3 players the Blue Jays should keep a close eye on and 2 to avoid as the deadline nears

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates, Marcus Stroman
Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates, Marcus Stroman / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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Josh Hader, San Diego Padres

It may sound like a dream proposition, but Josh Hader would be a jackpot addition to the Jays’ bullpen if circumstances can bring about it to happen. For the San Diego Padres, despite having a loaded lineup featuring perennial superstars in Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts, overall they have been a huge disappointment for much of the season thus far. Thought to be strong contenders for the present and beyond, they are currently 37-43 and sit in fourth place, 10.5 games behind the division leading Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West, and an astounding 7.5 games behind the closest wild card spot.

As the season becomes further and further out of reach for the Padres, Hader becomes their strongest potential trade chip when the deadline rolls around. He has been one of the premium relievers in the game for the past seven years, not to mention his exceptional lifetime strikeout rate of 15.1 per nine innings is nothing the Jays currently have can even come close to that. He did have one mediocre season just this past year, but his bounce back performance so far this year has proved it was just an anomaly for his career track record. To date, he has purely dominated with a miniscule 1.26 ERA, with a 0.942 WHIP, 326 ERA+, giving up only four earned runs all year, with 14 walks, 42 strikeouts and 18 saves in 28.2 innings.

It will definitely be costly for the Jays to obtain the services of a rare breed such as Hader, but because of his superb shutdown and strikeout ability that is quite unmatched across the league, it may be worth the shot. With Hader, he could form a three-headed monster along with Erik Swanson and Jordan Romano to shut down any game that goes beyond the sixth inning and become almost an automatic win for the ballclub each time.