Blue Jays: Bottom Four Trades under GM Ross Atkins

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 14: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays on his cell phone during batting practice before the start of MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on April 14, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 14: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays on his cell phone during batting practice before the start of MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on April 14, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ONTARIO – JULY 28: Aaron Sanchez #41 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts during play against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

A wasted opportunity

(3) Aaron Sanchez + for Derek Fisher (HOU) – July 31st, 2019

Aaron Sanchez really fell off the map after his stellar 2016 season where he led the AL with a 3.00 ERA in 192 IP. Unless they planned to extend his contract into their expected window of competing, there is no reason that a player who performed at this level should have remained on a rebuilding team.

It doesn’t appear that they were offering an extension around this time and the front office even went as far as snubbing him out of tens of thousands of dollars on his pre-arb contract based on a CBA technicality, much to the dismay of his agent Scott Boras. The years that followed 2016 saw Sanchez battle through injury mangled seasons and this derailed any chance of getting a good package for Sanchez. He dealt with a variety of injuries, mostly with chronic blisters on his pitching hand, as well as a consistent problem with his fingernails. It sounds like minor stuff, but for a pitcher at the highest level, it was enough to derail him.

Again, the Jays roster was aging and underwhelming by midseason 2017 and there is no reason that the front office shouldn’t have capitalized when his value was highest. This rings even more true based on the apparent fact that they had no intentions of giving him an extension.

Also going to Houston in the deal were fan favourite reliever Joe Biagini, and Cal Stevenson, a middle of the road prospect.

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