This week’s episode of the Jays’ Nest Podcast brings you yet another hour of great Blue Jays discussion. With the All Star break upon us, it is a great time to stop and reflect. We look at where the Blue Jays stand right now and what that means for the upcoming Trade Deadline. We discuss untouchable players, what type of contract the Blue Jays should be trading for, the bullpen and more. We also wonder what to do with Dalton Pompey. We answer some good reader questions before we move into handing out our weekly awards.
Also from Jays Journal: Blue Jays Must Consider Next Year’s Rotation This Year!
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Toronto Blue Jays
We begin our discussion about the current state of the Toronto Blue Jays and how their position in the standings dictate that they should be looking to add at the Trade Deadline. As such, we wondered about the type of contract the Blue Jays should look to trade for. We decided it is better of they go after a starting pitcher who is under team control for a while.The Blue Jays are not in a position to trade for a rental player, like Johnny Cueto with the hopes of signing him in the offseason. Due to the difficulty this club has with signing free agents who are not Canadian, it would behoove them to ignore the rental type starters and go after a guy like Tyson Ross who will have more time with the Blue Jays.
When looking for pitching help, we can’t ignore the struggles the bullpen has had over the first half of the season. So, should the Blue Jays target help there too? Given that they will have limited resources, they’ll have to really focus their efforts, here. So, unless they’re going after a lockdown closer that is cheaper than Jonathan Papelbon, they’d be better off spending their resources on the rotation. But, if they can manage a deal for a Craig Kimbrel, it might be worth it. Of course, this also comes with the caveat that they do not ignore the rotation. In fact, the rotation has to be the priority.
From there, we moved into looking at what we’d have to give up to facilitate a trade. More specifically, we talked about who would be labeled “untouchable” for the Toronto Blue Jays. On the MLb roster, we discussed Josh Donaldson and Devon Travis. Those might be the only two we would consider deal breakers. Although, Roberto Osuna is close even though we didn’t discuss him. In the minor leagues, Keegan really wanted to keep Daniel Norris. A lefty starter with his upside is difficult to replace. For me, I wondered about Jeff Hoffman, but in the end I decided that there are no untouchables when thinking about a deal that could lead the Blue Jays to the post season to end the longest drought in baseball.
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The next topic of conversation switched gears a bit. We looked at what to do with Dalton Pompey. Should the Blue Jays consider a promotion since he’s tearing it up in AA New Hampshire? Would he be worth a look as a 4th outfielder, which Keegan likened to Rajai Davis? This was an interesting talk given the issues with confidence that have been discussed in the past. We weighed this back and forth. It is a good chat. Check it out.
Our episode brought back our segment called “Charge the Mound”. This week I took a run at Jose Bautista‘s actions in the wild game against the Royals where he was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes. For me, a leader doesn’t behave the way he did. Regardless of what the umpire, Jerry Meals, was doing, Bautista has to have some perspective. It was t he 8th inning of a 10-10 tie where his team had already clawed back against the best team in the American League. they needed his bat, not his mouth. When a player argues balls and strikes in his own at bat and forgets the team situation, it is inexcusable. Bautista is a great player and person. But, in that moment, he was not being what the Blue Jays needed.
After I vented a bit, we took some reader questions. The first was about Sonny Gray and Josh Reddick. How nice would they look in Blue Jays uniforms? It’s nice to dream. Another question asked about the chances of the Blue Jays winning the division with 90 wins. They’d have to go 45-26 the rest of the way, which is a tall order. If they’re going to do it, they’ll have to start strong out of the gate. Right after the All Star break, they face the Athletics, Mariners and Phillies. While there are no easy games in baseball, this is a good way to start a playoff push. It certainly is not going to get easier. In September, they face AL East opponents 22 times, including 12 in a row to end the month. Our final question was whether the Blue Jays are buyers or sellers. We debated whether they could be both, but ultimately decided that they are indeed buyers and announced that with the offseason acquisition of Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin.
We wrapped up with our weekly awards. The Hitter of the Week was split between a rookie and a much maligned veteran. Out Pitcher of the Week went to an elder statesman and a surprise bullpen arm.
We hope you enjoy Episode 28 of Jays’ Nest. Please feel free to leave comments below. And, don’t forget to send your questions in for the next episode!