Report: Rival execs believe Blue Jays prepared to become sellers

Brandon Wile
Wendell Cruz / USA TODAY Sports

A miserable two weeks for the Toronto Blue Jays could force the front office into changing course.

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said two weeks ago the team remained focused on adding and winning heading into the non-waiver trade deadline July 31. However, the club has dropped six of its last eight games to AL East opponents to fall 10 games back in the division.

Toronto's recent free fall has become a talking point around major-league front offices, and rival executives believe the Blue Jays are prepared to go down the path of sellers, Buster Olney of ESPN told TSN Radio on Tuesday.

Olney added that the front office is "absolutely prepared to make a hard right-hand turn into retooling," after the most recent string of losses have dropped them five games back of the second wild-card spot.

Working in Toronto's favor should it decide to deal is its number of trade pieces that would help kick-start a rebuild.

Should Atkins and president Mark Shapiro begin to unload, they can start with impending free agents Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano, Joe Smith, Darwin Barney, and Jose Bautista ($17 million mutual option for 2018). Depending on the size of the rebuild they wish to undertake, the front office could also shop 2019 free agents Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, and Aaron Loup.