The no pile- Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros
I’ve already written about six of the potential contenders this year, but that’s not an exhaustive list of the teams that could factor into the playoff picture. I do believe it’s the list of teams that could make a trade with the Blue Jays this summer though, even if there are four others that could be in the race.
The Cleveland Indians are very unlikely to add to their rotation, especially after they spent the winter throwing out the idea that they could trade either Trevor Bauer or Corey Kluber for the right price. They are currently a disappointing 10.5 games behind the Twins, but are just a game and a half back of the 2nd wild card spot.
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I don’t think the Astros will be a likely fit for a rotation upgrade either, as they have organizational depth and talent. Injuries can change things of course, but right now I don’t see them paying a premium price. The Astros currently lead the West by 9.0 games over the Rangers.
I included the Rangers and White Sox on this list because I don’t see either team being a buyer this summer. They could each represent the surprise team of the year, as the Rangers are currently in the second wild card spot and the White Sox are just 2.0 games back, but I think both young squads get overtaken before the end of the season. Again though, if they have a solid next couple of months then I could be wrong.
Of course, it’s also possible that this entire exercise in evaluating the AL contenders is an exercise in futility, that is if they were to give Stroman a contract extension instead of trading him. The same scenario could play out for Sanchez as well, although he’ll have to be healthy in order to find a suitable return for a talented, but risky asset.
Whatever ends up happening, there figures to be no shortage of potential suitors for the services of a talented starting pitcher. For the right price, the Blue Jays certainly have some potential options, even if we’ve only looked at the American League so far.