Well out of the playoff race, the Toronto Blue Jays figure to be sellers at Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline. Here are five players who could be on the move:
The speedy outfielder is the ideal speciality player for a contender during the stretch run and playoffs. Davis is tied for third in the majors with 31 stolen bases despite having at least 100 fewer at-bats than anyone close. At 32 years old, Davis is still what manager John Gibbons called a “force” on the base paths, and he showed that Sunday in stealing four bases and advancing to third twice on throwing errors. The impending free agent is also a more-than-capable right-handed platoon player, as he’s hitting .333 against lefties this season.
Statistically, Oliver is having his worst season in almost a decade thanks to a 3.82 ERA at the age of 42. But left-handed relievers are hard to come by and Oliver has pitched in every round of the post-season. Oliver began as a starter, hence he’s at 1,900 career innings, but he has pitched strictly out of the bullpen for eight seasons. Nearing the end of the line, Oliver is a free agent this off-season, so any team acquiring him would only have to pick up the remainder of his $3-million salary.
If the trade deadline had been a week earlier, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos would’ve likely had no trouble getting something for Perez, who had a 0.00 ERA in his first 14 appearances. Perez has since given up six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, but his ERA is still 2.13. The 34-year-old lefty has spent much of his career in the minors, but he might be worth a gamble for a team in need of bullpen help.
Janssen is 18-for-20 in save opportunities and has been rock solid at the back end of the Blue Jays’ bullpen. The Blue Jays have an affordable team option on the 31-year-old for 2014, so there’s no need to trade him unless they get a significant return. But with several other reliable relievers around, Alex Anthopoulos can deal from a position of strength to fill other holes in the organization. Janssen is 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA and doesn’t have to be a closer to be successful.
At 38, DeRosa is getting up there, hitting .232 with seven home runs in part-time duty. He’s not a starter on the last-place Blue Jays and wouldn’t be a big piece for any contender, but any team looking for a veteran voice in the locker-room and a pinch-hitter who can provide a little bit of power, DeRosa might be a low-cost option. He was counted on during the Washington Nationals’ 2012 run even when he didn’t make the playoff roster.