Trade Deadline 2013: Blue Jays As “Game Changers”


Jul 26, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil (27) throws against the Houston Astros in the seventh inning at the Rogers Centre. Toronto defeated Houston 12-6. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

In his latest post at FoxSports, Jon Morosi cites the Toronto Blue Jays as having the opportunity of being the biggest game changers at the non-waiver trade deadline in 2 days.

Now, we just need General Manager Alex Anthoupoulos to pick a course of action; buy, sell, or stand pat.

In his post, Morosi notes:

"Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos is known for a willingness to discuss virtually any trade proposal. Multiple executives in the league told me recently they doubt Anthopoulos would move Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion. The chances he would do so appear very remote. But what if an offense-starved team — such as Texas — is underwhelmed by the readily available bats and calls Anthopoulos with an enticing prospect package?"

Well, Mr. Morosi is not far off.

The Blue Jays have a unique combination of players that could help contenders and could find themselves on many teams’ speed dials if they choose to blow things up and sell at the deadline. However, that would involve a huge concession by Anthopoulos and the ownership group, essentially stating that this season was a bust and they cannot compete with this team in the future.

Something in the back of my mind says that neither Rogers, Beeston, or Anthopoulos is going to swallow that nut.

Still, let’s say for the sake of argument, and filler, that they do. That puts an awful lot of pieces into play at the deadline.

First and foremost, you have the aforementioned Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Both players are about as untouchable as you could be on this roster. Any offer to secure one of those bats, and their very affordable contracts (Jose @ 3-years, $42 million and Edwin @ 3-years, $29 million including option), would have to entail a very good return and one with Major League ready talent.

For a team like the Rangers, who Morosi discusses as a possible interested party, that would mean a package that would have to include Jurickson Profar and the Blue Jays would love to get Martin Perez in the mix, but that isn’t likely to happen. Neil Ramirez would be another target, but he’s one of the names rumored to be the PTBNL in the Matt Garza deal with Chicago.

Needless to say, such a package to acquire an impact bat like Bautista and Encarnacion are likely to make any team pause before even asking Toronto.

Secondly, the Blue Jays have an immensely talented bullpen from which to deal from.

The market for a proven closer trimmed quite a bit today, when the Tigers acquired Jose Veras from the Astros, so Detroit will no longer be calling about Janssen. Still, he could hold some appeal to other teams with a need at closer. Still, teams like the Cardinal, Red Sox, and Diamondbacks are looking for upgrades at the position. That said, it is unlikely that Toronto will deal Janssen within the division to Boston and the Cardinals do not appear to want to make any of their top tier prospects available in a trade.

But Janssen is far from the only relief arm that the Blue Jays could move. Teams will call about All-Stars Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar, but Toronto is more likely to move Darren Oliver at the deadline than any other reliever. The wily veteran is due to retire at the end of the season, and the Blue Jays could look to swing a minor deal just to give him a shot at contending. As our friends over at Top of the Tower pointed out, the Orioles gave up a solid prospect in Nick Delmonico for Francisco Rodriguez. What could the Jays net for relievers that are arguable more valuable and more controllable?

Needless to say, Toronto has the capability of making noise at the deadline, but they need to weigh that against their desire to compete with this roster in 2014 and beyond. They have two more days to analyze the facts and act, so it should be interesting to see what happens in the coming days.