Blue Jays: Three pitchers that would make a difference in the rotation

CHICAGO - JULY 01: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Chicago White Sox on July 1, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - JULY 01: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Chicago White Sox on July 1, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays
Jul 13, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; National League starting pitcher Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals (31) pitches against the American League during the first inning during the 2021 MLB All Star Game at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Blue Jays came back with a vengeance yesterday, returning from the Midsummer Classic break to thump the Texas Rangers 10-2, with home runs from multiple players and a stellar performance from Robbie Ray on the mound. The southpaw would go 6.2 while giving up only four hits and allowing only two walks to eight strikeouts and no earned runs, taking the win on the Jays first game back after the all-star break.

As of right now, the Blue Jays have a 39.2% of making the playoffs as per Fangraphs, a value that has fluctuated all season. Back in early June, it was at 49.1%, and at the start of the season, it was 54.7%, so the drop has been steadily declining over the course of the campaign. The Blue Jays are currently eight games back of the Boston Red Sox in the division and four and a half games back of a Wild Card spot in the American League.

If the Blue Jays want to make the playoffs this year, Ross Atkins will need to bring in some arms to improve the pitching corps. While the bullpen could certainly use some experienced pitchers to help bolster the relief corps, adding one more established starter could be the significant push the team needs to help secure a postseason berth (David Price flashbacks anyone?).

The Toronto Blue Jays are on the outside looking in when it comes to playing in the postseason this year but could improve their odds if they were to potentially add a high-level starting pitcher before the trade deadline.

That being said, here are three pitchers that could make a difference for the Blue Jays as they trudge on towards the postseason.

Max Scherzer

With three Cy Young Awards and a World Series Championship in his trophy case, right-hander Max Scherzer is an arm that has been rumoured to be available for most of the season. Scherzer is currently in the last year of his contract with the Washington Nationals and the team could be sellers at the deadline as they currently sit six games back of the New York Mets in NL East.

The eight-time all-star did miss some time in June but is pitching well this season, starting 17 games and throwing to a 2.66 ERA through 98.0 innings with 134 strikeouts and 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings ratio.

The difficulty with acquiring Scherzer is that he possesses 10-5 rights on the Nationals, meaning he holds a significant amount of power in that he can veto any trade he does not like. His agent Scott Boras has already come out and said that the ace wants a contract extension prior to waiving his 10-5 rights, meaning if the Blue Jays were to acquire Scherzer, he wouldn’t be a rental and could be around for a few years in the rotation.

While he is turning 37 in the next few weeks and has been relatively healthy for his career, Scherzer would command a hefty-sized contract given his career 3.19 ERA and that may be something Ross Atkins is unwilling to do with players like Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray needing new deals after this season and the young core slowly marching towards the more expensive arbitration years.

The righty does make the rotation better on paper but to make a trade work will require some serious behind-the-scenes negotiating and also goes against the Nationals mentality of refraining from trading talented roster players.

TheBlue Jays may have to look elsewhere for pitching help.