The Toronto Blue Jays are casting a wide net in their search for rotation upgrades, already showing interest in free agents Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse and Ryan Dempster, among others, according to major-league sources.
Toronto was a surprising contender in the American League East – much like Baltimore, the eventual wild-card winner – but fell out of the race after its starting rotation was ravaged by injuries. Toronto starters finished with a 4.82 ERA, sixth worst in the majors.
The Blue Jays also are among the clubs to inquire on right-hander Scott Baker, a free agent after going 8-6 with a 3.14 ERA over 134-2/3 innings during an injury-shortened 2011 season with the Minnesota Twins. He did not pitch in the majors this year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. Baker may not be ready when the regular season begins but is viewed as valuable rotation depth.
The Red Sox, Cubs and Rangers have varying degrees of interest in Baker, as well, sources say.
Free agents can begin switching teams Saturday, in what could be a frenetic start to the Hot Stove season. Until then, clubs are allowed to contact representatives and exchange information but not discuss contractual terms.
-- Jon Paul Morosi