The Jays in the market for a catcher, outfielder

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Yesterday wasn’t a holiday in Canada, and MLB.com’s Blue Jays guy Jordan Bastian used his working day to get some dish from Toronto.  Among the items he learned:

  • Catcher Rod Barajas is not likely coming back. The Jays won’t offer him a multi-year deal, and other teams may, so the team will go in another direction.  Add the Jays to the list of teams interested in Yorvit Torrealba. OK, that list is only two teams long right now, but two makes a list, right?

  • Slugging outfield prospect Travis Snider has no guaranteed job next spring. He was a little underwhelming in 276 plate appearances last season, but the dude is only 21 years old.  A team that looks to basically be tearing down and rebuilding probably shouldn’t be in the business of blocking young guys like Snider.

The upshot of these two items is that the Jays now will be looking for an outfielder and a catcher.  This is problematic, as they are already apparently preoccupied with signing another half dozen or so shortstops, and the winter is only so long.

Oh, and they may be preoccupied with other things too. Such as their parent corporation laying off nearly a thousand employees.  Blue Jays fever: Catch it!

Report: Mariners’ Taijuan Walker drawing “strong” trade interest

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 08:  Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #44 of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout after completing eight innings against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on June 8, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot.  He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.

Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.

The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.

Report: Mets, Brewers continue discussing Jonathan Lucroy

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 20:  Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers walks back to the dugout in the eighth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.

Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.