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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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 18: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches during the second inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 18, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 18: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches during the second inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 18, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays

As much as the Red Sox or Yankees could use a boost to their rotation depth chart, you could probably argue that the Rays could use it even more.

Or, maybe not?

The Rays have continued to use unconventional methods in 2019 and they’re currently at the top of the Wild Card standings, so it’s working whether old school baseball fans like it or not. Right now MLB.com has only three starters listed on their depth chart, which are Blake Snell, Charlie Morton and Ryan Yarbrough. They also have Tyler Glasgow and on the injured list, but they’re not shy about using the “opener” strategy.

Perhaps they’ll be comfortable continuing to go with that method throughout the year, but it wouldn’t be surprising to me to see the Rays “go for it” a bit this season, especially if the Yankees’ health continues to make them vulnerable. They should have payroll room despite their putrid attendance, and they have a very strong system if they want to part with prospects to improve their chances this year.

Maybe it’s possible they could pursue Stroman, but I would be less surprised to see the Rays inquire on Sanchez (on a discount because of the injury concerns), or even Buchholz or Richard if they’re healthy and performing. As I said above, they operate in unconventional ways and yet find a way to consistently compete with some of the best teams in baseball, even with a fraction of the payroll to work with.

I don’t think it’s likely that they’re a match here, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

Likelihood= 1.5/5

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