MLB notes: Jays set to make moves on big-name free agents

Ryan Dempster is said to be a target for the Jays this off-season. (REUTERS)

Ryan Dempster is said to be a target for the Jays this off-season. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:01 PM ET

The Toronto Blue Jays are getting serious about upgrading their starting rotation with interest in big-name free agents Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse and Ryan Dempster, major league sources have told FoxSports.com.

The Jays also have inquired about right-hander Scott Baker, who missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He was 8-6 with a 3.14 earned-run average in 2011 before being sidelined by an injured right elbow.

The signing period for free agents begins Saturday.

GM TRADES BOSS' SON

Rick Hahn has been general manager of the Chicago White Sox for less than a week but, already, you can't question his guts.

Hahn on Friday traded the son of his long-time boss, Ken Williams.

Minor-league outfielder Ken Williams Jr. was dealt to the Colorado Rockies for first baseman-outfielder Mark Tracy, the White Sox announced.

Ken Williams Sr., was promoted last week to executive vice-president and promised to be a hands-off boss after 12 years as GM. Hahn was his assistant for much of that time.

Williams Jr., 26, hit .250 last season with four homers and 30 RBI for double-A Birmingham.

Tracy, 24, hit .264 with six homers and 24 RBI with single-A Modesto. He is the son of former Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy.

HAMILTON GETS QUALIFYING OFFER

The Texas Rangers have made a $13.3-million qualifying offer to outfielder Josh Hamilton, which ensures them compensation should the free agent sign with another team.

Hamilton is seeking a multiyear contract worth about $20 million annually, but the Rangers are unlikely to meet that price.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, a team that loses a free agent gets a compensation draft pick between the first and second rounds -- providing the team has made a $13.3-million offer. That's the average of the previous year's top 125 free-agent salaries.

The Rangers did not make the same offer to catcher Mike Napoli and won't get a draft pick if he signs elsewhere. The Rangers are said to be interested in bringing him back for a lesser amount.

Other players to receive qualifying offers at the 5 p.m. ET deadline Friday were: Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano and Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and B.J. Upton of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Among those who didn't get offers were: Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels; Shaun Marcum of the Milwaukee Brewers; and Russell Martin of the Yankees.

Ortiz and the Red Sox again are negotiating a two-year deal and reports out of Boston say they are close to agreement.

BRIEFLY

Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire is on the verge of joining the Los Angeles Dodgers to do the same job, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported. McGwire, 49, is from southern California and wants to be closer to his family. He has spent the past three seasons with the Cards ... Ryan Adams, 25, a minor-league shortstop in the Baltimore Orioles system, has been banned from the first 25 games of the 2013 season after testing positive for an amphetamine ... The Orioles claimed second baseman Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Minnesota Twins Friday. Casilla hit .241 with one homer for the Twins this past season.


Videos

Photos