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Jays Trade 2 in Quiet Deadline

Blue Jays, Deadline John Lott via


Toronto sends two pitchers packing on deadline day.

The Toronto Blue Jays have traded pitchers Fransisco Liriano and Joe Smith to a pair of contenders. Caught in the middle of trying not to tear the team down, and needing reinforcements the Jays have moved on from the two pitchers. Other names that were possible to be moved at the non-waiver deadline were fellow starters, Happ, Estrada and even Bautista was mentioned. Despite rumours of possibly selling off Donaldson, the Jays elected to not blow up their core of players and keep them selves ready for next year.  It’s also worth noting that Justin Smoak who is on an expiring contract was held onto. Smoak has been the best hitter for the Jays so far this year. Getting his first real shot at extended playing time he has become this years Michael Saunders.

Liriano Trade

Fransisco Liriano was traded to the Houston Astro’s for OF Nori Aoki and their number 9 prospect Teoscar Hernandez.  While their wasn’t much trade value left for Liriano after a poor start to the season. The Jays did manage to actually get a decent return. Aoki could now slot in as the everyday left fielder and lead off hitter. A career .285 left handed hitter will add some balance to a right hand heavy lineup. His speed is not what it once was but at age 35, and still arbitration eligible for one more year, he helps the team now and next year. Teoscar Hernadez has been hitting the ball well in AAA this year for Fresno. Hernadez has a .279 average with 12 home runs and 12 steals. At only 24 he could make his Blue Jays debut come September.

Joe Smith to Cleveland

The Tribe landed the side arming righty for a package of two lower level prospects. The Jays managed to net left handed pitcher Thomas Pannone and second basemen Samad Taylor. The 23 year old Pannone is currently in double-A for the Indians, putting up a line of 8-1 with a 1.96 ERA. Meanwhile Taylor has been hitting .300 for the Indians Low-A Team. This pair of prospects represent looking forward to the future for the Jays. While this was not a major deal, it’ll help replenish a farm system that is thin. Pannone could wind up in AAA by the end of the year, and even make a September cameo.

Whats Next For The Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays made some small deals at this deadline window, but could still move bigger names in the offseason. With the resurgence of the Yankees and Red Sox in the East, they could be headed for a rebuild. Many fans would shutter at the thought of moving Josh Donaldson or Sanchez and Osuna, but it could expedite the process. With the White Sox effectively transforming their farm system into one of the best in a year, it’s hard to imagine that Shapiro won’t consider this. Their goal is to remained focus on next year, but it should be to help build for the future. They should make some big off-season splashes and try to avoid another 20 year rebuild.