Meetings key as Blue Jays look to bring heat

Toronto in market for corner OF, 5th starter and bullpen, infield depth

December 11th, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Blue Jays have arrived at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings with the Hot Stove in full swing. Rivals are already making big moves, and now it's up to Toronto to respond.

Two big pieces fell into place this week with joining the Angels and set to be acquired by the Yankees. Toronto runs the risk of falling well behind the pack of potential contenders, and that's one reason this week will prove to be so key.

The Blue Jays remain in the market for a corner outfielder, a fifth starter and more depth for the bullpen and infield. The Meetings, wrapping up Thursday morning with the Rule 5 Draft, might be where some of that work gets done.

"We know we need to complement our infield further, our outfield further, our pitching further, potentially even complement our catching situation," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said. "How that comes to fruition from this point not only depends on priorities, but also what [that costs]."

Regardless of what Toronto does this week, there likely will be no shortage of news or rumors. Atkins will host a daily media availability each afternoon of the Meetings, while manager John Gibbons will be in attendance as well, with a media scrum scheduled for Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The Rule 5 Draft will be more important than usual for the Blue Jays this year. Toronto has made a pick during each of the past two Rule 5 Drafts and might follow a similar path again, but the ballclub is also at risk of losing one of its own. The Blue Jays haven't lost a player through the Rule 5 Draft since infielder Brad Emaus in 2010, but this year, a group of promising prospects -- including Jordan Romano, Max Pentecost, Andrew Case and Angel Perdomo -- were left unprotected.

Stay tuned to throughout the week for all of the breaking news. Up-to-the-minute updates will also be available via my twitter account @gregorMLB, and multiple national voices will be added into the mix to round out Blue Jays coverage. Stay tuned -- it should be an eventful week.