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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ST. PETERSBURG, FL – MAY 31: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins acknowledges the crowd after being removed in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 31, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – MAY 31: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins acknowledges the crowd after being removed in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 31, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Twins

Arguably the surprise team of the 2019 season so far, the Minnesota Twins look like they’re a lock for the postseason this year. There is a lot of talent on this roster and a lot of reason for optimism for the present and the future, but this feels like a “year-early” story to me.

That said, they are definitely for real, and they’ll likely spend the next two months deciding if this is the year to spend some resources on taking a shot at the World Series, or if they can rely on the what they currently have. Their rotation features Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Martin Perez, and Devin Smeltzer, and they also have Michael Pineda, who is currently on the IL.

I really feel like the Twins may be one of the better fits for the Blue Jays, especially if they are serious about trading Marcus Stroman. The Twins could use another starter that’s worthy of making a playoff start, and Stroman has already gone through the battle a couple of times and came out on the other side looking pretty good. His extra year of contract control would figure to be a big plus here as well, as the Twins should be in the thick of things for a few years going forward.

Berrios is a top-end talent, but if I’m the Twins I’d really like the idea of having another guy with ace-level upside, and the idea of acquiring someone like Stroman could be just the right boost they need. They’re not going to be trading Royce Lewis in order to get him, but with four pitchers and three outfielders among their top ten prospects, there could be a deal to be made here.

I do expect that the Twins will regress a little as the season goes on, but I don’t think it’ll be enough for them to miss the playoffs. If they believe this is a legitimate year for them to make a run, they might be as good of a fit as any in the American League to make a trade with the Blue Jays.

Likelihood= 4/5

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