Teoscar Hernandez- Credit: DaveMe Images

Are Blue Jays Fans Ready For Trade Deadline Pain?

The Toronto Blue Jays are about to pursue upgrades for a playoff push and a trade or two could mean seeing some beloved players leave


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The Toronto Blue Jays are assumed to be ‘going for it’ this year, which means they will be looking for additions in the next week and a half leading up to the Trade Deadline. They’re in need of a starter and perhaps at least one high leverage reliever. They’re has also been a lot of talk about their interest in acquiring Juan Soto, which would be huge. However, if we assume all of this is on the table, and there is no reason to believe it isn’t at this time, the harsh reality is that, in all likelihood, it is going to cost the club and its fans some potentially beloved players.

 

The Blue Jays are not the Rays. They do not have a seemingly never ending supply of high end prospects at their disposal, particularly the kind that throw baseballs rather well. The Rays have the prospect capital to make just about any trade at any time. Toronto does not. It’s prospect pockets are not as deep. That is especially true since trading for Jose Berrios and Matt Chapman in less than a year.

 

Sure, there is Gabriel Moreno, who is among the league’s top prospects, but with more pieces above him, it is possible that Toronto can make the trades they need to while still keeping him in the organization. Sure, he would go a long way to addressing their needs, but he comes with so much future value that it would be shocking to see them trade him.

 

Instead, the Blue Jays could dangle one (or two) of their highly popular big league catchers, Danny Jansen and the All Star, Alejandro Kirk. This is where the awkward conversations begin. Would the Blue Jays really consider trading Danny Jansen who has won over every pitcher he works with much like he has the fans? Would they really send Kirk to the All Star game only to trade him less than two weeks later? Fans voted him in as the starting catcher for the Midsummer Classic. That would be a bold move, one the front office would have to really sell to the fans.

 

Switching back to prospects for a second, there are a number of valuable pieces in Toronto’s system. Orelvis Martinez (2), Jordan Groshans (4), Otto Lopez (5) represent some very good pieces in any trade. Groshans may have seen his stock take a hit a bit this season, but what other teams see and the value they place on another organization’s players is difficult to say. Perhaps, any one of these three could be available. For me, Martinez would be difficult to part with, but you gotta give to get, right? If it leads to a championship, I will get over it pretty quickly. Others may not agree.

 

What will be even more difficult for fans to accept is when if the Blue Jays have to trade from their big league roster to obtain the pieces that put them over that hump. In various discussions, names like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Teoscar Hernandez and even Bo Bichette have come up. Any of these three would certainly help in trade talks, but the issue that many have is that they could also help this team win a banner.

 

Gurriel Jr represents a left fielder who has improved his defense and has a career wRC+ of 116. He’s streaky, sure but always ends up with a decent slash line, even if his home run numbers are down a touch this year. As well, they’re getting a guy who has one of the more team friendly contracts. He has one more season left after this one and will earn just under $5M this year and just under $6M next. It’s tremendous value and the Blue Jays will use that if his name comes up. There would be a segment of the fanbase that would be very upset to see Gurriel dealt.

 

For Hernandez, he is making $10.5M and has one more year of arbitration left, so the same amount of team control as Gurriel. However, he has emerged as a middle of the order power threat and any team would benefit from having his bat in the lineup. IF a team were looking to cash in now on a trade for a quick rebuild, he would be a very appealing piece. However, because of his emergence and longevity (relatively speaking) with the team, trading him would be a rather difficult thing for the Blue Jays to do.

 

In some circles (social media discussions are circles, right? Flat circles.), Bichette has been brought up as a piece to land Soto. Considering he is just 24 and has established himself as a star, improving his defense along the way. He is not too far removed from a 25-25 season and is on his way to hitting another 25 dingers this year. At first blush, the idea of trading one of the franchise core seems downright ridiculous, but when you start to think about how much value he represents, it is not entirely silly. Remember, that an All Star can replace him in the form of Santiago Espinal. That moves Cavan Biggio to second full time. The argument against this is that the Blue Jays would be removing a potent bat from their lineup, but if the return was an even more potent bat in Juan Soto, it just might be worth biting the bullet.

 

Remember when the Blue Jays traded Fred McGriff and one of my favourite Blue Jays, Tony Fernandez to San Diego for Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar? At the time, fans were quote upset. They got over it when they were celebrating back to back Championships a short while later. This year may not go like that, but it is a cautionary tale when we fall in love with individual players. The path to glory is long and bumpy. Along the way, there may even be some casualties and some of them may be very dear to us. Are you ready for that? Is it worth a Championship to you?

 

 

 


Featured Images Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase

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