Blue Jays looking for lineup help? (2024)

LATEST FREE AGENT & TRADE RUMORS

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May 29: Blue Jays looking for lineup help?

Given how poorly they’ve started out this season, the Blue Jays have been mentioned as a potential Trade Deadline seller, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (controllable through 2025), Bo Bichette (signed through 2025), Kevin Gausman (signed through 2026), Chris Bassitt (signed through 2025) and Justin Turner (signed to one-year deal) among the players they could shop.

However, the team evidently isn’t thinking about a sale just yet. Quite the opposite, actually.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi, the Blue Jays are among the teams showing interest in Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon, who has a career-high 135 OPS+ with 10 homers over 54 games this season. McMahon has also shown the ability to be a plus defender at third base, though his numbers at the hot corner (-1 Outs Above Average) aren’t great this year.

The Blue Jays' offense has struggled in 2024, averaging just 4.02 runs per game, which is 22nd in the Majors. With Matt Chapman departing as a free agent in the offseason, Toronto ranks 25th in MLB with a .633 OPS at third base.

While Morosi heard from a source with knowledge of the Rockies’ plans that McMahon is unlikely to be dealt, the Blue Jays' reported interest in him offers some indication of what the club’s current mindset is with regards to the Deadline.

When Ronald Acuña Jr. tore the ACL in his right knee in July 2021, president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos used the trade market to bolster Atlanta’s outfield, acquiring Joc Pederson, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Eddie Rosario prior to the Trade Deadline. Anthopoulos’ moves paid off when the Braves went on to win the World Series.

Anthopoulos is once again tasked with replacing Acuña following a season-ending injury, this time a left ACL tear. However, with Acuña’s latest ACL injury coming much earlier than the last, the team has more time to weigh its internal options before potentially looking at trade targets.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi, that’s exactly what the Braves plan to do.

“What I’ve been told about the Braves’ plans at this point in time is that they are going to stay internal,” Morosi said Tuesday on MLB Network. “They’re going to keep their current three outfielders in place. [Adam Duvall, Jarred Kelenic and Michael Harris II are] probably going to be their trio for the foreseeable future.”

Morosi, though, isn’t ruling out a future trade, considering the way Anthopoulos responded to Acuña’s injury in 2021. The Athletics’ Brent Rooker (controllable through 2027), the White Sox Tommy Pham (signed to a one-year deal) and the Angels’ Taylor Ward (controllable through 2026) are three potential options Morosi expects to be available.

“I would expect, at some point in time, an outfielder will arrive to Atlanta, Ga.,” Morosi said.

May 20: Bichette, Vlad Jr. could be trade options for Toronto

The Blue Jays are off to a disappointing 21-25 start and are in last place in the AL East. Given the competitive state of the division, could Toronto consider moving its two superstars?

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand hears that the Blue Jays could explore trading Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. this summer.

“I don’t think they’re opposed to it,” an AL executive told Feinsand. “They’ve talked to teams about it. The asks were ridiculous, but I think they’re going to try to retool a lot, and using those guys to get pieces may be the way to do it.”

According to FanGraphs, the Blue Jays' playoff odds are at a season-low 21.3 percent after the completion of Monday's games. If the Blue Jays ultimately don't make the playoffs this season, that would give them one final season with club control of Bichette and Vlad Jr., who are both slated to hit free agency after the 2025 season.

After a sluggish start to the season, Vlad Jr. has gone on a serious run with a .406/.481/.493 line dating back to April 28. The power has yet to come for him this season (.394 slugging percentage) but much like last year, the underlying numbers suggest that his offense should be better. Bichette, however, is off to a career-worst start to a season with a .622 OPS that is nearly 200 points lower than his .812 career mark.

In addition to Bichette and Vlad Jr., the Blue Jays will be tasked with tough decisions for players such as Yusei Kikuchi, Yimi García and Justin Turner, who are all free agents at the end of this season. Kevin Gausman is another name to monitor, as The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal recently reported.

Clearly, the team is not happy with where things currently stand. There's ample time to get back into the playoff race but if the struggles continue, the Blue Jays might be the most interesting team to monitor at the Deadline.

