4 months ago, we looked at why the Blue Jays should wait until the Trade Deadline. We look at whether that still holds up
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Back in February I wrote about 10 reasons the Jays could wait until the trade deadline to make a significant addition to the team. Now that the all star break is past us, it is time to revisit that thinking in light of what we know now. What follows are the ten reasons cited in the original column, with updated thoughts and opinions based on the last three plus months of play.
1. They will know exactly where they stand in the playoff race.
They Jays are in the think of the AL Wild Card Race with a 48-42 record, 2.5 games back of the A’s for the second wild card birth and 6.5 back of the Red Sox for the division lead. Given this position adding to the team is more than justified, it is necessary. While I would not ‘mortgage the future’ to add to the team at this point, significant upgrades can be made without trading away the organizations best prospects.
2. They have a better understanding of their exact needs.
Well, this we know for sure. The Jays have a big need in the bullpen and this can be readily addressed this time of year. The ‘second need’ would be another depth starter to absorb some innings and keep the veterans fresh while protecting the young arms from overwork. If it doesn’t deter from adding pitching, the Jays could benefit from an upgrade at third, a big bopper at DH, or better all around performance in left field.
3. They can react to injury.
Basically, injuries have decimated the bullpen and cost the Jays a significant number of games in the standings. This issue has partially been addressed with the additions of Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards but another high end bullpen arm, or two, is still needed.
4. They have more time to evaluate their own prospects.
While I have absolutely no way of knowing how the Jays value their own prospects, I can assume that the likes of Alek Manoah, Gabriel Moreno and Simeon Woods Richardson have become as close to untouchable as there is. I would guess Orelvis Martinez has also improved his internal rankings. On the other side, possibly Jordan Groshans and Adam Kloffenstein have slipped a little and could be available in the right deal.
5. They can hope for a breakout performance.
Of the Jays minor leaguers the breakout of Alek Manoah has really helped the organization in a big way. It is no surprise that the rotation stabilized when he was brought to the big league team. Manoah’s emergence means the Jays do not NEED to add another mid rotation starter. The breakout of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has taken the offence to the next level and it would be great to capitalize on his outstanding year.
6. More teams fall out of the race.
In the AL the fall of the Twins is a real surprise and likely adds a few rental players to the trade market. To a lessor extent the Angels mediocrity does the same thing. In the NL, the recent losing streak by the Cubs means there are a few more former all stars to be had at the deadline. The horror show that is the Diamondbacks also increases the available players to be had.
7. Teams want to move payroll.
Nothing has changed here. The Jays can still use their financial flexibility to acquire players on larger contracts. This puts them at an advantage over almost every other team in baseball, especially with both the Yankees and Red Sox hard up against the luxury tax threshold and likely not wanting to cross it.
8. More breakout players across the league.
Two of the biggest breakout players that could be had at the deadline both play in Texas. Both Joey Gallo and Kyle Gibson have improved their game this year and could be had for the right price. Both would help the Jays this year and next.
Better Understanding of the teams finances.
While we don’t know what the Jays’ TV ratings are, given the young and exciting team one would expect that viewership is strong, giving the Jays the financial confidence to add payroll. The same could likely be said for the Guerrero Jr. and Alek Manoah jerseys that must be flying off the shelf!
10. Every team needs a boost.
Like I said in February, “every team likes to get reinforcements during the year. It shows the confidence of management in the players and often reinvigorates a team during a very long season.”
So, in conclusion the Jays did decide to wait for the trade deadline to make significant upgrades to the team (assuming they make them at all). The additions of Cimber and Richards are nice, but they only plug holes, not upgrade the team significantly. The Jays are in a very enviable position to upgrade the MLB team and make a true run at the playoffs. They have financial flexibility and the proven willingness to use it. They have the prospect depth to add significant MLB pieces without compromising future contention. It is going to be a VERY interesting two weeks leading up to the deadline for sure!
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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Jason C MacDonald has been a Blue Jays fan since the late 1980’s. His lifelong passion for Baseball and the Blue Jays has recently led him to start writing at JFtC. When not working at his day job or driving his two teenage sons to their sporting events Jason is usually reading, listening, watching or now writing about baseball.