The Toronto Blue Jays find themselves in the playoff hunt in 2014 after a disappointing year in 2013. Armed with a powerful offense and a pitching staff that when at its best can dominate anyone, they may need to make a few trades at the deadline to bolster the team. Here are three players they should consider trading for at or before the deadline.
One of the biggest weaknesses in the Blue Jays’ lineup is at second base. The young Brett Lawrie has moved there over from third to make room for Juan Francisco without much success. Lawrie has hit for power, but his batting average has been incredibly low. Thankfully the Philadelphia Phillies are struggling and they have Chase Utley.
Taking Utley out of Philadelphia might take a bit of a fight. A grizzled veteran and fan-favorite who has spent his entire career there, the Blue Jays will have to be willing to give up something pretty good to get him. Utley’s success in 2014 so far has been wasted on a team going nowhere. If he were to join the Blue Jays they would instantly become the most dangerous team in baseball.
A perfect rental pitcher for the Blue Jays would be starter Jake Peavy. Currently with the Boston Red Sox, Peavy’s contract ends following the 2014 season and there is little reason to believe he will re-sign. Peavy is a veteran pitcher with a good track-record of winning and could feel comfortable immediately when reunited with former teammate Mark Buehrle.
Peavy is not what he used to be, but as a fourth or fifth starter for the Blue Jays he would give them an added threat to win a few more games. Pitching depth is a weakness for the Blue Jays as they have no strong suitors at the back of the rotation. Since the trade would involve division rivals it may be a difficult one to pull off. Even so, the Red Sox are not too stubborn about things like this especially if the season continues to spiral out of control.
One player the Los Angeles Dodgers would love to part with is Andre Ethier. Ever since Yasiel Puig joined an already full outfield, Ethier has been the odd man out; that is when Matt Kemp is actually playing well. Odds are even if they are in contention the Dodgers would trade off Ethier if only to avoid further controversy in the dugout.
The benefit of Ethier is that he plays every outfield position. With Jose Bautista in right field and Melky Cabrera out in left this really only leaves centerfield for Ethier to get lots of playing time. Colby Rasmus has gotten the majority of the starts there, although an upgrade from him would have big benefits. Rasmus strikes out far too often even if he does have a home run swing. A package of Rasmus and a prospect could bring Ethier to Toronto. He would be happy to be gone and if he had the chance to face his former team in the World Series he would be at his best for the Dodgers.