The Toronto Blue Jays have already added several significant pieces before the non-waiver trade deadline
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I don’t see the Toronto Blue Jays making another trade right now; I think they’ve done enough to put themselves within striking distance of a playoff spot.
Of course, it’s always possible that they’ll add one final piece at the waiver trade deadline, but that really depends on how the standings look at the end of August. Things look promising for the Jays right now.
The unexpected addition of David Price to the starting rotation solves the Jays biggest problem: they finally have the “Ace” they’ve been sorely missing ever since the departure of Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies way back in 2010 (yes, it’s been a long time). If you combine that with the improving performances of R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Marco Estrada, the Jays suddenly have a rotation that looks pretty respectable in the 1-4 slots.
Jun 28, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher David Price (14) pitches in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Drew Hutchison is the only problem spot in the current rotation. He can’t seem to escape early trouble on the road and this might force the Jays to do something. They could avoid playing him on the road or this is where they could possibly make one final trade, adding a rental arm like J.A. Happ. This would allow the team to rest Hutchison, send him down to the Buffalo Bisons for a quick conditioning stint or use him out of the bullpen as a long reliever. In any event, it’s no longer the same problem that haunted Toronto before yesterday’s blockbuster trade for Price.
Turning our attention to the bullpen itself, things look really good. Everyone is rightfully focusing on the big chip from Tuesday’s trade with the Colorado Rockies – Troy Tulowitzki – but they shouldn’t discount the addition of 42-year old reliever LaTroy Hawkins. He brings stability to the back end of the bullpen and has already appeared in two scoreless innings of relief.
With Hawkins, Bo Schultz, the recently “demoted” Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna as the new shutdown crew, I feel very comfortable and confident in our ability to hold leads these days. This isn’t the same bullpen that opened the season for the Jays and that’s important.
Jul 29, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) salutes fans after a standing ovation for his two-run home run against Philadelphia Phillies in the third inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
From a position player perspective, the team improved its offence and infield defence through the acquisition of Tulowitzki. Injuries continue to scramble the outfield – Jose Bautista looks like he’s playing through something and there’s no regular left fielder – but it works. Kevin Pillar provides great defensive depth to the outfield, making one spectacular catch after another. The Jays also have a lot of depth at first base (Justin Smoak, Chris Colabello) and in the designated hitter spot (Danny Valencia, Dioner Navarro), which allows them to rest Edwin Encarnacion as he recovers from a mild finger injury.
Even second base looks good with Ryan Goins taking over for the injured Devon Travis. Goins isn’t a good hitter, but he’s a great fielder. If he can stay healthy, the Jays should be okay here until the eventual return of Travis.
If there’s one underlying fault with the current lineup, it concerns depth beyond the active roster. This problem has been exposed at second base and it’s not clear what the Jays would do if one of their starting pitchers fell to injury. You can’t have everything, however, and I like the look of the current lineup. It has contender written all over it.
What are your thoughts? Is the roster complete? Is it good enough? Should the Jays add another starting pitcher or try to find an extra utility player for the infield? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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