Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Sunday he'll have resources at his disposal to improve his team before the trade deadline -- he just doesn't know how much. Anthopoulos told SportsNet he's ready to get "creative" and emphasized the team boasts a "strong payroll."
The GM also told the National Post's Sean Fitz-Gerald he didn't have "any doubt [the Blue Jays] had the ability to add players."
After a nine-game winning streak helped fuel the Jays to a 47-39 record as of June 2, and after the team threatened to post 50 wins by the All-Star break for the first time in 22 seasons, Toronto has lost nine of its last 13 and fallen two games behind the Seattle Mariners for the last American League wild card spot. The team has been hobbled by recent injuries to the likes of Adam Lind, Brett Lawrie and Edwin Encarnation.
The ability to take on extra payroll in trades is not a given for the team, which has Major League Baseball's eighth-highest payroll. The Blue Jays' coffers are a little drier thanks to high-priced free agent salaries for players like Mark Buehrle ($19 million), Jose Reyes ($16 million), as well as 2010 and 2011 home run king Jose Bautista ($14 million).
It's unclear whether Anthopoulos will receive additional financial backing from Rogers Communications' Rogers Blue Jays Baseball Partnership, the Canadian telecom-backed group that owns the team.
Anthopoulos and team owners have 11 days to figure out the answer to that question. The MLB trade deadline is July 31.
- Will Green