Jays From the Couch looks at some returns the Toronto Blue Jays COULD be looking for as they sell off pieces at the Trade Deadline
The Toronto Blue Jays are sellers as they approach the 2018 MLB Trade Deadline. I won’t waste your time explaining how they got to this point, when it can be summed up by saying that they’ve performed poorly. I also won’t waste time giving any preamble about the many pieces the club has to offer those teams who’ve had the exact opposite fortunes of Canada’s team. We know the names that are on the block. If you don’t, you’ve not been paying attention…like, at all.
But, what doesn’t get talked about much is what the Toronto Blue Jays could be looking for in these inevitable deadline deals.
I came upon this line of thinking when wondering just how much value Anthony Alford has for the big league club this season. Once thought of a young stud to come in and take a big league job, he’s hit just .211 this season. The 23 year old, who has all the tools in the world may not be as ready for the big show as we
hoped thought. If we accept this, then you look around the depth charts and wonder just who would make up the minor league depth. There has been talk of trading Kevin Pillar as his value may only decrease from here on out. But, where would that leave the Blue Jays?
Trading Pillar means that one of Dalton Pompey, Alford or Dwight Smith Jr.would be next on the list. But, none of these guys appear ready to take over the reigns. In AA, Jonathan Davis is having himself a nice season, but that does not mean he’s ready either. In fact, there really doesn’t appear to be an answer to fill the vacancy trading Pillar would leave.
So, if you’re this front office, you obviously would be reluctant to deal Pillar. But, you may also want to address the lack of outfield depth. Is there a deal to be made similar to the one that sent turned Francisco Liriano into Teoscar Hernandez? An outfielder that is on the cusp of big league time? Well, the mind immediately goes to New York, who is looking at J.A. Happ. It isn’t a big leap to think that Clint Frazier is a guy worth asking for. The Yankees just called him up, which could just be a showcase. Frazier has already expressed his disappointment in not being on the big league roster out of the gate. As well, the Yankees have said he is not out of the question.
Another, possibly more pressing area, is Toronto’s need for pitching. Everyone is always looking for pitching. Over the last couple of seasons, we have seen the result of a pitching staff that is only 5 deep. Injuries happen. And, the likelihood of a Sam Gaviglio or a Ryan Borucki being always available is small. Moving forward, the Blue Jays will need to add affordable, controllable pitching.
When put to the JFtC staff, a couple of observations were made:
Roy– “Pitchers. If NYY is indeed the front runner for Happ, I would expect 2-3 SP/RP prospects. Maybe 1-2 if Domingo Germán is involved, because he’s closer. Unfortunately, Cashman ALWAYS wins trades. Even when he’s not actively trying to. See: Hicks, Aaron.”
Mueller– “This front office is actively drafting position players and hoping to get lucky with late round pitchers. The pitchers we have at the upper MiLB are from AA’s reign. I read something around draft time that it appears the Blue Jays’ FO are following the cubs blueprint of stockpiling position prospects to use to fill the team and trade the surplus position prospects for already developed arms.”
Before we go further, I recognize that this has been mostly focused on the Yankees as trade partners (ugh), but the same logic can be applied to any other team that comes calling. If they have similar packages as stated above, you can bet Ross Atkins will be listening.
Mueller brings up a good point. The Blue Jays do have a number of quality position players and the list keeps getting deeper. Perhaps, they can use that to solidify their pitching depth. Given the state of things this season, the return in any deal will be about the future. It will be about adding pieces that are controllable for a while and have the potential of impacting the club’s fortunes in two or three years.
Likely, Toronto will be looking for outfield and pitching depth that is on the edge of the big leagues. Of course, this venture is probably more crazy than trying to predict who will come calling for the Blue Jays’ pieces. No one can say for sure what asking prices will be. The best we can do is look at the state of the franchise and make a logical guess. If I’m guessing, I’d say that pitching and outfield depth are what the Blue Jays could be looking for.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.