Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Looking beyond dealing just the “rental” contracts

TORONTO, ON - MAY 18: Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson #20 and Luke Maile #21 (Back Left) and Kevin Pillar #11 (Back Right) look on with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on May 18, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 18: Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson #20 and Luke Maile #21 (Back Left) and Kevin Pillar #11 (Back Right) look on with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on May 18, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – MAY 18: Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson #20 and Luke Maile #21 (Back Left) and Kevin Pillar #11 (Back Right) look on with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on May 18, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – MAY 18: Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson #20 and Luke Maile #21 (Back Left) and Kevin Pillar #11 (Back Right) look on with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on May 18, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

If the Blue Jays do ultimately become sellers at this year’s trade deadline, they may want to consider moving more than just their rental contract players.

After a glimmer of hope that followed a four game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, the Blue Jays dropped their opening game against the Rays at Tropicana field on Monday night. The loss brings their record to 30-36, leaving them 14.5 out of the AL East, and 11.5 back of the second Wild Card spot.

It’s still early, sure, but the Blue Jays and their fan base have to start accepting that this season may not be a push for the playoffs after all. Things looked great in April, and there have been recent signs of life to draw encouragement from, but ignoring the reality of the situation would be foolish. That doesn’t mean you have to throw up the white towel now either, but I do think it’s time to start shifting focus when it comes to exploring possible deadline trades.

As has been discussed at length, the Blue Jays have plenty of reasonably valuable players on expiring contracts this year including the likes of Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Curtis Granderson, Steve Pearce and more. Those five and the others on one year deals are highly likely to get shopped before the July 31st deadline, and it makes perfect sense. Even if the team is interested in bringing them back for 2019 and beyond, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look to get an asset back in a trade for a short term absence, just like the Yankees did with Aroldis Chapman a couple years ago.

When I look at the way this season has gone and the way the roster is built, I would argue that the Blue Jays should explore more trades than just dumping their expiring contracts for whatever they can get. I’m not endorsing a full on strip and re-build, but I’d be okay with looking beyond just the expiring deals. There are a few other players that still have value, but may not fit into the plans for this team, especially if they’re not going to be competing for a playoff spot this year.

Let’s have a look at who might fit this description.

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