Blue Jays emerging as surprise entrant in Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes

The Jays are an interesting surprise entrant for two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. They couldn’t confirm he’s planning a visit but one Jays person said he heard Ohtani liked previous stops there. 

While Toronto would seem like a long shot, partly due to the Canadian monetary issue, one rival said he could see him liking the relatively low-key environment. 

Rivals suspect Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. might hit the trade block in earnest if the Jays do pull off such a surprise. But trades for either are not likely.

Shohei Ohtani’s free agency is one of the most-anticipated ever. AP

The trade market for starting pitchers — which includes Tyler Glasnow, Dylan Cease, Shane Bieber and Corbin Burnes — is strong. However rival teams see Burnes as someone likely to remain in Milwaukee, which has a chance to win. 

The Cubs, Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Braves, Angels and many others are believed in the trade market for starters. 

Tyler Glasnow
Tyler Glasnow is one of the top trade candidates this offseason. Getty Images

Baltimore, stacked with promising kids, matches up nicely with the White Sox, which makes sense since the South Siders have the most valuable rotation piece to trade. The Orioles tried for Cease at the deadline, but there’s more time now to figure things out. 

The Orioles also seek a back-end reliever and have contacted Maryland product and ex-Oriole farmhand Josh Hader plus Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman and Jordan Hicks. Hader may be a bit pricey for the O’s, though.

The Twins are receiving interest in Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco. Christian Vasquez is also available.

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