While the Blue Jays may explore trading even more veteran players on their roster to open up playing time in 2019, they should be wary of moving an asset at a low point of value.
It’s no secret that the Blue Jays are going to be going through a rebuild over the next couple of seasons, and that fact will certainly play into the decisions that Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro make going forward.
We watched the Blue Jays start to take steps in this direction late in the 2018 season, giving regular playing time to talented prospects in favour of the veterans on the roster. For example, Russell Martin barely saw the field at all in September, which allowed John Gibbons to get a good look at both Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire, and to give them valuable MLB experience.
That sort of strategy makes a lot of sense for the long term picture, and I would imagine that Martin won’t be the only veteran who sacrifices playing time in 2019, assuming he’s still wearing a Blue Jays jersey on Opening Day. However, despite the fact that the Blue Jays finished with just 73 wins last season, there are still some talented pieces on the roster that could perform a lot better in 2019 and significantly raise their value, both to the Blue Jays and on the trade market.
While I’m in favour of Atkins and Shapiro making room for the talented minor leaguers and starting to build the next competitive roster in Toronto, the timing of that transition can be imperfect, especially with veterans that may or may not be around by the time the rebuild is over. The most logical thing to do is to trade players that fit that description, however, it’s not always that easy.
In fact, I would argue that the Blue Jays should hold off on trading a few pieces this winter, and either hope they bounce back and establish themselves as a part of the team going forward, or build their trade value to the point of maximum return. Let’s have a look at which players could fit such a description.