TORONTO -- Back in May, it would've seemed highly unlikely that the Blue Jays' priority at the non-waiver Trade Deadline would be to acquire more offense. The team pounded the ball through that month, leading the Major Leagues in runs (165), homers (48) and OPS (.829), while putting up a 21-9 record over that span, including a nine-game win streak.
Back then, conversation was almost entirely about Toronto's need to acquire starting pitching in order to contend for a playoff spot in the American League East. But the narrative has changed over the course of a month and half, as the Blue Jays' offense has fallen into a slump. Since June 1, the team has scored the second fewest runs in the AL, ahead of only the Red Sox.
"Just having watched the games, clearly, offensively, we haven't played as well as we can," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Sunday when asked about specific areas he'd like to improve upon by the deadline.
Injuries have contributed to that low production. With Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind on the 15-day disabled list, there are holes in the Blue Jays' batting order. Getting those players back will provide a boost, but that won't stop Anthopoulos from attempting to add a bat via trade.
"I think the return to health represents an upgrade. Our four-, five-, six-hole hitters are out. Getting them back is huge, no matter what," Anthopoulos said. "But we're going to look at doing it by trade as well. Hopefully, it will be a combination of both.
"We can add players, so we have the ability to have that dialogue at any time," he said. "I don't see any reason why we won't be able to add players, and obviously players make money; no one plays for free."
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less