May 19: Teams inquiring about A's rookie closer Miller

There hasn't been a better relief pitcher this season than A's fireballing right-hander Mason Miller. He leads all relievers with 1.3 fWAR. He's allowed only two runs and racked up 38 strikeouts through 18 1/3 innings. He has given up one hit over his past 11 outings. He faced 43 batters during that span and struck out 30 of them.

Miller, 25, won't be eligible for arbitration until 2026. He's under club control through 2029. He could be a big piece of the A's future. Or perhaps the club will trade him while his value is sky-high.

As Ken Rosenthal reported for The Athletic (subscription required), teams have contacted the A's in the interest of making a deal for Miller, and Oakland will not rule out trading him before the July 30 Trade Deadline. But Miller, whose fastball averages an MLB-best 100.9 mph, won't come cheap.

"To acquire him, a team likely would need to give up a young player of comparable ability, or a substantial package of multiple youngsters who could be part of the A’s future," Rosenthal wrote. "Thus, if the Padres wanted Miller at this early stage, the A’s likely would ask for rookie center fielder Jackson Merrill. Other teams would be hit with similar requests."

Miller, who can reach 103 mph on the radar gun, did miss almost four months during his debut 2023 season with a sprained right elbow. And a reliever's performance can vary widely from year to year. Yet that apparently hasn't stopped clubs from expressing their desire to get him.

May 19: Astros' Bregman seen as likely trade candidate by MLB execs

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand recently posed the following question to two dozen front-office executives: Who will be the biggest name moved by the July 30 Trade Deadline? Sixteen players were mentioned, but none more often than Astros third baseman Alex Bregman.

"If [the Astros] are out of the race, he could be a difference-maker for another contender," a National League executive said of Bregman, who was named by five of the 24 participating executives.

The execs were polled prior to the Astros' six-game winning streak, which came to an end Saturday. Even after this run, Houston sits at 20-26. It is five games behind the Mariners in the AL West and 4 1/2 games back of the final Wild Card spot. The Astros entered Sunday as winners in eight of their past 10 games, and Bregman has batted .333 with three homers and a 1.008 OPS over that stretch. Prior to that, he slashed just .189/.268/.252 through 33 games.

The 30-year-old Bregman is in the final season of a six-year deal. He may not be the only Astro headed elsewhere if the club can't fully recover from its poor start. Feinsand included relievers Ryan Pressly and Kendall Graveman as possible trade chips. Others include Kyle Tucker, Framber Valdez and Jose Urquidy, all of whom have one year of club control remaining after this season.

May 19: Greinke contemplating comeback, working out at D-backs facility

Is Zack Greinke's MLB career over? He's not sure yet. But he's preparing as if he has something left to give the game.

The 40-year-old is working out at the Diamondbacks' Spring Training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., while mulling over what he wants to do. He threw a live batting practice session against some D-backs hitters on Friday. The six-time All-Star isn't negotiating with Arizona or any other team at the moment; the D-backs are simply allowing him to use their facility while he considers his next steps.

"My arm feels decent at the moment,” Greinke told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. “I was trying to get as good as I could at golfing the past two months, and I was like, ‘Why am I trying to be a pro golfer when I’m already kind of a pro baseball player?’ So I figured I’d throw a little and see how it goes. ... I don’t know if this will be my last time throwing or if I’ll throw the rest of the year and next year. I don’t really know at the moment."

Greinke posted a 5.06 ERA over 142 1/3 innings with the Royals last season, his 20th in the Majors. And he may not be the only 40-something pitcher to land with a team midseason; 44-year-old lefty Rich Hill told MLB.com earlier this month that he plans on joining a roster once he is done coaching his son's Little League team.

May 19: The likeliest players to be dealt by July 30 Trade Deadline

With about one-quarter of the season behind us, it seems too early to begin thinking about which teams are ready to look to the future and become Trade Deadline sellers.

Or is it?

Here’s a look at eight potential sellers, listed alphabetically, along with some names that could be on the move by the July 30 Trade Deadline. More >

Blue Jays looking for lineup help? (2024)
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