Nobody would have predicted in April that the Toronto Blue Jays would be sellers and the Milwaukee Brewers buyers as the MLB trade deadline looms, however, the two teams may be able to match up on a deal.
The Brewers sit atop the National League Central with the Cubs gaining ground quickly only a half game back. The Brew Crew is rumoured to be looking for pitching upgrades in their rotation and bullpen before the deadline.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the Brewers are interested in Blue Jays reliever Joe Smith, an interest that has stemmed from the offseason. Smith who just returned from the DL is set to become a free agent at season’s end.
The Brewers were also rumoured to be knocking on the Athletics door inquiring about pitcher Sonny Gray. Those talks have apparently cooled so perhaps the Brewers will look to bring Marco Estrada back in a package with Smith. The 34-year old Estrada spent five seasons in Milwaukee before being acquired by the Jays for Adam Lind.
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
- Blue Jays: Snapping cold streaks at the right time
- Who Should the Blue Jays Extend First: Guerrero, Bichette or Manoah?
- Blue Jays now hold the top Wild Card spot, and yes that’s a good thing
- Blue Jays may have the tools to use a Bullpen Day
- Blue Jays win important first game after Bichette’s late inning heroics
The struggling Estrada would still be an upgrade over Junior Guerra or Zach Davies especially given his proven playoff track record. Guerra sports a similar earned run average to that of Estrada at 5.22 in 12 starts. Their best hurler Chase Anderson is still sidelined with an oblique injury and isn’t due back until presumably August.
A Smith/Estrada package would not yield a blue chipper like Lewis Brinson but the Jays may be able to pry a Brett Phillips type prospect from the Brewers in return for the pitching package. The 23-year old Phillips is an athletic outfielder with decent pop and speed who is batting .200 with 2 home runs in 14 games with the big club.
Expect both Smith and Estrada to be moved by the deadline and the Brewers seem like a potential landing spot for both.