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2024 MLB Buyers or Sellers: Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays
(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)

2024 MLB Buyers or Sellers: Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays come into an interesting spot. They currently have a losing record, but are only a few games out of a playoff spot. Buying, retooling, or selling are all possibilities between now and the trade deadline.

The team so far

Record(As of 6/11/24): 32-34, 14.0 GB of AL East, 3.0 GB AL Wild Card

Best hitters: Vladimir Guerroro Jr., Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Bo Bichette, Daulton Varsho, Justin Turner

Best pitchers: Jose Berrios, Yusei Kikuchi, Chris Bassitt, Kevin Gausman, Yimi Garcia

Buyers or Sellers?

The Blue Jays were in a similar spot back in 2015. They weren’t bad or great, but they went out and traded for David Price and Troy Tulowitzki. The Jays went on a tear from there and won their division.

It’s a much different time now. While the Blue Jays still have the likes of Guerrero Jr. and Bichette, the AL East is extremely tough. The Yankees and Orioles are two of the best teams in baseball. The Red Sox are somehow hanging around and are ahead of the Blue Jays.

GM Ross Atkins made it clear that it “wouldn’t make any sense” to trade Guerrero Jr. or Bichette at the deadline. Atkins also wants to wait until the All-Star break to make any decisions on where the team will be heading.

I don’t think the Blue Jays should completely tear it down. But, I do think they need to get younger and cheaper if they truly want to extend Guerrero Jr. and Bichette.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Vladdy won’t be a free agent until after 2025, leaving plenty of opportunities for the Blue Jays to get a big package. Guerrero Jr. isn’t seeing the big power numbers he’s used to, only having seven home runs through 254 at-bats.

The Cubs are reportedly interested in acquiring Guerrero Jr. They’re in a similar spot as the Blue Jays, sitting 32-34, seven games back of the NL Central. The Cubs won’t have time to wait around however, and if the Jays want to wait until mid-July to make any moves, it might be unlikely.

The Reds have shared similar interests and have the farm system to pull it off. Similar to the Cubs, however, they’re on the brink of contending and might not have time to wait around.

Bo Bichette

The Blue Jays could get some pretty good packages for Vladdy and Bichette. There’s definitely a market for shortstops, and while Bichette’s defense isn’t anything to gaze on, plugging in his bat would be a great upgrade.

The Guardians are seen as a top fit for the young shortstop. The Guardians have Jose Ramirez and Andrés Giménez performing well, and sticking Bichette between both of them would be a major upgrade. The team is 28th out of 30 teams with a .538 OPS from the shortstop position.

Yusei Kikuchi

Kikuchi will be a rental as he’s set to be a free agent after this season. The 33-year-old has one of the best seasons of his career, going 4-5 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 76 strikeouts.

Kikuchi will be your typical rental starter for a contending team needing a fourth or fifth starter. The Blue Jays could nab a solid 1-2 decent prospects from a team.

Danny Jensen

Jensen is also a free agent at the season’s end. The catcher is slashing .250/.340/.443 with five home runs and 16 RBIs.

The top-catching piece this year is going to be Elias Diaz, but Jensen has put up respectable numbers in his career and at the minimum can fit as a platoon/bench bat for a contending team.

Jordan Romano

The past two seasons saw Romano as one of the best closers in baseball. He collected 72 saves over the 2022-23 seasons and was heading into 2024 with eyes on a third-straight All-Star appearance.

It hasn’t gone quite right for him. Romano has dealt with injuries and is currently on the IL. Before that, he had a 6.59 ERA with eight saves and 13 strikeouts in 13 innings.

He isn’t a free agent until after the 2025 season. If Romano can come back from the IL and return to form, the Jays could have a very nice piece to send off at the deadline. Teams always need late-inning arms in the postseason. Romano isn’t a bad pitcher, and returning to his 2022-23 form would be massive for the Blue Jays.

Who knows, the Blue Jays could decide to buy as well. A lot of things can happen between now and July. I can’t envision them trading Vladdy and Bichette, but if they won’t build around them, the best thing to do would be to trade them.

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