Here at Jays Journal, we’ve been following all of the trade rumors surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays. If someone mentions the Blue Jays, we’ll bring it to you. Some of these rumors may prove to have more validity than others. Some might prove to be nothing at all. And, we should probably prepare for that. We should expect the best, but prepare for the worst.
The “Manalyst” has two reasons why he thinks the Blue Jays may not make a deal this summer. Firstly, he says there are too many teams involved in the playoff hunt. That means that there are fewer teams ready to admit defeat and throw in the towel, so to speak. Other than a small handful of teams like the Phillies and Brewers, there may not be that many trade partners for the Blue Jays. But, a quick check of the MLB Standings shows that there are plenty of teams who are in that position, whether they admit it or not.
Toronto Blue Jays
If we say that a team who is 10 or more games out of the division doesn’t have a realistic shot of competing, that means there are 8 teams on that list including the Indians, White Sox, Marlins, Phillies, Reds, Brewers, Padres, and Rockies. Any of these teams sound familiar? If we open it up to the Wild Card spot, which is where Zaun sees more competition, that list gets cut down to 3 teams who are 10 or more out.
But, that is just the point. If a team is 10 games out, we can say that they are likely not going to contend. If they are 7 out, it might be different. Except, if you look at the number of teams that are 7 or 8 (or fewer) games out of the Wild Card spot, contending proves to be a daunting task for them. It may not be a mathematical struggle for them in a sense that there is time to make up games. No, the real challenge comes in trying to jump over the number of teams in front of them. So, teams will have to take a good, long look in the mirror and decide. I think Zaun is wrong in that there will be more teams facing reality and be ready to deal. This number will also grow as the Trade Deadline gets closer and closer.
The other reason why Zaunie wants us to hedge our excitement for a big trade is that ‘The Blue Jays just don’t have a bevy of prospects or 25 man roster players that they would be comfortable giving up’. At first, this might strike you as odd. We know the Blue Jays have been active in seeking pitching help. We know that other teams have been scouting Blue Jays prospects. GM, Alex Anthopoulos has said all the right things to make us think that Zaun is off the mark here.
The Blue Jays certainly have the pieces to satisfy any trade partner. With other clubs eyeing Daniel Norris, Jeff Hoffman and others, we know that the pieces are there. That’s why they’re there. The Blue Jays have made no secret about drafting with an eye to using those players as currency. Not every prospect is going to end up at the bug league level with the same organization that drafted them. All of the signs point to the Blue Jays being willing to part with some of that human currency. The question is, (and this might be Zaun’s actual point) how much are the Blue Jays willing to give up to obtain the help they need?
The Blue Jays are not in a position of say, the Houston Astros, who’ve been so bad over the last few years that they’ve been able to draft high and collect prospects. That might be true. But, is it fair (or accurate) to say that they don’t have the pieces to make a deal?
Will other clubs ask for so much that the Blue Jays will walk away? Gregg Zaun sure seems to think so. Or, is this just a commentary meant to shake things up a bit? Is it meant to go against the grain? Is it meant to stand out as a damper in an otherwise positive buzz around the Blue Jays as they appear to be working hard to make a push toward their first playoff appearance in 22 years? Time will tell who is correct.