Blue Jays: Patience already providing a better pitching market
With some of the latest rumours circulating around baseball, the Blue Jays might be rewarded for their patience with the pitching market.
It’s no secret that the Blue Jays could use another quality starting pitcher or two if they want to be serious contenders in the American League. And yet, most of the rumours we’ve heard about them so far have attached them to position players.
One of the biggest reasons for that is the fact that there aren’t a lot of premium starters available in this free agent class. Trevor Bauer would be the lone “ace” as this year’s NL Cy Young Award winner, but otherwise it’s a lot of starters with big question marks like James Paxton and Corey Kluber, or veterans that are likely to return to their former team, such as Masahiro Tanaka.
Chances are the situation will lead to the Blue Jays looking to the trade market to supplement their rotation this winter. The good news is it appears that there might just be a developing trade market for some quality starting pitchers, and don’t be surprised if more names hit the rumour mill as the offseason grows older.
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Over the last few days we heard that the Phillies are in a tough financial spot because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and might be willing to trade Zack Wheeler and the four years and 95 million left on his deal because of it. The Phillies have already rebuffed that rumour, but where there’s smoke there could be fire.
Speaking of teams looking to cut some costs, the Cincinnati Reds appear to be doing the same. They dealt closer Raisel Iglesias to the Angels on Monday, and it sounds like Sonny Gray could be available too. Gray profiles as a #2 starter, and wouldn’t be a bad option for the Blue Jays to explore, especially with multiple years of contract control.
We know that the Rays are open to the idea of trading Blake Snell to save money, and it sounds like the Cardinals are in a difficult financial position as well. There’s no telling if that could lead to their trading aces like Jack Flaherty or Dakota Hudson (okay, chances are slim to none), but baseball is in a position like we haven’t experienced in the modern era. Who knows, maybe if the Blue Jays offered a premium trade package, and also took on a contract or two like Miles Mikolas and/or Matt Carpenter, maybe it’s worth a phone call.
The point is, the closer we get to Opening Day, the more opportunity that may become available to trade for high-end starting pitching. Right now a lot of ownership groups are still clinging to the hope that they can fill the stands in 2021, and if we get to February and it’s clear that won’t be the case then everything could change. That doesn’t mean that I think the Blue Jays should wait around until then in case that happens, but it’s something to be aware of.
As much as I’d like to see the Blue Jays make a couple of big moves this week to solidify their roster, I can understand the value of patience. Based on what we’re already seeing with a handful of recent developments, the longer they wait, the better the options might get.