Report: Blue Jays will attempt to trade Stroman, Sanchez, Smoak
The Toronto Blue Jays' front office could look to parlay the strong starts of a number of veterans into future assets.
Despite the rebuilding Blue Jays jumping out to a 14-14 record entering play Tuesday - just 2 1/2 games back of a wild-card spot - the front office reportedly still plans to sell ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline in order to stockpile prospects.
"It's going to be really interesting to watch the Jays over the next few months because what I believe they're going to do - what I'm told they're going to do - is try to trade (Marcus) Stroman, (Aaron) Sanchez, (Justin) Smoak and others to get more young talent in Vladdy's age range and service class and then build up that way," Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network said Tuesday, according to Sportsnet.
Both Stroman and Sanchez should have a strong market among contenders looking for pitching help. Stroman is an early Cy Young candidate, posting an AL-best 1.43 ERA across six starts, and hasn't allowed a home run in 37 2/3 innings. Sanchez has also had a solid bounce-back year following back-to-back injury-plagued campaigns. The right-hander has authored a 2.32 ERA over six starts, but does own a career-worst 5.9 BB/9. The pair enter their final year of arbitration this winter, which means the club could potentially receive the largest return prior to the July non-waiver trade deadline.
Smoak, meanwhile, is in the final year of his contract and a move would open the door for Rowdy Tellez and others to receive more reps at first base. The 32-year-old switch-hitter is slashing .273/.390/.477 with five home runs.
The Blue Jays have built a strong minor-league system with centerpiece Vladimir Guerrero Jr. making his major-league debut last week. Fellow top position player prospects Bo Bichette, who is currently injured, and Cavan Biggio are knocking on the door to the majors, though the system does lack high-upside pitching prospects outside of Nate Pearson.