With less than a week until the MLB trade deadline, the Blue Jays are still looking for upgrades, and probably hoping for more teams to become sellers. There’s one team I see as a particularly good fit, and as the deadline approaches it’s looking more and more like they could wave the white flag.
The team I’m referring to would be the San Francisco Giants, a club that was expected to contend in the National League this year but has largely underperformed. They’re in a perpetual battle with the Dodgers and Padres in their division, never mind the competitive NL Wild Card race, but they’ve also dropped seven straight games and have seen their record fall to 48-50. While they haven’t started shopping their veterans (as far as we know), it wouldn’t be surprising to see the rumour mill heat up over the next couple of days.
If that’s the case, there are several players that could fit very well on the Blue Jays roster, and having a new potential seller on the market would certainly help a bit.
The Jays could really use a starting pitcher, and depending on how big the Giants go with any potential sale, there are a couple veterans that could be excellent fits. Carlos Rodon would be a dream, but you’d have to think that would be considered strictly a rental, as the southpaw has an opt-out built into his current two-year deal with the Giants. Still, there could be some appeal there, and I would have to think the same would apply for veterans like Alex Cobb, or even Alex Wood to a lesser degree. Both would remain under contract for next season too, with Wood owed 12.5 in 2023 before becoming a free agent again, and Cobb on a steal of a deal at just nine million, and an option for 2024 as well.
I would be surprised if the Giants dealt a reliever like their closer in Camilo Doval, but that could depend on how they decide to approach the deadline. An arm like Jakob Junis could have some appeal though, and the same could be said for John Brebbia, or even an old friend in Dominic Leone. The Giants don’t have a lot in the way of “swing and miss” relievers outside of Doval though, so I doubt that would be the primary focus of chats between the two sides.
A player like Joc Pederson would be a near perfect fit for the Blue Jays, who is playing on a one-year, six million dollar bargain in San Francisco. He was instrumental for the Braves during their championship run last year, and he’s likely to be in high demand. As far as left-handed bats, there’s life-long Giant slugger Brandon Belt as well, although I don’t think the Jays are going to pursue a first base/DH type given the way they’ve constructed their lineups this year, and Belt has another year remaining on his deal. There’s always a use for a versatile guy like Tommy la Stella as well (at the right price), even if he hasn’t had a very good season.
I’m not going to speculate on the vaccine status of any of the players I’ve mentioned, or for anyone else on the Giants roster. While most of us are acutely aware of how that impacts the Blue Jays, we also saw the Yankees make a trade for Andrew Benintendi last night. Perhaps the former Kansas City Royal had a change of heart in order to join a contender, or maybe the Yankees decided to make the trade regardless. We’ll find out before the season ends, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that players could make that decision in order to join a team that’s headed for a playoff race.
It should be a very interesting next few days as the trade winds really start to blow, and if a team like the Giants decide to sell, it certainly won’t hurt the Blue Jays’ chances of finding a legitimate upgrade or two.