With the MLB trade deadline just six days away, the Toronto Blue Jays will be buyers and are reportedly talking with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 2020 season has come at us fast and furious. The Toronto Blue Jays are already almost halfway through their schedule, and at 14-13 have put themselves in a decent position to make the post-season.
According to Jon Morosi, the Blue Jays now have a 61.7 percent chance to qualify for the postseason after Monday night’s comeback win against the Tampa Bay Rays. So should the team be looking to add at the trade deadline?
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That’s exactly what it sounds like they’re planning to do, with Morosi reporting on Monday that the Jays are interested in a couple of starting pitchers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Those two pitchers are Trevor Williams and Chad Kuhl.
Although neither are well-known commodities among casual baseball fans, both could be nice pieces to add to the depth of the starting rotation, something the Blue Jays sorely need right now with Nate Pearson, Trent Thornton, and Matt Shoemaker on the injured list.
Williams is 28 years old and was originally a second round draft pick by the Miami Marlins in 2013. He’s 1-4 this season with a 3.70 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. His best season with the Pirates came in 2018 when he finished the season 14-10 with 126 strikeouts, 170.2 IP, a 3.11 ERA, and 1.18 WHIP.
Williams doesn’t miss many bats, but his greatest skill might come in his ability to induce soft contact. He’s posting a soft contact percentage of nearly 24 percent this season which is third best in the entire league.
Kuhl will be 28 next month and was drafted by the Pirates in 2013. He’s 1-1 through just 19 IP so far this season. On the surface, his numbers look quite good with a 2.84 ERA and 19 K’s and only a WHIP of 1.
However it’s clear that Kuhl has been the product of some good luck, as his .182 BABIP would suggest. His FIP is sitting at 4.97, so expect the ERA to rise once some of those balls in play start finding holes.
As Morosi mentions, a potential trade involving these two pitchers wouldn’t be just a rental either. Both Williams and Kuhl are signed through the 2022 season, and that fact might add to what the Pirates ask for in return.
It’s no coincidence that Pittsburgh is a likely trade partner. Pirates GM Ben Cherington and assistant GM Steve Sanders both worked for the Jays last season. Cherington was the vice president in charge of player development, while Sanders was the club’s scouting director.
With the trade deadline just six days away, this is just one of many potential trades the Blue Jays should be looking to make if they want to increase their chances at competing for a World Series in October.
Do you agree with the decision that the Blue Jays should be buyers at the trade deadline? Who are some other players you’d like to see them try to acquire? Let us know in the comments below.