Blue Jays: Recent trade is a great first step towards something bigger

Apr 2, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins speaks to the media during a press conference against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins speaks to the media during a press conference against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Blue Jays made a trade yesterday with the Miami Marlins, acquiring reliever Adam Cimber, outfielder Corey Dickerson, and cash considerations in exchange for infielder Joe Panik and minor league pitcher Andrew McInvale.

Overall, this is a pretty good trade for the Blue Jays, in that they added a relief pitcher who is under contract control until 2024 as well as a veteran outfielder in Dickerson who can be an influential player in the batter’s box when he is playing well (and healthy). With Panik gone, Santiago Espinal will now be the bench infielder for the Jays while McInvale was performing well in the AA bullpen but still years away from potentially reaching the major leagues.

While Dickerson is a few weeks away from being game ready (and also acquired as a salary dump from the Marlins), the Jays seem to have won this trade for now, as Cimber is doing well this year in the bullpen, sporting a 2.88 ERA through 33 games this season with 11 walks and 21 strikeouts. He helps address a need in shoring up the relief corps with three to four years of experience at the major league level as well as a level of deception with his submarine-like delivery, one that produces groundballs and weak contact.

The recent trade with the Miami Marlins is a great stepping stone as the Blue Jays keep playing towards the trade deadline, with more trades or acquisitions hopefully in the works to improve the team and contend for the postseason once again.

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Considering the trade deadline is a month away, it is nice to see that Ross Atkins is starting to address needs now rather than sitting on his hands and waiting to see how the next few weeks play out. It provides a vote of confidence that the front office is willing to bring in extra support to go alongside a potent batting order and a starting rotation that is starting to click at just the right time.

This trade is a great appetizer to what could come, as while Cimber is a solid addition, he alone cannot revamp the relief corps and provide enough stability alongside Jordan Romano and co. as the season keeps progressing along.

There are a few teams that could be willing to deal some players as the season continues to trudge towards the deadline, with franchises like the Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, and Arizona Diamondbacks possibly looking to acquire some younger talent in exchange for veteran pitchers who could enhance the Blue Jays bullpen.

Some names that stick out are Richard Rodriguez (Pirates), Taylor Rogers (Twins), Daniel Bard (Colorado Rockies), and Kendall Graveman (Seattle Mariners) amongst others, all of whom could benefit the bullpen as the Blue Jays try to carve out a spot in the postseason this year.

The Blue Jays could also choose to acquire a starting pitcher like Max Scherzer (who would have to waive his 10-5 rights) or Sonny Gray, with a veteran arm to help guide the team towards October baseball alongside the current rotation. This would move Ross Stripling, Steven Matz, or Alek Manoah (who may be on an innings limit anyway) to the bullpen but that seems more of a benefit than a downfall, especially with how well Stripling and Manoah have been pitching lately. While I would like to see Manoah in the rotation, he doesn’t have a lot of innings under his belt and a pitch/innings limit would make sense given how clubs across the league want to protect their prospects for the long run.

Depending on how the next few weeks go, the Blue Jays may become a lot more active on the trade market as they try to climb up the AL East rankings and attempt to secure another postseason berth, either through the division or through the Wild Card.

It would be nice if the front office could add players sooner than later to compliment All-Star campaigns from Marcus Semien, Teoscar Hernandez, and Bo Bichette, and potential MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr. but trades can be difficult the further you are from the trade deadline. Failing to jump on the trade wagon now could push the Jays out of playoff contention in a few weeks if they encounter another rough slump, a move that could have been avoided with a few trades or moves early in July.

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If the Blue Jays can continue winning and putting runs on the board, it makes sense that the Cimber/Dickerson trade is just an appetizer to what the Blue Jays could be serving up over the next month.