Blue Jays rumors: Trade talks with Cleveland Indians


The Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly one of three teams that have engaged in preliminary trade talks with the Cleveland Indians regarding a starting pitcher, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Also believed to be involved are the division-rival New York Yankees and deep-pocketed Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cleveland and Toronto link doesn’t come as a great surprise, given the recent move of Mark Shapiro between the organizations. Not only would Shapiro have a strong grasp on the players and organizational structure, but the contracts involved and which arms would be available. Some names that are potentially available include Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco or Corey Kluber.

It’s interesting that this rumor takes a step deeper though in reporting that each of the three interested parties would be parting with an “everyday” outfielder in a potential deal. Chatter out of New York is that Brett Gardiner could be available, but he is due to make $13.5 million, $12.5M and $11.5M over the three coming seasons before a 2019 team option.

From the Dodgers side, their outfield chips include Carl Crawford and his terrifying $43.5 million salary over the next two years, Andre Ethier with $35.5 million over the next two years before a 2018 vesting option, and Yasiel Puig‘s $24.64 million hit over the next three seasons. From these names, don’t the Blue Jays seem to fit the Cleveland budget more logically?

Ben Revere and Michael Saunders obviously come to mind. I’d rule out Jose Bautista barring any further developments (and, you know, the no-trade clause), but what about Kevin Pillar and Dalton Pompey? As heartless as trade negotiations may force us to be, Pillar could be coming off a season that creates his highest possible value. In Pompey, would the Blue Jays be willing to part with their top prospect for anything less than a truly impactful arm?

It seems the Hot Stove season has officially begun in Toronto. While these trade discussions are preliminary, they do go a step beyond “Jays interested in ____”, so we’ll keep you up to date with all coming developments between the Jays and Indians as Shapiro tries to get by with a little help from his old friends.