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Tuesday Bantering

Trade Talks, Latest Prospect Rankings

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Well, last night was fun. It would be nice if the boys could pull out several more wins during this homestead to at least give the fans something to be cheer about. I’ve missed having the cheering be on our side.

Attendance was apparently close to 40,000 last night for a team that has never been higher than tied for fourth place in the AL East all season. Oh, Canada.

Here’s your daily run down on our boys:

Ross Atkins spoke to the press before the game last night to reiterate the primary goals for the front office as we approach the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.

Atkins said, “we would need and would like for this team to remain relevant and a contending team, potentially. The odds of that have decreased dramatically but we still feel confident that we can put a quality team on the field (in 2018).” He continued to say, “we feel like we have underperformed and underachieved offensively and defensively. Our relief pitching's been pretty strong. Our starting pitching's been OK until the last couple of weeks. It's not position-specific right now, it's more about controllable young talent...Any addition at this point will be about control...[it]could mean subtraction from this team, it might not.”

So, no free agent signings this year.

I’d imagine we should expect Francisco Liriano, Marco Estrada and Joe Smith to be gone fairly shortly if they can get any sort of decent return on them. Jose Bautista is also a free agent this year, but he has 10/5 rights and can veto any trade. Jose was asked if he would waive his rights on Sunday, and he said he “isn’t willing to entertain that type of question right now” and will “deal with it when it comes, if it does come”. Alright.

What would you do?

The first rumor about Joe Smith has surfaced:

Joe Smith is probably our most valuable 2017 Free Agent chip at this point as he was quite stellar this year before he went on the DL. He also needs to pitch some clean innings stat since he allowed a run on Sunday. It also appears to be more of a buyer’s market for relievers based on the trades made so far, so I’m not sure what we could get for him. It would be nice if the Jays could get something good.

A mid-season re-ranking for the top 100 MLiB prospects was released today.

For first time, the top 11 on list are all hitters, and the top eight are international signees. The Jays were pretty active in the international market this year.

All 3 Jays prospects in the Top 100 are in the Top 50:

#6 - Vladimir Guerrero Jr

#30 - Bo Bichette

#49 - Anthony Alford

At this time last year, Toronto was ranked 27th in “Prospect Points”. This year, the Jays are 11th. Bo Bichette wasn’t on the pre-season top 100 list.

Jean-Jeff is back in Buffalo. He did quite well for a lengthy stretch with the Jays - in the month from June 19 - July 18 he allowed 8 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) over 11.2 innings for an ERA of 2.31. He held opponents to a .200/.250/.650 during that timeframe. However, in Cleveland this past Sunday, everything imploded on him and he allowed 6 runs before getting an out, simultaneously earning himself a DFA.

Tonight we will get to see what all the fuss regarding Sonny Gray is about as he takes the mound for the A’s. I was kind of hoping he would be traded by now, but there still seems to be tons of open possibilities floating around in the rumor mill. We will counter with Cesar Valdez, and put to rest any lingering questions we have about what he would look like as a Jays starter.