With the struggles of the Toronto Blue Jays, all the talk seems to be about the looming July 31st trade deadline. The Blue Jays have 7 pending major league free agents in total: Marco Estrada, Fransisco Liriano, Miguel Montero, Joe Smith, J.P Howell, Darwin Barney and Chris Coghlan. Jose Bautista also has a team option for 2018, which is unlikely to be picked up, making him a free agent for 2018 as well.
Mark Shaprio and Ross Atkins definitely understand the Blue Jays Fans want a world series championship. They have TV ratings, sponsorships, merchandise, and ticket sales to maintain. Don’t expect talented young stars such as Marcus Stroman, Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez traded, as they have plenty of years of team control left.
Instead, expect the Blue Jays to be open to all offers for all pending free agents. If Joe Smith gets healthy, and continues pitching as he was before the break, he will definitely be an intriguing trade option for teams’ bullpens. Jose Bautista, while not the valued commodity he once was, he could be valuable at the deadline(granted he waives his 10 and 5 rights). Estrada and Lirarno could command some value, if they rebound throughout July. JP Howell has been consistently injured and inconsistent, and probably won’t be worth any value. Don’t expect Miguel Montero to move either; he was just acquired.
The Jays might also listen to offers on pending 2019 Free Agents, like, J.A Happ, Steve Pearce, and Josh Donaldson. Steve Pearce is a definite trade option as a good bench bat vs LHP who can play 1B and LF. Josh Donaldson and J.A Happ probably won’t be traded unless a huge return comes back our way.
In addition, expect the Jays to look to add some team controllable pieces. They have expressed interested in Dee Gordon and Sonny Gray. While the Jays might not be able to make deals for these big names, look for this team to make creative moves to add controllable talent at the major league level at the deadline.
The Blue Jays are not rebuilding yet. This team won’t have a typical buyer-seller dynamic. Instead look for the team to sell some and add some.
Question: Do you have a different take on what the Jays would do at the deadline? Who would you like to see the Blue Jays acquire at the deadline?