Blue Jays: The injury bug takes a bite out of the rebuild again

DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 01: Pitcher Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 01, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 01: Pitcher Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 01, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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It’s looking like a long shot that Ken Giles will get traded before Wednesday’s 4 pm deadline, as he continues to deal with a sore pitching elbow.

The busiest portion of the Ross Atkins’ calendar is almost complete, with the trade deadline coming later today at 4 pm EST.

We’ve already seen the Blue Jays make a few days, sending Eric Sogard to Tampa Bay, Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets, and yesterday’s move of David Phelps to the Chicago Cubs. There’s a good chance the Blue Jays aren’t done either, as others like Justin Smoak are still rumoured to be drawing a fair amount of interest.

Unfortunately the Blue Jays may be missing out on an opportunity to trade two of their more valuable chips this month, and that’s because of minor injuries for both Freddy Galvis and Ken Giles. Galvis was scratched from Monday’s game with lower back tightness, but fortunately was able to return as the designated hitter on Tuesday evening. In Giles’ case, he won’t pitch again until after the trade deadline has passed.

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Both players come with the option of keeping them around for the 2020 season, so it’s possible that fact could push a contender to take a risk. More likely though, it’ll drop the price they’re willing to pay to boost their own club for the 2019 season, and that could make for a situation where the Blue Jays are better off holding pat for now.

It’s a situation that has been a frequent problem for Ross Atkins and the Blue Jays front office over the last couple of seasons. They were unable to maximize the trade value of Josh Donaldson before he was sent to Cleveland, mostly because they had to wait until the 11th hour to “prove” that he was healthy, and even then, his value had plummetted on an expiring deal.

While the Jays were able to trade J.A. Happ before he became a free agent last season, Marco Estrada‘s wonky back made it impossible to find an interested team on the trade market as he sat on the IL as the deadline expired. There was hope that the Blue Jays might be able to turn Ryan Tepera into a young asset this summer as well, but he’s missed most of the season.

Next. Rays, Phillies reportedly interested in Justin Smoak. dark

When it comes to Giles in particular, the Blue Jays are probably better off waiting until the winter to find the best return possible. It’s a shame, because in theory he would have brought back a greater trade package with a season and a half left on his contract than with just one campaign left, but there’s not a whole lot the front office can do about it right now. The injury bug has taken another bite out of the rebuild.

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