Sogard, Stroman... who's next out of Toronto?

The Blue Jays still have some pieces that could be in new uniforms by Wednesday

Kyle Powell
July 29, 2019 - 4:31 pm

Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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As expected, the Toronto Blue Jays began selling off some pieces of their 2019 roster ahead of Wednesday's MLB Trade Deadline.

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Sunday saw a veteran utility man and a much-discussed starting pitcher head out the door in separate deals.

Eric Sogard is in the midst of a career season at age 33. Sogard has already shattered his career-high in home runs with 10 (was previously five), and is eight runs-batted-in short of a high watermark in that category as well (30, career-high 37 in 2015 with Oakland). His .300 batting average would also be a new career-high; so too would his .477-slugging percentage and .840 on-base-percentage plus slugging.

Sogard is expected to serve multiple roles with the Tampa Bay Rays as manager Kevin Cash has acquired himself a modern-day Ben Zobrist with the Rays fighting to chase down the AL East-leading New York Yankees and, at the least, a spot in the American League Wild Card game.

As for Marcus Stroman, this acquisition by the New York Mets was much more of a head-scratcher when the news broke. For weeks, the Mets had been discussed as sellers as the deadline got closer; playoff-hungry teams were calling first-year general manager Brody Van Wagenen about the likes of starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and others. The Mets then seemed to pivot on a dime on Sunday as they completed a deal to acquire Stroman for a pair of pitching prospects.

Many anticipated that if Stroman were to be dealt to New York, it was going to be to the Bronx to aid the Yankees. It seemed like a match made in heaven; Stroman would have immediately slotted into a Yankees rotation that is desperate for a stop-gap as their rotation earned-run-average continues to climb deep into the summer. Instead, the Mets swooped in and snatched Stroman from the Blue Jays as they now are expected to push their remaining chips in the pot in a chase for a National League Wild Card berth.

The Mets head into Monday with a 50-55 record, good for fourth place in the NL East and six games back of the second Wild Card spot, which is currently shared by the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals (56-49).

With these moves official, who else can we expect to see depart from Toronto ahead of the 4 p.m. deadline on Wednesday?

 

Ken Giles - Closing pitcher

There should be countless suitors for his services before the first of August. "One-Hundred Miles" Giles is enjoying his best season since 2014 and 2015 with the Philadelphia Phillies. Giles has a 1.54 earned-run-average, 14 saves and a 14.9 strikeouts/per-nine innings ratio, and has found success even in a tumultuous season up north. If Toronto thought their phones were ringing like crazy about him before, wait until the last-minute madness gets going.

 

Justin Smoak - First baseman/DH

Though I believe the market for power bats should be fairly scarce, Smoak is an intriguing option for a team looking for some switch-hitting thump off the bench. Smoak only boasts a .218 batting average, but has supplied power for the Blue Jays with 18 home runs and 45 runs-batted-in. He has also tortured right-handed pitching all season; 16 of his 18 home runs and 36 of his 45 RBIs have come against right-handers in 2019. That's no different than the success he's seen his entire career against right-handed pitching either; of Smoak's 187 career home runs, 147 have come against right-handers.

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