NEW YORK -- General manager Alex Anthopoulos re-joined the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon following a three-day scouting trip to Japan.
Anthopoulos specifically made the journey overseas to watch highly touted Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. The 25-year-old is considered one of the top pitchers not in Major League Baseball and is contemplating signing with a big league team during the offseason.
"I'm doing my homework," Anthopoulos was asked about his team's level of interest in Darvish. "If I go see guys for the Draft ... it doesn't mean that we draft those players, or we have them high on our list. But I go see them, I want to have as much information as we can on all players.
"But there's no question, he's the reason that I went. I can sit here and [joke], say I went there to experience the culture, or build relationships. But if he hadn't pitched I wouldn't have gone, at least not in 2011."
Darvish is a 6-foot-5 right-hander who pitches for the Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball's Pacific League.
The Japan native possesses an impressive fastball-slider combination and also mixes in a curveball and splitter. The Blue Jays frequently have been mentioned as potential suitors, but Darvish will come with a lofty price tag.
Teams will be required to submit a posting fee to his Japanese club before being able to initiate contract negotiations. Interested teams will submit a bid to Major League Baseball, and the team with the highest amount will be awarded exclusive negotiating rights.
The winning bid doesn't necessarily guarantee a deal would then be completed with the player. Last season, Oakland reportedly bid $19 million for the rights to Hisashi Iwakuma but then was unable to come to terms on a deal.
Darvish has drawn some comparisons to fellow Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Red Sox reportedly paid $51 million for Matsuzaka's negotiating rights and then an additional $52 million for a six-year contract.
It might sound like a complicated process, but for Anthopoulos, it still comes down to overall cost.
"You just have to come up with a value, like we do with everything," Anthopoulos said of the posting process. "You take the emotion out of it, you come up with what you're willing to spend on a player.
"That's how you come up with your math. How much would you pay in salary? How much would you pay in a post? You combine that, but that's the commitment the club is going to make."
The Rangers and Yankees are among five other teams that reportedly are interested in Darvish. Anthopoulos has seen the reports and heard a lot of the rumors, but he's not putting much stock into the speculation.
With this type of contract situation, it's more about the initial posting fee than it is about outside factors.
"I've read things that say, well, people are frontrunners and people have relationships," Anthopoulos said. "With all due respect, I don't think any of that matters. I think it's who types in the highest amount in the email when they send it to the league.
"It's not the team that had the best relationship or scouted the player the most. It's the one that was willing to bid the most, that's all it comes down to."
Blue Jays nearing decision on callups
NEW YORK -- The Blue Jays are in the process of finalizing their list of players who will receive September callups now that the Minor League season is coming to an end.
Alex Anthopoulos joined his team in New York on Friday to talk about potential roster moves with the coaching staff. The Blue Jays' general manager said it's likely six additional players will be promoted to the Major Leagues, but he declined to get into specifics.
The Triple-A season finishes on Monday, and Anthopoulos said he expects a wave of new players to arrive in Toronto two days after the final game.
"I think there's not going to be a lot of playing time, no matter what," Anthopoulos said of the possible additions. "Just the way we are set up right now.
"But it also becomes one of those things of trying to reward players that have had really good years and more to just give a chance to be up here. That's probably more of what you'll see for the position players that get called up."
One pitcher who definitely will be traveling north is right-hander Dustin McGowan. The 29-year-old made his final rehab start on Thursday and threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings for Double-A New Hampshire.
McGowan, who has been on the disabled list since 2008 with a variety of shoulder injuries, was hoping to pitch five innings but had to be removed from the game because of a predetermined pitch count. He posted a 2.75 ERA in 19 2/3 innings during his rehab while striking out 18 and walking seven.
The native of Savannah, Ga., has yet to exceed 70 pitches in an outing this season. That likely means his role in Toronto will come out of the bullpen, but Anthopoulos didn't completely rule out an opportunity for McGowan to start.
"We've talked about, would we have him make some starts -- and then be backed up -- maybe go three or four innings?" Anthopoulos said. "Is it best to maybe have him be in the bullpen right now, but not someone who is going to be used on back-to-back days, more of a long guy?
"It's more about his health. This wasn't about have him become a mainstay in 2011. It's just getting him back on the field. I have an idea which way we are going to go, I just want to go over it with those guys inside, and then I want to call the player and tell him."
Right-hander Kyle Drabek also could find himself back in the Major Leagues next week. The 23-year-old began the season in Toronto but was demoted to Triple-A after going 4-5 with a 5.70 ERA.
The demotion didn't exactly pay off as Drabek is 4-4 with a 7.41 ERA and 41 walks in 68 innings of work for the Las Vegas 51s. Despite the subpar numbers, Anthopoulos said there could be some value in bringing the highly touted prospect back up before the end of the season.
"Guys like Kyle ... that are candidates for callups, right now, everyone would come up as a reliever," Anthopoulos said. "If the opportunity presented itself, a starter got knocked out early, or we needed to give a guy a break or we wanted to shut someone's innings down ... we have the ability to make a spot start."
Farrell out at least through weekend
NEW YORK -- Blue Jays manager John Farrell will be out of action until at least Monday because of pneumonia.
Farrell is recuperating in Toronto and was unable to join the Blue Jays in New York. It was the third consecutive series he has been forced to miss but the club is optimistic Farrell will return in the near future.
"I've spoken to him daily -- he's feeling a lot better," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "Right now, it looks fairly good that Monday he'll be back.
"Just has to be careful not to overdo it. You talk to him on the phone and he's fine. It's one of those things that you can't expend too much energy overall. You don't want to take a step back."
Farrell was taken to the hospital on Aug. 25 after experiencing discomfort in the left side of his chest. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and has been away from the team since.
The 49-year-old initially targeted an earlier return but so far has been unable to do so. Anthopoulos noted most people are forced to miss two-to-three weeks with the illness, and Farrell will have to be cleared by team doctors before making a return.
"He understands, too, it's his health," Anthopoulos said. "Your first reaction is always that you want to be here, but I think he also understands the magnitude and the severity in his health.
"He knows because he has been on the other side of those conversations with a player that doesn't want to go on the DL."
Toronto bench coach Don Wakamatsu has taken over the reins during Farrell's absence from the team. Wakamatsu, who was Seattle's manager in 2010, entered play Friday night with a 3-5 record as Farrell's temporary replacement.
Right-hander Casey Janssen was unavailable to pitch on Friday night after missing the previous two games with tightness in his latissimus muscle.
Janssen was scheduled to throw a bullpen session prior to the series opener against the Yankees. If everything checks out, he would then be available to pitch on Saturday.
Center fielder Colby Rasmus is getting closer to making a return from the 15-day disabled list following a jammed right wrist injury.
"He still feels it a little bit in there but it's getting better," Blue Jays acting manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We're looking at the next couple of days, hopefully, that he can start taking some swings."