Blue Jays may keep shopping: Looking at August options

Apr 4, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins prior to the game at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins prior to the game at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, but there could still be plenty of movement before August 31st.

The Toronto Blue Jays were among the busiest clubs leading up to the August 1st non-waiver trade deadline. Although they brought in a total of five new faces that have already donned a Jays’ jersey, it’s entirely possible that more moves could be coming in August.

If you’re a little confused by the “non-waiver/waiver” deadline rules, you’re not alone. Prior to the August 1st deadline, a team can trade any player without having to worry about anything other than negotiations with the trading team. For example, when the Blue Jays acquired Scott Feldman from the Astros for Guadalupe Chavez, the discussion was only between the Blue Jays and the Astros.

After the August 1st deadline it basically works like this: any player claimed on waivers can only be traded to the team who claimed him. If a player goes through waivers unclaimed, they can be traded anywhere. In August, many claims are made to “block” another team from being able to improve. For example, if the Orioles were interested in an impact player on waivers, the Blue Jays would have the opportunity to claim them first, by virtue of their lower place in the standings.

It gets a lot more complicated after the non-waiver deadline, which is why most teams like to shore up their rosters beforehand as much as possible.

So with that in mind, are there any realistic targets left out there that could help the Blue Jays? And if there are, what are the chances they slip down to the point where Atkins and Shapiro can make a move? Injuries could always play a factor too, but assuming the team stays healthy, here are a few candidates that could be of interest to the Jays.

Boone Logan

The Rockies are caught in an interesting position as they look at the standings. They’re probably not contenders, but they decided against selling a few of their assets prior to the deadline, likely because they’re still only 3 games out of the second wild card spot. They do have a lot of work to do in order to catch up though, and losing Trevor Story to a season-ending injury doesn’t help matters.

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If the Rockies’ chances slip over the next couple of weeks they could take another look at selling some assets. Boone Logan was thought to be on the trade block earlier, and may well be a target of many contenders.

The impending free agent has been nasty on lefty’s this season, holding them to the tune of a .139/.195/.222 slash line, and has struck out 33% of lefty’s faced as well. That’s… impressive.

If Brett Cecil doesn’t inspire a little more confidence, the Jays and plenty more teams could look at Logan as a solution. The only problem is, he’s unlikely to reach Toronto on the waiver wire.

Carlos Gonzalez

Like Logan, Carlos Gonzalez is playing for the Rockies during a season in which they can’t decide if they’re contenders or pretenders. Gonzalez has long been an All-Star calibre player, and is in the midst of another fine season currently hitting .322 with 25 home runs and 72 RBI.

The concern with Gonzalez is the same as any player who plays in Colorado, can they produce outside of Coors Field? The splits aren’t friendly to CarGo, and with 20.5 million owed to him next season, he’s not exactly cheap.

The addition of Melvin Upton Jr. to the Jays lineup likely eliminates the Jays from looking at another outfielder, but CarGo does come with the extra year of control and would bring a left-handed power bat to the lineup. He’s also a possibility as someone who could go unclaimed because of his big salary, making him a slightly more realistic option for the Jays.

Ervin Santana

The Blue Jays and Twins reportedly had extensive discussions around Ervin Santana leading up to the deadline, and they could conceivably continue in August.

The Jays did bring in Francisco Liriano to add rotation depth, but it’s entirely possible they aren’t done looking to add. The Twins reportedly were looking for a solid return for Santana, but could very well have softened now that the deadline has come and gone.

His contract is reasonable for 2017-18 with an option for 2019, so Santana could be claimed if he was placed on waivers. He could very well end up as the type that the Blue Jays claim, simply to stop him from joining another contender like the Orioles.

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Yasiel Puig

This one is a real stretch, but I’m going to include it for fun anyway. A few years ago Yasiel Puig was about as untouchable as a player could be on the trade market. He took the league by storm flashing power, speed, a cannon for an arm in right field, and personality to boot. My how things have changed.

Puig’s numbers have gotten worse every year, and it seems like his relationship with the Dodgers has gone sour at the same rate. Still only 25 (!) years old, he was sent to Triple A last week to work on his game, but also amidst reports of problems in the clubhouse.

I think it’s safe to say that Puig could use a change of scenery and it’s very likely that it’ll come sooner than later. The Blue Jays would likely be HIGHLY reluctant to bring on a player with potential character issues, especially in the midst of a pennant race, but the talent is there and it’s gotta be at least a little tempting.

There are obviously other possibilities, but the pickings do get pretty slim in August. Here’s hoping the Jays already have everything they need.