Blue Jays: Who deserves the nod as the All-Star representative?

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17: Players line up for the national anthem prior the 89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17: Players line up for the national anthem prior the 89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 14: Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park on May 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 14: Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park on May 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) /

Ken Giles

Joining Marcus Stroman on the popular trade target list is Ken Giles, the dominant closer who is having a standout campaign in his first full year in Toronto.

He came over in the Roberto Osuna deal last year in the midst of a tough season while playing for Houston, but he’s shown why he’s posted a sub 2.00 ERA before, and he’s on pace to do it again this year.

So far he’s sporting a 1.33 ERA and a 1.031 WHIP through his first 27 appearances and has already earned 1.3 bWAR. He’s been lights out almost every time he’s taken the mound, and he’s struck out 47 hitters against just eight walks in 27 innings pitched. He’s only picked up 12 saves through the first half, but that’s a result of the Blue Jays only having 29 wins overall, and the limited chances for Giles to pad that stat.

He could be a likely candidate to be selected, both because he’s very deserving and because bullpen arms can be an easier spot to make the All-Star team than at other positions. That’s not to say there aren’t a ton of talented relievers in the American League, but Cora will fill out the team without having to worry about anyone being able to pitch more than one inning. Giles also doesn’t have to worry about losing his potential spot because of how the Blue Jays’ rotation works out in advance of the All-Star game.

It wouldn’t hurt for the Blue Jays if Giles was the player that represented them at the All-Star game, even if it were solely to lift his profile even more in advance of the trade deadline. He’s been so good that I’m not even opposed to the idea of the Blue Jays extending him beyond the 2020 season, but I don’t think that’s going to be how it goes down.

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