Yes, the Blue Jays inquired about the availability of Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, but that isn’t really news. Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos routinely asks about the best players on every team. He almost always is told no.
“Alex is always looking for everything,” a rival GM told me earlier this off-season. “He is the only GM in the league with a 60-man roster – and I say that as a compliment. You can’t pin him down. He has interest in every one of your players.”
Another GM with a philosophy similar to Anthopoulos’ once told me, “You can link me to every player. I ask about them all.” Context, though, is critical. Most inquiries do not lead to trades. Hernandez is a case in point.
Barring a dramatic shift, the Jays will not be getting King Felix. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik gave Anthopoulos his standard reply on Hernandez – “we’re not trading him” - and the discussion ended there, major-league sources say.
Given the Jays’ desire to add a No. 2 starter or better, it’s no surprise that Anthopoulos asked on Hernandez. Nor should it be a surprise that, according to sources, the GM has asked on Mariners righty Michael Pineda, White Sox righty Gavin Floyd and every other pitcher imaginable.
Rumors swirl constantly around the Jays, in part because Anthopoulos is so active, in part because he does not confirm or deny media inquiries. Yet, virtually all of the Jays’ player moves under Anthopoulos have occurred without prior media speculation. He tends to operate quietly and strike quickly.
Anthopoulos' aggressive approach led to the acquisition of one player who was thought to be unavailable this off-season – White Sox closer Sergio Santos. Who knows? It may lead to similar acquisitions – maybe even one for Hernandez – in the future.