With the Blue Jays slowly losing ground to just about everyone in the American League these last few weeks and this song echoing through my head every time the team loses another game, it's starting to look like a good time to consider what moves Alex Anthopoulos should make during the rest of this season. If the team begins to string a few wins together they will find themselves back in the hunt and may look at making a trade or calling up a young pitcher like Daniel Norris. If they continue to drop back in the playoff race, the possibility of trying to trade Colby Rasmus to a team like the Tigers or shutting down pitchers such as Drew Hutchison will likely become a reality.
In terms of September call-ups, the predictable players to come up to the Blue Jays include Kevin Pillar and Sean Nolin since they are already on the 40-man roster. If the team wanted to get aggressive and call-up some prospects that are less likely to make the team at the beginning of next season, then lefty Daniel Norris and possibly Canadian outfielder Dalton Pompey could be added to the 40-man and given time with the big league squad. Obviously these promotions would start the service time clock and in all likelihood burn an option year next season when they don't spend the whole season with the Blue Jays. If the team is still in the race when the calendar turns to September, then I would certainly call-up Norris for some much-needed pitching help out of the bullpen regardless of the service time considerations that come with such a move.
It's beginning to look unlikely that the Blue Jays make another trade, but it seems that Alex Anthopoulos always likes to make moves when no one is expecting them. Teams like the Tigers have a clear need in the outfield and with Colby Rasmus possibly being lost to free agency in about 40 days, it would make sense to try to salvage something of value for him if the Blue Jays drop out of the race. If Toronto decides to start winning games again, some pitching help from a non-contending team certainly wouldn't hurt either.
The third type of move that Anthopoulos can make is perfecting the make-up of the roster for the stretch run with players already with the organization. Chad Jenkins has proven solid as a long man out of the bullpen and should probably make his way back up to Toronto when his ten-day wait after being optioned has been completed. Shutting down young pitchers will be a conversation that has to take place within the Blue Jays front office if the team drops back as well.
On this off-day in mid-August when things are beginning to look bleak, we can at least be thankful that the Blue Jays are giving us a reason to be sad about a playoff race so late in the season! If you were in Alex Anthopoulos' shoes, what moves would you make in the next month and a half to try and save the season?