What’s next for the Blue Jays after acquiring Jordan Hicks?

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays
Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays continued to add to their roster on Sunday, acquiring relief pitcher Jordan Hicks from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor-league pitchers Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse. 

The move comes just a week after Génesis Cabrera was traded to the Jays for catching prospect, Sammy Hernandez. There’s no doubt that the two trades improve the bullpen, although other areas of need on the roster remain, so what’s next for the team ahead of Tuesday’s 6 pm trade deadline?

Blue Jays trade deadline possibilities - starting pitcher

Now that Toronto has upgraded its relief corps, it’s fair to wonder if adding a starting pitcher could be the corresponding move. Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to make his 2023 debut and start on Tuesday’s second game of a monumental four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles. 

The left-handed pitcher’s return to the roster gives the club six starting pitchers, so it may not seem to be a logical positional target, but that could change if the right pitcher becomes available.

Since re-joining the Blue Jays in early July, Alek Manoah has had mixed results. He’s failed to get out of the fifth inning in two of his last four starts but has also shown improved command, leading to his ERA dropping from 6.53 to 5.87. Adding a starting pitcher could move Manoah to the bullpen or the minors. 

Many rumors about the Blue Jays pitching additions have centered around Marcus Stroman, who was on the team from 2014-2019. The Cubs' recent surge has quieted most of those talks, and those close to the team feel a reunion is unlikely. 

General Manager Ross Atkins could be angling for Aaron Civale, Michael Lorenzen, or Mitch Keller. Any of that trio would improve a pitching staff that already has among the lowest starter ERAs (3.82) in the majors. 

Blue Jays trade deadline possibilities - right-handed bat

If the team is done adding arms, trading for a right-handed hitter with some thump may be a strong consideration. George Springer has struggled mightily lately (.202 average in July), and Daulton Varsho’s offensive limitations have been well-documented.

Calling the Mets about Tommy Pham or Mark Canha would be prudent. Lane Thomas would be a great get, but Washington seems to want to hang on to the 27-year-old, and the Jays may not have the prospect capital to land him anyways.

Blue Jays trade deadline possibilities - relief pitchers

Seeing as they’ve already traded for two relief pitchers, a righty and a lefty, it’s probably safe to say the Blue Jays are done there. However, if it’s decided that more bullpen reinforcements are needed, Kyle Finnegan, Scott Barlow, or Kenyan Middleton would all be sensible options.