Blue Jays: Big names that could get traded this offseason

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TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 8: President and CEO Mark Shapiro of the Toronto Blue Jays with his daughter Sierra and general manager Ross Atkins on the field before the start of MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on April 8, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 8: President and CEO Mark Shapiro of the Toronto Blue Jays with his daughter Sierra and general manager Ross Atkins on the field before the start of MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on April 8, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays
TORONTO, ON – JUNE 29: Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre on June 29, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

It’s been a disappointing 2018 season for the Blue Jays and it’s time to start thinking about next year and building a team for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. With several contracts getting close to their end, here are some names that could be wearing a different uniform at the start of 2019.

The most valuable trade chip the Blue Jays will have this offseason is, by far, Marcus Stroman. With two more years of control and a good second half performance, the Blue Jays could get a premium return for Stroman this winter. To give you an idea, it could be a similar package to what the Tampa Bay Rays got for Chris Archer, perhaps not as good but certainly around that level. The Rays got two major league ready players in outfielder Austin Meadows and right-hander Tyler Glasnow, 23 and 24 years old respectively, who were once top prospects in the game. If the Blue Jays are offered such a package of prospects, it would be hard to reject such an offer.

The 27-year-old right-hander has a 4-8 record along with an elevated 5.20 ERA in 16 starts. However, since his return on June 23rd, he has a very solid 3.29 ERA in 54.1 innings pitched over 9 starts. Those numbers will only increase his value especially after suffering from some shoulder issues in spring training which always bring up some doubts about pitchers long-term health.

Should the Blue Jays trade Marcus Stroman however? That’s a difficult question to answer as there are arguments for both the ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The first thing that comes to mind is that the Blue Jays need starters for next season. Marco Estrada is set to hit free agency, so if they were to trade Stroman the Blue Jays would be left with two guaranteed starters.

Aaron Sanchez who’s another offseason trade candidate which will be discussed later in the article, and rookie Ryan Borucki who has certainly made a good impression in his first major league season so far and is poised to make the rotation next spring training. Another argument for the ‘no’ is that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is on his way up and the idea of him being in a Blue Jays uniform in May of 2019 is becoming more and more realistic as times goes on.

Therefore, bringing up Vlad Jr. in a completely depleted team isn’t really ideal, you want the team to be at least competitive. The arguments for the ‘yes’ are very straight and simple. Stroman hits free agency in two years after this season, will the Blue Jays have a chance to win in the next two years? Maybe, but it’s not a lot of time, you might as well try to capitalize on a trade return for Stroman and acquire young players who will play along Vlad Jr and Bichette for 5 or more years than hope for the best in just 1 or 2 years and see the potential return of a trade diminish, or just see him go away in free agency for nothing.

MLB Network insider Jon Morosi said on Wednesday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan: “I think there is a 50/50 chance he gets dealt this offseason”. That’s a very reasonable thought considering the position the Blue Jays are on right now. If the Blue Jays get an offer that satisfies them, it really wouldn’t be surprising if we see the 27-year-old get traded. Whatever happens, the Blue Jays will surely listen on Stroman and rumors surrounding the right-hander will be swirling all winter long.

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