Blue Jays: Which AL contenders could come calling for a starting pitcher?

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 5: Aaron Sanchez
TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 5: Aaron Sanchez /
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TORONTO, ON – APRIL 26: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to the media before introducing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 before his MLB debut later tonight against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – APRIL 26: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to the media before introducing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 before his MLB debut later tonight against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

With the Blue Jays expected to trade veterans before the July 31st deadline, which possible contenders could come calling for a starting pitcher?

It’s no secret that the Blue Jays won’t be making the playoffs in 2019, and with that reality is that the rebuild will continue in Toronto.

That was pretty much always part of the plan anyway, but the fact that they’re on pace for more than 100 losses right now cements the idea that they’ll trade veterans like Justin Smoak, Freddy Galvis, and possibly several others.

The most appealing part of their roster (other than the minor league system) would be in their starting rotation, where the Jays have a few potentially useful pieces for a contender as the 2019 season enters its stretch run. Chances are that Ross Atkins and the front office have already started fielding some calls on guys like Marcus Stroman and maybe Aaron Sanchez as well, but they could have others to offer if Clayton Richard and Clay Buchholz can be healthy and productive before the deadline.

So if we can agree it’s likely the Blue Jays will at least field calls on their starting pitchers (I’m not saying they’re guaranteed to trade Stroman, or Sanchez), then who will be on the other end of the phone? A lot can change in the next two months, but we’re already starting to get an idea of what the playoff picture could look like, and who might be interested in upgrading their rotation for 2019, and potentially beyond.

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