The Toronto Blue Jays could be a major player come trade deadline time, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Blue Jays have a bevy of prospects and Rosenthal believes Toronto could be in on Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke.
If either Greinke or Garza hit the open market, the Blue Jays are unlikely to sign them. Toronto’s general manager Alex Anthopoulos has said that his team will more likely acquire impact talent via trade than through an expensive, long-term contract.
While this may disappoint some Jays fans, Toronto is in a good position if they do look to trade away part of their future for players that can help them win now. The Blue Jays have one of the top farm systems in the game and minor league players that would be coveted if inserted into trade discussions.
If they wanted to, the Blue Jays have what it takes to acquire a top-of-the-rotation starter such as Greinke or Garza. But will the Cubs or Brewers be interested in trading Garza or Greinke?
Greinke is in the final year of his contract with the Brewers and Garza is eligible to his the open market following the 2013 season. Both pitchers could become available this summer depending on how the next month or so play out.
The Cubs are in the basement of the National League Central, a place they shouldn’t be surprised to be in this season. It’s obviously about the future in Chicago, and the Cubs will soon have to figure out Garza’s role in their future plans. Will the right-hander be a fixture at the top of their rotation for years to come? Or will Garza be shipped out for a load of prospects that could help speed up Chicago’s rebuilding process?
Garza’s availability likely depends on how contract talks between the Cubs and the 28-year-old go over the coming weeks. If it does not appear that a long-term deal can be had, the Cubs may be willing to deal Garza this summer while he still has a year-and-a-half of service time left.
The Brewers also find themselves near the bottom of the NL Central, a place they didn’t expect to be in at the end of May. Milwaukee’s slow start can’t be attributed to Greinke, who’s posted an ERA and WHIP of 2.70 and 1.112 over his first nine starts of the season.
Greinke is set to become a free agent following the season and if the Brewers continue to inhabit the bottom of the Central’s ranks, Milwaukee could look to trade Greinke.
Blue Jays starters have posted the sixth best ERA in the league. Toronto’s rotation is made up of several exciting young starters; Brandon Morrow, Henderson Alvarez, Kyle Drabek and Ricky Romero. While the youngsters have been beyond solid this season, many believe that if the Blue Jays are to take the next step in the AL East this season they would do well to add a veteran presence at the top of their rotation.
It will be interesting to see how things play out as the deadline approaches, but it seems to be in the Blue Jays best interest to take a long look at a proven starter. Toronto is already four games over .500 in the East and features a balanced attack between their high-powered offense and talented arms. The Blue Jays would become that much more dangerous with a starter such as Greinke or Garza at the top of their rotation.
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