Yusei Kikuchi's trade value skyrockets after domination of Giants lineup

Yusei Kikuchi carved up the Giants' lineup on Tuesday night, which will go a long way to boosting his value at the trade deadline.
Toronto Blue Jays v San Francisco Giants
Toronto Blue Jays v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Holy cow, what a performance that was for Yusei Kikuchi. The left-hander took the mound for the 19th time in Tuesday night's contest against the Giants and was utterly dominant.

Naturally, the rest of his team found a way to lose the ballgame, but that's not what this is about. Kikuchi went 7.1 innings (his second longest start of the year), allowing two runs on six hits while striking out a career-high 13 batters in the process. This showing lowered his season ERA from 4.12 to 4.00 and raised his K/9 from 9.4 to 9.9. Not too shabby!

Kikuchi, 33, is going to be a sought after piece at this year's trade deadline. With the Blue Jays continuing to be stuck in neutral and going nowhere in the standings, he's one of many players, especially rentals, who are likely to be shipped out by the end of the month.

Stringing together some solid starts like this one is going to be crucial for multiple reasons. Strictly from Kikuchi's point of view, this is setting him up for a decent payday when he hits free agency in the coming months. He's only got a small amount of team control remaining. If he's able to turn things around in the second half, it's only going to boost the amount of money he receives in the near future.

From the Blue Jays' perspective, this is more of an immediate help. The club, as previously stated, is surely going to flip some assets at the deadline. If Kikuchi can ride a hot streak up to the deadline, he's going to command more of a return in a potential deal. There are no shortages of teams looking for starting pitching help (the Guardians stand out like a sore thumb here), so keeping Kikuchi hot is going to be extremely important.

Just get the man some run support, though, will you?