Article Written by Travis Aylward (@travaylward)
With the Blue Jays currently sitting 10.5 games out of a wildcard spot in late June, they are most likely not postseason bound. With 10 players heading to free agency at the end of the season, the Blue Jays' front office is set to sell at this year’s trade deadline. Let’s take a look at who is most likely to get dealt before July 31st.
2019 Toronto Blue Jays Free Agents (Via spotrac.com)
Josh Donaldson- 3B
Marco Estrada- SP
J.A. Happ- SP
Steve Pearce- OF
Curtis Granderson- OF
Aaron Loup – RP
Tyler Clippard- RP
John Axford- RP
Craig Breslow- RP
Nick Tepesch- SP
One thing that I noticed as I was writing that list - every single player (besides Nick Tepesch) is 30 years of age or older. Even Tepesch is 29. Being the oldest team in the American League, and having loads of young talent in their farm system, the Blue Jays are most likely looking to get younger this trade deadline.
Going up against Verlander Monday night in Houston proved that Happ is one of the games best starting pitchers. Verlander has a 1.60 ERA, good enough for first in the AL, while Happ is sitting with a 3.56 ERA. Happ won the battle of the aces Monday night, picking up his 10th win in the process. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported last week that the Mariners and Yankees were both interested in Happ’s services. Happ is probably the best starting pitcher on the market, and the Blue Jays can expect to get a top 100 prospect back in return.
Although Tepera is not a free agent at the end of the season, he is reportedly generating trade interest, per Jon Morsi. Tepera has a 2.54 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP and has recently taken over the closer role while Osuna serves his suspension. The Blue Jays can expect to get a good young player or two in return.
Josh Donaldson’s 2018 season is not going as planned. Currently on the DL, he has already been placed there twice, with the current time being extended due to a set-back. With the 2019 free agent class so stacked, Donaldson may be in for a rude awakening come the offseason if he doesn’t get on the field and start performing. It is unlikely Donaldson gets dealt by the deadline due to his poor season to this point. Not only is Donaldson having a poor season, but he is also 32 years of age. The Blue Jays and Donaldson were reportedly in contract talks this past offseason, but Donaldson bet on himself to have a strong walk year and earn himself some more money come the end of the season. That decision isn’t looking like a good one as of now.
Marco Estrada signed a brand new 1 year / $13,000,000 contract at the end of last season. Most people thought the Blue Jays were going to have one of, if not the best rotations in all of baseball. Those people were brutally wrong. Stroman currently has a 6.80 ERA with a 0-5 record, Sanchez is on the DL with right index finger contusion, Jaime Garcia is also on the DL with left shoulder inflammation, and JA Happ and Marco Estrada have really been the only bright spots in Toronto’s rotation all year. Marco Estrada will bring playoff experience and leadership to whichever team takes a chance on him this trade deadline.
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