The calendar has flipped to the month of July and as All-Star week kicks off tomorrow with the Home Run Derby from Progressive Field in Cleveland, the trade rumours will begin to swirl shortly after the break.
The Blue Jays were sellers last July as well and the bulk of their deals came close to the deadline or on July 31st itself when they moved pitchers, John Axford, and Aaron Loup. The first deal came on July 26th when J.A. Happ was sent to the Yankees but the blockbuster went down on the 30th when Roberto Osuna went to the Astros in exchange for Ken Giles and two prospects.
Seunghwan Oh also went to the Rockies totalling five deals in the month for the Jays and they could very well match that number again this year as anyone of value not in the team’s future could be sent packing.
Marcus Stroman will be the one who gets the big haul with his 3.14 ERA and another full season of team control. He could potentially be packaged with Giles whose 1.49 FIP is second in the league among relievers. The pair are enjoying one of their best seasons to this point and while it would definitely be a big hit to the overall pitching staff, there should be a lot of interest and a decent return.
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On the offensive side of things, the Blue Jays will likely focus on utility man Eric Sogard and shortstop Freddy Galvis. Both players are on pace for career bests at the plate as Galvis is batting .269 with 15 home runs and Sogard is slashing .299/.370/.487 with a career-high nine homers.
Sogard will become a free agent after the season while Galvis has a $5.5M club option (with a 1 million dollar buy out) which could very well be picked up whether he’s in Toronto or not. With playing time at short is needed for top prospect Bo Bichette, it seems likely Galvis will be gone at some point.
While Justin Smoak‘s numbers are down, he’s on an expiring contract and the Jays will certainly put the name out there and at least see what kind of interest will be drawn for the 32-year-old.
Another name who’s recently performed his way into potential trade talks is right-hander Daniel Hudson who has 40 strikeouts in 38.2 innings to along with a 2.79 ERA. Despite some good numbers, a deeper look shows a 4.44 FIP and 5.20 xFIP.
There should be no shortage of transactions this month from the Blue Jays and the club should look different as August rolls around. As the team continues on in the rebuild and prospects continue to fill out the major league roster, Stroman and Giles should give us a few more youngsters to get excited about.