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What to expect from the Blue Jays at the trade deadline

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TSN Baseball Insider


Many publications have the Blue Jays' farm system ranked among the best in baseball. In order to earn a ranking like that, the organization has not only a number of impact prospects but also depth of prospects. Not all prospects are the same. Some position players are projected to be everyday impact players (Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Danny Jansen) while some are considered role players, part of a platoon or starters on a second division lesser team (Billy McKinney, Rowdy Tellez, Teoscar Hernandez, Jonathan Davis, Reese McGuire).

The better pitching prospects are projected to be front-end of the rotation starters or closers (Nate Pearson, Eric Pardinho, Adam Kloffstein), while the rest are considered back-end of the rotation starters or middle relievers (Thomas Pannone, Sean Reid-Foley, T.J. Zeuch). The goal in development is to maintain the elite talent of the impact prospects, while trying to propel the marginal prospects to higher levels.

The rebuilding process is moving ahead full force in Toronto. Many of the impact prospects are at the major-league level and more of the fringe prospects are getting opportunities to show what they have as well. As the trade deadline approaches, the Blue Jays are focused on what talent they can bring back in trades to further fortify the reconstruction of the major league club. Toronto doesn’t need any more inventory of fringe prospects, they need impact, particularly in the pitching area. They have the necessary wave of position players to become a playoff contender by 2022, but the pitching side needs to catch up.

Of course, the Jays can’t take a lesser quality prospect on the pitching side than they could get as a position player, but their primary focus should be to get a couple of impact pitching prospects. Trading Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles should give them a real opportunity to accomplish that. They won’t bring in top-50 prospects, but possibly guys who are ranked in the top-100. If they need to supplement the deal in order to get the right prospect in return they should do whatever they have to do. If coupling Stroman and Giles to the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins, who both need a starter and closer, brings back impact in return, then do it. If it means adding a Joe Biagini or Daniel Hudson to a deal, don’t hesitate. If a club has interest in Justin Smoak, Freddy Galvis or Eric Sogard and they also need a reliever, then pair them up and get a more impactful prospect.

There are times when adding as many prospects as possible is a good idea, even if they are fringe-type guys. The idea is that maybe one or two of those players will exceed expectations and become impact players. The problem that clubs ultimately face is that at some point, not every player can be protected on the 40-man roster and they lose some in the Rule V........