Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins spoke to the media in Dunedin on Thursday and addressed his desire to add depth to the team’s pitching staff through the free agent market.
“We’ve had ongoing discussions all off-season and continue to have them,” Atkins told the media.
The Jays have already made a few pitching additions this offseason having signed Matt Shoemaker and acquired Clayton Richard in a trade with the San Diego Padres.
They also added John Axford on a minor league deal as well as David Phelps, who is still making his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Atkins also announced that T.J. Zeuch, the Blue Jays first round pick (21st overall) in the 2016 MLB Draft will not pitch at all during Spring Training due to a lat strain.
The 23-year-old spent last season with both the A-ball Dunedin Blue Jays and the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats and posted a 12-8 record with a 3.17 ERA in 156.1 innings. He appeared 27 times, all starts and amassed 105 strikeouts over the two leagues against 40 walks.
Atkins also addressed the future of Canadian outfielder Dalton Pompey, who will now have to be placed on waivers to be sent to the minors if he does not make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training.
"I wish he certainly did have an option, but in some ways it’s good for him to now find out, ‘OK, is this going to work at the major-league level, or am I going to be doing it with somebody else?” Atkins said.
The Mississauga native appeared in only five games at the MLB level last season with the Blue Jays and picked up two hits in 10 at bats.
He also played in 52 minor league games and hit five homers and 23 RBIs with a .272 average and .352 on base percentage.