The Toronto Blue Jays are MLB playoff contenders. So July 31 means ESPN and MLB Network and other sports outlets to beg the Jays to give up prospects for short-term rentals.
The Toronto Blue Jays were smart enough not to take the bait.
Well, July 31 isn't the end-all for the Blue Jays chances to improve. The team will have a chance to acquire an infielder with versatility and power as well as 2 1B/DH players, one from each side of the plate. And they won't have to give up a single prospect.
Toronto will greatly benefit from getting back Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion, and Adam Lind from injuries.
Teams can also acquire players in August but waivers makes the process a bit more difficult.
The Blue Jays were in talks for Cleveland IF Asdrubal Cabrera and Boston LHP starter Jon Lester. Given what Oakland gave up to get Lester, the Blue Jays were smart not to jump into the mix.
Lester wasn't going to sign with Toronto beyond the end of the season and the A's gave up their cleanup hitter in Yoenis Cespedes with 17 HRs and a great arm for a 2-month rental.
The Blue Jays did make a minor deal earlier this week with infielder Danny Valencia coming from Kansas City. Valencia hits left-handed pitching well and can play 3rd base, 2nd base, and 1st base.
You may have noticed that the Toronto lineup lately is very left-handed in the bottom of the lineup.
Unlike some of these other deadline deals, the Blue Jays seemed to give up quite a bit: RHP Liam Hendriks and C Erik Kratz goes to Kansas City. By contrast, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired a former Gold Glove 2B in Darwin Barney for reportedly a Class A pitcher and cash.
The Toronto Blue Jays certainly have holes in their roster, especially if the Jays get past the potential wild-card game and the first round.
If the season were to end today, the Blue Jays would be in the playoffs but … that would only be a 1-game playoff against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to see which team would be in the true playoffs.
The Jays want to contend for years to come; giving up Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez would have been foolish. Still think the team shouldn't have given up C Travis d'Arnaud and P Noah Syndergaard for SP R.A. Dickey.
The Blue Jays need to make improvements to their roster, but they need to be smarter and less desperate in how they pull that off. There were significant chatter that the team couldn't add payroll down the stretch. They can trade strength for strength in the off-season (Colby Rasmus?), but they won't get a good deal at this point in the season.
The Blue Jays officially lost RHP Esmil Rogers as the New York Yankees claimed Rogers off waivers. Toronto had designated him for assignment last week.
Rogers was acquired before the 2013 season. Rogers posted a 6.97 ERA in 16 appearances this year. In late May, Rogers was designated for assignment and ended up in Buffalo, Toronto's Triple A affiliate.
One of those injured players, Brett Lawrie, is featured in the Westjet commercial (see video above) that ran during the MLB Extra Innings free preview following the All-Star Game. The commercials aren't as interesting from the Jays telecasts. Rogers also tends to promote its own, with ads for the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, which starts today.
Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic highlight the tournament. The women start today at Uniprix Stadium at Jarry Park in Montreal. The men start tomorrow at Rexall Centre at York University in Toronto.