He's the odd man out for the Toronto Blue Jays this season, and for good reason. The 2022 All-Star and Cy Young Finalist Alek Manoah finds himself in the minors for the second time this year, after compiling a 3-9 record with a 5.87 ERA and an equally untenable 1.74 WHIP. The Blue Jays will have to figure out just what went wrong with Manoah before next season begins.... Or will they?
According to MLB Insider Jon Morosi, the Jays can "definitely" expect plenty of calls from rival teams seeking to trade for the beleaguered 25-year-old.
On Sportsnet 590 The Fan's Morning Show, Morosi insisted there will no shortage of suitors, despite Manoah's dreadful season.
"That conversation will DEFINITELY happen. The Jays' phone is going to ring this offseason with people who want Alek Manoah.- MLB Insider Jon Morosi
If you think about the shortage of starting pitching... teams that are just bereft of starting pitching right now and say, 'hey, he's better than our fifth starter, and for the opportunity to bring him in we'd be willing to give up this level prospect'. "
The main reason teams would be willing to take a shot on Manoah is obvious. He's only a year removed from being an All-Star and one of the best pitchers in baseball. Every organization figures they've got the secret formula to restore a player's talents.
"The hubris of teams will never fail: 'We can fix him. We've got a better way of getting the most out of Manoah'... There will be a lot of GMs that believe that their process will be able to unlock the All-Star level pitcher that Alek Manoah was as recently as last season."- Morosi
But should the Jays consider a trade of the fiery righty?
For the cons, there's the obvious 'never sell low' refrain. Toronto would be getting a minimum return on their prized young hurler, as his trade value will never be this low.
In addition, Hyun Jin Ryu becomes a free agent this winter, leaving a hole in the current five-man rotation. If top prospect Ricky Tiedemann isn't ready for the majors next year, the Jays would have to find another starter. And Tiedemann's return to Double-A last week after a season-long bout with injuries didn't exactly inspire confidence.
On the pros side of a possible Manoah deal is the fact that the Jays could have a couple of huge holes to fill in the everyday lineup this offseason, with Matt Chapman a free agent, and Whit Merrifield possibly joining him, unless both he and the Jays pick up the mutual option for $18M in his contract for next season. There would be no better trade piece (as tarnished and battered as it is) than Manoah to try to land whatever lineup replacement is needed.
Some big decisions for the Jays coming up this offseason surrounding Manoah. Ideally, they figure out a way this winter to get him back to his 2022 All-Star form, and the decision will be made for them.