Underachieving Toronto Blue Jays Stand Pat At The Trade Deadline
The MLB trade deadline has come and gone with the struggling, basement dwelling Toronto Blue Jays standing pat failing to partake in a move or ship out any of their underachievers. Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos spoke about the uneventful deadline shortly after it had expired. [quote]“There’s no question we’re going to have to make changes and improve the roster in various ways. But there weren’t those opportunities for us in terms of deals that made sense right now.”[/quote]
Anthopoulos further stated that: [quote]“We weren’t going to be involved in rentals unless it was a no-brainer, and anything we were going to do was going to help us not only in the current year, but going forward. We still had a lot of productive dialogue that may lead to a deal in the off-season.”[/quote]
Rumours swirled throughout the day that the Blue Jays had interest in Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick. The 30-year old infielder would be an upgrade over their current second base situation and possibly something that Anthopoulos may explore at the conclusion of the season. The Jays have internally searched for an everyday second base option all season long experimenting with the likes of Maicer Izturis, Emilio Bonifacio, Munenori Kawasaki and of late even Brett Lawrie.
Speculation leaked out of Texas that the Rangers had enquired about sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in their search for a legitimate power bat. From a Rangers stand-point Bautista would be a tempting piece with the pending suspension to outfielder Nelson Cruz. One would have to think the conversation started at Jurickson Profar but unknown how far it matriculated from there.
There was also rumours that the Detroit Tigers had approached the Blue Jays about dealing some of their bullpen depth to the playoff bound Tigers. Detroit acquired Jose Veras earlier in the week but were rumored to still be in search of a quality late inning arm.
Before the conclusion of the deadline most arm chair quarterbacks assumed veteran Darren Oliver and utility man Emilio Bonifacio would have been the two most likely Jays to be shipped south of the border. Neither player were moved as Anthopoulos stated the market for left handed relievers never really heated up. This is not to say Oliver wont be moved but he will have to clear waivers for that possibility to become a reality. As most expected the Blue Jays were not able to find an adequate suitor willing to employ the struggling starter for the remainder of the campaign.
Even-though the Blue Jays stood pat today, you get the sense that Anthopoulos will be very active in the coming months tinkering and adding the appropriate pieces to make this the winning team he envisioned. The general managers job security in 2014 and future with the organization will depend on it.