The Toronto Blue Jays made a trio of moves ahead of Tuesday's MLB trade deadline, bringing in two-time All-Star Whit Merrifield, pitchers Anthony Bass, Zach Pop and Mitch White, and prospect Alex De Jesus. Toronto shipped out a number of minor-leaguers in the process, most notably Jordan Groshans.
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins is "exceptionally excited" about the team's acquisitions, but how are you feeling about Toronto's roster as we get ready for the stretch run?
Why you might be happy with the Blue Jays' trade deadline:
The Blue Jays' most pressing need at the deadline was bullpen help, which was addressed. Bass is enjoying a tremendous season and provides the team with another high-leverage option. Pop is an intriguing arm who can reach the upper-90s and generate groundballs. White can serve as depth for the starting rotation but also fill a multi-inning relief role.
Merrifield bats right-handed but profiles as a different type of hitter for this Blue Jays lineup. He has led the majors in hits in two different seasons and finished as the American League steals leader on three occasions. He's having a down year but maybe a move to a contender brings more out of his bat. He's also a versatile defensive piece, providing some insurance in case George Springer needs time on the injured list.
All the pieces Atkins acquired are under team control for at least one more season after this one.
Toronto also managed to keep all three of its top prospects in Gabriel Moreno, Orelvis Martinez and Ricky Tiedemann. Some may be surprised to see Groshans traded for a pair of relievers but he has struggled at triple-A this season, posting a .644 OPS with just one home run in 67 games.
Why you might be underwhelmed by the Blue Jays' moves:
While the Blue Jays brought in reinforcements for the bullpen, none can be classified as a true "relief ace." Beyond closer Jordan Romano, Toronto still does not have a reliever with elite swing-and-miss stuff. Those types of arms become even more valuable in the playoffs.
Merrifield is a question mark since he was among 10 Royals players to miss last month's series in Toronto over his COVID-19 vaccination status. Merrifield said he would consider getting the vaccine if he was traded to a contender but Atkins didn't exactly alleviate concerns about Merrifield's ability to play in Canada when asked about it just after the deadline.
Asked about Whit Merrifield's vaccination status & ability to play #BlueJays home games on next homestand, GM Ross Atkins said he'd just said hello to Merrifield so far
"This is a very fresh acquisition," Atkins said, adding Jays will "let him work through that with his family."
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) August 2, 2022
The Blue Jays also struck out on the biggest names available. Juan Soto may never have been a realistic target, but Toronto watched a number of American League rivals improve. Most notably, the Seattle Mariners acquired ace pitcher Luis Castillo, while the New York Yankees brought in Frankie Montas in addition to multiple relievers. Both Castillo and Montas would have bolstered the Blue Jays' starting staff and simultaneously kept them away from a direct competitor.
Finally, Toronto still lacks an impact left-handed bat to balance out its righty-heavy lineup.
Have your say and join the conversation:
Are you satisfied with the Blue Jays' trade deadline? 🤔
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) August 2, 2022
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