Blue Jays at the deadline? Expect to be underwhelmed

With just 10 days to JayswinMLB’s non-waiver trade deadline, one thing is clear — it will be a seller’s market.  As many as 18-20 teams could consider themselves wild card contenders and thus be shopping for players to upgrade their rosters to make a final push like the Blue Jays did last year.

The one obvious area the Blue Jays would be looking to upgrade is pitching, either with rotation or bullpen help.  With uncertainty over Aaron Sanchez’s innings limit, finding a starter and pushing Sanchez back to the bullpen would seem to be a move that would address both needs.  But given Sanchez’s success as a starter, that move is getting harder and harder to make.

But given limited prospect capital and an apparent self-imposed budget cap, do not expect the Jays to be in on the upper tier of available pitchers.  Fox/MLB Network’s Jon Morosi recently suggested Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies as a possibility for Toronto.  He’d be a good fit, and has pitched in the AL East before. But the Orioles and Marlins are now apparently kicking the tires, which is sure to send the price up — and perhaps out of the range Mark Shapiro, Ross Atkins and Rogers are comfortable with.

The Blue Jays are in an interesting roster crunch, however, with Jose Bautista, Ryan Goins and Chris Colabello due back within days, and a decision has to be made on the rehab moribund Franklin Morales.  It’s hard to say if other teams would be interested in a current roster player as part of a trade package, but the Jays will have to make roster moves in the coming hours.

Worth noting — the Toronto Star today reported Rogers 2nd quarter earnings were up $52 million – the bulk of that coming from the media division as a result of the Blue Jays success.  While reports have suggested Rogers barely broke even on the Jays in 2015 despite their success, attendance will be significantly higher this year, perhaps topping 3 million.  That combined with the improved performance at Rogers Media should mean an even healthier bottom line.  But whether any of that added revenue gets kicked back into the team’s payroll to assist in acquiring trade deadline help is anyone’s guess.

The Blue Jays don’t need to do much, but they do need to do something to address their pitching depth.  Just expect to see the bigger names going elsewhere, and the Jays to settle for what they can afford.  It may be just enough.