5 rival trade rumors that could be disastrous for the Blue Jays

If any of these rumors come to fruition, what would it mean for the Blue Jays and their quest to the playoffs?
Shohei Ohtani
Shohei Ohtani / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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As the Toronto Blue Jays approach the upcoming trade deadline, they will be looking for some upgrades in preparation for the playoff run in the coming couple of months. However, at the same time, their division rivals will be looking to do the same to boost their own chances of making the playoffs as well. For the Jays’ sake, they definitely hope their own upgrades will be far superior to their rivals, but based on some of the current rumors floating around, if any of them come to fruition, it could potentially be disastrous for the Jays’ playoff aspirations.

Here, we take a look at five rival trade rumors in which if any of them indeed ends up happening, the Jays’ task to reach the postseason just got that much tougher.

1. The Rays, Yankees and Orioles could be all in play for two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani of the Angels

ESPN’s Buster Olney had named both the Rays and Yankees as two out of a possible four teams that could be in on the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, with the Bleacher Report believing that the Rays have the necessary prospect capital to go all-in for the deal. In addition, MLB Insider Jon Morosi has reported recently that the Orioles have inquired the Angels about Ohtani’s trade availability.

This could spell big time trouble for the Jays, as if it wasn’t enough to have Ohtani within the same league, but having him in the same division would bring horror to the boys in blue for many years to come. That is because if any of the Rays, Yankees and Orioles were to splurge using their top prospects to nab Ohtani, there is absolutely 100% no doubt they wouldn’t do the deal unless they are pretty sure an extension is in place for the 2021 AL MVP and three-time All-Star. In addition, acquiring Ohtani is like getting two superstars at the same time, given his excellence in both hitting and pitching.

For the 2023 season, Ohtani once again has been doing exactly what he has been doing for the past few years, dominating on both sides of the field. As a hitter, he is hitting .299 and leading the league in OPS (1.066) and home runs (36), along with 77 RBI and 12 stolen bases. As a pitcher, he is 8-5 with a 3.71 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, striking out 148 batters in just 111.2 innings pitched.

So seeing another 10-plus years of Ohtani in the already daunting AL East division? If the dream does become a reality, we definitely wish all the best of luck to Blue Jays. But in the latest update, it appears as though the Angels are planning to take Ohtani off the trade market to go for a playoff run. If that is indeed the case and that they don't reverse their decision, the Jays can build a sigh of relief, for now.