Jays need to make deal sooner rather than later


It’s July 4th and the Toronto Blue Jays have found themselves in a bit of a quandary. Currently, they sit a game back in a four-horse race for the AL East division title heading into what’s trademarked as the dog days of summer.

As countless other articles have described, in the same sentence, the Jays possess one of baseball’s most potent offences to go with one of its most unreliable pitching staffs. With a little more than a month remaining before this year’s non-waiver trade deadline, fans and media alike are left once again pleading with management for something, anything, that can aid the boys in blue to partake in October baseball.

Really, there is no absolute consensus to what the Jays and GM Alex Anthopoulos should target. Be it their unreliable bullpen, labouring starting rotation, or both, there appears to be a desperate need for a below average pitching staff that owns a 4.12 ERA.

Obviously we, the armchair GM’s of the baseball world, have no idea what types of trades Anthopoulos currently has on the table. For all this writer knows, he could have his finger on the trigger to a deal that will shake Yonge street to its core.

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But for the time being, the assumption is that the Jays will march forward into the depths of baseball with the same team in hopes of fighting for October. Thus, the Jays are presented with a situation crying out for assistance from the outside; a trade some would call it. And, ideally, this change needs to come sooner rather than later for three reasons.

Firstly, the Jays are not a particularly strong road team. Thus far, the Jays hold a 16-21 record on the road versus a very respectable 26-17 record at home. This is a big problem for the month of July as the Jays play 16 of their 25 games on the road in hopes of avoiding the chaotic circus that will be associated with this year’s Pan-Am Games held in Toronto.

Make no doubt about it, the month of July will be instrumental in creating meaningful baseball throughout August and September. A month similar to last year’s August of 9-17 could be disastrous to the Jays playoff odds which currently sit at 49.8% according to Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA Projection system.

Secondly, one of their biggest in-division competitors, the Tampa Bay Rays, recently added to their already lethal rotation through the activation of Matt Moore. If you can’t remember Moore from history, he’s owned a 3.53 career ERA up until 2014 where he was sidelined with Tommy John surgery. On Thursday, the Rays activated Moore to pitch against Cleveland and while he may not be the ace-type pitcher available on the trade market, historically he’s still much better than anything the Jays currently have in their rotation.

If nothing more, the Jays need to make a move in retaliation with what their biggest competitors are doing. If you aren’t always moving forward, you’re moving backwards, or some other philosophical truism.

Lastly is the axiom of basic buying and selling of commodities. Since there is a fixed ending date on when the Jays can acquire a player (without clearing  waivers), the seller conceivably has until that date to drive up interest on his commodity. For hypothetical purposes, if there were seven available pitchers on the market to start July but only three remaining on July 31st, it’s logical to assume the asking price on the latter date will be much higher than the former. Obviously then, the earlier a buyer enters the market and purchases his desired product, the less he would conceivably have to pay.

Additionally, the buyer will get his choice from the crop instead of picking up the scraps at dinner’s end late July.

Again, the Jays could be anywhere from making a deal soon to not at all depending on your point of view. Throughout his tenure, Anthopoulos’s clandestine style trades have shocked the baseball world, it’s easy to believe that could happen again.

Let’s hope for the club’s sake though that he’s had a deal in the oven for a while and is at least checking on it now to see if it’s ready to devour.