Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Two Potential Trade Targets at Three Spots

Graeme Wallace
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 30: Kyle Hendricks #28 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the first inning in the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on June 30, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 30: Kyle Hendricks #28 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the first inning in the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on June 30, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Blue Jays’ recent play has done little to mask their roster inefficiencies and it seems inevitable that tinkering will continue.

Lately, acquiring players to add to the roster seems more like a necessity than a luxury, and the areas of need are well-identified.

Adding a starting pitcher, bullpen help, and, possibly a left-handed batter could be the upgrades that fortify the Jays’ roster for a playoff push. So far, the team has gone to the “scrap heap” in bringing in Sergio Romo, and Anthony Banda. While those moves could prove beneficial, here are some other trade candidates that could be considered.

Blue Jays Trade Needs – Starting Pitcher, Kyle Hendricks

A lot of the buzz around the Blue Jays has centred around Athletics flamethrower Frankie Montas. While he would be a great fit, there will likely be a bidding war for his services.

Hendricks is one of the remaining Cubs’ 2016 World Series championship team members and is under contract for this season and next. While the Cubs may be compelled to hang on to him, his fit is questionable on their rebuilding roster.

On the surface, it appears as though Hendricks is a pitcher on the decline. After never having an ERA above four over his first seven seasons, Hendrick’s current earned run average is 4.76, and he led the NL in hits allowed in 2021. However, he’s got a proven track record and could benefit from a change of scenery.

Tyler Mahle

Mahle is a durable pitcher who has made an MLB-high 49 starts since the start of 2021. He’s fourth in the National League in strikeouts, with 102, and is known as a strike-thrower. Like Hendricks, Mahle is set to hit the free-agent market in 2024, so he could be a long-term solution.

Blue Jays
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 02: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch during the first inning in the game against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park on July 02, 2022, in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Mahle is 27 years old and would fit the timeline of many other players on the Jays’ roster. His overall numbers this season aren’t overwhelming (3-7, 4.48 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) but he’s coming off a solid 2021 campaign and has the potential to get better.

Blue Jays Trade Needs – Bullpen Help, Ian Kennedy

Kennedy has done well in his transition from a starter to a reliever in the 2019 season. He’s been utilized as a closer over the last few years, totalling 56 saves from 2019-2021. He’s earned just four saves this season as the D-Backs have, for some reason, preferred Mark Melancon in the ninth inning role. Still, he’d represent a late-inning option for an often faltering relief corps, and one with plenty of experience.

Andrew Chafin

Around this time last year, Chafin was popping up in trade rumours, and he ended up getting dealt to the Oakland A’s before the deadline. He signed a one-year deal (with a player option for 2023) in Motown and finds himself again on another team well out of the playoff race. Chafin is a hard-nosed southpaw who is tough on lefties, but no slouch when facing right-handed batters either.

Blue Jays
DETROIT, MI – JUNE 18: Andrew Chafin #37 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park on June 18, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers are wearing uniforms from the Negro League Detroit Stars. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Blue Jays Trade Needs – Lefty Bat?

It appears to be unlikely that the Blue Jays will add a position player in the ensuing weeks, but if they do decide to shake things up, these two could help.

Robbie Grossman

When the Tigers signed Javy Baez, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Chafin it was supposed to be a step toward contention. Instead, they’ve regressed and Grossman, who signed a two-year deal prior to the 2021 season, could be shipped out.

He’s having a down year, but pretty much everyone on that team is. In 2021, Grossman hit 23 home runs and stole 20 bases and Detroit won a better-than-expected 76 games. He’s a switch-hitter and could be used similarly to the way the team deployed Corey Dickerson last season, as part of the corner outfield mix and an occasional bat off the bench.

Tony Kemp

Kemp has spent most of his playing time at second base so this would probably be more of an insurance pickup. He provides value with his speed and is a capable defender. Like Grossman, Kemp is coming off a great 2021 season (.279, 126 OPS+, 3.4 WAR in only 330 ABs) and his numbers have taken a dip this year on a bad team.

Next. June Starting Rotation,: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. dark

The Jays don’t need to make sweeping changes, just to do some fine-tuning. You could do a lot worse than the players mentioned above. Any one of them could provide a spark to this hungry team down the stretch.

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