As we near the end of May the trade chatter is going to ramp up around the big leagues, and that’s exactly what happened on MLB Central yesterday.
Any organization that is on pace for roughly 100 losses knows when June rolls around and the draft is complete, the chatter shifts from which player they should take in the first round to which players they will look to move ahead of the July 31st trade deadline.
After Monday night’s game, the Blue Jays are on pace to finish the season with a record of 63-99 and that had the MLB Network‘s “MLB Central” crew talking this morning about how they think the club will use this year’s deadline to potentially add some soon-to-be MLB ready pitchers to accompany the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Bo Bichette.
MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal says he firmly believes the Blue Jays will trade Marcus Stroman and they will also look to trade Justin Smoak and Ken Giles. Stroman will easily net the most return with his 2.74 ERA and still another full year until he hits free agency.
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Former Blue Jay and current MLB Network analyst Mark DeRosa chimed in saying he believes Stroman will be moved as well. While the show seemed almost certain this would happen, it’s difficult to imagine where the rotation will be if Stroman is indeed shipped out before the deadline.
With Vlad Jr. as the centrepiece of the rebuild, Rosenthal said says the club will be looking for pitching around the Double-A, Triple-A level who will be ready to contribute at the major league level over the next five years or so.
That’s the five to six year window where the core of the Blue Jays high-end prospects will all be making less than true market value due to service time, thus allowing some spending money to obtain players with a track record and more experience.
There isn’t believed to be any links to either of these clubs yet, but two potential landing spots the analysts mentioned were the Phillies and Astros. There is a fit as both are looking for another quality arm to complete a rotation that can compete deep into October.
With the MLB Draft set for Monday, it seems Dallas Keuchel could sign a contract in the near future with teams no longer having to forfeit draft picks or international pool money. Where Keuchel lands will affect the market for Stroman and with free agent closer Craig Kimbrel in the same situation, that will also affect the Giles market.
With the deadline still two months away it could still be a while before these players get moved, if they even get traded at all.
There surely will be more than just these three names discussed in trade rumours as teams continue to figure out their identity’s and where they need improvements.