We’ll get the big trade later
For most of the offseason, it felt like a big trade for the Blue Jays was inevitable. At first it was the possible pursuit of Francisco Lindor, and later the attention was turned to the starting pitching market. The Blue Jays also still have a surplus of catching on their 40-man roster, and after signing George Springer they arguably have one too many starting calibre outfielders.
A blockbuster trade never did materialize over the winter, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about the idea. The Blue Jays still need help in the rotation to truly be considered World Series contenders, and I’ll bet that Ross Atkins and company will look to solve that issue in July. The trade market this summer could feature plenty of valuable veterans on expiring contracts, and the Jays have the pieces they need to trade for an arm with contract control as well.
For example, if the Cubs aren’t in the playoff race come July, you better believe they’ll be selling off the majority of their veteran talent. It remains to be seen if Kyle Hendricks would be among that group, but there’s an argument that a complete tear down in Chicago would make sense in this hypothetical scenario. If it’s not the Cubs, maybe it’s a team like the Nationals and Max Scherzer. They should be firmly in the playoff mix in the National League, but there’s also a lot more competition on the senior circuit these days.
The point is, the Blue Jays are going to be well positioned to improve the rotation through the trade market this summer, even if it’s hard to predict who their targets might be. It worked out pretty well in 2020 when they acquired Taijuan Walker, and look for Atkins to add at least one arm this summer through the same avenue.