Finally, we come to the most polarising player currently with the Blue Jays. Alek Manoah suffered one of the most spectacular falls from grace this past season and now his future is extremely uncertain.
The previous year had been a spectacular campaign for Manoah, as he established himself as the staff ace. Following on from an excellent 2021, he was even better in 2022.
The 2019 11th overall draft pick was spectacular, as he went 16-7 in 31 starts, producing a 2.24 ERA, 3.35 FIP and 0.992 WHIP. He was named an All-Star, finished third in AL Cy Young voting and even received some consideration for MVP.
The world appeared to be Manoah's oyster, but this year it all went downhill rapidly. With speculation that he had let success go to his head, he showed up for spring training overweight, and the seeds were sown for what was to follow.
Named the opening day starter, the 25-year-old allowed nine hits, two walks and five earned runs in just 3.1 innings versus the Cardinals. He did respond by giving up just one hit in 7.0 shutout innings against the Royals, but the bad performances subsequently outnumbered the positive ones.
The Blue Jays finally had enough after Manoah's outing versus the Astros in early June. He allowed a shocking seven hits and six earned runs as he was only able to record one out, and the decision was made to option him to the Florida Complex League.
Rumours would subsequently surface, that the Homestead, Florida native felt he was too good for such a move. Regardless, when the Blue Jays recalled him a month later, many believed it to be too soon; if the organisation was looking to fix him, why bring him back so quickly?
In hindsight, this line of questioning was justified when Manoah continued to struggle, and the Blue Jays decided to send him to Buffalo during August. However, he didn't take too kindly to this, and while the official eventual line was that a potential injury was being looked into, speculation was that he just felt being demoted to the Minors was beneath him.
As of today, the disconnect and lack of trust between the pitcher and the organisation is at a critical juncture. Additionally, regardless of how talented the righty is, doubt surrounds whether he can ever rediscover his previous form.
In truth, the Blue Jays are almost in a no-win situation. They could be stuck with a player who never gets his mojo back, or if they somehow do persuade a team to trade for him, they face the risk of him returning to his 2022 form and making them look bad for giving up on him so soon.