Blue Jays reportedly interested in Indians' Carrasco

Blue Jays reportedly interested in Indians' Carrasco

OAKLAND -- The Blue Jays have expressed interest in acquiring right-hander Carlos Carrasco from the Indians according to a report from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

An additional report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirmed Toronto's interest, but stated that it would take "quite a haul" for the Indians to be motived enough to part ways with a promising young pitcher.

Carrasco is exactly the type of player that Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos typically targets in trades. He's under control through the 2020 season with guaranteed money until the end of the 2018.

The 28-year-old is making $2.337 million this season, $4.5 million in 2016, $6.5 million in 2017 and $8 million in 2018. After that, Cleveland has a pair of club options on his contract worth $9 million and $9.5 million respectively.

The fact that Toronto reportedly has expressed interest in Carrasco should hardly come as a surprise. Anthopoulos has made no secret of the fact that upgrading the starting rotation is his top priority prior to the July 31st non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Carraso is 10-7 this season with a 3.94 ERA for the Indians. He has struck out 128 and walked 24 over 114 1/3 innings, but he definitely won't come cheap considering his affordable contract.

There was a time no too long ago that acquiring a starter was thought to be a daunting task but the tides have since changed. There appears to be a large group of arms to choose from with teams like the Padres, Rangers, Tigers, Reds, A's and plenty of others seemingly open for business.

The first major deal of July was completed on Thursday morning when Oakland traded lefty Scott Kazmir to Houston for a pair of promising prospects. That could cause a domino effect throughout the league with additional moves expected in the coming days.

San Diego would appear to be one of the ideal trading partners for Toronto. If the Padres decide to drastically alter their current roster then starters James Shields, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross would become appealing targets while bullpen arms like Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit also could be fits.

Toronto does have the luxury of dangling some top prospects in order to make a deal happen. Right-handers Marcus Stroman and Jeff Hoffman as generally considered untouchable, but a group that includes lefty Daniel Norris, right-hander Miguel Castro, outfielder Dalton Pompey and outfielder Anthony Alford should generate plenty of interest.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.