The Toronto Blue Jays spent 2017-2019 in the midst of a rebuild, developing a young core that now takes center stage with the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Alek Manoah leading the charge with other players filling out the rest of the roster like Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, and Alejandro Kirk amongst others.
Even after this young core made their debuts over the past two seasons, the Blue Jays still have some top prospects coming up the pipeline such as Gabriel Moreno and Orelvis Martinez, with Moreno most likely knocking on the Major League door sometime next season while Martinez is still a year or two away.
The front office has already said they are committed to improving the roster for next season after narrowly missing the playoffs this year. While the free-agent market is one of the most stacked in recent memory, the club has put some feelers out in regards to potential trades. There was the Jose Ramirez discussion that occurred at the trade deadline while the club has also been in contact with the Miami Marlins in regards to some of their controllable starting pitchers.
While Moreno and Martinez are most likely not being moved this offseason, there are two players who could be dangled by the front office, and being traded could provide a benefit to both sides.
Currently ranked as the Blue Jays #6 top prospect, infielder Miguel Hiraldo signed with the organization via international free agency back in 2017 and has been putting up solid numbers since turning pro. After spending the first three seasons between the Dominican Summer League and the Rookie League, Hiraldo jumped to Low-A ball this year with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
Over the course of his pro career, the righty-batter owns a .277/.347/.429 slash line with 16 home runs, 125 RBI, and a .776 OPS through 226 games. Hiraldo also has 58 stolen bases and has split his time defensively between second base and shortstop through most of his time in the minors. The Blue Jays did give him some reps at third base this past season in Dunedin but he did commit seven errors on his way to a .843 fielding percentage while posting better numbers at second base (.944 fielding percentage).
The reason the Blue Jays can afford to dangle Hiraldo as trade bait this offseason stems from the fact that he is most likely still two to three years away from any potential Major League opportunity but the club already boasts top infield prospects that are most likely in his way. Otto Lopez currently has an inside track for second base alongside Cavan Biggio while Kevin Smith, Santiago Espinal, and Jordan Groshans will most likely be filling out the left side of the diamond alongside Bichette, who is not going anywhere for the time being. Factor in that Martinez is also in the picture and that the club could bring in a free agent this offseason for up the middle and the chances of Hiraldo finding a spot in the next few years are slim.
The Dominican product will also need to be protected this offseason from the Rule 5 draft as he is eligible for the first time in his career as per Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com.
With the other players already needing space and other prospects needing to be protected as well, trading Hiraldo as part of a package for an impact player that is already Major League ready helps the Blue Jays with their win-now mentality while also giving the middle infielder a better chance at making a big league roster in the next few years.
Win-win for everybody.