Toronto Blue Jays left field trade possibilities

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Sep 19, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Michael Saunders (55) reaches on an error during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays are still digesting the news that left fielder Michael Saunders will be out until the All Star break with a torn meniscus.  After coming to the Jays from Seattle in exchange for J.A. Happ, Saunders was expected to replace some of the production lost from Melky Cabrera while chipping in with his glove and speed potential on the base paths.

The injury hits the Toronto Blue Jays in a spot where they can ill afford to lose starters, and has left the team with a Little League styled tryout at left field over the next month.  Kevin Pillar surely has the first shot at the job, but names like Andy Dirks, Ezequiel Carrera, Caleb Gindl and Chris Dickerson will be given a chance.  Keep in mind that the fourth outfielder spot is now freed up, as well, and manager John Gibbons will even be giving Chris Colabello and Danny Valencia a look in the outfield.  Rejoice, Jays fans.

Alex Anthopoulos has wisely stated that he will wait to see what plays out with his in-house depth.  A left fielder can be plugged into the position quickly if needed, so the Blue Jays have the benefit of one month to take an inventory of their own assets.  A trade at this point would not only be a knee-jerk reaction, but it would send a poor message about management’s confidence in the locker room.

As the Spring rolls on, out-of-option players could enter the picture as well.  We all know how Anthopoulos likes a good waiver wire pickup.  It’s important to remember, though, that Anthopoulos, and possibly John Gibbons, could be playing for their jobs this season.  If the Replacement Level Derby in left isn’t showing promise, the Jays may be more inclined than usual to make a move and start this season off on the right foot.

Ahead, we take a look at several left field options that the Blue Jays, for better or for worse, could make calls on leading up to Opening Day.  Some of these names make perfect sense, while others are included solely to highlight their unlikely nature.  Remember, the Blue Jays do have players on their roster at left field.  Adding a player who hits .280 with 20 home runs is not adding that from zero, but upgrading 10-20 points in the batting average and 5-7 home runs.  The situation in Toronto is unfortunate, but as some of these candidates show, the best replacement options truly may come from within.

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