It’s never too early to talk about the July 31 trade deadline.

Not once July rolls around.

Prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos was quizzed about his preference in upgrading the club in the event it is still in the hunt for a post-season spot.

Starting pitching is the obvious answer, but it comes with the caveat that an acquisition has to be a significant upgrade over what the Jays have now and in the pipeline, where both Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ should be ready to return to the club by the end of this month.

Count on this, there will be no deal like the one in July of 2000 that cost the Jays top prospect Michael Young for the mediocre talent such of Esteban Loaiza.

Anthopoulos was asked if the returning injured pitchers will affect how aggressively he shops for hurlers?

“It might. I guess it really depends on how the guys here are doing,” he said. “We need a lot of guys internally to improve. Hopefully we won’t need to make any changes and the guys end up doing it, and before we know it Happ and Morrow are back. I’d say it’s start-to-start and week-to-week at this point.