MLB Trade Rumors: Blue Jays Yusei Kikuchi Quickly Becoming Trade Candidate

Losers of 10 of their last 14 games heading into Thursday's games, the Toronto Blue Jays are heading in the wrong direction as this 2024 season starts to take shape. Mired in last place in the AL East at 17-20, the Jays will have to turn it around soon, or they'll have to seriously consider selling off some assets as we get into the summer months. As we reported earlier this week, plugged-in baseball insider Ken Rosenthal thinks "a reckoning is at hand" for the Blue Jays.

One player who's quickly becoming a sought-after trade candidate is left-handed starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi. The Japanese lefty is having his second straight excellent season in Toronto, and is set to become a free agent after this season. He's certainly building his case, as he sits with a career-best 2.72 ERA through seven starts, with a 1.16 WHIP (also a personal best), along with an equally stunning 43:9 strikeout-to-walk ration through 39.2 innings. 

The Jays cannot afford to let him walk for nothing, as Kikuchi would be a huge get for a contender to plug into their rotation, in particular teams looking for a southpaw to balance out their starting staff. He would easily be one of the top trade pieces at the deadline if he's still pitching like this. 

The 32-year-old turned around his career last season in Toronto, going 11-6 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 181 strikeouts, and has taken it to an even higher level this year. 

But now it appears that all the work the Jays have done with him may go towards helping a rival team down the stretch, if they can't figure out a way to turn this season around in a hurry. 

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