Blue Jays AL East Recap: Jays fail to gain ground, trade deadline outlooks
Each week, Jays Journal will take a look at the bigger picture of the AL East to help frame not only where the Blue Jays are in the standings, but why they are there.
Baltimore Orioles: 57-40
Boston Red Sox: 55-41
Toronto Blue Jays: 55-44
New York Yankees: 50-48
Tampa Bay Rays: 38-60
It was another rough week for the chase. Despite winning a two game set against the Diamondbacks, the Blue Jays dropped their weekend series against the Seattle Mariners. Despite the difficult week, though, the Blue Jays are still only three games out of first.
The Blue Jays ran into some rough pitching towards the end of the week, both in the rotation and the pen, that saw the Jays drop two in a row. J.A Happ proved the be the stopper against his former team combining with the ‘pen for a one-hit shut out.
Toronto still very much in the pennant race, and will most likely make some moves as the trade deadline looms just a week away on August 1st. With Drew Storen put out to pasture, the Jays have the ability to add a ‘pen arm without sacrificing anyone off of the current roster.
It seems likely that the Jays will at least add a dime store arm to the back end in an attempt to shore up a shaky bull pen. It remains to be seen if the Blue Jays will make a move for a starter that will allow them to transition all Star Aaron Sanchez.
The Blue Jays need to solidify their bullpen, which has often been the weakest aspect of their team. This can be achieved in a flexible way by transitioning the in-house Sanchez after a starter is picked up, or by grabbing a ‘pen arm from a team for a reasonable price. Expect a deal similar to the Jason Grilli addition. It is even possible that Shapiro and Co. will simply try to ride it out with in-house options given the current state of the farm system.
The Blue Jays are still very much in the mix, but will need to step up their game to remain at the top. With the Orioles and Red Sox poised to duke it out and add talent, and the Yankees sudden resurgence, the Blue Jays will need to post a record better than their 4-4 mark since the All Star Break.
Next: Baltimore Orioles fight for first