And while it would be futile to attempt to predict the details of what the Blue Jays will do in the final days leading up to July 30, it’s at least possible to make educated guesses about what types of deals they are likely to be. to conclude. By listening carefully to what the front office is saying, looking at what they have done in the past, and checking industry sources, some clues are available.
Together, they paint a picture of the types of deals the Blue Jays are most and least likely to make as the deadline approaches …
The best prospects for star rentals
Examples of past deadline: Willie Calhoun for Yu Darvish, 2017; Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman, 2016; David Price for Daniel Norris, Matthew Boyd and Jairo Labourt, 2015; Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran, 2011.
2021 candidates for this type of deal: Max Scherzer, Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, Trevor Story.
Verdict: Probably not.
On Tuesday, the Blue Jays were linked with Scherzer, a future Hall of Famer with dominant stuff whose ten and five rights allow him to control his own destiny. And if you’re the Blue Jays, how could you not check out this talented pitcher. They are also expected to make preliminary calls to Bryant, Baez and Story. It’s okay to ask, after all.
But with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants also apparently interested in Scherzer, 37, the price will be steep, so unless the Washington Nationals like the Blue Jays farming system. , it’s hard to see an adjustment for this kind of trading. Who knows, maybe the Nationals will use the Blue Jays to increase their own influence here.
Outbidding the rest of the league for a star rental can make sense if you are a division favorite and are trying to increase your odds for the World Series. Or maybe if your core is aging like the Blue Jays were in 2015.
It doesn’t make sense to part with the top prospects when you’re on the sidelines of the wildcard race hoping to get the right to play a one-game series as a road team. Especially when you have a young core in place for years to come.
And since this Blue Jays front office is measured in its decision-making, it would be a surprise if they parted with a top prospect for a hire before they were the ones leading the charge in the East. of AL.
Prospects for valuable controllable players:
Examples of past deadline: Kendall Williams et Ryan Noda pour Ross Stripling, 2020.
2021 candidates for this type of deal: Yusei Kikuchi, Kyle Gibson, Merrill Kelly, Craig Kimbrel, Richard Rodriguez, Trea Turner, José Berrios.
This category covers a lot of ground, so there isn’t a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to be found here, but there’s no reason the Blue Jays shouldn’t consider these deals. In fact, they finished one last year, sending 2019 second-round pick Kendall Williams to the Dodgers for Ross Stripling.
With players like Kimbrel and Kikuchi potentially available this year, there are still players who make a difference with controlling the squad beyond 2021. And since they’re more than rentals, the Blue Jays would still benefit from offers. like this even if their season ends sooner than they hope.
Of course, the prices for the remaining controlling players are going to be higher for this same reason. For example, why would the Minnesota Twins part ways with Berrios when they can just as easily hang on and enjoy his shot in 2022?
There is less urgency for sellers in this market, which balances leverage and makes it all harder to predict, but any team looking to improve must stay engaged on these players. Since the Blue Jays farming system includes many popular young players, they have the potential to bid on anyone. Where it leads is the really interesting part.
Less prospects for valuable rentals
Examples of past deadline: Taijuan Walker for Alberto Rodriguez, 2020; Robbie Ray and money for Travis Bergen, 2020; Jonathan Villar for Griffin Conine, 2020; Andrew McInvale with Joe Panik for Adam Cimber and Corey Dickerson, 2021.
2021 candidates for this type of deal: Tyler Anderson, Michael Pineda, Jon Gray, Yimi Garcia, Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, Brad Hand, Eduardo Escobar, Starling Marte.
The Blue Jays’ playoff odds have plummeted in recent days. And, yes, these losses are frustrating. At the same time, they still have a real chance of qualifying for the playoffs – 25.3% according to FanGraphs and 38% according to Baseball-Reference on Tuesday.
One way to improve those odds without significantly harming the long-term goals of the team is to acquire rentals. This is a bit counterintuitive because these offers only help in the short term, but the cost is often lower for this very reason and it also preserves the flexibility of the Blue Jays before winter.
So given the depth of the Blue Jays’ system and the fact that only 40 players can be shielded from the Rule 5 draft this fall, players like Samad Taylor, Zach Logue and Kevin Smith are sure to generate interest. sales teams.
First and foremost, the Blue Jays need to accurately assess their own prospects. Once they do, there is potential for some real traction on rentals by July 30.