Make a trade with a rebuilding team
There aren’t a lot of examples that this path could be used, but bear with me for a moment, because the market might have shifted in a big way last week.
After learning that the Colorado Rockies are apparently open to the idea of trading Nolan Arenado, just one year after signing him to an eight-year, 260 million dollar extension, one has to think they’d be open to trading just about anyone, no?
They don’t always get the credit they may deserve because they pitch in the hitter’s haven that is Coors Field, but the Rockies actually have some decent arms these days. And if they’re willing to entertain the idea of trading Arenado, would they do the same with German Marquez? Because if so, the Blue Jays should be all over it. Despite posting a 4.74 ERA across 28 starts and 174.1 innings last season, Marquez’s peripherals look at a lot better, and there’s a lot of potential behind his ability to strike out more than a batter an inning, and his 1.20 WHIP.
Atkins could also call some old friends in the Cleveland Indians’ front office and see if they’re willing to move any of their talented starters. There’s a good chance that Cleveland will move on from Francisco Lindor, and if that’s the case, there’s really no reason for them to hang on to a guy like Corey Kluber. For the right price (a king’s ransom), perhaps they’d consider guys like Shane Bieber or Mike Clevinger, although that doesn’t feel very likely, and would probably price the Blue Jays out of talks.
It would require the Blue Jays to cough up some prospect capital if they went this route, but for the right arm, it could certainly be worth exploring. It’s a strange thing when potential contenders decide to rebuild, as Cleveland is reportedly considering, but the Blue Jays could have an opportunity to take advantage.