Blue Jays Starters vs Trade Targets: Is There Even a Need?

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Jun 24, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Marco Estrada (25) looks on in the dugout during the fourth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Now, I’ve only discussed the 4 mainstays of the Blue Jays rotation. Do we really need to consider the value of Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto over Matt Boyd at this point? Boyd has done well for himself this year, but he’s not going to be t he key that pushes this club into the playoffs. 

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Well what about Marco Estrada? He’s done better than expected, right? Indeed he has. He compares thusly: 3.58 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 0.6 WAR, 0.37 WPA in 11 starts. The fact that we can say Estrada has been better than expected kind of proves the point, doesn’t it? The Blue Jays will need to rely on Estrada to get through the season. Over 162 games, teams need guys like that. But, can we expect Marco Estrada to carry this club into the promised land? Not likely.

Instead, the Blue Jays are going to have to figure out exactly how they’re going to upgrade this rotation. It has improved form the terrible start to the season. But, as you can see above, it does not house that one (or two) guys who can be relied upon for the quality and value needed to make a playoff run.

Each of the players on the list of Big Fish bring their own price tag. Cole Hamels would cost prospects, sure. But, what is likely more of a concern is the 3 guaranteed years remaining which will cost $70M. Johnny Cueto will have a high prospect cost, but then the Blue Jays risk losing him to free agency in the fall. Scott Zazmir comes with an injury history. Is it worth the risk? Jeff Samardzija has bounced around over the last year or two hoping that he would be the addition to help his clubs win. It didn’t exactly work for the Athletics. And, the White Sox may consider “selling” him this year.

No, there are no guarantees in baseball. That is guaranteed. But, if the Blue Jays are serious about contending in 2015, they’re going to have to make moves designed to push them closer to a guarantee than where they currently stand. They need to upgrade the rotation. GM, Alex Anthopoulos will likely look in on the names presented here. He might be looking into others we don’t even know about. Regardless where he looks, standing pat cannot be an option.

Have your say! Which “Big Fish” would you like to see the Blue Jays land?

Next: What Can Blue Jays Learn About Prospects from Jose Bautista & Justin Smoak?