Assembling the Blue Jays’ trade deadline wish list for 2023

What areas do the Blue Jays need to address via trade in the coming weeks?
Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays / Roberto Machado Noa/GettyImages

As the Toronto Blue Jays start to prepare for the upcoming trade deadline just only weeks away, they are looking to upgrade their roster to put themselves in a prime position for a strong playoff run. But to do so, what are the areas that the Jays need to address?

Here, we take a look at the Jays’ trade “wish list” that hopefully they will be able to fulfill by the time the deadline expires.

1. We want a starting pitcher

For much of the 2023 season, one of the obvious issues plaguing the Jays is their lack of starting pitching depth. It became much more evident the moment when Alek Manoah was optioned down to the minors to work on his pitching mechanics back in early June, as the Jays trusted no one to replace him and ran with a four-man rotation instead.

Even though Manoah is well on his way back to the majors with his scheduled return this coming Friday against the Tigers, along with the great news that Hyun Jin Ryu may be back soon as he begins his rehab assignment, with the uncertainty of what kind of performance the Jays could get from either pitcher, along with their lack of depth in the minors, it’s to their best of interest to pursue at least one starting pitcher to serve as insurance depth. That depth may even become part of the starting rotation down the stretch if either one of or both Manoah and/or Ryu falters.

Sample trade target candidates: Lucas Giolito, Shane Bieber

2. We need one or two relief pitchers

As much as the likes of Tim Mayza, Nate Pearson, Trevor Richards, Erik Swanson, and Jordan Romano have been carrying the Jays’ bullpen for much of the season, the struggles of Adam Cimber, Yimi García, and the now departed Anthony Bass has left a lot to be desired. With Mayza being still the only left-handed reliever the Jays have, and no one that would be classified as an overpowering strikeout flamethrower, the Jays should look to add a power lefty arm if possible, or a situational lefty plus a plus-power flamethrower to their squad to help round up their bullpen.

Sample trade target candidates: Josh Hader, David Robertson

3. A bench power bat that could slot in the outfield and/or DH spot would be nice

It has become more apparent that with the Jays’ focus shifted from offence to defence for this year, the offence has been at times lacking as a result, often leading to some frustration at key moments in some games. The plus defence has definitely been a breadth of fresh air, after seeing many misplays in previous years, but it would be best if the Jays could still add a power bat at the deadline to help balance out the ballclub better. With both Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer being more susceptible to injuries where giving them more frequent rest would do them no harm, along with Brandon Belt being a lefty DH, it would be ideal if the bench power bat is a righty that could also play in the outfield if needed and could possibly tandem with Belt at the DH spot.

Sample trade target candidates: Cody Bellinger, Teoscar Hernández

In the coming days, we will provide more in depth coverage for each of the above three categories, with careful analyses of each candidate in each category.