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Blue Jays seek pitching at Winter Meetings

Blue Jays seek pitching at Winter Meetings

Blue Jays seek pitching at Winter Meetings

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Blue Jays' search for starting pitching is set to continue when the annual Winter Meetings officially open at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort on Monday morning.

For general manager Alex Anthopoulos, the trip marks a return to the site of his infamous deal with the Brewers. In 2010, Toronto shipped No. 1 starter Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee for promising infield prospect Brett Lawrie with an eye on jumpstarting the club's rebuilding process.

The deal was actually consummated before the 2010 meetings began but wasn't announced until later in the week. It's not likely that a similar situation will arise on this trip as no big moves appear imminent, but that could change relatively quickly with all of Major League Baseball's GMs in town for the in-person meetings.

Whatever Anthopoulos decides to do, it will be markedly different than the approach he took here a few years ago. Toronto isn't looking to subtract from its core but instead intends to fill a couple of the remaining holes with the hope of becoming relevant again in the American League East following a disastrous 2013 season.

The top goal continues to be finding a way to upgrade the starting rotation. The Blue Jays need at least one -- possibly two -- starting pitchers, and while free agency remains an option, the most realistic scenario would see the club make several moves through trades. Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija remains a rumored target, while other names surely will begin trickling out later this week.

A second baseman is also on Anthopoulos' wish list, and a platoon partner for designated hitter Adam Lind is a possibility if Toronto doesn't expect Moises Sierra to be up for the task. There likely won't be any major moves for the Blue Jays this week but there should be plenty of clues on what steps Anthopoulos expects to take the rest of the way.

In addition to Anthopoulos being made available to the media every day this week, manager John Gibbons also will hold court with reporters late Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET.

Fans are encouraged to take part by filling the comments section at bluejays.com this week with their own suggestions for getting the club back to the postseason. Should Anthopoulos add to the rotation through trades or by seeking permission from ownership to potentially overpay a free agent like Matt Garza, Ervin Santana or Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka?

The offseason Hot Stove is about to kick into full swing and we'll have all of the news covered with daily reports. Check for fresh content on a regular basis and take part in the comments section to have your voice heard.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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