The Toronto Blue Jays could become sellers at the upcoming trade deadline, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.com.
With five losses in their last six games, the Blue Jays are quickly falling down the AL East standings and Morosi believes GM Alex Anthopoulos could move players who might not fit into the team’s long-term plan.
“They’re not really in the mix right now,” Morosi told Brady & Lang on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Thursday morning. “So, I would say the likes of (Edwin) Encarnacion, any bullpen piece and Kelly Johnson. Those are the types of guys that you could see get moved. The marginal value of winning 84 games over winning 77-78 games is fairly negligible.”
The biggest question for the Blue Jays revolves around Encarnacion, who is having a career season at the plate. The 29-year-old has been the Blue Jays’ most consistent power hitter this season with a .909 OPS, 17 home runs and 44 RBIs, but he is set to become a free agent after the season and could command the most value in a trade.
“It’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back. He has not homered in his last nine games. Maybe hand injury is affecting him. When hitters get hit on their hand, always got to watch the power production and stay tuned how he does in the next week or so.”
While many expect Encarnacion to cash in as a free agent, Morosi is skeptical due to his erratic play on defence and his inconsistent numbers throughout his career.
“A lot of GMs are wary,” he said. “If you’re viewed as a DH, that will affect his valuation going forward. So we’ll see how often he plays in the field and not having Vladdy coming will certainly change how often he’ll play first base.”
With the team’s inconsistent play and Brandon Morrow being placed on the disabled list, Morosi sees the Blue Jays slipping out of the playoff race.
“This year, a lot of things had to go right for the Blue Jays to contend realistically,” Morosi explained. “Certainly Morrow staying healthy was one of them. That to me is a huge blow. Now it magnifies the pressure on the younger guys in the rotation. We’re already seeing the cracks there in terms of what we’ll see from Drabek or Alvarez in the second half.”
The Blue Jays are 6.5 games behind the division-leading New York Yankees in the AL East. The team has a 31-32 won-loss record and currently sit in a fourth-place tie with the Boston Red Sox.
If the Toronto Blue Jays continue to struggle, what should they do at the upcoming trade deadline?