5 TRADE DEADLINE TARGETS FOR THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS

2023-07-26 · 3 min read · MLB/Baseball
Randal Grichuk of the Colorado Rockies and Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images | Getty Images

With the Trade Deadline fast approaching, Toronto’s found themselves in a bit of a predicament. At times the team’s looked brilliant - orchestrating sweeps, showcasing the offensive might we all expected of them - yet the road to this point has been so bumpy that many have been left wondering just how committed Rogers will be to dishing out the cash to make a major move.
With that in mind, let us assume that - although we would all welcome it - an Ohtani (or Ohtani-like) trade is out of the picture. Below are five potential Trade Deadline targets that Ross Atkins should consider making a run for, assuming the Blue Jays don’t bottom out over the next few games.
JACK FLAHERTY - RHP, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
With the Cardinals on the brink of a full-on sale, Jack Flaherty is a name that has come across Ross Atkins’ desk more than once. Toronto fans will notably remember him as the potential return for Josh Donaldson, only to be forced into a deal with Cleveland in exchange for Julian Merryweather. Although having had some command problems this season, Flaherty has toned down the walks and had a very good month of July - a 2.55 ERA with only 8 walks across 24 ⅔ IP, alongside 22 strikeouts. Perhaps not the blockbuster arm once thought of by Jays fans, but a relatively known commodity that wouldn’t cost a ton. That said, management’s interest in starting arms will likely be dependent on how comfortable they feel about Hyun-Jin Ryu’s return and Alek Manoah’s inconsistency - a six-man rotation is not at all likely.
RANDAL GRICHUK - OF, COLORADO ROCKIES
A familiar face, and one who I had to talk myself into. A streaky hitter over parts of four years with Toronto between 2018-21, the now-31-year-old has had quite the offensive season in Colorado, posting a .309/.368/.482 slash line over 59 games. Not the power bat of days past, but someone who the Rockies have effectively transitioned into a platoon role, with great results. Over 11 games in the month of July, Grichuk has swatted a .375 batting average (15 for 40) with four of his six home runs coming since July 2nd. He knows what it’s like to play in Toronto, and with a plethora of outfielders already shuffling around the Blue Jays’ outfield, Grichuk could retain his not-every-day role to minimize Daulton Varsho’s ABs versus lefties.
BRENT SUTER - LHP, COLORADO ROCKIES
Speaking of lefties, Brent Suter should (hopefully) be included in any discussions regarding the aforementioned Randal Grichuk. Though Toronto’s posted the second-best bullpen ERA this month (3.50), the lows are still very low when things go south. Suter, a soft-tossing lefty, has pitched to a 3.26 ERA at Coors Field (19 ⅓ IP) and a spectacular 2.13 ERA everywhere else (25 ⅓ IP) - amounting to a 2.62 ERA across 44 ⅔ IP. He doesn’t strike many hitters out (only 37) and is coming back from an Oblique injury that sidelined him for almost a month, but has only allowed earned runs in 8 of the 33 games he’s pitched in - four of which came in June. Outside of a seven-day stretch between June 12-18th, Suter has only allowed 1 earned run away from Coors Field. With Colorado looking to unload anyone who’s been good for them, a combo of Grichuk and Suter would be quite a pickup for Toronto.
SAM MOLL - LHP, OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Unlike Brent Suter, Sam Moll is a name you likely haven’t heard too much about. Only in his second full season (fourth overall) with Oakland, the 31-year-old lefty had a dominant 2022 posting a 2.91 ERA over 43 ⅓ IP amongst a bad Athletics squad. This season has been somewhat of a step back for Moll - currently holding a 4.50 ERA - which shouldn’t make him too pricey of a target. He hasn’t allowed a run since July 8th and has struck out 44 over 36 innings thus far. A disastrous outing on May 14th has inflated his ERA quite a bit, something he’s tried to work down over time - since then, he has a 3.68 ERA over 22 IP. Perhaps a person of interest if the Genesis Cabrera experiment goes sideways, Moll is a decent lefty to have in the ‘pen.
KYLE FINNEGAN - RHP, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Can you tell that I think this team needs arms? Kyle Finnegan has been on my list for a few years now, however, I think now is finally the time to swipe him away from the Nats. Like Moll and Grichuk, Finnegan is now 31 - but is well on his way to posting his fourth straight quality season out of Washington’s bullpen. With a 3.24 ERA over 41 ⅔ IP while striking out 40 thus far, he’s turned into - by default - the Nationals’ closer. He’s been on such a roll that, entering June, Finnegan sat at an ERA just below 5.00 and since April 7th, he’s posted a 1.83 ERA(!) with an opponents batting average of .225. He’s been a force to be reckoned with beyond 2 of his first 3 games of the season (in which he gave up 7 runs over 2 ⅓ innings), and someone who would most definitely help out a tired Jays’ bullpen.
Just days away now, a few teams have already made preemptive moves ahead of the August 1st deadline. Colorado traded reliever Pierce Johnson to Atlanta in exchange for RHP Prospects Victor Vodnik (Atlanta’s #10) and Tanner Gordon (Atlanta’s #26). Baltimore acquired RHP Shintaro Fujinami from Oakland for LHP Easton Lucas, while the Dodgers re-acquired UTL Enrique Hernandez from the Red Sox in exchange for RHP Prospects Nick Robertson (Los Angeles’ #25) and Justin Hageman.
As of today, Toronto sits in the 3rd Wild Card spot at 56-45. They would face the winner of the AL Central if playoffs started today.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Gus Cousins

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