"We're committed to the idea of preserving our first-round pick," Dipoto said. "We haven't had one in the last two years. We are notably thin in the minor league system with upper-level pitching. So, for us to be able to start a more significant rebuilding of our minor league system, that first-round pick is very important to us."
• The Minnesota Twins have added Nolasco and Phil Hughes to a rotation that posted a major league-worst 5.26 ERA, but they're not done yet. The Twins dabbled in the Bartolo Colon market before he signed with the Mets. They've talked about bringing back Garza, who began his career with the organization, and they're in the mix with Arroyo, Maholm, Hammel and Mike Pelfrey, among others.
"There's some talent and quality still out there," said Twins GM Terry Ryan. "Anybody who's looking for pitching at least has some opportunity and choices. That's a good thing."
• The Braves feel comfortable with a rotation of Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood, with David Hale as an additional rotation candidate. They're monitoring the Price and Samardzija trade markets, but they're not going to bite if it requires them to decimate the farm system.
"Trading players you have for a long time for one year or two years of service [from a player] doesn't work and doesn't make sense," said Atlanta GM Frank Wren. "We're in a good spot. We like our five guys. They're all homegrown, and they're all on the ascent. We think we can go into the season with our rotation as it is and have a very solid group."
• The Blue Jays have R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow (assuming he can stay healthy) and J.A. Happ in the first four spots. Barring an acquisition, they have Drew Hutchison, a rehabbing Kyle Drabek, and prospects Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin in the wings.
"If we can do something, great," said Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos. "If we can't, we'll sit back. We like those guys. They have high ceilings. We definitely have bodies. We're just trying to upgrade the quality."
Like other clubs with similar agendas, the Blue Jays will focus on pitchers who fit their needs at a price that makes them comfortable. If it happens before Christmas or New Year's Day, so much the better. Just like players, teams have been known to get a little antsy when they have unfinished business around the holidays.