Good morning, and happy trade deadline day. There figures to be plenty of action ahead of the 4pm cut off, and it looks like the Jays will be active buyers on the pitching market. In related news, Barry Davis of Sportsnet reports that LHP Franklin Morales will be designated for assignment, and this could be used to open up a roster spot for an upcoming addition.
Rumours Surrounding The Toronto Blue Jays
He's a potential late-season ace, but a blister issue is complicating his market. The Blue Jays have reportedly discussed Hill with the Athletics, and he figures to be the best arm available on the trade market. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Oakland has also considered signing Hill to a contract extension, but a trade appears to be more likely at this time.
Hill's health could really make for a complicated deal:
Teams wanting Rich Hill like Jays, Dodgers, 'Stros have to create 2-tiered deal based on a major prospect if he makes 10 starts for new team— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 29, 2016
I expect Hill to be the Jays top option, but a high price could leave them circling back to other options.
Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that the Jays are still in play for Hellickson, but it appears as though he is not their top choice:
Phillies could still hold Jeremy Hellickson. As of late yesterday hadn't lowered the price. SF & Tigers out. Not 1st choice of Texas/Toronto— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) August 1, 2016
I mentioned Hellickson as a potential trade target here, but I would not be willing to move a top prospect for this rental. The 29-year old right-hander is having a fine season, but a tendency to be homer prone could be costly in the American League East. If Toronto fails to acquire Rich Hill, they may check to see if the price on Hellickson has dropped.
Toronto appears to have seriously interest in the 33-year old right-hander, and Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that the Jays recently had 2 scouts in Minnesota to watch him pitch:
Blue Jays had 2 scouts in Minnesota today watching Ervin Santana. He remains one of several names in play for them but owed $28M thru '18— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) August 1, 2016
Toronto has been awfully close to acquiring Santana in previous years, and may opt to acquire a more controllable piece. Assuming the Twins cover part of his salary, a deal could make plenty of sense for both sides, as the Twins could use younger pieces to help them rebuild.
Santana's posted an ERA of 4.00 or lower in 5 of the last 6 seasons, and boasts an impressive 3.66 ERA this year to boot. He's relatively durable and could help replace R.A. Dickey next season, but you have to be wary of a possible decline over a multiple year commitment.
If Toronto does acquire a Rays pitcher, the 26 year-old righty would be a terrific addition.
Toronto also looking at Hill, Hellickson, De La Rosa, and the Rays' quartet, sources say. Feelers everywhere. https://t.co/SpucUkXfJ5— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 31, 2016
He's controllable for 3 more seasons, and has a history of succeeding in the American League East. MLB hitters have hit just .238 against him for his career, and a low walk rate makes it very difficult to get on base when he's on the mound. It would be tough to pry him away from a division rival, but the Jays should definitely be very interested.
I'll predict that there is just one trade for the Blue Jays today, a move that brings in a starting pitcher. My guess will be Rich Hill, though the price will surely be high. Prospects such as Conner Greene, Jon Harris, or Max Pentecost could be mentioned in an attractive offer, but I would be hesitant to move Anthony Alford or Dalton Pompey. If the Blue Jays look to acquire a reliever as well, Fernando Abad looks like strong lefty to consider.
Oft-repeated sentiment today: #bluejays will add P to protect for Sanchez move to pen. Said to be very motivated to find an arm.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) August 1, 2016
Source: Reddick and Hill to #Dodgers.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 1, 2016