How the Blue Jays’ 2022 opportunities were affected by deadline deals from American League rivals

TORONTO – The hype surrounds Juan Soto, as it should be. Every time a 23-year-old Hall of Famer is traded, that deal deserves all the attention it gets.

But viewed from the Toronto Blue Jays’ perspective, the most significant trades before Tuesday’s trade deadline occurred within the American League. On a day when most (but not all) American League contenders were busy, the Blue Jays completed four trades, at least two of which could be considered upsets.

His day went like this:

•Acquired relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop with a player to be named later from the Marlins for prospect Jordan Groshans.

• Acquired pitcher Mitch White and infielder Alex De Jesus from the Dodgers for pitching prospects Nick Frasso and Moises Brito.

• Acquired utility player Whit Merrifield for prospects Samad Taylor and Max Castillo.

• Traded Jeremy Beasley to the Pirates for cash.

“We’re very excited about this team and the acquisitions,” general manager Ross Atkins said afterward. “The present value and future value of each of these (exchanges) is really exciting.”

Of course, that’s only part of the picture. Across the league, some of the Blue Jays’ rivals improved significantly, while others began trading impact players. far. Here’s how things changed before the 2022 trade deadline and what it means for the Blue Jays as they battle for the playoffs…

Actually, we are going to sell

Baltimore Orioles

additions: Outfielder Brett Phillips, prospects Seth Johnson, Chayce McDermott, Cade Povich, Yennier Cano, Juan Núñez and Juan Rojas.
Subtraction: First baseman Trey Mancini, reliever Jorge López.

The Orioles entered Deadline Day 2.5 games out of the third wild card, but their playoff odds sat at just 2.4 percent, according to FanGraphs. General manager Mike Elias decided to sell.

“Ultimately, I have to tie my decisions to this year’s prospects and probabilities,” Elias told reporters Monday. wildcard”.

Rationally, this wasn’t going to be the year the Orioles won it all, so if some of the acquired prospects turn out to be legitimate long-term contributors, it will have been worth it. In the meantime? Yeah, those comments won’t work well in the clubhouse.

Importance to the Tiles: This is good for the Blue Jays, who will face this weakened Orioles team 15 more times.

Quiet in the Center

Cleveland Guardians

additions: Ian Hamilton reliever
Subtraction: Wide receiver Sandy Leon

If you thought the Guardians would be motivated to make significant moves in hopes of closing the 1.0-game gap that separates them from the AL Central-leading Twins, you’d be wrong. For Cleveland to return to the postseason, they’ll need their current roster to beef up.

Importance to the Tiles: At this point, it’s hard to see the Guardians pressuring the Blue Jays for the top wild card spot.

Chicago White Sox

additions: Jake Diekman reliever
Subtraction: Receiver Reese McGuire

Maybe Diekman will lead the White Sox to the top. Or maybe this just isn’t his year and they’re acknowledging that by standing their ground.

Importance to the Tiles: Like the Guardians, they seem unlikely to move to the Blue Jays.

thread the needle

Boston Red Sox

additions: Outfielder Tommy Pham, catcher Reese McGuire, first baseman Eric Hosmer, prospects Enmanuel Valdez, Wiyer Abreu, Corey Rosier and Max Ferguson.
Subtraction: Player to be named later or money considerations, reliever Jake Diekman, catcher Christian Vazquez, prospect Jay Groome.

This new version of the Red Sox is…different. Trading Vazquez wasn’t easy for Boston, but they didn’t stop there, adding Pham, Hosmer, McGuire and even some prospects in a flurry of trades. Whether all that activity leads to better results in 2022 is an open question, but the Red Sox added some long-term intrigue should this year end without a playoff berth.

Importance to the Tiles: Hard to say, but it doesn’t sound bad for Toronto.

legitimate buyers

tampa bay lightning

additions: Outfielders David Peralta and José Siri, reliever Garrett Cleavinger.
Subtraction: Outfielder Brett Phillips, prospects Christian Cerda, Jayden Murray, Seth Johnson and German Tapia

This wasn’t the most flashy deadline run, but the Rays spent prospects to improve their roster. With Peralta and Siri, they are a better team now than they were a week ago.

Importance to the Tiles: slight negative.

minnesota twins

additions: Relievers Jorge López and Michael Fulmer, starter Tyler Mahle, catcher Sandy Leon
Subtraction: Reliever Ian Hamilton, prospects Cade Povich, Yennier Cano, Juan Núñez, Juan Rojas, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Steven Hajjar and Sawyer Gipson-Long

The Twins needed pitching and they got it. They significantly won over their division rivals on Tuesday and now look like the better team in Central.

Importance to the Tiles: The Twins will now be harder to beat if the Blue Jays face them in October.

Seattle Mariners

additions: Starting pitchers Luis Castillo and Matthew Boyd, catcher Curt Casali, utility player Jake Lamb
Subtraction: Prospects Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Levi Stoudt, Andrew Moore, Michael Stryffeler and Andy Thomas

This deadline was all about Castillo, one of the best pitchers available. Along with Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert, Castillo gives Seattle a solid front three for the playoffs.

Importance to the Tiles: This is not good. The Mariners now look like a bigger threat to unseat the Blue Jays from the wild card standings and force the Blue Jays out on the road in the first round. That would be especially significant if the Blue Jays play the Mariners because A) it’s a long flight and B) Ray didn’t appear in Canada, but he can throw in Seattle.

Pushing for goodbye

New York Yankees

additions: Starting pitcher Frankie Montas, relievers Lou Trivino and Scott Effross, outfielders Andrew Benintendi and Harrison Bader, prospect Clayton Beeter
Subtraction: Pitchers Jordan Montgomery and JP Sears, outfielder Joey Gallo, prospects Ken Waldichuk, Luis Medina, Cooper Bowman, Hayden Wesneski, Beck Way, TJ Sikkema and Chandler Champlain

The Yankees were already an elite team. They probably could have won the AL East without a single addition. But by loading up before the deadline, general manager Brian Cashman increased his team’s chances of reaching the World Series for the first time since 2009.

Of course, there are questions about all these players. Benintendi isn’t vaccinated yet, Trivino’s fastball has been banged up this year (.342 allowed, .684 slugging percentage) and Montas recently missed time with shoulder soreness.

Still, the Yankees significantly improved their roster, eliminating eight prospects in the process.

Importance to the Tiles: The AL East continues to look out of reach and the Yankees now look like an even tougher foe in the playoffs. Not good.

Houston Astros

additions: Catcher Christian Vazquez, reliever Will Smith, first baseman Trey Mancini, prospect Jayden Murray
Subtraction: Prospects Enmanuel Valdez, Wilyer Abreu and Chayce McDermott, starter Jake Odorizzi, outfielder José Siri

Like the Yankees, the Astros have a 12.0-game lead in their division that could have allowed them to advance. But like Cashman, Houston GM James Click added substantially in anticipation of a deep playoff run.

By acquiring Vazquez, Smith and Mancini, the Astros remain the Yankees’ biggest threat in the American League.

Importance to the Tiles: This isn’t necessarily disastrous for the Blue Jays, but it’s never a good thing when the best teams in your league get stronger.

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