Skip to content

Shapiro assesses Blue Jays' needs: 'Pitching, pitching, and more pitching'

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

The Major League Baseball season may be on indefinite hiatus, but Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro's mind remains fixated on his club's roster needs.

"Pitching, pitching, and more pitching," Shapiro told The Athletic's Jim Bowden. "Also, probably more of a traditional center fielder, but we have lots of outfielders and we would like to give them an opportunity before adding to that mix."

The Blue Jays inked left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu to a four-year, $80-million contract this offseason. With top pitching prospect Nate Pearson nearing his promotion to the majors, Shapiro is confident in the foundation emerging, but there's still room for improvement.

"I think that (Ryu) was a signing based on listening to our players' perception of our present situation and our current organizational dynamic," Shapiro said. "We have more position players than pitchers that are major-league ready to impact and we needed more balance."

"This is and was the biggest need of our team and we're glad we were able to find a good fit with Ryu and work towards an agreement with him."

Several proposals have surfaced to potentially salvage the postponed season, including a plan to relocate the entire league to Arizona and another that would split teams between the desert and Florida.

"I will not comment on any one scenario," Shapiro added. "However, in general, we need to be very open-minded - particularly to make sure we put player and fan safety first for any consideration. If we want to push the pace, then we have to be open-minded to any option. My greatest hope in all this is that Major League Baseball and the Players Association emerge as partners and stakeholders in bringing the game back in a strong position."

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox