The Blue Jays are expected to be busy sellers before this year’s trade deadline, but they’re going to need their veteran trade candidates to stay healthy.
Lately it feels like if the Blue Jays didn’t have any bad luck then they might not have any luck at all.
As the team approaches the July 31st trade deadline in an obviously rebuilding season, it’s no secret that many of their veterans are going to be on the block. With several players on either expiring contracts or ones with just one more year remaining, the front office has an eye on bringing in as many young assets as they can to supplement the young core that they already have in place.
That list could include several veterans such as the frequently discussed Marcus Stroman, slugging first baseman Justin Smoak, and perhaps Freddy Galvis, although Ross Atkins seems to like the 29-year-old infielder quite a bit.
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It could also include Ken Giles and Clayton Richard, two pitchers who brought some bad news to the fan base on Saturday when it comes to their health status. Giles was not available out of the bullpen, and we eventually learned that it was because of some “nerve irritation” in his throwing arm. The cause? We’re being told it was a massage that he received over the All-Star break, at least according to a tweet from Sportnet’s Shi Davidhi. It’s not expected to be a serious problem, but the clock is ticking on the trade market.
It was no guarantee that the Blue Jays would be able to trade Clayton Richard this month after a shaky first half with his health, but he had been pitching pretty well of late, and might have interested a contender that didn’t want to pay a premium price for a left-handed arm. Unfortunately he had to leave his start on Saturday with what is being called “lat tightness”, so hopefully he won’t be on the sidelines for long either.
The Blue Jays are hoping that missing his last start before the break and not participating in the All-Star game will be all the rest and recooperation that Marcus Stroman needs as well. He and Giles are expected to be the hottest names on the trade market coming out of Toronto, but he’ll need to show that he’s over the pectoral soreness that he was dealing with before the break.
None of these issues are severe ones, but any team looking to upgrade their roster for the playoff push is going to want to acquire healthy bodies. It’s one of the reasons I wrote a couple of weeks ago about why the Blue Jays shouldn’t wait too long before making moves, just in case injury takes that opportunity away. They got very little for Josh Donaldson last season compared to what was expected at one time, and it would be a shame to repeat that mistake.
Hopefully the injury updates we learned about on Saturday are nothing more than a blip on the radar, but you can get that rival GMs will be watching closely.