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Why Blue Jays prefer not to pace the market this off-season

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TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays have yet to sign a free agent or trade for a player with big-league experience this off-season, preferring to lay the groundwork behind the scenes while other teams set the market.

According to team president and CEO Mark Shapiro, the moves are coming, but they might require even further patience. As a rebuilding team that’s still multiple pieces away from contending, the Blue Jays are disinclined to rush trades or free agent signings.

“There will still be activity for certain before we’re done,” Shapiro said in a conference room at Rogers Centre Wednesday. “But we can sit back and go ‘if we value our players more than other teams value our players as teammates, as competitors, as athletes and as a talent,’ then we don’t need to make any more trades.”

At some point before opening day, the Blue Jays must reinforce their bullpen and starting rotation. Yet they hope to remain patient and flexible the way they did last winter instead of pushing to complete a deal while asking prices are uncomfortably high.

“We’re not going to pace the market,” Shapiro said. “That’s just not where we are because there’s not that sense of urgency at one position that we feel like is so important for us to improve for next season’s ballclub.”

In theory, a patient approach can lead to bargains. Last winter, the Blue Jays signed relievers Seung-hwan Oh, Tyler Clippard and John Axford with late deals that paid off for the club. Of course, that same approach led to the failed Jaime Garcia deal and a reminder that all bargains are not created equal.

In the course of Shapiro’s meeting with Toronto-based........

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