This season, the Toronto Blue Jays are in a position where numerous players are hitting or pitching well but the team could potentially miss out on the postseason. The batting lineup has been fantastic with potential MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leading the charge and the pitching corps is starting to come around after a rough stretch in late May/early June, seeing the club go 7-3 in its last ten games.
As of right now, the Blue Jays sit third in the AL East and are six games back of the Boston Red Sox and are five games back of a potential Wild Card spot with the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland A’s, and Cleveland Indians being the only teams ahead of them.
There is lots of time for the Blue Jays to make up lost ground with the season just a few games from the halfway point but the club will need some reinforcements if they want to not waste Guerrero Jr.’s stellar season and go far into the post-season. Tough to hear but a statement that I am sure many can agree with.
One of the more focal points is the Jays’ bullpen, which has been pitching well as of late but lacks the experience and the consistency that one would expect from a playoff team. The team could also benefit from another bonafide starter, one that moves the needle and provides a confident one-two punch alongside ace Hyun Jin Ryu.
While fans may be happy with the emergence of Alek Manoah and the new and improved Ross Stripling, having another veteran in the mix could be the difference-maker that takes the Jays to the next level and takes some pressure off Manoah (not to mention a potential innings limit this year given the minor league season being canceled in 2020).
With that being said, if the club was to make a big move, they will need to offer some significant prospect capital in return, and even though Blue Jays fans can be overly attached to players in the farm system or some of the younger core, in order to improve the team, the front office will need to see some depth go the opposite way.
The Toronto Blue Jays are in a position that could see them push for a playoff spot this year. With some areas on the active roster lacking depth and consistency, trading a player like Cavan Biggio could provide a return that creates a more rounded team that could be playoff-worthy come October.
This brings up Cavan Biggio.
While some may already be scoffing at the idea of including Biggio in any deal, there is something to be said that a trade including the utility player with one or two prospects could net a return that could both help the rotation and the bullpen. I wouldn’t necessarily be willing to deal Biggio for just a bullpen arm but a package deal could easily be built with Biggio being one of the centerpieces.
One of the reasons Biggio is appealing for other teams is the contract control, in that the Notre Dame product still has another year of team control before being eligible for arbitration and won’t be eligible for free agency until 2026. That alone is worth its weight in gold right now as teams across the league are looking to shed payroll and look for younger, major league level talent after dealing with the financial losses from the shortened 2020 season.
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Add in that Biggio has been productive since his debut in 2019, and the return value for the utility player could be very high. Through 904 major league plate appearances, the left-handed hitter has slashed .238/.362/.419 with 30 home runs, 93 RBI, and 142 walks. He currently sports a .781 OPS while also holding some pretty hefty accolades to his name in that he led all rookies in walks back in 2019 and has a hit for the cycle, a feat he accomplished against the Baltimore Orioles in his rookie campaign.
While his average is on the lower side at .238, Biggio finds a way to get on base through a patient approach that nets him a lot of walks, something that could bode well for a team looking for a lefty bat at the top of the lineup.
Defensively, Biggio has been thrown in quite a few different positions including second base, third base, first base, and right field. While he has shown some fielding struggles when entrusted with the hot corner this season, committing seven errors through 25 games, Biggio took the reigns with relatively little experience prior to entering the major leagues. He may project to be more of a versatile utility player (a Ben Zobrist type if you will) in the long run but he’s athletic and is able to play various positions in this scenario.
Looking at the bigger picture, Blue Jays fans may be hesitant to see Biggio’s name in the trade rumours but with the likes of prospects Jordan Groshans, Kevin Smith, Austin Martin, Miguel Hiraldo, Otto Lopez, and Orelvis Martinez in the pipeline, the front office can afford to lose Biggio without dire consequences in the long run. They may need to find a one year rental replacement if they feel that Joe Panik or Santiago Espinal can’t hold the fort down until one of the prospects arrive, but a package involving Biggio could help bolster the pitching corps that takes the Blue Jays to another level, one that involves playing baseball in October.
Could the Blue Jays choose to trade a prospect like Groshans or Lopez instead of Biggio? Sure, they would most likely net a solid return if they were packaged alongside other prospects/players. The big difference between trading a top prospect versus Biggio is that he is a proven major league player and the only one who could probably top him in terms of trade value would be Groshans given his potential/top prospect ranking, which the front office may see as the future more than Biggio.
It may hurt to see someone like Cavan Biggio be sent packing but if the Blue Jays want to be a playoff team, he may hold the key to shoring up weaker areas on the active roster that would make the team better overall.
A deal most likely wouldn’t take place until closer to the trade deadline and if the Jays are still in playoff contention, with Biggio being a prime option to improve the team by being part of a trade package if the timing is right and the players in return make sense.