Blue Jays could be active traders in August too
With the July 31st trade deadline approaching, the Blue Jays are expected to be active sellers before then. What’s stopping them from August trades though?
The Blue Jays have found a little groove this week, as they look to finish up a four game series sweep of the Oakland A’s. Unfortunately it’s probably a little too late to change their course of action, but they’ve pulled themselves within 6.5 games of the Wild Card with the three game win streak.
However, they have seven teams to leapfrog in the Wild Card standings in order to get to the playoffs, and that is a much greater roadblock than the 6.5 games they would have to make up. As a result, they Blue Jays will likely trade their expiring veterans before Monday at midnight.
For those who’ve forgotten or are unfamiliar with the trade deadline rules, July 31st represents the non-waiver deadline, which means that players who are moved before then are eligible to play for their new team in the playoffs. You can still make trades in August, those players just have to clear waivers in order to compete in the postseason, if the team should qualify.
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A good example was in 2015 when the Blue Jays traded for Cliff Pennington. Dealing with injuries to their middle infield, the Blue Jays felt that Pennington would be worth adding to the roster in order to help the Jays make the playoffs. Once they had qualified, Pennington wasn’t eligible for the postseason roster, but he had filled the role the team needed of him before the playoffs got rolling.
Could there be a similar situation for the Blue Jays this far? Obviously it’s a stretch to expect them to add in August to help them contend, but what if they keep scouring the market with an eye on next year?
Granted, this eliminates anyone from the pool of contending teams, but there could be other teams willing to chat about trades. In the National League, that list could include the Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, New York Mets, or Miami Marlins. There are less teams out of the race in the AL, but you could throw the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Oakland A’s, and maybe others like the Angels, Rangers, or Twins if they continue to slide in the standings.
If I’m working for the Blue Jays front office and thinking about next year, I’m looking at four areas: starting pitching, the bullpen, the corner outfield spots, and maybe second base. Do any of the above teams have the type of player they’d be willing to sell in August?
It would take a gigantic haul, but the Marlins have discussed the possibility of moving Christian Yelich, Marcel Ozuna, or even Giancarlo Stanton. Any one of those three would fit nicely in Toronto’s 2018 lineup, but the return ask would be awfully great, and would likely include too many elite prospects for Shapiro and Atkins’ liking.
Avail Garcia has two years remaining of club control with the White Sox, and he has had a resurgent season with the bat. With the Tigers, Ian Kinsler has one year remaining on his deal with the Tigers before he’s a free agent again, and would bring some consistency to second base. There have been rumours about interest in Rougned Odor as well (granted, I can’t see this happening), so there are still phone calls to make for Shapiro and Atkins once the deadline has passed.
All of this said, I don’t expect the Blue Jays to make any major deals, especially not after the deadline. I do think they’ll shop their expiring contracts and get the best offer they can for them, and I could see them continuing to shop into August. The more likely scenario though, is the Blue Jays giving plenty of opportunity to some younger players down the stretch, with an eye on seeing who is ready to contribute next year.
Next: Blue Jays: No need for any drastic trades
That could come in the form off cast offs from other contenders though too, so keep your eyes and ears focused on the waiver wire. It could be a busy time for the Blue Jays, especially if they trade their expiring contracts, as they’re expected to.