5 Blue Jays players that should've been traded at the deadline

The 2023 trade deadline is now firmly in the rear-view mirror, but we consider five players who the Toronto Blue Jays should have moved.
Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays
Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Depending on what you watched, read or listened to, the Blue Jays' trade deadline was either decent or average. For example, Yahoo Sports effectively gave them a B grade, while CBS Sports decided to award them a C.

However, what about players who should have been traded, but who are still with the ballclub? Here are five Blue Jays who conceivably should no longer be in Toronto:

NB - All statistics up to and including August 5.

Santiago Espinal

Santiago Espinal was part of a trade deadline package Fox Sports proposed, to offer in exchange for Shohei Ohtani. The proposal was one of the weakest of the 12 team proposals created, although it ultimately didn't matter, because the Angels announced they weren't going to move Ohtani anyway.

However, it's still telling Espinal was included, with him being the only player in the package with significant Major League experience. It also alluded to him being perceived as having some value, which would interest other teams.

At the same time, the Blue Jays would have likely been fine with the 28-year-old leaving, because the reality is he's been disappointing this season. He's looked little like the player who earned his first ever All-Star selection last year.

Espinal is having a miserable year on offence. He's on course to set a number of single-season career lows, including batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+.

The question is, does this season represent an outlier for the Dominican Republic native with his bat? Or is it indicative of what to expect moving forward, which would obviously be of no benefit to the Blue Jays.

The situation has been just as exasperating for Espinal on defence, with him not seeing enough playing time at second base. While a platoon system at the position and injuries haven't helped, he also just hasn't played well enough consistently when called upon.

In fact if anything, the 2016 10th round draft pick has been a bigger let-down defensively, making more than his fair share of errors. He has the worst fielding percentage among all Blue Jays position players and his seven fielding errors are one off the team-lead of eight by Matt Chapman and Bo Bichette, despite playing essentially half as many games as them.

You expect better of someone with Espinal's combination of decent speed, soft hands, good range and overall athleticism. In this respect, you would arguably have more confidence in him bouncing back on defence before offence.