Steve Phillips: Blue Jays improve but fail to land impact deal at deadline

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The Toronto Blue Jays are a better team now than they were yesterday. With the trade deadline passed, the Blue Jays are who they will be for the rest of the 2022 season. There is no longer a path to add players via trade by putting them through waivers. That is all.

The Blue Jays upgraded their bullpen by adding two relievers from the Miami Marlins: low anthony and Zach Pop.

Bass’ name may sound familiar since he pitched for Toronto in 2020. The 34-year-old right-hander is having his best season yet. In 45 games, he is 2-3 with a 1.41 ERA. He has pitched 44.2 innings and has only allowed 32 hits with 10 walks and 45 strikeouts. Surprisingly, he has only allowed one home run. He hasn’t done well pitching in the ninth inning, but he has proven to be a solid option in the seventh and eighth innings.

Pop is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA with the Marlins. He has appeared in 18 games this year, pitching 20 innings and allowing 23 hits, walking two and striking out 14. The right-hander hits the strike zone with a powerful sinker and slider. He has only allowed one home run as well. He will be a good weapon to bring into the game with baserunners when the Blue Jays need a double play. He is a ground ball generating machine.

Bass and Pop add to the length and depth of the Jays’ bullpen. They’ll allow manager John Schneider to cut the game short because they’re two good options to blend in with the rest of the bullpen.

Toronto added another pitcher, Mitchell White of the Los Angeles Dodgers. White is 27 years old and has pitched in the major leagues for parts of the past three seasons. He has primarily been a starter, but has also served as a long reliever. he reminds me of ross undressing When he first came to the Blue Jays from Los Angeles, he’s a more than useful pitcher who protects the depth of Toronto’s starting pitchers and strengthens their bullpen. If Yusei Kikuchi misses the rotation again, White can take the ball for him.

Ultimately, the Blue Jays traded for Pentecost Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals. Merrifield was a royal for a long time and, in the past, he was highly coveted by almost every baseball team. He can play both second base and outfield. He has led the league in hits twice, doubles once, triples once and stolen bases three times. He is a speed contact hitter. Although he’s having a bit of a down year (.240/.290/.352), he’s still a tough player who can run the bases and put the ball in play. He is a great leader and teammate. I think the change of scenery will reinvigorate him. I like that, although he has played more in the corners, he can play in the center, and he may have to do it for George SpringerSore elbow. Springer may have to take turns at bat out of the DH position until his elbow heals.

Interestingly, Merrifield was one of 10 Royals who was unable to travel to Toronto in mid-July because he was not vaccinated. At the time, he said that he would consider it if he was part of a winning competitive team. The Royals weren’t exactly that. One would have to assume the Blue Jays wouldn’t have traded him if they had any doubt he’d get the opportunity from him.

Are the Jays still in contention?

The Blue Jays are certainly better thanks to these four acquisitions. But they do feel a bit anticlimactic as they were linked to several more impactful players who ended up moving elsewhere or not moving at all.

The bidirectional star of Los Angeles shōhei ohtani ended up untraded while superstar outfielder Juan Soto he was traded to San Diego for a huge package of prospects that the Blue Jays couldn’t match. ace pitcher louis castle was traded from the Reds to the Seattle Mariners, while frankie you ride, Oakland’s number one starter, is now a Yankee. Both would have helped the Blue Jays significantly, but the Mariners and Yankees paid a high price in prospects to acquire them. Somehow, I can understand the Blue Jays not being able to match.

But I’m surprised they couldn’t make a deal for the right-hander. Tyler Mahle from the Cincinnati Reds, who ended up being traded to Minnesota. Though it’s worth noting that Mahle didn’t make the trip north when the Reds played in Toronto in May. left handed starter Joseph Quintana He has resurrected his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. I thought the Cubs were closer david robertson he was a perfect target for the Blue Jays, but ended up being traded to the Phillies. For one reason or another, the Blue Jays passed on several more impactful players than they acquired.

Make no mistake: The Blue Jays are still built as a playoff team. They are good enough to hold onto the top wild card spot, beating the Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Guardians, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. But to advance to the playoffs, the Blue Jays will likely have to go through one or both of the New York Yankees and Houston Astros. Each team made significant improvements at Deadline to their already superior rosters. So, as it is, the Yankees and Astros would be my matchup for the American League Championship. I’m not saying the Blue Jays can’t win the pennant, but they have less room for error playing New York and Houston. They will have to be near perfect in a series to beat them.

Biggest term winners, losers

The overall trade deadline winner is the San Diego Padres for their fireballer acquisitions joseph haderfuture Hall of Famer Juan Soto and ambidextrous first baseman josh bell. The Padres gave up a lot, but I also think the Nationals are winners because of the loot they brought.

The Phillies traded for the starter Noah Syndergaard of the Los Angeles Angels. He’ll help the rotation as long as he doesn’t run out of gas in his first season after Tommy John surgery. I also really liked the addition of Robertson to bolster his bullpen. Also, they have a young gardener brandon swamp from the Phillies in a separate trade.

The Minnesota Twins improved their pitching by adding Mahle from the Reds and reliever Michael Fulmer on the heels of approaching Jorge Lopez baltimore

The losers at the deadline are the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Guardians. They’ve been able to keep up with the Minnesota Twins so far, but I hope that changes. Their passivity will cost the group a shot at a division title.

The Texas Rangers also fall into the underdog category. They could have traded the pending free agent starting pitcher Martin Perez, who is having a great year. Plus, matt moore he has been effective as a left-handed reliever. None of them were traded by a team that is going nowhere at 46-56. That’s a missed opportunity to stock up on prospects. They could have traded pitchers and then try to re-sign them in the offseason.

The Chicago Cubs were able to trade Robertson to the Phillies, but at the end of the day, they didn’t trade the catcher. Willson Contreras or gardener Ian Happ. It is not clear why. The asking price was known to be high, but at some point, make the best deal you can and get something in return. It may have been that they asked for so much that the clubs went in different directions. So, after the emotional tearful goodbye, both Happ and Contreras will end the season in Cubs uniforms. Again, a lost start for the rebuilding Cubs.

Finally, the only team that did not make a single transaction by the deadline was the Colorado Rockies (46-59). No addition and no subtraction. They rehired the reliever daniel bard but couldn’t move to shortstop Jose Iglesias or soothing Alex Colome. Last year, they didn’t trade pending free agents. Trevor’s story either jon gray. It was another missed opportunity as they both signed elsewhere and the Rockies got nothing but draft picks for Story. Where is the creativity? The trade deadline is a time for GMs to compete. And they did nothing at all.

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