TORONTO – Working from home during these virtual winter meetings, Ross Atkins’ frenetic days offered his family a first-hand look at the madness inherent to baseball’s annual swap meet.
“My wife has said to me, ‘This is the first time I’ve ever experienced the winter meetings,’” the Toronto Blue Jays general manager said Thursday, after the Rule 5 concluded the makeshift Zoom-and-phone-only gathering. “She said to me, ‘I’ve never seen you on the phone so much in my life.’ I’m on the phone a lot.”
To this point, all that talking didn’t produce anything tangible beyond a pair of waiver claims that, temporarily, have filled up the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster.
In summing up the week’s progress, Atkins delivered the usual platitudes on his pursuit of the market’s top-end players, saying he feels “there is momentum,” that transactions don’t feel “like we’re weeks away,” and that there are “more concrete offers occurring” all around.
Asked if he believes the Blue Jays remain in the hunt for all their top targets, Atkins replied, “I do.” Asked if what they’ve learned to this point has changed their approach to addressing the roster, he replied: “We have prioritized targets and we’ll start with those before we make multiple offers. We have not eliminated anyone.”
Perhaps sensing the growing eye-rolls of fans whose expectations have been raised by the club’s bold, at least by its standards, talk of adding impact this winter, Atkins added:…