8 starting pitchers the Blue Jays should target at the trade deadline

With the Toronto Blue Jays needed more quality starting pitching depth to help strengthen their playoff chances, we offer some options who should be considered ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays
Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Shane Bieber

In terms of proven starters, Shane Bieber is right up there. A Cy Young award, a Triple Crown, two-time All-Star, a Gold Glove - this guy is the real deal.

With a list of accomplishments like that, it won't surprise you that Bieber is aided by a genuine four-pitch arsenal. His fastball and curveball are strongest, but don't underestimate that changeup or slider.

Fairly, there are some who will point to the 28-year-old not being quite as effective as previous years. For example, his strikeout-to-walk ratio is projected to be the worst of his career, while he is on course to give up his most hits per nine innings since his rookie year.

Similarly, Bieber's current 3.66 ERA would be his worst since 2018, although now we're being a bit picky - it's still a good ERA. In addition, he is yet another pitcher improving as 2023 progresses, with single-month bests of a 2.90 ERA and 0.936 WHIP in June.

Understandably, there is the question of why the Guardians would give up their best pitcher? In addition, as average as Cleveland has been this year, they remain contenders in the AL Central - the poorest division in the Majors.

However, as Jays Journal's Charles Kime points out, the Guardians has a history of trading starting pitchers with limited remaining control. (Bieber will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.) While it might not be easy, the Blue Jays owe it to themselves -- and their fans -- to inquire about the Orange, California native.