The Athletic's Top 100 Trade Chips: Blue Jays listed include Matt Chapman and WHO?!

Toronto Blue Jays v Miami Marlins
Toronto Blue Jays v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

As each day goes by, the 2023 MLB trade deadline is setting up to be a wild one. With a few teams already setting up to be obvious sellers, some being obvious buyers, and some right in the middle, there's going to be a lot of drama in the coming weeks.

The Toronto Blue Jays are currently one of the "bubble" teams, in that a hot streak could mean they're buyers, or a cold streak could mean that they begin to ship out some of their tradeable assets. As of right now, the former seems to be the likelier option, as this team is just too damn good to start abandoning ship and selling. Plus, the Jays are only one game out of an AL Wild Card spot as of right now, so hope is certainly not gone.

The Athletic, one of baseball's best media outlets, posted a trade deadline primer on the top 100 trade candidates (subscription required) to get fans up to speed on who could possibly be moved. For the Blue Jays, two representatives made the cut, with one being an obvious choice and one being an absolutely insane one.

Blue Jays trade targets per The Athletic: Matt Chapman and WHO?!

Yes, you are reading that correctly. Jim Bowden of The Athletic believes that Matt Chapman and Alek Maonah are the two likeliest Blue Jays to be traded if the club elects to function as sellers at the deadline.

The shock factor here is not because Manoah's not a tradeable piece as things currently stand. Despite the fact that he's having a down year on the mound, he is still to be viewed as an incredibly valuable asset. The insanity of this pick is the fact that anybody actually thinks that he could be moved in the first place.

For Chapman, this makes a bit more sense. The 30-year-old is an upcoming free agent and for the most part has been a strong contributor at the hot corner. While he began the 2023 season on an offensive tear, he has cooled off quite a bit at the plate while not quite being the defensive force at third base that he typically is. Regardless, he's already done enough to send his value through the roof, so him being traded makes a ton of sense (if the Blue Jays want to move him period).

Heck, players like Brandon Belt, Whit Merrifield, Kevin Kiermaier, Cavan Biggio, Santiago Espinal, Yimi García and possibly even Erik Swanson feel like some of the other top candidates to join Chapman on this list if things go south for the Blue Jays.

But Manoah? This is crazy talk. While the 25-year-old has not looked like himself this season, that does not take away the fact that he was an All-Star and Cy Young contender as recently as last year. Why would the Blue Jays want to move a young franchise cornerstone with some serious success in recent years and a ton of team control remaining?

Manoah is currently down in the Florida Complex League working on refining his game on the mound away from the media and spotlight. This was the best course of action for him as he has struggled mightily on the mound this year, posting a 6.36 ERA in 13 starts. Despite the fact that his last start came 16 days ago, he still leads the American League in walks with 42.

Manoah will be back, and this feels like an obvious statement to make. He is entirely too talented to continue to scuffle like he has this season. Trading him right now is one of the worst possible ideas, and it's insanity that there's someone out there that thinks he could actually be moved. Not happening!