pitching rotation, which includes R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle, and J.A Happ.

Japanese pitching sensation Tanaka was previously on top their list of potential signings, but the 25-year-old righthander opted to sign a lucrative seven-year, $155 million deal with the New York Yankees.

Earlier reports indicated that the Blue Jays' policy of not offering more than five-year deals is hurting their chances of obtaining top-tier free agents, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos said otherwise.

"I don't know if our policy has prevented us from obtaining any player," Anthopoulos told The Toronto Sun. "Some of those seven- or eight-year deals didn't work for us. And if you look at some of the 10-year deals signed over the years, they haven't worked out for teams." 

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