Blue Jays are well set up for a big second half of the season
Front office ready to spend
As much as I’ve painted a picture that’s full of sunshine and roses for the offence, it’s well documented that the Blue Jays need some help for their pitching staff. Fortunately the front office looks like they’re ready to spend to make those improvements, and they should have plenty of trade pieces to get things done.
I was impressed with the trade that Ross Atkins made to bring in Corey Dickerson and Adam Cimber from the Marlins, and the latter has already made the bullpen better. That move was especially nice for the Blue Jays because they didn’t have to give up much at all in return, sending a pitching prospect in Andrew McInvale, and veteran Joe Panik back to the Marlins. In Panik’s case, he may soon have been a candidate to be designated for assignment anyway.
Cimber alone won’t be enough to make the difference for the bullpen, and I’m quite certain the front office is aware of that. Now that we’re getting closer to the trade deadline, I fully expect the Blue Jays to be among the busier teams looking for upgrades. In an ideal world they’ll be able to add another late-inning reliever to support Jordan Romano, and arguably another hurler for the middle innings.
They may not need that 3rd trade piece if they choose to improve the starting rotation as well. For example, let’s say they hypothetically traded for Jose Berrios of the Minnesota Twins and slotted him in as their number two starter. Then the rotation looks like this:
1- Hyun Jin Ryu
3- Robbie Ray
4- Ross Stripling
5- Alek Manoah/Steven Matz
With another piece added near the top, the Jays could move one of their current starters to the bullpen to help for the rest of the year. Stripling has a lot of experience as a reliever, but he’s been very good over his last seven starts, and it’s hard to imagine him being the one to move at the moment. In my mind Matz would be the weakest link in this scenario, but as the season wears on it could make sense to use Manoah as a reliever simply for the sake of saving some innings for the young pitcher.
Any way you look at it, I believe the Blue Jays need at least two more pitchers to improve the staff enough to make the difference, and fortunately it sounds like the front office is already on the hunt.