Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Blue Jays General Manager Anthopoulos Says Trade Talks Starting to Pick Up

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Blue Jays General Manager Anthopoulos Says Trade Talks Starting to Pick Up

Article excerpt

Jays GM says trade talks starting to pick up

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TORONTO - Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Friday that trade discussions are starting to pick up and he acknowledged the bullpen has been a talking point.

Speaking before the opener of a three-game series against Houston, Anthopoulos said he's currently immersed in preparation for next week's draft but is starting to "engage a little bit more" in trade talks.

"If there is a bullpen piece out there, we'll look to do something," he said during a wide-ranging 15-minute media availability. "I know there's been reports about us inquiring about guys and that's fair to say. I wouldn't deny those."

Anthopoulos also confirmed that veteran free agent reliever Rafael Soriano is a player who interests him.

"I think it's fair to say," he said. "I normally don't comment specifically about players but that one I think is someone that we'll look into. I think it's stating the obvious there."

Soriano spent the past two years with Washington and has yet to play this season.

The Blue Jays took a 25-30 record into Friday night's game against the Astros. Despite the early struggles, Toronto remains in the thick of the American League East race.

"The division is wide open," Anthopoulos said. "It goes without saying none of the teams have really run away with it. You've got Tampa and New York that are obviously ahead right now but we're all in it because of the play of the division."

Entering Friday's games, Toronto was 4 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Yankees, who were a half-game up on the Rays. Toronto was in a virtual tie with Baltimore, one game ahead of last-place Boston.

Two glaring team statistics that jump out are the Blue Jays' 3-12 record in one-run games and 11-18 mark on the road.

"There's been a lot of one-run games that we haven't been able to pull through," Anthopoulos said. …

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