Speculation swirls on Jays adding pitching

Jose Bautistaof the Toronto Blue Jays makes a diving catch on a ball hit by National League...

Jose Bautistaof the Toronto Blue Jays makes a diving catch on a ball hit by National League All-Star Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers in the second inning during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP)

Bob Elliott, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

KANSAS CITY - Can the Blue Jays make a run at post-season play?

Despite likely being without starters Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison until September?

“They put up some runs on the board, that’s for sure,” said Tampa Bay Rays lefty starter David Price after the 83rd all-star game at Royal Stadium.

“They might do something before the deadline. Their offence isn’t only Jose Bautista. Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion are having good seasons.”

Nineteen days remain until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

“I saw that Bautista asked the general manager to trade for some starters,” said Price. “I’m sure they’re going to make a run at some help before the deadline.”

Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli is asked if he thought the Jays could contend with an addition.

“Definitely -- with that offence,” said Napoli.

The Jays are third in the American League in runs scored with 430, two behind the Boston Red Sox. Their team batting average ranks 10th (.254).

“I would think they could add some pitching help,” Napoli said. “They’ve got Bautista, Encarncion and Rasmus.

“Brett Lawrie is a fiery type player and now Adam Lind is back and he looked like he finished strong before the break.”

Napoli was a Blue Jay, for four days.

The Jays dealt Vernon Wells to the Los Angeles Angels for outfielder Juan Rivera and Napoli on Friday, Jan. 21.

And on the following Tuesday the Jays moved Napoli to the Rangers for closer Frank Francisco.

“Alex has shown he’ll make a move,” said Napoli, the voice of experience.

Napoli’s favourite day with the Jays ... Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday?

“It all happened pretty quick,” Napoli said. “They were pretty hectic times.”

The Jays have been linked to the Houston Astros’ lefty Wandy Rodriguez, who will be owed $26-million US when traded, and Arizona Diamondbacks’ outfielder Justin Upton.

Rodriguez, 33, is 7-6 with a 3.38 ERA in 18 starts, walking 25 and striking out 75 in 114 2/3 innings.

Upton, who turns 25 next month, is hitting .273 with seven homers and 37 RBIs in 79 games with a .755 OPS. A total of $41.875 million remains his contract.


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