Toronto Blue Jays: Bad timing to start a rebuild

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 29: Josh Donaldson
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 29: Josh Donaldson /
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Toronto Blue Jays
TORONTO, ON – JULY 9: Jose Bautista /

Veterans underperforming

Ideally, the team would be able to trade its impending free agents (notably Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano, Jose Bautista, Joe Smith and Darwin Barney) at the trade deadline, to possibly fill some holes in the 2018 roster. However, all of them are either underperforming, or in the case of Smith, on the disabled list.

What type of value can the team realistically expect to get for them? Maybe some prospect depth, but not the type of prospects one would have assumed they could command if we had this conversation three months ago.

That leaves Donaldson and J.A. Happ as the biggest veteran trade chips. Happ would be an ideal player to move as he should have good value with his extra year of control beyond 2017, but Donaldson has battled injuries this season and hasn’t performed up to MVP standards when healthy. Combine that with most contenders not needing third basemen at the moment, and it might be better to wait until the winter if trading him is in the cards.

Troy Tulowitzki has three years and $58 million left on his deal after this season, and Russell Martin has two years and $40 million left. Both are on the wrong side of 30 and in their declining years.

While Martin is still performing well, the contract makes him very difficult to move, while Tulowitzki has seen a significant drop offensively and defensively this season and has the longer of the two contracts. He might be untradeable at this point.

If the veteran players were healthy and performing to their capabilities, the Jays may have been able to make a killing in trades this month. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

A straight fire sale might not yield the type of return necessary to expedite a rebuilding phase. Maybe in the winter or this time next year, the value on certain players might increase.