Make the deal before it’s too late?
For what it’s worth, I don’t expect the Blue Jays to trade Nate Pearson over the winter. My gut tells me that they still believe in his high-end potential, and it’ll be too much to give up on without allowing him at least one more chance to stick in the rotation in 2022.
However, there’s a solid argument to be made that the Jays should consider including him in trade discussions this offseason. He finally just lost his prospect status at the end of this season, but prior to that he had been a consistent figure on Top 100 prospect lists over the last few years. We did see him dropping on those lists more recently though, and that’s because the 25 year old is now getting to the age and the point where he has to prove his potential rather than the organization just dreaming on it.
Whether or not the Blue Jays are willing to trade him ultimately depends on how much faith they have in his potential, and more importantly, his ability to stay healthy. He lost some unfortunate time in 2021 with a misdiagnosis of sorts, but thankfully he was able to finish his season off on a high note by pitching out the bullpen down the stretch, and he flashed his potential in the process.
The argument for trading Pearson is trying to capitalize on whatever hype he still has from being a top 10 prospect. That star status has faded a bit as he’s battled injuries, but he still has the tools to be an elite pitcher and I’m sure there would be plenty of teams that would aggressively move to acquire him. More likely though, a trade would have to work in order to acquire a player that the Blue Jays are targeting. For example (and I’m NOT suggesting this will happen), it would make sense if Cleveland asked for Pearson as part of the return if the Jays were trying to acquire Jose Ramirez.
At the end of the day, I don’t think that the Blue Jays will let Pearson get away unless they have an opportunity to make an impact trade they can’t ignore. In my mind, we still haven’t seen what Pearson can do when he’s healthy for an extended stretch, and I’d really like to see him get into some sort of a groove. Even if he ultimately lands in the bullpen some day, his arm is so electric that he’ll find a way to make the Blue Jays better.