Report: Blue Jays to be "Big Presence" at Trade Deadline: 6 Players Named

Ok, after all the hemming and hawing, it sounds like the Toronto Blue Jays, now nine games under .500 and 9.5 games back of a Wild Card spot (with eight teams ahead of them), have finally (sort of) admitted that they will be sellers at the trade deadline later this month. insider Mark Feinsand says his sources tell him that the Jays will be open to trading players on expiring deals. That means no Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Bo Bichette or Kevin Gausman. Not even Chris Bassitt.

But nevertheless, says Feinsand, the Jays "could be a big presence at the trade deadline" due to six notable players who will have a pretty solid market:

  • SP Yusei Kikuchi
  • RP Yimi García
  • DH Justin Turner
  • OF Kevin Kiermaier
  • C  Danny Jansen
  • RP Trevor Richards 

Kikuchi, of course, is the gem of this group, putting together another strong season in Toronto, with a 4.00 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, and 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings. A left-hander of any distinction is always a valued commodity at the deadline.

Bullpen hands like Garcia and Richards, both having very strong seasons, will also be in high demand. Garcia has a 0.79 WHIP, holding batters to a .155 batting average and a .525 OPS. He also has five saves. Likewise, Richards is holding opponents to a .161 average and .539 OPS. 

Kiermaier would work as a bench piece on any contender as a terrific defensive replacement in the outfield, and a top-notch pinch-runner. 

Turner started off the year strong, but the 39-year-old DH and part-time corner infielder has been inconsistent, with his production plummeting in May and then again this month, with a bit of a resurgence in June. Overall, he's batting .241 with five home runs and an OPS+ of 103.

The biggest problem that the Blue Jays have, from the standpoint of many observers, is do they really want often-castigated GM Ross Atkins pulling the strings on another series of trades? 

Photo: © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports