Blue Jays GM Says Starting Pitcher Is A "Definite" Need Heading To Winter Meetings

Where do the Toronto Blue Jays stand going into the Winter Meetings on Sunday? General manager Ross Atkins made it clear that while he's got a few things he's working on, a starting pitcher is definitely top of mind.

 “Starting pitcher is the one I’d put ‘definite’ on," said Atkins in terms of the team's needs. No. 3 starter from this past season Ross Stripling is a free agent and it's unknown if the team will try to re-sign him. But even if they do, another starter is still a priority, with Hyun Jin Ryu out until at least July, and maybe even the entire 2023 season, after Tommy John surgery this past summer. 

On the pitching free agent front, the Jays have been linked to everyone from Justin Verlander to Chris Bassitt to Kodai Senga thus far.

Atkins added that he is simply "looking for good players... It’s not definitely a left-handed hitting right-fielder to fill the role of Teoscar Hernández. Would that work? Sure. Can we consider center field as well? Sure."

He also said he certainly expects some action at the Winter Meetings. 

"It's interesting, when you do come together, there is power to that. Because everyone is maximizing those windows with other teams." He expects "some significant news" to surface beginning Sunday and running through next Thursday.

 Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports